5 Challenges for Advertising Healthcare on Google

Healthcare Digital AdvertisingWith 3.5 billion Google searches made every day, there’s no question that businesses need some sort of presence on the world’s most popular search engine to succeed online. And the most efficient way to ensure you have a presence on the search engines is with paid advertising. Advertising healthcare on Google, however, comes with its own set of challenges.

1. You cannot promote certain services and products

The first challenge for healthcare marketers is that certain products and services cannot be advertised at all. For example, Google does not allow advertisements for CBD oil. A full list of banned pharmaceuticals in Google advertising (and associated landing pages) is available here.

In some cases, products and services will only reach a limited audience, rather than an ad getting banned altogether. And you can only advertise certain products and services—including pharmaceuticals and addiction treatment centers—in select countries with a special certification from Google. More information on those restrictions here.

2. Can’t use certain phrasing

Aside from the products and services you cannot promote, healthcare marketers also must avoid certain phrasing in Google Ads. These phrasing concerns apply to both the ad copy—what appears in the Google search results—and the landing page copy—where people land when they click on the ad.

In some cases, Google rejects or takes down advertisements it deems to be against their policies, all of which are outlined here. For example, a low-testosterone clinic would have to be very careful phrasing their advertisements, as Google may consider an ad or associated landing page to be banned adult content. 

3. Must use certain phrasing

Healthcare advertisers must also include certain types of phrasing in advertisements. You cannot guarantee specific results from a product or from your services. On a landing page, when displaying testimonials or before-and-after pictures, it’s important to use phrasing such as “Results vary and are not guaranteed.”

Another thing to include on any landing page is ad copy that actually matches or lines up with the landing page copy. Google’s sophisticated algorithms can quickly detect that an ad for vein services leads to a landing page without any information about veins whatsoever. 

4. No retargeting

Google does not allow healthcare marketers to retarget prospective patients with advertising. This means that, if someone visits your website or clicks on your ad, hospitals and practices cannot use display advertising (ads that appear on other sites) to lure that person back in—all due to potential patient privacy concerns. (However, there are other ways to 

That’s why it’s so important to design a landing page for conversions, so that people who click on your ad have an easy way to fill out a form (or call) and express interest in your services. 

5. Competition

When our agency first got started over a decade ago, digital marketing for healthcare was a fairly niche expertise. Today, we are still leaders in our area—but the competition has gotten tough.

When you’re advertising on Google Ads, you’ll have to bid strategically, take advantage of negative keywords (the keywords you DON’T want to rank for), and use advertising best practices to get potential patients to visit your landing page and convert. 

Work with a Google Premier Partner

When you work with a Google Premier Partner for your campaigns, you’re partnering with experts who don’t just employ a “set-it-and-forget-it” mentality with your Google Ads. They’ll constantly optimize to get you ahead of the competition and help your landing pages convert. 

Better yet, partner with Healthcare Success to work with a healthcare digital advertising agency that knows the challenges specific to healthcare. Call 800-656-0907 for more information.

Peter Do
Marketing Strategist at Healthcare Success
Having worked in related business fields for over a decade, Peter brings a strong online marketing background to Healthcare Success. A lifelong resident of Southern California, his responsibilities for the company include marketing strategy, business development and establishing new client relationships. Peter studied Environmental Law and Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, before returning to Orange County.

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