Podcast #62

Enhancing Lead Quality in Healthcare: The Google Ads Must-Do’s

Not every lead is a good lead, especially in the healthcare vertical. Without robust lead quality control measures, incoming leads may end up not converting into booked appointments, which wastes time and money. To increase lead quality, lead-to-sale conversion rates, and revenue in a CRM-less world, healthcare marketers must take control of their Google Ads accounts.

Episode Highlights:

Alex Kemp: “Target CPA is a common bidding methodology that people use, and it’s great, but one of the drawbacks is it treats every conversion action as the same, so a booked appointment is the same as someone filling out a form. It’s the same as someone calling. What you really want to get into is a revenue based big methodology, so either maximize conversion value or target ROAS. Those are actually taking into account which conversion in your account are more valuable, so the online scheduler is definitely more valuable than the call.”

Related Resources

Announcer: Welcome to the Ignite Podcast, the only healthcare marketing podcast that digs into the digital strategies and tactics that help you accelerate growth. Each week, Cardinal’s experts explore innovative ways to build your digital presence and attract more patients. Buckle up for another episode of Ignite.

Alex Membrillo: What’s going on everybody? Welcome to Ignite. Good morning, good afternoon, good evening. Whenever you’re listening to this on your walk or drive, I’m happy to have you or at your computer while you’re supposed to be working, but you’re learning instead. I’m happy to have you either way. Thanks for joining. I’ve got one of my favorites, and everyone knows probably the best cardinal of all time. He’s been with me for nearly a decade. He’s our director of paid search, Mr. Alex Kemp, welcome to Ignite.

Alex Kemp: Happy to be here.

Alex Membrillo: Did you hear that? He is scripted telling us he is happy to be here. I promise he means it. We’ve got Mr. Kemp here and I’m going to call Mr. Kemp because I shared the name. He’s my namesake and he is Alex. He’s Alex. I would say 1.0, I would say I’m the two points, I’m the worser version of Alex at this company. This is going to be a cool episode, guys, because we’re going to talk about lead quality.

This is 2023. I hope I didn’t just age this podcast, but it is January of 2023, and it is all about quality. 2023 is all about quality. I want to get that through everybody’s head. It does not make sense to just drive more and more leads. Guys, there’s only so much demand out there to capture. Then you got to go into demand, which is fine, but it’s not cheap.

If you’re driving leads that don’t convert into patients, you’re really just wasting money, so I think coming out of the pandemic and we’re in a little bit of an economic downturn, I think this is very healthy because provider groups are now going to have to focus on converting more of the quality traffic, driving more quality traffic and converting it, not just driving more and more traffic when we have endless money in 2020 and 2021. This is going to be fun. We’ve got Alex Kemp.

A lot has changed in the Google ad platform. A lot of things you can and can’t do. Mr. Kemp here is going to tell us about the things Cardinal does, and I think we’re innovative in our PPC campaigns. Keep in mind, our clients are multi-location provider groups. All right, Kemp, tell me, why do people struggle with lead quality? Why is it so important? Where do you see the big hiccups happening?

Alex Kemp: Lead generation in general, there’s always going to be an inherent concern about lead quality, because in the name you’re generating leads, you’re not generating sales yet. You’re just getting interested people contacting that business, so you’re inherently going to have an issue where the things that you’re tracking as a “conversion” or a lead isn’t a one-to-one relationship between actual revenue.

Just because you drove a lead doesn’t mean that lead’s going to turn into a sale. I think with lead gen there’s always going to be concern that the clicks that I’m getting to my website, the people that are converting might not be exactly who I want. Again, because we’re not in an e-commerce space where people are actually spending money on the website as they buy, you don’t know that that lead is the highest quality, so always having some measures in place to measure lead quality and actually act upon it is a good thing.

Alex Membrillo: I love it. I want to get really tactical. This is going to be a super tactical podcast. I don’t know why I’m getting so close to the camera, but I feel like you can hear me better when I’m closer. This is getting really tactical. I want you to spill the beans, share the secrets, and tell us tactical tips that we use here at Cardinal to improve lead quality. What’s the number one thing that comes to mind?

Alex Kemp: I would say the number one thing is conversion tracking. That’s important for so many reasons, but when it comes to lead quality, the conversions that you’re putting in the platform and you’re telling Google, go get me more of these things, it’s super important because that’s how you’re training the algorithm. If you have conversion actions in your account that are someone viewed the page for 30 seconds or someone filled out a chat, even though people don’t really submit an appointment through a chat.

Having those extraneous conversion actions in your account are basically just giving Google the wrong signals. You may have the right ones in there as well, but you’re muddying the water by having these things that you shouldn’t have in there, so I think number one is having a really clean conversion traction.

Alex Membrillo: You get rid of all the BS leading indicator inside conversion actions. Click to chat is not in there.

Alex Kemp: Correct. I think there’s a time and place for conversions like that, but if you’re struggling with lead quality, I would definitely say you want to focus on the most form of funnel actions possible.

Alex Membrillo: Give names up.

Alex Kemp: People filling out a form. People calling you. I think one of the better ones is like an appointment scheduler online. That’s actually a little bit higher quality than just someone calling or filling out a form.

Alex Membrillo: Those schedulers allow you– It’s a click to schedule because we don’t know if they actually schedule. A lot of those programs don’t let us.

Alex Kemp: Sometimes we’ll have situations where we know they clicked out to the scheduler, but in other situations we know they actually booked an appointment.

Alex Membrillo: Oh, very cool. Any technology you like better for tracking [unintelligible 00:05:08]? Which one is the best online tracker or scheduling for tracking?

Alex Kemp: They’re going to be all kinds of options out there. The thing you’re going to be looking for is am I going to be able to track the actual booked appointment? A lot of times when you look in these online schedulers, the tracking capability is not really there, so you really want to make sure, if you’re using an online scheduler, make sure that you can actually–

Alex Membrillo: Is there one that comes to mind that we can track all the way through? We’ll get back to you guys. It’ll be in the notes. That’s important. Now with call tracking, you said forms, appointments, but you also mentioned call tracking. Am I uploading all calls back into there?

Alex Kemp: Great question. I think if your call tracking provider has the ability to filter the calls that are being sent into the platform, you definitely want to do that. Getting rid of any calls that are less than 60 seconds probably is a good idea because most people aren’t going to be able to book an appointment with someone on the phone in 60 seconds.

Or you might be able to even tag calls where someone is actually– the customer is saying, I need to cancel my appointment or I need to reschedule my appointment, and of course, that’s not a new appointment. You can even filter out those calls as well, so you’re really only sending in the system longer calls that people are likely to become an appointment.

Alex Membrillo: All right. Longer calls, very important to put in. Then is there any bidding systems that you’re using that do something with this? Is this like all types of bidding work with these conversion actions or what do we use here?

Alex Kemp: Target CPA is a really common bidding methodology that people use, and the drawback of that, it’s great, but one of the drawbacks is it treats every conversion action as the same, so a booked appointment is the same as someone filling out a form. It’s the same as someone calling. What you really want to get into is a revenue based big methodology, so either maximize conversion value or target ROAS. Those are actually taking into account which conversion in your account are more valuable, so the online scheduler is definitely more valuable than the call.

Alex Membrillo: You are assigning, you’re putting in Google Ads platform than this is worth more to me?

Alex Kemp: Correct.

Alex Membrillo: Dollar amount or what is it?

Alex Kemp: Dollar amounts, yes, and you can assign– there’s ways you can assign values based off of like your revenue from an actual new patient, but you’re basically assigning values, and whichever one’s had the highest values, Google knows these are the ones I need to get.

Alex Membrillo: Cool. Very good. That’s value-based bidding?

Alex Kemp: That’s correct.

Alex Membrillo: That’s value-based bidding. Now, so we talked a lot about what you do on the PVC side, making sure you have the right conversion actions, [unintelligible 00:07:44] wrong and then assign values to those. That’s the number one thing, right? Phone calls over 60 seconds and appointments. Now, what else impacts lead quality? When you’re looking at search campaigns and the client’s yelling at us and saying, the phone not ringing, no one’s actually showing up here. What else are you looking at? Just people see if you look at any of the creative, what else?

Alex Kemp: Search terms are always a good place to check. Sometimes we might get some feedback from the client that we’re getting inquiries about people with Medicaid or the wrong insurance, so you definitely want to be looking to see in your search terms, are we inadvertently targeting people who are searching with Medicaid? Same with ad copy.

If we know that there’s a certain qualifier that is really going to unqualify people from the get-go, like insurance, we will put something in the ad that says no Medicaid accepted. Even though that deters people from clicking on the ad, it’s intentional, you’re avoiding that click in the first place and you’re going to pay for it, so ad copy and search terms I would say.

Alex Membrillo: Ad copy and search terms. Search query reports where you’re getting the search terms, right? How often are you pulling that?

Alex Kemp: We do it weekly if not more frequent. For newer accounts, it’s like every day.

Alex Membrillo: Going in and adding negatives from whatever you’re seeing?

Alex Kemp: Correct.

Alex Membrillo: Do we bid on keywords anymore? Isn’t that how Google ads works? I’m going to make myself look dumb. That’s okay. How does this thing work these days?

Alex Kemp: You’re right, we bid on keywords, but that phrase has changed over time. Like exact match, we used to only– When you bid on dentists near exact match, you weren’t going to show up on anything else other than that. Google can extrapolate from that keyword and say, actually we’re going to show you on these other keywords as well, which is where you have to be cognizant of lead quality and what search firms you’re showing on, because the match types are very loose now.

Alex Membrillo: Very loose, and that’s how Google wants it so that it can put you in a variety. Is the PPC search term quality gone down tremendously since Google took the reigns of it? We can’t do exact match and phrase match on everything we want. Has that gotten worse or they are smarter and they are putting us in the right keyword searches more often?

Alex Kemp: I think it’s gotten better over time. It stays a lot of time so you don’t have to think of every single variation possible, and it does that hurdle for you to go out and find those new terms that you haven’t thought of [unintelligible 00:10:03], and it’s all nested in conversions. It’s not going to be spending thousands of dollars on the search term that’s not converting because the goal is conversions.

Alex Membrillo: Yes. It needs to know everything about that. CRM play in here. Can you connect a CRM into the app? That’s the ultimate conversion.

Alex Kemp: Everything we’ve talked about so far is more for advertisers that don’t have that ability to integrate a CRM into their platform.

Alex Membrillo: Okay. Next level is?

Alex Kemp: Next level is full on CRM integration into Google Ads where you’re actually passing back what happened to those leads that you drove. It’s actually saying you got 10 new patients and they’re all worth this amount.

Alex Membrillo: It knows the keyword set.

Alex Kemp: It knows the keywords and basically, again, you’re training the algorithm to go towards those higher value conversion actions.

Alex Membrillo: Best CRM for doing that.

Alex Kemp: Salesforce has the built-in integration with Google Ads. That’s always a good one. HubSpot I think is another one, but there’s always ways you can get around–

Alex Membrillo: Manually upload if you have to, and it’s anonymous and all that kind of stuff. Okay. That’s important if you’re looking at ad copy. Are you looking at landing pages? Is there anything you’d put up top or anything like that?

Alex Kemp: Yes, I think to the same effect that putting a headline in an ad that says no Medicaid as an example, you can do the same thing with a landing page. They got to the page, you just want to make sure they know, hey, before you call or when you’re filling the forms–

Alex Membrillo: Yes, we start call center’s time.

Alex Kemp: Also, it comes through as a conversion. Google thinks it’s a conversion. I’m going to go get more of those people, the search term, the ad copy, the landing page, the bidding, conversions [unintelligible 00:11:44].

Alex Membrillo: You increase conversion rate, we’re trying to drive better traffic and convert more of the traffic. What is your number one tip for increasing conversion rate? It’s like a secret thing that we do better than anyone. It’s not a secret. I’m sure a lot of people do it, but–

Alex Kemp: Increasing your conversion rate from a lead to a sale or?

Alex Membrillo: Yes, traffic lead.

Alex Kemp: I would say the landing page is really the biggest thing. You can do everything right before the click. You can set up the campaign perfectly, you can have all perfect keywords, perfect ad copy, but if they get to the landing page and it’s a dud, or it’s really hard to convert, then it won’t really matter that you reached the right person because they didn’t have the best opportunity.

Alex Membrillo: I love it. Outside of PPC, are any of the other Google suite of tools great for multi-site healthcare groups like Performance Max within PPC, Display, YouTube? Are we doing any of that kind of stuff? Does that help drive better leads?

Alex Kemp: I think those other kind of products like you’re saying always have to be– You definitely want to think about lead quality, because when you’re looking at paid search, that is the most natural. It’s people raising their hand saying, “I want this thing,”-

Alex Membrillo: Of course. Sure.

Alex Kemp: -versus when you go up a funnel, you’re actually disrupted. I will say those products can be prone to low lead quality, Performance Max display, things like that, but it doesn’t mean you can’t use them. I think Performance Max and display those products work really well when you have a very qualified conversion. We have a client that is trapping, booked appointments to their website and booked appointments over the phone, which are actually listened to and these are booked appointments. When you give Performance Max that goal, it’s going to go get some of those. If it doesn’t work, then you just turn it off, but where you run into issues is if you were using calls and forms with Performance Max and then you could potentially picking a lot of people that are not.

Alex Membrillo: Yes. Just lots of calls and reports.

Alex Kemp: Right. When you have a very qualified conversion action, those products would be killer.

Alex Membrillo: The listeners that don’t know what Performance Max is, myself included maybe, it’s a combination of display and stuff. What is Performance Max doing? It’s going outside of just Google search? Where’s it putting ads?

Alex Kemp: It’s a conglomerate of placements that puts your ads basically across all Google’s ecosystems. It is search, Display, Discovery, YouTube, email.

Alex Membrillo: The whole suite. It just figures out where to put the ad across all the [unintelligible 00:14:11] channels and search.

Alex Kemp: Yes. Basically, it’s like programmatic Google inventory. It’s going to know where to put that next impression first to [unintelligible 00:14:21] to that conversion.

Alex Membrillo: Okay. You need a really strong conversion action and one that works. Are we going to the clients and saying, “We spent 100K and we drove this many leads.” Is it better than just running on search? Is performance Max where there’s– Are we finding it is?

Alex Kemp: The interesting thing about Performance Max is running on search and other things in conjunction with it. There can be a halo effect when you’re also running on all the other channels. People might not click on the Display ad that you’re showing them, but they might then go search for your brand name, versus before, if you were only running paid search, you’re not getting that exposure.

Alex Membrillo: The campaigns that run it all, performance Max included, but you need strong, conversion actions, really strong call tracking pass back, good CRM or scheduled appointments to get the ultimate lead quality.

Alex Kemp: Yes.

Alex Membrillo: That’s what you wish every client did.

Alex Kemp: I wish every client.

Alex Membrillo: Why isn’t every client doing that?

Alex Kemp: I think there’s just inherent technological issues with integrating a CRM into your platform. It’s not easy. It’s hard stuff. I think what we try to do is say, let’s get as close as we can to a new patient.

Alex Membrillo: 60-second call is doable by everybody. Get call tracking. Booked appointments, they also need an online scheduler, not so easy, right?

Alex Kemp: Right.

Alex Membrillo: Okay. I’m learning. I’m just asking. I’m asking. I’m asking. This is fun. Okay. Good, good, good. I hope you all had as much fun as I did on this one. This was good. It’s not all about lead quality. What did we say in the beginning? 2023 is all about quality. We heard some tips from the master, Mr. Alex Kemp here, guys. He started as an intern in SEO and then he went to the dark side in search. I know I’ll never forgive him for that, but he has given us the best search [unintelligible 00:16:07] I think in the country. I love it.

You heard about the best ways to improve lead quality today. Calls being tracked, 60 seconds, online schedule appointment, passing back forms, doing target bidding, ROAS bidding and all that kind fun stuff, checking landing pages, ad copy, negative search query reports. Bam. There’s our outro. Mr. Alex Kemp, thank you for joining tonight.

Announcer: Thanks for listening to this episode of Ignite. Interested in keeping up with the latest trends in healthcare marketing? Subscribe to our podcast and leave a rating and review. For more healthcare marketing tips, visit our blog at cardinaldigitalmarketing.com.

Healthcare Marketing Insights At Your Fingertips

Listen and subscribe to Ignite wherever you get your podcasts.

Get Started

Ready to Grow?

Great partnerships start with great discoveries. We start with your business goals and budget, and then help you find the right digital marketing strategy to fuel growth.

Fill out the form to get started!

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.