What Affects Your PPC Budget?

December 8, 2015

Pay per click (PPC) advertising is a direct to consumer marketing tactic that has the potential to greatly impact your practice’s bottom line. Those who are unfamiliar with the paid search industry and its nuances may not be aware of the complexities associated with a PPC campaign. From reaching keywords to writing ad copy, you will find that many different components of the PPC campaign will affect your budget.

In this article, our PPC specialist outlines the top factors affecting your PPC budget. As a client paying hundreds or thousands of digital marketing dollars on PPC, it’s important for you to understand these factors so you can ask your campaign manager the right questions.

Choose Your Keywords Wisely

Keywords make up the heart of your PPC campaign. How the campaign is set up will directly affect every dollar you spend, starting with keywords. Choosing the right keywords for your campaign depends upon your practice’s goals and budget. Each keyword has a different price tag attached to it. Some keywords are more competitive than others, making them more expensive.

Keywords with a lot of competition typically indicate that a lot of people are searching for those terms on the web. Medical practices similar to yours will be bidding on the same keywords, thus raising the competition level and price. If your budget is limited, you must be strategic about the keywords you target and exclude any irrelevant terms so you can avoid irrelevant traffic.

For instance, if you are a plastic surgeon, you probably want to show up for the “best plastic surgeon” in your area. However, if the campaign’s keywords are not set up properly your ads may pop up when people search for things related to the generic keyword “plastic.” Plastic Tupperware, plastic drawers, what is plastic made of, etc. Irrelevant traffic can and will quickly eat up your budget.

Mind the Quality Score

Google is especially focused on the relevancy of ads placed on its search engine. They take careful measures to assign the campaign a quality score by assessing its ad performance and quality score. Quality score is determined by a number of factors, yet the most important factor is the click through rate (CTR). The campaigns with the most compelling ad copy tend to receive more clicks.

Once a user clicks on the ad, the ad links to a page on the website where users have an opportunity to convert into new leads. To achieve a high quality score, it’s imperative that the ad copy mirrors the content on the landing page. For instance, an ad for a rhinoplasty procedure should never link to a page about a facelift because the user will not find it relevant. 

The Importance of the Ad's Position

The position of an ad plays a large part in determining its cost. Premium placement, one of the first three spaces at the top of Google, almost always costs more. This placement affects the  bid strategy and eventual decisions regarding how much you’re willing to pay to get more leads. High ad position is almost always worth the paying a premium as it tends to boost the click through rate (CTR). When a business' CTR jumps higher, it boosts the quality score. Regardless of the ad position strategy you choose, be sure to carefully monitor your true return on investment (ROI). By keeping close tabs on ROI, you will be able to determine if the high ad position is really worth the extra dollars.

Industry Really Does Matter

One of the tenets of capitalism is that competition amongst businesses results in better products and services provided at lower prices. This type of free market competition also plays a role in PPC, specifically in the cost of highly trafficked keywords; the cost per keyword will vary and will depend on the amount of patients and providers in the market. Some industries, like medical, have exorbitantly high bids while others have fairly low ones.

Your Role

As a medical practitioner, you don’t need to understand every detail that goes into building a PPC campaign. Your role is critical, however, and it’s important that you are able to articulate your practice’s goals to your PPC specialist so he or she can build a robust campaign to meet your objectives.

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