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Google Ads for Doctors

Question: When do you use Google Ads.  | Answer: When you need results right now.

Google Ads, if done well, can be a great source of new patients to your healthcare practice. If done poorly, you can waste thousands of dollars.
We’ll tell you what Google Ads are, how they work and how we could help you attract more patients to your medical practice.

David Douglas

By David Douglas

Director – Medical Website Solutions | Head of Health Marketing.
Over 15 years of website and online marketing experience.

1. Google Ads – What are they

The Google Ads marketplace is an auction. Medical clinics bid money for their ads appear at the top of a Google search page for certain keywords in relation to their medical practice. You only pay if your ad is clicked on (called pay-per-click or PPC). Google Ads actually offers two basic ways to reach people through:

a) The Google Search Network (text ads) and
b) The Google Display Network (display or banner ads).

While these approaches are different, they both use a PPC bidding system. We will cover the Google Search Network in detail in this article.


When patients go to Google, they’re looking for a specific service. They have intent and are actively seeking medical services. They’re literally telling you what they are interested in by typing in key search words (or using voice search) about medical services into Google.

You only pay for the people who click on your ad and visit your website. The results are highly measurable, allowing you to improve your advertising efforts.

2. Google Ads For Doctors – How do they work

a) The Google Search Network

The Google Search Network (text ads) allows you to show your ads to users who are actively searching for the keywords (or using voice search) in relation to your medical practice. For example if a potential patient was looking for a Doctor in Brighton they may type into Google “doctor brighton”.

Here is an example of an ad below:

Google Ad for Doctor Brighton - Snippet

Text ads on the Google Search Network are marked with a small “Ad” tag next to the website address.

b) The Google Display Network

The Google Display Network works a little differently.

Instead of showing what are mostly “text ads” to users who are searching for your medical practice online, they use “display ads” or “banner ads” that are placed on websites that the target audience will potentially be on.

For example the the following ad may appear on a website you are browsing in relation to dental health:

The major difference in relation to the display network is that potential patients aren’t actively searching for your medical services, so they are usually less likely to click on banner ads.

Display ads may help you get in front of potential patients who might never find your medical practice on their own.

Facts about how Google Ads Work

The Google Ads marketplace works as an auction. You set a budget and a bid. The bid sets how much you are willing to pay for each click. If your maximum bid is $3, Google will only show your ad to people if other practices aren’t bidding more (on average).

Google will show the ad by the practice who bids the highest amount for that keyword, assuming that all bidders have the same quality score (more on this soon).

If a medical practice is bidding less for the keyword that you want your ad to show up for, Google won’t spend your maximum bid. It optimizes impressions and bids. You may end up paying less than $3 per click.

People bid money for clicks, but,

The highest bid does not always win!

Google combines the bid amount with a quality factor (which we’ll explore shortly), in order to serve the most relevant ad to the user in relation to their search query. So Google looks at the content of your ad and the amount you are prepared to bid. In short Google combines:

Ad quality (relevant keywords) & Landing page quality + Bid amount = Leads sent to your website.

Landing pages

What are they and how do they help

What is a landing page – When someone clicks on your Google Ad, the landing page is the page they are taken to (sometimes it’s the homepage).

How do landing pages help – Your landing pages should be specifically designed to:

  • Reflect the keywords in your ad (this improves your quality score)
  • Tell who you are and what you do
  • Why should patients use your medical services
  • Meet the needs of patients in direct relation to the ad
  • Convert website visitors into patients – Book appointment or capture their details.

If your landing page is poor, too general or not related to your ad, spending money in this process is a waste of time (that is why it is not ideal to send potential patients to your homepage).

This sounds simple, but:

Google Ads has a complex interface system that allows for many different factors to be taken into account and changed. If done well:

  • Increasing the quality of your ads may in turn decrease the cost of your ads
  • Higher quality ads increase the frequency your ads are served to potential patients
  • Great ads and landing pages assist in converting web visitors into patients.

All of these factors are interrelated. Managing them well and optimising these efforts is the key to successful campaigns.

The complexity of Google Ads

Using Google Ads requires a large amount of expertise to conduct successfully. Here are just some of the interface options:

  • Ad builder
  • Ad extensions
  • Landing pages
  • Keywords
  • Audiences
  • Demographics
  • Locations
  • Budget
  • Bid amount
  • Bid strategy
  • Ad types
  • Devices
  • Ad rotation
  • Ad scheduling
  • Languages
  • Measurement

All of the above factors can be tweaked and result in different outcomes. So it can be very complex, time consuming and costly if you don’t know what you are doing.

Google Ads for Doctors

How do you know if your ads are a success

The main statistics based on determining if your ads success include:

  • Impressions – How may times your ad appears on a Google search.
  • Click through rate (CTR) – How many times a patient clicks on your ad (divide the number of clicks to your ad by the number of impressions).
  • Cost per click – Cost you are paying for your ad every time someone clicks on it.
  • Conversions – Converting website visitors into patients.
  • Paying too much for your ads & ineffective ads – If you end up paying too much for your ads and not converting web visitors into patients.

There are a lot of variables to consider and you can even test and measure different versions of your ads to determine the most effective.


Case Study – How to achieve great results

Let’s have a look at a real case study from one of our clients:

Who are they:
Central Perth Skin Clinic

What they do: 
New clinic that offers comprehensive head to toe skin cancer checks, biopsies and lesion removal and other related services.

Google Ads Objectives:
1. Attract new patients. | 2. Raise awareness. | 3. Build trust. | 4. Test ads & the marketplace.

Industry overview:
Highly competitive with over 50 established clinics in and around Perth and Fremantle who offer similar services.


Based on the above information the Medical Website Solutions team developed the following:

Test Ad – Mobile View

One version of the test ad shown below:

Test Ad Results

Campaign Budget
– $125
Impressions – 650
Clicks – 40
Cost per click – $3.30
Click through rate – 5%
Conversion – 10 new patients.

These test results were extremely encouraging.

Even with the most basic ad and sending patients to the homepage, the ads were converting visitors into patients.


We discussed with the team at Central Perth Skin Clinic where the opportunities lay in refining the ads, use of additional keywords and developing specific landing pages based on key findings.

The aim was to significantly decrease the cost per click whilst exceeding the exceptional click through and conversion rates.

Putting the findings into play from the first round of tests resulted in the following:

New Landing Page:

Ad Updates & Results:

– Over 7000
Click throughs – Over 500
Cost per click – $1.68 (down from $3.30)
Click through rate – 8.2% (up from 5%)
Conversions – Very good.

These results are exceptional and have proven highly successful in the launch of Central Perth Skin Clinic.

David Douglas

———-“Our strategic approach to Google Ads for doctors has delivered great results for the vast majority of medical practices we work with!

If you have any questions please feel free to call or email me personally.”

David Douglas
– Medical Website Solutions


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Google Ads for Doctors – Melbourne | Sydney | Brisbane | Adelaide | Perth | Darwin | Canberra

Medical Website Solutions develops custom website design and online marketing solutions including Google Ads for medical practices across a range of specialities including General Practitioners, Specialists, Orthopaedic Surgeons, Dentists and Allied Health Professionals from all over Australia including Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra and Darwin. We work closely with you to develop a website and online marketing needs that meets your practice’s strategic and day to day needs.