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How to attract more patients online for your practice ?

29 Aug 2019 | by Dr. Surabhi Bhati


It is no brainer that the online presence of businesses is essential in today's digital-driven world. Research suggests that 1.49 billion people are logging on to Facebook every day, One out of 20 Google searches are health-related.

I am sure most of you have registered your practice on google maps and have social media pages on Facebook, Instagram etc. If you don’t have any online presence of your practice yet, it is high time to plan one.

There are about 1.49 billion active users every day on Facebook, 26.3% global population had facebook presence as of June 2017.

As the digital world is increasing it is important for the health practice to have a prominent digital presence. Online presence and digital marketing is the future of healthcare marketing. Having a strong online presence and knowing how to attract customers online will make all the difference in your hospital's bottom line.

The biggest platform to market your practice online is Google and Facebook. There are two types of ads that you can run on these platforms - Google Adwords and Facebook Ads respectively.

Both of these platforms are different and provide specific benefits in terms of attracting potential customers. In this blog, we will discuss the fundamental difference between Google Adwords and Facebook ads and what specific benefits they provide when used.

Google Advertising Platform :

The biggest advantage of using Google Adwords is the amount of search traffic Google attracts each day. Google receives over 63,000 searches per second on any given day. Google Adwords is pocket-friendly but is also competitive hence, it is important to have a perfect digital ad strategy in place.

Before starting your ads on Google, you must understand how to Google Adwords work. Google let you choose how, where and when your ads will be shown on Google search console. Before starting the google ads for your practice, it is important to identify what keywords you want to use for your Google Ads.

Now the question is what are the keywords in Google Ads? Keywords are the term your clients enter into a search engine like Google while looking out for information. For example, if someone from your location looking for paediatrics consultation will type in keywords like - “Pediatricians near me”, “Children's hospital open now” etc. These terms are called keywords and google let you advertise for these keywords in Google search engine.

Google Adwords is based on an online auction. You have to bid a price that you are willing to pay for your add to win over your competitors bidding and appear when the relevant keywords are searched.

You have to set a Google Adwords account and write an ad’s headline, URL and text for your advertisement. You have complete control on what your ad says and what keywords you want to focus on your ads. Apart from this, you can also add “ad extension” such as your location, patient reviews etc. which can be shown as and when your ad appears on Google search.

Google Adwords helps you in advertising your practice online and increase your reach to the community exponentially. The only downside is you might have to shell out more money as compared to any other industry using Google Adwords. The average cost per click (CPC) for healthcare is about $3.17 as compared to $2.32 across the industry. So you need to be careful and diligent in selecting your targeted keywords and setting your Google Ads budget.

Running Ads of your practice on Google will definitely lead to an increase in the patient inflow but might require expertise. It is always good to attend online or classroom courses specifically designed for Google Adwords. Google itself provides free online courses under Google Academy. You can check the site here.

If you don’t have the expertise in Google Adwords, it is important to hire someone with experience and expertise to have the maximum benefit.

Facebook Advertising Platform :

Facebook is another platform which allows you to run digital ads. As per the data on the Facebook official website, as of June 2019, Facebook reported approximately 1.59 billion daily active users and 2.41 billion monthly users on average.

Both Google and Facebook provide you with an opportunity to reach out to people digitally. Having said that both these platforms are quite different from each other. Google Adwords target the user via keywords whereas Facebook targets their users by user demographics and interests.

Facebooks ads are the advertisements created on the Facebook platform to be targeted/reached out to the Facebook audience based on the user's activity, interest, demographics and profile information.

It is important for you to understand your target audience and have buyers personas of your ideal customers ready before starting your Facebook ads. This approach will help you in getting maximum leads at a minimum cost.

You have to decide the three W’s before you start,

Why: What is your end object for running the Facebook ads. Do you want to create awareness about ongoing medical procedures or recently launched department? or you want your leads to book an appointment at your hospital by filling out the details on your webpage.

Whom: Facebook allows you to target your ads as per demographics and user profile. For example, if you are planning a breast awareness camp for your hospital located in south Bangalore and you want to run a facebook campaign for the same. In this scenario your target audience will be 25 to 60 years female, living in south Bangalore. You can further refine the ads to target users based on their behaviour, language and look alike etc.

When and Where: Facebook provides you with an option to let choose date and time for your advertisement to be seen. It helps you get the maximum reach and reduce your cost as the ads will only be shown when your customers are most active on Facebook.

Facebook advertisements have their benefits but it is also unlikely that people looking out for healthcare doctors will turn up on Facebook at the time of their need. Whereas, in the case of medical need people do search for doctors on the google search engine. Your Google Ads will target these customers when they are looking for services like you.

So, in the end, Facebook is useful in creating awareness about the medical services but Google Adwords will help you in targeting people actively searching for doctors online.

My suggestion would be to try both the options before settling on one. Both Facebook and Google Ads have their own unique advantage. Get ready to improve your online reach by testing out both the options and measure the outcome for maximum benefit at a reasonable cost.


Interested in optimising patient feedback for your hospital? Contact Healtho5 today for MedEnagage Feedback -Real-time patient feedback solution.

We at Healtho5 are on a mission to solve patient engagement market in India and provide affordable easy to use solutions to the healthcare industry and patients. Visit Healtho5 or call us @ +91-8047092031

About the Author: Dr Surabhi Bhati is Marketing Manager at Healtho5 Solutions. She has a medical degree with an MBA in Health Information Technology (HIT). She is passionate about healthcare innovation, writing, and online marketing.