There are many companies offering online advertising options to the Optometric Community. Unless you have a background in the Ad market, it is actually very difficult to understand one option from another. Also, the sales people from these ad firms are very good sales people (Of Course they are, We all watch Mad Men!!!). So what is an Optometric Practice to do? I'm very humbled when my clients call me with questions regarding the Ad options in the market. I very much appreciate their partnership and their trust in my experience and advice.
Below is a brief overview of the Online Ad market and my perceptions of the benefits for an Optometric Practice. Two key terms to remember are the following:
Cost Per Mille (CPM): This is the cost per 1,000 impressions of Display Ad campaign. Sometimes this is also referred to as Cost per Impression. CPM is usually used by advertisers to build brand awareness.
Cost Per Click (CPC): This is the ad format used on Google's Adwords model. In this model, there is an ongoing bid process for keywords in a Google Search. The advertiser bids on keywords, and pays when a user clicks on their ad after completing the search. CPC is most useful if you want to drive an action. For example, if you want new customers to call your office or book an online appointment, CPC is a great way to go.
When evalutating advertisment options, it's importnant to understand CPM and CPC, as they are the basis for most pricing.
When evaulating onine ad campaigns it is important to understand the following key terms:
Click Thru Rate(CTR) This is the measure of clicks your ad receives divided by the total number of people that viewed your ad. For example, if 100 people clicked on your ad after 1000 saw the ad as part of their search results, your click thru rate is 10%. 10% is a very high Click thru Rate and would indicate that your ad is well targeted. CTR helps you refine your ads to see if they are attracting traffic to your site as part of your CPC or CPM campaign. CTR should really be above .2% as a guideline.
Conversion Rate: For most Optometric Practices, this is the most importnant number. This is the measure of goal achievements divided by the number of visits. For an optometric practice, this would be the number of people who visited your website and booked an online appointment divided by the number of total people who visited your websites. Conversion rates really help you determine your true ROI on your advertising spend. In order to have a true conversion rate, you must first determine your call to action or goal for an online visitor. At UpTempo Group we are realizing that not all web traffic is created equal. For some websites, their Facebook page provides a great referral and conversion rate. For other websites, Yelp is a great source of both traffic and conversions. Finally, Google Organic and Paid Search may also be a great source.
The Value of your goal or conversion is very importnant to understanding the value of the Ad Platform to your business. For example, if the lifetime value of a new patient is worth $500 to an Optometric Practice, then this is the number that should be used to evuate the ad platfroms.
Below is a real world Example:
Google Adwords Campaign: $150 per month, 21 Clicks, CPC = $7 per Click, Conversion rate of 3/21 visits = 14.3%
The Million Dollar question, or more accurately in this case, the $150 question is "Was this campaign worth it?
The practice in this example spent $150 on Google Adwords to generate 3 new patients. If the lifetime value of a new patient is $500 each, then the ads generated $1500 in new revenue on $150 in ad spend. This is almost a 10X return on investment.
How can an Optometric Practice get started in Online Advertising?
1. First declare the goal of your website, or the desired action – If the goal is an increase in online appointments, optimize your website and mobile website to make it easy for visitors to complete this goal.
2. Get a good feel for the analytics of your website: Google Analytics is a great tool for tracking visits to your site, referrals, search words used, and conversions. Without a solid analytics structure, your may be spending your money blindly on an online ad platfrom.
3. Be prepared to Optimize and tinker with your ad model. Different keywords attract different people, different ad formats have better click thru rates and/or conversion rates. You may want to combine your ad with an offer to get a higher click thru. Or you may want to increase conversions by offering a special within a specific timeframe. Creating an ad is the first step, tinkering with the ad to optimize the results is where you get your true value in an Ad campaign.
One of the benefits we provide to our clients at Uptempo Group is the management and analysis of online ad campaigns. We are a Google Engage agency with a direct line to the Google Adwords experts. We also have extensive experience in managing Facebook Ads as well. Whether you use UpTempo Group or another agency, it is important to enter the online Ad world with an expectation of Optimizing the Ad Platform and continually measuring your results.
In my next Blog, I'll evaluate the Ad Options for an Optometric Practice such as Google Adwords, Facebook, Yelp, and Online Display ads.