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Doctors’ offices and medical clinics operate in the same way that other businesses do. While some small-town doctors get new patients every year because they face little to no competition, doctors working in larger cities need to find a way to appeal to patients and make them come in for an appointment. Large billboards, television commercials and ads in the local newspaper can work, but those advertising methods are often quite expensive. Pay-per-click advertising offers a new way for doctors to not only reach patients, but to also improve their reputations and increase their online presence.

Pay-Per-Click vs. Other Advertising Costs

Google AdWords is one of the most popular forms of pay-per-click advertising. As the leading search engine in the world, Google lets business owners buy ads that will run on related searches done on the site. For example, a plastic surgeon might choose keywords that include “plastic surgeon + city” or the names of different procedures. Google will run ads that include a link that users click to visit the doctor’s site. Those companies agree to pay Google a small fee every time someone clicks those links. New customers can often buy ads for less than $1 per click. Though this cost might rise to $1.20 to $2 later, it’s often a more affordable option. The cost of buying a bus banner, a television ad or a newspaper ad might cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Importance of Reputation

A 2014 survey found that patients now use online reviews when looking for a new doctor. Out of the 1,000 reviews that the survey looked at, the two most important pieces of information that patients looked for were the communication skills of the doctor and the doctor’s bedside manner. Negative reviews were less common and often focused on the behavior and attitude of the doctor. The online reputation of a doctor can lead to that office receiving more or less business.

Improving Page Rank

According to this website, both positive and negative reviews can affect the page rank of a doctor or hospital. Google looks at how many websites mention a specific name, but Google also looks at the positive and negative feedback regarding that name. A doctor with multiple negative reviews posted online will likely see his or her page rank drop, while those with positive reviews will rank higher.

Pay-Per-Click and Reputation

Using pay-per-click ads is a simple way for doctors and nurses to improve the online reputation of the medical offices that employ them. Whenever someone searches for a keyword that the doctor chose, Google will list that ad right at the top of the person’s screen, and the office itself will appear in the person’s search engine results. Most patients and clients today look to search engines for help in finding information, and those patients will only look through the first page or two. With pay-per-click advertising, those ads will be the first thing potential patients see and the first thing they will most likely click.

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