4 Reasons Healthcare Marketers Should Run Digital Audio Ad Campaigns

4 reasons digital audio campaigns work for healthcare

Digital audio campaigns are a great opportunity to spread the word about your healthcare organization and services. It’s also called programmatic audio advertising, which means the platform uses an automated selling and insertion of ads into audio content, much like display advertising. This means digital audio ads allow you to easily target the right listeners at the right time and place.

Here are the top four reasons your marketing team should be investing in digital audio ads.

#1: Broaden your exposure to valuable audiences</h3

Digital audio listeners are an important target audience who is only consuming more online audio. Consider these stats:

  • Podcast listeners typically have university-level education, are employed, and earn a household income above $100k per year. (Edison Research)
  • Millennials and Gen Z, who are becoming key healthcare buyers and have a big lifetime value, are a demographic that considers digital audio a top channel. (Edison Research)
  • The time US adults spent with digital audio recorded an 8.3% growth for a total of 1 hour, 29 minutes per day. (eMarketer)
  • Digital audio accounted for 11% of total media time per day for US adults in 2020 (eMarketer)

#2: Access to hyper-targeting

Like other digital channels, digital audio lets you use similar advice targeting parameters, including location, demographics, and online behavior.

With programmatic audio, you have the option to fine-tune your targeting even further. You can use data from audio partners like Spotify, Pandora, and iHeart Media to target specific genres, niches, and demographics. This allows you to target your campaign to complementary genres or topics.

#3: Improve recall

According to Neilson Media Lab audio ads have a 24% higher recall rate than traditional ads. Which makes sense — listeners typically aren’t engaging with other media, which means they won’t be distracted when they hear an ad. With their undivided attention, the ad will have more of an impact.

Combine that with the fact the vast majority of audio ads can’t be skipped, your ads will have a higher rate of exposure, getting the most out of your campaign budget.

#4: Easy to track

Digital audio advertising gives you the opportunity to measure reach, impressions, listen through rate, and click through rate in real time.

Unlike traditional radio ads, where campaign performance data is limited, potentially inaccurate, and typically not available until a campaign has ended, you can easily analyze, adjust, and pivot audio ads as they are running.

An immersive media that pays off

Thanks to streaming audio’s ability to be highly personalized and dynamic, 43% say the audio ads are more relevant to them. (Pandora) If your organization is focusing on delivering more personalized content and ad experiences, digital audio is a channel worth considering.

If you’re unsure how to get started or want to run a test campaign, our team can help. Check out some of the results our team delivering for Wayne UNC Health’s digital audio campaign, and then let’s talk about how we can do the same for your health system.

What Google’s BERT Algorithm Update Means for Healthcare Sites

Breaking Down Google’s BERT Algorithm

The latest Google algorithm update is based on a tool created last year, the Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, or BERT for short.

BERT uses artificial intelligence (AI) to understand search queries by focusing on the natural language and not just choosing the main keywords.

The most significant change Google is making is that they are now paying more attention to connecting words, such as is, a, for, to, etc. Google has found that taking these connecting words into account can help give a more holistic idea of what the search user is looking for. This allows Google to return a more high-quality search result for the user’s query.

What does this mean for healthcare marketers?
We won’t sugar coat it. You may see a dip in organic traffic to your website if you haven’t already. With Google’s greater understanding of natural language at work, you may find that you’re no longer appearing in the top results for some searches that you were previously.

However, if you have a robust content and SEO strategy in place, this could mean that your targeted content is more likely to rank in search. The fact the change impacts ten percent of all search results could also mean an increase for some websites that have already been optimizing for targeted search queries and writing in a more natural, conversational tone. Putting a greater focus on answering the questions of your target audiences could help contribute to this increase.

So, what can you do?
This isn’t the first time Google has announced an algorithm change that seeks to understand search queries better — and it certainly won’t be the last. While you still have to keep up with Google and optimize content that’s right for your users and search engines, you shouldn’t try to optimize for the BERT update specifically. Rather, you should continue to keep your users, or patients, top-of-mind when developing your content strategy. Ensure your content is answering users’ questions and meeting their search intent.

If you notice a drop in search traffic, don’t panic. An excellent first step is to look into what’s been impacted – including landing pages and queries. You may even notice that while traffic has gone down, engagement hasn’t. A scenario like this would point to this algorithm update helping to remove irrelevant or underqualified traffic that wasn’t engaged or converting.

It’s also important to conduct keyword research to see what consumers are searching for in your area and how they are conducting those searches. Look for the keywords that have the highest SEO value in your target region that return local results when searched. Optimizing for these keywords is a great way to make certain your pages retain quality and stay relevant for users and Google alike.

Create a Plan to Focus on Users

If you need help with your SEO or content strategy, our experts are here to help. Contact us today to ensure your optimization efforts are always focused on users and not at risk when Google makes updates.

7 Tips for Google My Business Success

Online listing management can seem like a daunting task. Many healthcare organizations have hundreds or thousands of location and provider listings that require ongoing maintenance. Inconsistent or inaccurate data can misdirect patients and consumers, which can hurt your reputation and your revenue.

But, intimidating though it may seem, online listing management is critical today.

In 2019, Google reported that 63% of mobile searches were no-click searches. This means that Google answered the search query themselves without users clicking through to a website. Through various featured callouts, structured snippets, knowledge panels, and most often, Google My Business (GMB) listings, Google can deliver the information that searchers are looking for without ever sending them to a website. Assuming that 63% of people will not be clicking through to your website, do your business listings give users what they need?

Consumers have come to expect accuracy with everything we find online. Patients looking for care are no different. Ensuring that all of your locations and providers are claimed, verified, and accurate in GMB is a significant first step to addressing this. However, it should not be the last step. It is essential to understand that managing your online listings is not a one-and-done task. Ongoing optimization and management are just as crucial to ensuring your information is accurate for patients, both existing and potential, who are searching for care.

So if you’re looking to invest more in business listing management, here are seven tips to optimize and help your listing rank in Google:

1. Work with internal stakeholders

If you are in charge of creating and maintaining your business listings, reach out to the key people at the different locations or within your organization. Let them know the importance of having accurate data in your listings. Request that they let you know when a provider leaves or if information changes for their location. Let them know who to contact if they receive comments or questions based on inaccurate information. They are the ones who hear the patient feedback most: “Google says you open at 8:00 a.m.” or “I couldn’t find the building,” etc. Encourage them to pass that feedback onto you so you can resolve the misinformation online. Or, consider creating an internal ticket system to request changes to establish an efficient flow of information.

2. Choose the right primary category

Google is going to show listings that are most relevant to the user’s search query. Although you can add multiple categories to your listing, the primary category should best represent your location or provider as it is the only one that users can see on your listing. Look at your listing insights to see what terms users are searching for when they come across your listing. For example, if you use the primary category of “Medical Center” when “Urgent Care” would be a better fit for that location, you may be missing out on potential traffic or rankings. If your category isn’t an option in the GMB dashboard, you can reach out to GMB Support and request it be added.

3. Make sure your website is the source of truth

One of the top foundational ranking factors for Google listings is that there is synergy between the name, address, and phone number (NAP) and the corresponding GMB listing. If necessary, create a web governance checklist so that when people make changes to a name, address, phone number, or hours on the website, they also make them on the Google listing or notify someone of the changes.

4. Drive the user to the right page

Imagine this scenario: a user conducts a Google search for “urgent care near me.” Your listing shows up first in the local 3-pack, the prominent map listing in search results that presents users the three businesses that Google considers most relevant to their query and location. Great! The user sees that the location is nearby and clicks the website link to learn more about provided services. If this links to a service line page that doesn’t include location information, the user can become frustrated. It is good to remember that every search is really a question and every click should be an answer to that question. The information on your website must match the listing so that it can most accurately answer the searchers’ question. If you have a listing for urgent care, there should be information for urgent care locations. If you have a listing for a cardiology department and you link to a cardiology service line page, you should ensure that page has location information in sync with the corresponding business listing.

5. Add photos and videos

According to Google’s own data, “Businesses with photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions to their location from users on Google and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don’t have photos.” It is essential to upload your own, professional photos to each listing so that your images have a better chance of displaying over images that Google users can upload. If you have videos of your providers or virtual tours of a location, consider adding them to the appropriate listings. Photos and videos encourage engagement with your listing, and that is a key ranking factor on Google.

6. Check for updates regularly
Take the time, preferably on a weekly basis, to check your listings for updates in the GMB dashboard. These updates could be based on user-suggested changes or Google’s crawl of your site. Often times, these updates can be a change to the business hours or website URL. If this task is left to Google’s automation, you may find incorrect, inconsistent, or outdated information on your listings. This leads to frustration and poor user experience but can be avoided with a regular maintenance task.

7. Use UTM Parameters

Also known as Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) codes, UTM parameters are snippets of code that are appended to URLs to track different sources of traffic to your website from various advertising and marketing channels and tactics. While having UTM parameters won’t affect your local listing ranking, they will allow you to get a better understanding of what listings are driving the most traffic to your site and how users are engaging with your site from there. You should use UTM parameters for both your website and appointment URLs, if applicable. There are several tools to help you create your UTM tracking code, such as the Google Campaign URL Builder. You can also use an Excel spreadsheet to build and keep track of all your UTMs. Make sure you’re using a consistent naming convention for all of your online listings, so your data aggregates as accurately as possible in Google Analytics.

Take control of your data

Maintaining an active and ongoing role in your online listings management is important. While the first initial time investments can be significant, ongoing maintenance may just take a little bit of time every week or every month. That continuous pruning and care can make all the difference in preventing issues from coming up and snowballing into more significant problems. Plus, it helps ensure you are meeting the needs of the 63% of people who inevitably don’t visit your site.

If you need help getting the ball rolling or locating the most substantial pain points, we can help you. We work with healthcare organizations around the country to manage their listings and can use our insight to help you optimize your listings. We can perform a business listings audit and help create a plan of action for addressing any problem areas that we find as well as create an ongoing maintenance strategy.

Remember, Google and other listings providers rely on automatic algorithms and user input to provide information. Do not leave your information up to that process. Take control of your data and maintain it for ongoing digital health.

How Negative Keywords Can Positively Impact Your ROI

So, you’ve mastered your keyword research and compiled comprehensive keywords for your Google Ads campaign. However, how much time have you devoted to gathering negative keywords to add to your campaign? Negative keywords can be just as important as your search keywords in your PPC campaign and can save you from wasting money on keywords that aren’t relevant to your campaign or organization.

What Are Negative Keywords?

Negative keywords tell Google what search queries are not relevant to you and prevent your ads from showing up in those searches.

Let’s say you’re running a campaign to promote the emergency department at your hospital. It stands to reason that users might search for “ER” or “emergency hospital” when in need of an emergency department near them. What happens, though, if a user searches for “animal emergency hospital”? If you haven’t added “animal” as a negative keyword, your ad has the potential to show up in Google. This means at best you’re getting an impression without the possibility of a click, which impacts your click-through-rate (CTR) and ultimately your quality score. And it means at worst you’re paying for a click that isn’t relevant to your campaign or organization and most likely will result in a bounce.

By adding “animal” and other related keywords to a negative keyword list, you’re saving money on wasted impressions/clicks and focusing your budget on the keywords that really matter and are much more likely to convert. This means your ads will only show up for the people that are actively searching for your service or location.

Adding Negative Keywords to Your Google Ads Campaign

So, where do you even start? In order to find negative keywords, be sure to look at the Search Terms Report in Google Ads to see actual search queries that have triggered your ads.

Utilizing Google’s ad preview tool to search for your primary keywords is another way to discover even more negative keywords, without impacting your own quality score or ad spend. Anything that shows up on the first few pages is information that Google considers relevant to your search. So if you’re seeing terms that aren’t relevant or valuable to you, add those to your negative keyword list.

You can add negative keywords at the campaign or ad group level. For instance, if you’re running a “cancer” campaign, you might have an ad group for “lung cancer,” “breast cancer,” and “prostate cancer”. You don’t necessarily want your lung cancer ads showing up for a query related to breast cancer, so adding “lung” as a negative keyword to your breast cancer ad group would be a good idea. Similarly, you don’t want “dog cancer treatment” triggering any of your ads, so you’d want to add “dog” as a negative keyword at the campaign level.

Excluding Locations from Your Campaign

Taking it one step further, you can also exclude locations for your ads to ensure they’re showing up only in the geographic locations that matter to you.

Like negative keywords, location exclusion allows you to use your budget wisely by preventing your ad from showing to users who most likely wouldn’t have access to your location or service.

Even though you’re only targeting specific areas, people might not be searching FOR your area. Someone in your geographic target might be looking for a service in another city which is not relevant to your campaign. For example, a local hospital in Cedar Rapids wasn’t targeting Iowa City, a city about 30 miles away, but was still seeing a lot of queries that included Iowa City. Location targeting alone wasn’t enough to avoid those irrelevant queries, so adding that city (and others) to excluded locations and negative keywords made the difference.

Now you can take a look at your Google Ads campaign and better tailor it to the right audience. By adding negative keywords and excluding locations from your campaign or ad groups, you’ll soon begin to see that your money is being spent effectively to convert valuable users.

Learn more tips and tricks for the making the most out of your next Google Ads campaign by watching our webinar Outperform Your Competition with Google Ads.