In the online marketing world, as in the medical world, it’s imperative to keep up with the times. Medical practice is constantly evolving and so too is your target market. As Gen Xers, or people born between 1965 and 1980, move across the middle-age threshold, their importance to medical institutions grows. Despite its late introduction to the internet, this generation has quickly adapted to the digital world.
In a February 2014 study, Catalyst Healthcare Research found that Gen Xers are using the internet to find information about medical conditions or drugs (79%) and doctors (51%).
“Members of this generation are prolific and thorough searchers, turning first to Google and other search engines for all types of health and medical inquiries,” states an article on the report.
It’s important to note that this generation hasn’t limited its internet browsing to desktops—Gen Xers have gone mobile. eMarketer reports that of December 2012, 60.3% of this group used smartphones. Of those Gen Xers with smartphones, 62.2% accessed the internet via their devices on a monthly basis.
So what does this have to do with your mobile PPC strategy? Google reports that 81% of users click on “sponsored links” or PPC ads when looking for health-related information and guess what? Search ad position matters—especially when it comes to smartphones. Marin Software found that first-position ads on smartphones attracted nearly 40% of click-throughs, which is more than double the 18% for second-position spots.
To summarize, Gen Xers are browsing the internet on smartphones, actively searching for medical information and clicking on first position search ads. So how can you, as a medical industry marketer, boost your mobile PPC strategy to increase conversions among Gen Xers?
1. Set Up Mobile Preferred Ads
In Google AdWords, you have the option to choose “Mobile Preferred Ads.” For these ads, the copy can be tailored to mobile users and the link can lead to mobile-optimized landing pages. This ensures a seamless experience that is more likely to prompt action.
To set up mobile preferred ads, select the "Mobile" checkbox next to the "Device preference" setting when creating your ad.
Pro Tip: Because searchers can click-to-call from a phone, try including “Call Now” in the copy of mobile-specific ads.
2. Optimize Online Experiences for Mobile Users
Typically, mobile users want something NOW and are looking for a quick, simple solution. To increase the chance of converting Gen X mobile users, adjust the messaging and optimize your landing pages for mobile devices!
For example, when I Googled the phrase, “find doctor near me,” I arrived at the two landing pages below via search ads.
Though the example on the left is readable and easily navigable via a smartphone, it doesn’t pack a punch in the call-to-action (CTA) department. The example on the right, however, immediately presents a user with a list of doctors “near me” and the ability to book an appointment online.
3. Take Advantage of the Yahoo! Bing Network
Though the Yahoo! Bing Network (YBN) has yet to match Google AdWords, it offers marketers undeniable perks including:
- Lower cost per click (50% to 70% less than Google AdWords)
- 36% less competition than Google AdWords
- The ability to increase reach by up to 30% with an additional 150+ million users (45 million of which only ever use Yahoo! Bing)
Bing also allows marketers to create mobile-only campaigns. To set up a mobile ad campaign, go to the “Campaign Settings” tab. Under “Advanced Targeting Options,” select “Device” to choose the devices on which to run your campaign.
With Yahoo recently beating out Google as the default Mozilla search engine and Bing declaring its dedication to improving mobile friendliness, the YBN is becoming an unavoidable mobile advertising platform.
To reach, engage and ultimately convert Gen X consumers, medical marketers will need to optimize PPC campaigns for mobile devices. Implementing the three aforementioned strategies will not only boost mobile search ad click-through rates, but it will also help medical institutions capture valuable Gen X leads as this generation becomes more reliant on digital resources for medical and healthcare information.