Beyond Keywords: Google Ads Strategies for Medical Marketers

beyond keywords google ads

Google Ads offers far more than just keyword targeting. Here’s how healthcare marketers can take advantage of the platform’s many features.

When most people think “Google,” they think “search.” Yet for marketers, Google is much more than just a search engine. In fact, Google is as close to a one-stop-shop for all digital marketing needs as any other platform out there today — and there’s no reason not to take advantage of its versatility. 

If you’re already using Google Ads to target relevant keywords, you’re halfway there. But there are other important elements that can help your healthcare practice expand its scope and reach new potential patients. 

From within your Google Ads account, it’s possible to run banner ads and text ads, create video ads, target specific audiences via remarketing, and more. Here’s a guide to some key features medical marketers should be using in order to take full advantage of Google’s marketing capabilities.

Display Ads

Google’s display network includes over two million websites, and by some reports, it reaches 9 in 10 internet users worldwide. Within the Google Ads manager, it’s possible to run banner and text ads on any of these display network partners — which include websites, blogs, and apps. 

Possible display ad formats include animated and non-animated images, mobile-optimized images, HTML5, responsive images, and text. Display ad options offer plenty of flexibility and allow your healthcare practice to make use of any content that has already been created or used in the past. 

Further, since there’s no minimum spend requirement on Google Ads, you can experiment with different creative assets or targeting criteria to get a feel for what works. This can be especially useful for healthcare practices that wish to target local audiences; other programmatic display vendors may require spend amounts that don’t make sense when you have a very specific group of potential patients. With Google Ads, that’s not a concern.

Video Ads

Video may sound intimidating, but it’s not — especially if your practice uses Google Ads. Plus, video production is easier than you might think — you don’t even need a specialized video camera, as most smartphones are able to record HD video. 

Google allows you to show video ads on YouTube as well as across the larger Google display network. YouTube reaches an incredible one billion users, and Google’s platform enables healthcare marketers to target ads in a number of ways.

Possible targeting criteria include basic demographics, detailed demographics such as whether someone owns a home or is a student, interest targeting, and targeting based on affinities, life events, devices, topics, and keywords. For example, a local podiatry clinic could target people in the area who have demonstrated an interest in running or hiking.


Remarketing can be applied to display and video ads alike, though it’s important to note that healthcare is prohibited from using Google’s personalized advertising features. That doesn’t mean, however, that medical practices can’t take advantage of Google’s simpler remarketing features.

Essentially, remarketing is a way to show ads to people who have already visited your website in the past. This a great way to keep your healthcare practice top-of-mind, helping nudge potential patients into getting around to making that appointment.

If you’re interested in trying out new forms of digital advertising for your healthcare practice, Google Ads is an easy, low-risk way to do so. As you up your medical marketing game, you’re likely to reach new patients who might not otherwise have encountered your content.

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