Paid Search Agency Recognized for Work

Last month, we were honored to receive a plaque from our client, Helitech, as recognition for the success achieved through paid search. It is always rewarding to enable a client to improve the way it markets to an audience online, and in case of Helitech, we were able to quickly improve its paid search account structure to deliver better results.

When we took over the account mid-April of 2013, the Paid Search team implemented immediate account optimizations.

To ensure quality traffic to Helitech’s website, we performed extensive negative keyword expansion. We then removed broad match keywords, allowing us to gain additional control over the budget and drive the right audience to the site.

Keyword research is always a significant part of the account optimization. For Helitech, we researched relevant terms to identify search volume, understand search intent, segment the audience into campaigns and ad groups, and generate ad copy.

The campaign’s click-through rate (CTR) spiked once we made the initial adjustments, sending waves of qualified traffic to landing pages during Helitech’s most demanding time of the year.

Because revenue and profitability are centric to Evolve Digital Labs’ process, the account was flighted based upon industry trend analytics to correlate saturation, positioning, and expense with peak seasonality and opportunity.

Once the normal peak season ended, Evolve’s Paid Search team continued to maintain healthy lead generation, traffic, and costs per click (CPCs). The average conversion rate remains 4.25% for Helitech.

Thanks so much to Helitech for the thoughtful token of appreciation! It is a pleasure working for you.

Adding Keyword Research to your Healthcare Marketing Plan

Health care marketers have a strong history of resorting to traditional advertising to build brand awareness and reach a wide audience. From billboards to TV spots, organizations are emptying significant portions of their budgets on mass marketing channels. But are these advertisements increasing the number of surgeries performed each year? Can healthcare organizations validate spending without lead acquisition metrics? When talking about traditional marketing (or even poorly executed online marketing), the answer is often “no.”

This post will explain how healthcare marketers can use keyword research for healthcare to better inform their digital marketing campaigns.


Keywords explained

The most paramount advantage of online advertising is the ability to narrow the audience to a pool of people who are actively searching for a solution you can provide. Rather than paying tens of thousands of dollars for traditional ad impressions that may or may not even resonate with a sliver of the audience, you have control of who sees your ad messaging. Keywords, keyword phrases or queries, are representative of people who are in need of a solution. In fact, these people are interested enough to take time to search online. That makes the audience we associate with keywords a much more qualified group of prospects than a general audience of mass marketing. In order to successfully convert patients and customers online, it is essential to know what terms they are searching to find a solution. This is why Keyword Research needs to be a core part of a marketing plan.

So what is Keyword Research?

Keyword Research is the key to implementing successful paid search campaigns and fortifying your website with content that will drive revenue. Along with terms provided, clients are able to understand the search volume associated with each keyword. Essentially, Keyword Research illuminates the online market opportunity for brands.

Components of Keyword Research

The information provided in Keyword Research outlines the framework for a digital marketing plan. To ensure the validity and quality of the product, Evolve Digital Labs follows a process that analyzes the following:

  • Search volume by keyword
  • Organic difficulty
  • Clienta’s customers
  • Client’s products/services
  • Clienta’s consumer path

Implementing the keywords in future paid search campaigns, content creation, optimization of existing site content, and additional applications recommended for the targeted market will provide the greatest opportunity for successful lead acquisition.


Keyword Research and Search

By segmenting a client’s Keyword Research into campaigns, we can organize the terms according to the estimated search volume and organic difficulty. This data is essential for market segmentation, dictating the path to customer acquisition.

Search Volume: This depicts the number of national searches performed each month for that term. Broad, high-level terms or outcomes typically have much higher search volume than more specific solutions, brands, or products. However, they are also harder to rank for.

Organic difficulty: Based upon a zero to 100 scale, with 100 being the most difficult, Organic Difficulty is calculated based upon the cumulative efforts of competition in the search engines. Because the scale is incremental, ranking organically for high difficulty terms should shift to long-term goals. Paid search, then, is harnessed to capture traffic on those terms. This is explained more in the section below. As depicted below, there is direct correlation with search position and the ability to capture search traffic.


Two-tier applications for keyword research

Once a brand has structured lists of keywords or keyword ideas to target, it’s important to understand how to apply them to a digital marketing plan. We actually recommend implementing keyword research into both organic (SEO) and Paid Search strategies.

Paid Search Application

For most healthcare organizations, there will inevitably be keywords that are challenging to rank for organically. Building a website’s authority to be capable of securing organic positions for recommended healthcare content terms requires a strategic, often time-consuming plan. Paid Search allows for short-term exposure to the targeted audience while organic efforts are set in place. Even when pages can rank organically, Paid Search may target branded traffic to prevent competitors from stealing prospects.

Organic Search Application

Organic strategy should begin by selecting terms from keyword lists that contain moderate search volume and moderate-to-low organic difficulty. These keywords will allow for “quick-wins” in organic search engine results pages (SERPs). Ongoing site improvements and content expansion will help reach long-terms goals of ranking for significant, high-difficulty terms. As you can see in the chart below (which, for the purpose of this post, is merely an estimate of search volume and organic difficulty), the Paid Search terms have a much higher organic difficulty score. While a brand pays for traffic to the difficult terms, it can simultaneously work on ranking organically for less difficult terms.

Organic Terms
Keyword Search Volume Organic Difficulty
weight loss facilities 19,885 42
bariatrics surgery 25,210 46
cardiac physicians 1,575 43
foot therapy physicians 6,510 36


PPC Keywords
Keyword Search Volume Organic Difficulty
obesity assistance 9,820 72
gastric bypass consultation 1,240 78
heart specialist 5,760 77
knee replacement 6,510 70


A final word on keywords

Many health care organizations are starting to allocate parts of their marketing budgets to online marketing efforts. Without correctly executing a campaign and measuring the progress, however, the causes of success or failure are as elusive as in traditional marketing. Keyword research may seem to be only a component of paid search, but in reality, it should be in the forefront of all aspects of a healthcare marketing plan.

Download our FREE online market audit checklist to see how we use online data to turn your healthcare brand into an online acquisition machine.

Critical Tips for Measuring Healthcare PPC

Paid search advertising, when implemented correctly, can provide numerous benefits to a healthcare organization.

To name a few, paid search enables healthcare providers to target a niche audience, lower the cost per lead, increase the number of scheduled procedures, and better understand the needs of their patients. However, without tracking and measuring your efforts, marketing your medical practice effectively is highly unlikely.

The PPC Team at Evolve Digital Labs is a Google Partner, and thus are recognized as experts in Paid Search. We are obsessed with measuring, so today I’m going to walk you through the best practices.


What’s the importance?

Measuring PPC efforts is important because it ensures your organization spends its budget wisely. Without ever monitoring the results of your campaigns, how will you know what areas you can improve upon? Through analytics, you can learn the following about your paid search campaigns:

  • Which keywords yield clicks
  • What ad messaging resonates with searchers
  • What landing page layout and elements convert visitors
  • How effective Search Retargeting is for your campaigns
  • What the core needs of your audience are
  • The location of your target audience
  • Where you need to adjust and allocate campaign budgets to maximize efficiency and increase traffic/leads

What many people in healthcare marketing do not realize is that it is critical to measure the right metrics.

Impressions, for example, is a term a lot of marketers use in their reports, but usually the number only refers to the number of times the ad was displayed… even if no one clicked on it. That metric itself is usually nothing to boast about.

Instead, we recommend focusing on the metrics that actually indicate how fiscally responsible your paid search efforts are. These include:

  • Cost per click (CPC)
  • Cost per lead (CPL)
  • Conversion rate (conversions/clicks)
  • Cost per action (site engagement: video tour, blog page visits, etc.)
  • Tracking URLs

The meaning of a “conversion” will vary among healthcare organizations. For example, when promoting services, such as “lasik eye surgery,” a conversion would probably require a visitor to call a trackable number to schedule a consultation.

An organization like the American Diabetes Association, however, might consider a conversion to be filling out a form to receive an information packet. Healthcare-paid-search

How can you measure healthcare PPC performance?

While plenty of SEOs are still distressed over the encryption of referral terms in Google Analytics a in other words, what people searched to reach your site, Paid Search marketers still have access to a world of data.

Google AdWords:

Front-end click metrics: Marketers can monitor front-end click metrics from top-level account down to ad/keyword (click volume/CPC/CTR). Additionally, they have access to other important data (average position, quality score, etc.) to help guide account optimizations.

Conversion tracking: Paid Search marketers can implement a pixel on key “Thank You” pages and utilize conversion data in AdWords’ user interface. By assigning a monetary value to each conversion, you can evaluate the return on investment. Set up Conversion Optimizer to efficiently manage campaigns, allowing AdWords to automatically adjust bids based on cost-per-action (CPA) targets vs. CPC.

Google Analytics:

Detailed on-page monitoring: Through Google Analytics, you can monitor back-end metrics, such as page visits, average time on site, or bounce rate. This helps brands measure engagement post-click.

Identifying and monitoring Goals: Analytics also has an incredibly helpful feature called Goals. Once a pixel has been implemented on key pages, you can set up Goals to help measure completions (whether it be arriving to a specific page or watching a video) against site visits.

How are health care brands wasting money?

We often come across organizations, both health-related and otherwise, that are wasting significant portions of their budgets on poorly assembled and managed campaigns. The PPC Audit often illuminates areas of budget waste and erroneous behavior, including:

  • Running on Broad Match: “Broad match” is a system that automatically bids on ads that are similar to your keywords. While this may seem like a time-saver, it essentially reduces a brandas control over how relevant advertisements are to the search queries. Marketers that resort to this method often pay a higher cost per click (CPC). We recommend that brands instead build out comprehensive lists of keywords to bid on.
  • Overbidding: Sometimes marketers will overbid on keywords to achieve desired PPC goals, but aggressively overbidding results in unnecessarily high CPCs.
  • Underbidding: Inversely, paid search marketers that underbid allow competitors to consistently outrank them, resulting in missed opportunities for brand or product awareness.
  • Failure to use enhanced AdWords features: Dayparting, Sitelinks, Location, and Click-to-Call extensions significantly improve performance.
  • Failure to use tracking or Analytics data: Following the performance of a campaign helps guide account optimizations and budget allocation.
  • Not sending visitors to a landing page: Clicking an ad should direct someone to a landing page designed specifically to convert prospects. Sending someone to the homepage or even a service page greatly disturbs the search process and leads to a poor user experience. It is also fiscally irresponsible on the paid search marketer’s part.
  • Failure to use location targeting: This AdWords setting enables you to limit the locations to which advertisements are being displayed. It’s critical to ensure only prospects within a serviceable region are able to click your ad.

Success from measuring

Last year, we worked with a company that provides information, products, and services to the medical industry. We performed a complete PPC Account Restructure for one of their products.

  • We built out a more comprehensive list of branded variations, non-branded medical references, and competitor terms
  • We created Exact vs. Phrase match ad groups, enabling higher bids for Exact variations
  • We created Misspelling ad groups to ensure Dynamic Keyword Insertion was not misrepresenting the brand
  • We revised ad copy with key brand messaging and calls to action
  • We used Sitelinks in AdWords, which provides an enhanced user experience

It allows for quickly reaching the most relevant site destination and increasing real estate on results pages among competitors. Post-restructure, it was exciting to see how Healthcare PPC was driving leads to our clientas website. The client had previously been allocating 10% of its budget to Google’s Display Network, which puts ads on relevant websites instead of on search engines. To many people, this additional exposure seems like a great idea a but are people visiting those sites in the mindset to buy? Most likely, no.


We paused Display Network campaigns and instead devoted 100% of the budget to ads in the search engine results pages, which serve to a more engaged user base. With a more in-depth keyword list, the Search Network clicks increased by 11% from the previous month. Also as a result of excluding Display Network impressions, the account click through rate (CTR) increased over 300%. Even with a significant surge in qualified traffic, the cost per click (CPC) increased only by one percent to $.81.


When correctly implemented and managed, Paid Search can play a critical role in marketing your medical practice. From performing Healthcare PPC Audits, to setting up Retargeting campaigns, to even providing the necessary Keyword Research, Evolve Digital Labs’ team of Paid Search experts is qualified to increase revenue for your organization through search engine marketing.

Download our free guide, “Aligning Patient Needs with Online Capabilities” and see how your hospital measures up against the nation’s top hospital brands.

SEO Considerations for Responsive Design

It’s no surprise that the use of Internet on mobile devices continues to rise at an exponential rate, we’re all constantly attached to our phones and tablets.  It has been estimated that nearly half of all local searches are occurring on a mobile device. It has also been projected that in 2014, the use of mobile Internet will surpass that of fixed Internet overall.


Search engines recognize this trend and strive to promote results optimized for mobile use. In short, Google has started rewarding sites that have mobile-friendly design with higher rankings and opportunity. So essentially, there are no reasons to NOT optimize your site for mobile.

Overview of Responsive Design

One way to accomplish this is to add responsive functionality to your website. We’ve all struggled with navigating a non-mobile site from a smartphone. Even on a desktop, most of us have been forced to scroll horizontally if the web page is larger than the browser window. Responsive design eliminates the issue by shifting the website’s layout to accommodate whatever device or browser size is in use. User navigation is clear and easy on desktops, laptops, smart phones, and tablets.


Even Google recommends using responsive web design:

  • Consistent URL structure: A single URL for a piece of content makes it easier for your users to interact with, share, and link to your content. Also, a single URL enables Google’s algorithms assign the indexing properties for the content.
  • Smoother user experience: No redirection is needed for users to get to the device-optimized view, which reduces loading time. Also, user agent-based redirection is error-prone and can degrade your site’s user experience. Check out Google Developeras “Pitfalls when detecting user agents” section for details.
  • Resourceful for your site and Google’s crawlers: For responsive web design pages, any Googlebot user agents need to crawl your pages only once, as opposed to crawling multiple times with different user agents, to retrieve your content. This improvement in crawling efficiency can indirectly help Google index more of the site’s contents and keep it appropriately fresh. However, the transition to a responsively designed website can potentially lead to errors that can damage a siteas ranking and authority if not done correctly.

Responsive design considerations

  1. Maintaining current site authority: Whenever a site is changed or updated, it is critical to maintain the previous site authority by redirecting previous URLs to new URLs using a 301 Permanent Redirect, when applicable. Additionally, it is important to verify that there is a minimal number of 404 Errors and other crawling and/or HTML errors that can potentially slow load time and impede user experience.
  2. Avoiding duplicate content: In instances where a separate mobile site is used, the required rel=”canonical” tag on the mobile URL should be added to the mobile page’s HTML to avoid duplicate content. Otherwise, duplicate content has the potential to damage a siteas authority significantly and could possibly result in algorithmic penalties from Google.
  3. Crawling requirements: Be sure not to block the crawling of any Googlebot of the page assets (CSS, JavaScript, and images) using robots.txt or otherwise. Being able to access these external files fully will help Googleas algorithms detect your site’s responsive web design configuration and treat it appropriately.
  4. Avoiding irrelevant cross-linking: When a website serves users on separate smartphone-optimized URLs, a familiar practice is to have links to the desktop-optimized version, and likewise a link from the desktop page to the smartphone page. As such, common error is to have link point to an irrelevant page such as having the smartphone pages link to the desktop site’s homepage. If you add such links be sure that the links point to the correct equivalent page.
  5. JavaScript and Responsive Web Design: One part of building smartphone-optimized sites that requires careful consideration is the use of JavaScript to alter the rendering and behavior of the site on different devices. Typical uses of JavaScript include deciding which ad or which image resolution variant to show on the page. Google describes different approaches to using JavaScript and how they relate to their recommendation of using responsive web design.

Common configurations:

Three popular implementations of JavaScript for smartphone-optimized sites include the following:

  • JavaScript-adaptive: In this configuration, all devices are served the same HTML, CSS, and JavaScript content. When the JavaScript is executed on the device, the rendering or behavior of the site is altered. For websites that require JavaScript, this is Google’s recommended configuration.
  • Combined detection: In this implementation, the website uses both JavaScript and server-side detection of device capabilities to serve different content to different devices. The website should include the “Vary: User-agent” HTTP response header when a URL that serves different HTML content to different user-agents is requested.
  • Dynamically-served JavaScript: In this configuration, all devices are served the same HTML, but the JavaScript is served from a URL that dynamically serves different JavaScript code depending on the device’s user-agent. In this case, we recommend the JavaScript file be served with the “Vary: User-agent” HTTP header. This is a signal to Internet caches and Googlebot that the JavaScript can be different for different user agents, and is a signal for Googlebot to crawl the JavaScript file using different Googlebot user-agents.


The benefits of moving to a responsively designed site are evident. A majority of your customers are searching for solutions on their mobile device, and itas key that your solution appears. Responsive design can help that happen. But, when undertaking a site redesign, it’s important to keep these factors in mind so that you donat lose any SEO benefits you’ve built over time.

Are you interested in learning the basics of SEO? Click to explore more secrets in our updated SEO Guide!

keywords adwords campaign

Content Creation: Still Relevant or Just a Trend?

Come January, my Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook feeds always receive an influx of posts that reveal marketing predictions for the upcoming year. These articles proclaim the retirement of outdated tactics and prepare a thirsty audience for marketing tips and trends. One piece of advice I typically encounter is more than just a trend a and when implemented strategically, it will become the core of your online presence. I’m talking, of course, about content creation.

People are catching on

Even before it was essentially mandated via Google’s Penguin and Panda updates, Evolve Digital Labs urged clients to invest in sustainable online improvements. Building a website’s authority and visibility in results pages requires more effort than most are willing to pay for, but it advanced the companies several steps ahead of those still relying on SEO shortcuts.


The new way to optimize your site for search engines is to push up your sleeves and work on building a better website, one that is equipped with substantive content. So let’s dig in to Evolve’s recommendations for creating content that transcends the trends.

1. Start smart. Start with understanding your customers.

Quality always trumps quantity online. There’s a small window of time during which you can convince online visitors to complete an action, so brands must must ensure content is founded on keyword research.


Through keyword research, companies can identify personas and investigate the needs of customers. With a solid understanding of the market opportunity, a brand is more prepared to provide online messaging, resources, and direction that will resonate with an ideal audience and ultimately deliver leads. Our SEO Audit Checklist contains the steps you’ll need to take in order to aggregate the proper research, but the best use of keywords is to segment your audience and develop a strategy that can resonate with each segment.

2. Work with what you’ve got

Older, less ethical SEO tactics consisted heavily of stuffing keywords into every part of a website. This practice resulted in a poor user experience, particularly from a readability standpoint. Today we can still update content with keywords, but only if itas because the way weare currently wording particular services or solutions isnat aligned with the way our audience searches for it. It is a shortcut to improving the way you message to your audience. Parts of your pages that should include keywords are:

  • URLs
  • Meta descriptions
  • Page copy


Supplement website with new content

Keyword research and further investigation of your customers’ needs will more than likely reveal insufficiencies of your website. While it was common in the past to simply replicate current pages and switch out the words, we challenge your brand to strengthen your website with content that aligns with searchers’ intent. For example, a hospital that is trying to revamp its content for Type 2 Diabetes might use the keyword “type 2 diabetes lifestyle” as inspiration for content that can alleviate concerns or fears of potential patients.


When a website is fortified with pages that work together to provide answers beyond the original query, it is much easier to establish a customer acquisition framework, which typically results in a completed call to action.

Develop a plan for customer acquisition

Ranking isn’t the end goal, which is why SEO is often dismissed as irrelevant (even though SEO is still alive and well). Not only is it increasingly difficult to gain exposure on the first few pages of search results for a high-volume term, but it’s also difficult to funnel visitors through an online conversion path once they reach your website. Content plays a huge role in capturing customers’ attention initially, but it’s equally important to proactively lead them to a call to action, even if they exit the site.

  • Elaborate on top-tier pages: Similar to the previous point, websites should adequately direct visitors to the end goal. For many, that means answering a specific question with a download or providing a contact form. But in many cases, pages based on top-level keywords should link to secondary or tertiary pages that cover a topic in greater detail.
  • Retargeting: Because it is so difficult to organically reach visitors on the first page of search results, paid search is an incredible opportunity for capturing visitors and turning them into conversions. However, even the most well-designed landing pages are bound to fail at converting each visitor, which is why Retargeting is such a valuable extension of paid search. Retargeting enables you to track visitors that didn’t convert on external websites, serving them advertisements that remind them of your services and allow them to follow through with a product, download, or simple inquiry when they are ready.
  • Email campaigns: Email campaigns are a recommended tool for maintaining engagement with your visitors. Similar to Retargeting, an email campaign can keep your brand’s products or services fresh in the foreground of a searcher’s mind. Brands can benefit from the flexibility of email marketing; whether the campaign is sales-focused or primarily educational.




Content is only king when it yields a satisfactory return on investment. We see too many brands investing in content creation when their websites are lacking a strategic customer acquisition framework and the pages themselves fail to truly respond to the visitors’ needs.