So, you’ve set up your Google Ad campaign for your clinic. It’s live and out there, ready to collect those new patient enquiries.
If you’ve seen our blog post on optimising your ads, you should be on the way to an effective campaign with a great return on your investment, where the copy, keywords and landing page are up to scratch. The blog will help you analyse and update your ad appropriately throughout the running of your campaign. If you haven’t checked it out, make sure you do.
One thing we didn’t mention in that blog post is bid optimisation which we decided deserved a blog post of its own. We will be focusing on the top 3 bid optimisation strategies that will be of value to your clinic.
What is bid optimisation?
When you bid, you are setting the amount you are willing to pay on a keyword, a click or a conversion.
Google Ads offers two settings; manual bidding and automated bidding.
With manual bidding, it’s all down to you. You set the bid amount for each ad group and keyword, and you’ve got to follow up and track it.
Automated bidding gets rid of the guesswork and eases the load a bit. You don’t have to update bids manually. You choose your automated bid strategy to help you achieve your specific goal for your business.
We recommend that you use automated bidding. It is an effective way to help meet your goals without the complication of doing it all yourself. Most advertisers use automated bidding now as Google’s AI is so advanced, with access to all sorts of data to make the best decisions.
To find out which you are using, go to one of your live search campaigns and click ‘settings’. Under ‘bidding’, you will be able to see if it is manual or automated.
Before choosing your bid strategy, you need to consider your goal. As a clinic owner, you could have a couple of goals in mind, but until you decide, you won’t be able to choose an effective strategy. Recognising your goal is key to a successful campaign.
If your goal is to increase site visits, you will want to maximise clicks.
If you’re looking to increase visibility and spread brand awareness, your bid strategy would be to target impression share.
If you’re looking to get more conversions while spending your budget, this is smart bidding, and your strategy will be to maximise conversions.
To keep it simple, we will only go through these three bid strategies mentioned as they are the most relevant to you and your clinic.
Top 3 Bid Optimisation strategies
When you select ‘maximise clicks’ as your bid strategy, Google Ads will help you get as many clicks as possible within your budget.
It’s pretty simple. You set an average daily budget, and Google gets to work and does the rest. Google will set your maximum cost-per-click (CPC), but you can put limits to prevent your bids from exceeding a certain amount. This could, however, limit the number of clicks your ad gets. And so sometimes it’s best to let Google do its thing.
Remember, maximising clicks can burn through the budget quicker, as it is easier to get clicks than conversions.
One strategy advertisers like to use is to select maximise clicks for at least two weeks. This allows Google to gather data so you can change your bid strategy to maximise conversions. With the data previously collected, it will be much more effective as it has all the information it needs to get those conversions.
If your campaign is time sensitive, it may be better to maximise conversions for your clinic directly.
In order to use maximise conversions as a strategy, you need to track your conversions, including inserting a conversion code onto the coding in your website.
How do you do this? It’s best to get the experts involved in coding, as one mistake can ruin your whole website.
You’ll need to set up a Google Tag Manager account and get the code which you should send to your developer so they can paste it on the website’s code. Once that’s done, they will connect your Google Tag Manager account with your Google Ads account to start creating your versions, and you’ll be able to start using maximise conversions as a bid strategy.
Google uses historical data about your campaign to find an optimal bid for your ad each time it appears. Maximise conversions will try and spend your average daily budget, so make sure you set it to an amount you are prepared to spend.
You have the option to set a target cost per action (CPA) when you select this bid strategy. This means that Google will aim to get as many conversions as possible at your target CPA. If it isn’t set, Google will try and spend your budget to get as many conversions as possible.
Target impression share
Target impression share as a strategy means bids will automatically be set with the goal of showing your ad in the best possible position on Google. You can choose whether you want your ad to be shown at the absolute top of the results page, at the top of the results page or anywhere on the search results page.
Suppose you’re looking to increase visibility for your clinic and get new patient enquiries. In that case, you can set up a campaign with a target impression share strategy to gain visibility for your clinic while simultaneously running another campaign with the maximise conversion strategy.
What else do you need to know?
Google needs time to kick in. When you edit your ad or change your bidding strategy, give Google a couple of weeks. Don’t expect to see amazing results straight off the bat. There is a huge learning curve for Google, so be patient.
If you set your budget higher at the beginning, you will allow Google to get hold of more data. You can reduce your budget later as the AI uses the information to do the best bidding possible.
Google might spend more or less of your budget on any given day but don’t panic; it usually will even out and will only go over by a small amount.
If you are struggling with your bid strategy or setting up ads, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experts at Ignite. We can take reigns to get those new patient enquiries allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business. Check out our success stories here to find out what other clinics and practices have to say about working with us!