Google PPC, or pay-per-click, is one of the most popular and effective forms of search engine healthcare marketing for medical practices. It has been proven as one of the fastest and most predictable ways to get patients in the door. Unfortunately, many medical practices rely on healthcare digital marketing agency teams for their marketing efforts, and not all of those marketers are created equal. Quantitative performance varies widely due to both the skills of the digital marketing practitioner and their capacity to keep up with the continuous evolution of Google’s algorithms, which are driven by AI-based technology.

In order to keep our campaigns on the cutting edge and ensure a high level of performance, we benchmark performance of our campaigns based on Google’s published measures for medical practices as well as our own benchmarks at Evolve as we actively manage campaigns across geographic markets throughout the US. We have data from multiple types of medical practices ranging from behavioral health to spine surgery.

Our benchmarks are based on large data sets and medical practice specialties. However, it’s critical to add a disclaimer: medicine is local. The dynamics that influence Cost Per Click (CPC) differ in New York than the ones in Des Moines. The cost for a particular keyword (ABA therapy near me, for example) may be vastly different. A look at these common benchmarks, however, can help give you a better idea of what you should expect as you market your medical practice.

Google Paid Search Benchmark #1: Click-Through Rate (CTR)

CTR measures the percentage of searchers, or people who see your ad when searching for a specific term, actually click on your ad. According to Google, the average medical practice PPC campaign generates a click-through rate of around 3.82%, or 3.82 of every 100 people.

At Evolve, we typically see a 4-5% average CTR for mature and fully optimized campaigns. We define “mature” as campaigns that have been running at least 90 days to allow Google’s algorithms to take effect. Optimized campaigns are those that have been properly structured from a technical perspective, including:

  • Proper geographic targeting
  • Well thought-out positive and negative keywords
  • Compelling copy on text ads
  • Appropriate days and hours
  • Competitive bids and daily budgets

A solid CTR is great since it means that searchers find your ad relevant. However, it’s important to consider what happens next as you determine the effectiveness and overall performance of your campaign.

Google Paid Search Benchmark #2: Lead Conversion Rate

Lead conversion rates measure how often people who click on your Google search ads convert. You may want to look at the lead conversion rate for several different factors.

  • How many people convert directly from the ad, via the click to call feature?
  • How many people converted from the landing page tied to the ad?
  • How many people converted while on your website after viewing the ad? This is also referred to as a “view through” conversion, when someone clicks on your ad and/or landing page, then goes on to the website, where they eventually convert.

According to Google, the average medical practice conversion rate is 2.4%. The top 25% of healthcare practice performers outpace the pack significantly at 5.31%. Here at Evolve, our average conversion rate for clients is between 5-6%, with our top performers hitting as high as 20% conversion rates. These top performers have strong:

  • Landing page copy and structure
  • Messaging and call to action
  • Patient engagement capabilities

By keeping an eye on those key dynamics, including how patients most often respond to them, medical practices can often see substantially enhanced conversion rates.

Google Paid Search Benchmark #3: Cost Per Lead (CPL)

The final measure of the performance of your Google paid search ad performance is Cost Per Lead, or CPL. This is the precursor to the question of customer (patient) acquisition cost. If you’ve ever watched Shark Tank, this is one of the first questions the Sharks ask the person on stage. It defines how much you will pay in order to acquire those vital clicks to your website. Patient acquisition cost, on the other hand, defines the full cost to acquire a single patient, including all of your marketing and conversion efforts. Those numbers are fundamental to any business’s marketing efforts, including those of a medical practice.

According to Google, the average CPL for a healthcare provider. In our experience, however, top performers may be able to achieve a CPL of less than $30, depending on the specialty and the market. The key is consistency and quality. When you have high-quality ads and a high click-through rate, you’re ultimately more likely to see a lower cost per lead and patient acquisition cost.

Using Google Paid Media Benchmarks

These benchmarks provide a context for the results you should expect from a Google Search Ads campaign when it is managed by a medical marketing agency that understands patient acquisition. Performance across those measures may vary greatly depending on a number of factors, including the skills, experience, and resources of the organization managing those campaigns. In healthcare marketing, just as in healthcare, specialization matters. When you work with a healthcare marketing company that focuses specifically on marketing for medical practices, you will often find yourself in a position to achieve better results than you would if you were working with a general marketing agency that may not have the specific knowledge and experience necessary to provide high-quality marketing for your medical practice.

Work with your marketing provider to get a feel for what you should expect for your specific practice, based on both your geographic area and your specialization. If you are in a highly saturated market, you can naturally expect to pay more for essential keywords, which may in turn lead to a higher cost per lead. On the other hand, if you are in a market with lower overall saturation, you may find it easier to get those essential leads. At Evolve, we can help guide your firm through the healthcare marketing process and provide you with essential information about your local market. Contact us today to learn more.

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