Google PPC, or pay-per-click, is one of the most popular and effective forms of search engine marketing. For healthcare practices, campaign performance varies widely depending on the skills of their digital marketing practitioner. Many digital marketers struggle to keep up with the constant changes in Google’s algorithms, which are driven by AI-based technology.

At Evolve, we keep our campaigns on the cutting edge and ensure high levels of performance by benchmarking results against Google’s published measures for medical practices and our own criteria. We manage campaigns across geographic markets throughout the U.S. and have data from multiple types of medical practices ranging from behavioral health to spine surgery. We base our benchmarks on large data sets and medical practice specialties.

However, it must be noted that medicine is local. The dynamics influencing cost per click (CPC) in New York City are different than they are in Des Moines. In addition, the cost for keywords (ABA therapy near me, for example) may differ depending on market saturation and other factors.

However, our benchmarks can give you a better idea of what you should generally expect from a healthcare digital marketing campaign.

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

CTR measures the percentage of people who see your ad when searching for a specific term and then click on your ad. According to Wordsteam’s Google Ads benchmarks report, the average medical practice PPC campaign generates a click-through rate of around 3.27% or 3.27 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 running at least 90 days to allow Google’s algorithms to take full effect. Optimized campaigns are those structured from a technical perspective, including:

  • Proper geographic targeting
  • Strategically chosen keywords and negative keywords
  • Compelling ad copy
  • Competitive bids and daily budgets

A solid CTR means that your target audience is finding your ad and clicking on it. However, it’s important to consider the benchmarks below to ensure your campaign’s effectiveness.

Google Paid Search Benchmark #2: Lead Conversion Rate (LCR)

LCR measures how many people who click on your Google search ads become patients. When looking at the LCR, consider these 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?

The average medical practice conversion rate is 3.36%. The top 25% of performers across all industries outpace the pack significantly at 5.31%. Our average client conversion rate here at Evolve is between 5-6%, with our top performers hitting as high as 20% conversion rates. Those top performers have several things in common:

  • Strong landing page copy and structure
  • Proven messaging and call to action
  • Robust patient engagement capabilities

Medical practices can see substantially enhanced conversion rates by keeping an eye on the patient pathway towards conversion and ensuring strong web content.

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

The final measure of your Google paid search ad performance to keep in mind is Cost Per Lead (CPL). This is the precursor to the question of customer (patient) acquisition cost. CPL defines how much you will pay 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 marketing and conversion efforts. If you’ve ever watched Shark Tank, this is one of the first questions the Sharks ask the person on stage. Those numbers are fundamental to any business’s marketing efforts, including those of a medical practice.
In our experience, 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

Performance across the measures mentioned above may vary depending on several factors, including the skills, experience, and resources of the organization managing a campaign. These benchmarks provide a context for the results you should expect from a Google Ads paid search campaign when it is managed by a top-notch healthcare marketing agency.

In healthcare marketing, just as in healthcare, specialization matters. Working with a marketing company that focuses specifically on healthcare positions you to achieve your goals. A general marketing agency may not have the knowledge and experience necessary to provide effective marketing for medical practices.

At Evolve, we can guide your practice through the healthcare marketing process and provide you with crucial information about your local market. Contact us today to learn more.

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