Medical & Healthcare PPC Case Study

doctor writing notes on his note pad

In this case study, you’ll discover how we were able to lower the cost per lead by 60% in a highly competitive market while scaling campaigns to $20k+ per month.

Do you want to know how we did it?

Let’s get started!


This client is in the Drug & Rehab treatment industry. They assist people in recovering from drug and alcohol addictions through in-patient programs that span 30-90 days.

Attending one of these programs is extremely expensive; however, insurance generally covers a portion of the cost.

To give you a sense of the expenses (and consumer value), a rehab clinic can charge $1,000 a night per patient on average, and a 30-day in-stay recovery program costs around $30,000.

In this case, we can have a high CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) while remaining profitable.

They approached us to lower their cost per lead and develop a constant flow of leads.

Initial Market Research

Every campaign begins with early market and competition research. This enables us to go over your target keywords (if you have any) and provide an estimate of how much it will cost to obtain a lead.

We also uncover additional insights from alternative keywords to offers that competitors have and themes that we see across the industry.

This research process enables us to compete right out of the gate before we ever spend a dime.

We knew this was a competitive industry when we started, and our research verified it.

Keywords & CPCs

In reality, the average CPC for high intent phrases is $65 per click.

When using Ahrefs to search for “Rehab Center, there were 162 websites and 365 advertisements all competing for that one keyword.

We understood that our plan would have to be solid from the start.


Google has a plethora of policies depending on the niche. Often, the more lucrative the niche, the more policies they have.

We assist clients in navigating these choppy waters so that we may remain compliant in all cases. We frequently discuss with our clients the kind of ads they can and cannot run and the appropriate approach.

Compliance is very critical this year and in the future.

In this scenario, we not only have a high CPC and a lot of competition, but we also have some significant constraints from Google when it comes to Addiction Services.

We were able to assist our client in navigating these regulations and obtaining Google’s “healthcare products and services certification.”

We have to keep policies in mind at all times and double-check everything. We are pretty stringent regarding policy here at Snap; however, this industry is an exception. We didn’t want our advertising to be rejected, or worse, our account to be suspended.

Campaign Themes

We constantly conduct competitor research, looking at advertising, keywords, landing sites, CTAs, and more.

We’re searching for “themes” to help us focus on what matters in the business.

For example, we saw recurring themes in our competitoprs advertising and landing pages:

  • The many types of amenities available at the center
  • The imagery of the actual center
  • Insurance information and what is accepted
  • Onsite personnel are available 24/7
  • Use of social proof, to increase trust (logos of trusted organizations)
  • Reiterating that the conversation is safe and confidential

With so much competition in this market, we realized we needed to create some extremely appealing advertising and landing page copy. We needed to make our viewers feel comfortable and secure, making it simple for them to act.

Our landing page would need to include more than just a CTA (Call To Action) and company information. We wanted to incorporate information on the onsite doctor, frequently asked questions area, a lot of social proof, and compelling copy that feels highly confidential.

The Audit

We also analyze the Google Ads account for any insights we may be able to use.

We can frequently detect problems straight away or acquire important information into what has worked in the past to apply in campaigns.

Here are some of the discoveries we made:

Conversion Tracking

Proper tracking is essential for gauging campaign performance – if it isn’t set up correctly, it’s hard to optimize at scale.

When we realized that some “conversions” were $23k apiece, we realized we had some issues.

When we looked into it, we discovered that it was classified as a conversion when someone landed on their contact page without taking any action.

When we set up conversion tracking, we will only monitor verified leads or phone calls to be certain that the proper action was performed and optimized for it.


The average CPC was the next significant indicator that something was off.

The average CPC for these kinds of keywords in this competitive industry is $50.

In this scenario, the average CPC for this account was $9.41, which is pretty cheap according to our analysis, especially for an Exact Match keyword.

Because of the tremendous competition in the market, these keywords with this match type usually are substantially more expensive.

Google Ads offers a plethora of default options that may rob you blind, and one of them is keeping the “Search Partners” option turned on.

For most accounts, you should leave this default setting turned off. This is because, by default, Google will show your advertising on hundreds of other websites in addition to Google.

This effectively flushed the aim of our keyword down the drain. As a result, you’ll see lower-cost clicks but far fewer conversions.

We spend more money on high intent keywords since we know that traffic is seeking that particular product or service.

We always run our search campaigns on Google Search platforms and always disable the Search Partner setting at the start of a campaign.

You’ll even see how Google makes you feel awful for turning off Search Partners and Display Network.

Google Ads is full of little checkboxes like this one, which we methodically comb through and turn off to ensure the campaign performs at its best.

New Campaigns & New Systems – Fixing Old Campaign Issues

After we had completed all of our research, we proceeded to put up the new campaigns.


We uncovered a large variety of keywords that we may target during our initial study.

We collaborated with the client and reduced our focus to a few keyword groupings that we felt would be most effective.

We included a list of keywords that we thought were both competitive and high in intent.

We cut out a lot of irrelevant traffic from the start by focusing solely on the Search network and not running our campaigns on the Partner’s network.

Negative Keywords

Negative keywords assist you in preventing your advertising from showing irrelevant or irrelevant keywords that do not match what you are giving.

We even do negative keyword research before launching an ad campaign. This is referred to as “pre-optimization,” because it allows us to save a significant amount of money before ever launching.

We compiled an extensive list of unfavourable keywords using previous campaign data as well as our own research.


We constantly split test three advertisements in each ad group to determine which headlines perform best.

To do a proper split test on all three advertisements to see which headlines perform best. First, make sure your adverts are configured to rotate indefinitely.

Message Match

From your keywords to your ad content to your landing page, you must constantly ensure a “Message Match.”

This results in a process in which the traffic gets their answer, and it is much simpler for them to say, “Yes, this is exactly what I was searching for.”

According to our preliminary market research, individuals are interested in the location, the facility, their accreditation, and the experience they may expect.

These aspects are scattered throughout the campaign, from the advertisements to the callout extensions to the landing sites.


They stated in the original ad that they do not accept Medicaid or Medical Insurance. This is critical for pre-vetting; however, we only put it on the landing page to pre-vet leads.

Calls Vs Form Fills

When it came to our landing pages, the next building component in our campaign was “reducing friction.’

We discovered from comprehensive competitor research that people wanted choices for contacting the business; but, due to the initiative nature of the business, not everyone may be ready to offer their information and opt-in.

As a result, we designed our landing sites to allow visitors to both calls and fill out a form.

Because there is just one area on their website to click the phone number and call, the landing page was a tremendous improvement.

Click to Call is enabled on all of our numbers on our landing page.


The second big component that we introduced was seemingly little but made a significant effect –

“Verify Your Insurance” was our call to action.

This was a considerably smaller commitment. It qualified leads to check if they had resources to pay for live-in therapy.

With this industry, we believed it was essential to keep things as easy and private as possible. So you’ll notice phrases like “Confidential Form Below” across the adverts and landing page.

When creating the text copy, keep in mind that not every word or line will be read, and that most people would only skim.

As a result, it is critical to keep your material concise, to the point, and to highlight sources of trust.

Conversions Tracking

Google Ad Conversions, Google Analytics, and Google Tag Manager are all used for campaign tracking.

We have three distinct conversions set up for these ads.

Form Fill Generated New Lead:

Google Tag Manager was used to create this conversion.

When a user arrives at the confirmation page after opting in, a trigger is fired and the data is transferred to Google Ads.

If traffic from outside of Google arrives at this confirmation page, it will not be recorded in Google Ads Conversions.

New Landing Page Phone Call:

We created this conversion with Google Tag Manager and a Click URL trigger when a visitor clicks on our phone number URL.

I.e. tel: 222-222-222 will result in a new phone call from the landing page.

This call link will allow users to make calls from both mobile and desktop devices.

New Phone Call From Ads and Extensions:

This was set up to track any calls generated by our Call Only advertisements and Call Extensions.

You will be able to view the call information for these phone calls, including the time of the call, the length of the call, whether it was missed or received, and the area code.

This report is quite helpful in determining the quality of calls.

It’s time to go to the market now that you’ve done your research, have campaigns in place, a CRO-driven landing page in place, and adequate tracking installed.

Initial Launch

We started with a budget of $10,000 per month for this campaign, which began in mid-October.

Within the first two weeks, we witnessed their CPLs drop from thousands to hundreds of dollars in a matter of days.

This not only provided us with confirmation that our system was functioning well, but we also began to see a huge trend and chance to grow this campaign.

Optimization & Scaling

This is where the fun begins once we launch campaigns.

We constantly optimize, looking at the negative keywords, which ads are receiving traffic, which devices are functioning if individuals in this business prefer to contact or fill out forms, and so on.

Examining these variables enables us to scale the campaigns while maintaining the expenses where we want them!

Search Term Report

Every workday, we examine and optimize each of our campaigns.

It allowed us to weed out the unnecessary traffic and spend money on the clicks that mattered for our campaign in particular.

With each click, a new search is added to the search phrase report.

We analyze the search term statistics every business day and add any irrelevant or low-intent terms to the negative keyword list.

Here’s an illustration.

Our Call Only ad for “Rehab Centers” showed when someone searched “what is the veteran hospital rehabilitation center.”

Even though we have “Rehab Centers” as a phrase match keyword, Google considers this to be a close variation.

Google is taking some liberties here, displaying our ad on a non-optimal search phrase, so we sift through them and add these keywords to the negative keyword list on a regular basis.

We see many people skip this crucial stage in optimization, and it’s one of the most common ways of how advertising wastes money!

As a result, negative keywords are quite vital in your everyday SEO.

This allows you to acquire the most irrelevant traffic while simultaneously keeping your cost per conversion low and attracting qualified visitors with the proper purpose.

I added the negative keywords “veteran hospital” and “hospital” to this specific search.

As we refined our negative keyword list, we witnessed a rise in conversion rate and a fall in CPL.

Scaling Up Month 2

The client requested that the budget be increased to $20,000 in the second month.

Our current search efforts were budget-constrained during the first launch phase (meaning that more traffic was out there if we had the budget for it).

We increased our advertising expenses and added a Call Only campaign to increase phone calls.

When you double your budget in such a short amount of time, your conversion rate and cost per

lead is likely to decrease.

Our method to expanding this budget was to incrementally increase our daily budgets day by day and observe the results.

Because our average CPC was $50-$65, this didn’t “Rock” the boat too much and had no negative impact on our CPLs.

We discovered that Call Only was the apparent winner in terms of metrics out of all of our ads. It had a lower cost per lead (CPL) and a greater conversion rate.

The number of clicks increased in tandem with our marketing budget.

Keyword Expansion

With this campaign, we not only kept to our initial phrases, but we also enlarged it by including additional related keywords.

One of the most critical phases in expanding an account is to expand on keywords. There are several tools available to help you locate new keywords.

If a campaign is already running and producing leads. Then my main focus is on our data not a tool.

You may utilize Auction Insights to identify rivals bidding on your keywords, and the Search Term report will provide you with other options.

Tip: When viewing Auction Insights, you can now see your competitor’s websites, what keywords they’re bidding on (within Ahrefs or another comparable tool), and much more.

Tip: When reviewing the Search term report, look for queries that did not convert at all. In the screenshot above, we noticed a significant number of individuals searching in the competitor’s name with the rehabilitation center. Now we can analyze them, investigate fresh ad approaches, and add a slew of negative keywords.

After evaluating the data, you may enter it into programs like Google Keyword Planner, Moz Pro, SEMrush, and others.

CTAs For Call-Only Campaigns

If you are using Call-Only marketing. Your Call To Action should direct them to call your company. Make sure your CTAs are innovative and offer them a cause to call you.


Call Headline: Call 222-222-2222 (Google Standard. This is unchangeable.)

Headline 1: Luxury Rehab in XZY

Headline 2: Verify Your Insurance Now

Call Headline: Call 222-222-2222 (Google Standard. This is unchangeable.)

Headline 1: Luxury Rehab in XZY

Headline 2: 100% Confidential Calls

During this period, we saw Call Only ads gain traction and grow to incredible heights.

We increased the conversion rate by 2.26% and reduced the CPL from $404.24 to $329.69.

During November, we saved $74.55 per conversion.

That month, we generated 55 phone calls, and 16 form fills.

When we look at this pattern from a higher level, we can see that many people are far more comfortable calling about this delicate circumstance than handing out their information.

During your campaigns, it is critical to split test your CTAs.

You’ll be astonished at how individuals will contact you, the quality leads generated by phone calls vs form fills, and even the CPL.

Scaling Up Month 3

We sucked up the extra funds from November and used our trending data to guide us home to conclude the year with a BANG!

We increased the budget for our Call Only campaign while decreasing the budget for our search campaigns.

This proved to be the correct decision again, as we were able to reduce our CPL for the third month in a row.

CPL $315.01
Conversion Rate 17.91%
Conversions 67
Phone Calls 61
Form Fills 6


We were able to drastically enhance the outcomes for this account by streamlining the process, cutting the original cost per lead by 67% or more, and expanding to over $20k+ each month financially.

This is due to our thorough approach, which considers all areas of lead acquisition: from market analysis and account auditing through keyword research and pre-optimization, correct tracking and landing pages, optimization, and scalability.

There is a lot that goes into a great campaign!

Here are the overall results of this campaign.

Pre-Snap October Nov Dec
CPL $976.63* $404.24 $337.05 $315.01

You already know that picking the best PPC business for you is more than simply numbers.

When working on campaigns, you must have a solid working connection and collaborate with your team.

Are you ready to use PPC to create and expand your business?

Snap SEO has helped healthcare institutions and fitness firms all around the country to optimize their websites, set up PPC advertising, and increase online traffic. Read on to learn more about what we can do for you.

Check out Snap Managed PPC here, or schedule a call with us to discuss your needs.

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