Healthcare Search Terms Link To Vital Information, Lift Results During Pandemic

Delays in diagnostic tests such as mammograms for many Americans after a year of the COVID-19 pandemic can have major implications for healthcare. 

Marketers supporting healthcare clients, especially cancer patients, face a daunting task. Their advertising messages must be accurate and convey compassion and empathy as well as strength and positivity to reach those who are affected by the disease and their family and friends.

This presents a number of challenges for marketers. For example, Google enforces tight restrictions when it comes to the keywords that marketers can use. This is the place, however, to provide information that matters. 

Laura Crooks, account manager at marketing agency Aimclear, uses Google Keyword Planner to scrape cancer research and treatment websites for keywords with authority. This is how she adheres to Google’s restrictions on service ads with medical language, but still provides the information patients need. This creates high-intent targeting based on the stages of a cancer patient's journey and their associated search intent during those moments.



The keywords can be set as phrase or broad-match to capture related queries. They serve up for the medical keywords Google does not allow marketers to bid on.

“This process also places the ads in long-tail, high-intent search engine results pages,” Crooks said. “While it's frustrating that Google's algorithm disapproves ads in the medical space, you should let the AI do the heavy lifting for you by giving it contextual targeting.”

It especially presents challenges when patients search on the keywords and expect results. Catherine Singer, a 60-year old photographer from Laguna Hills, California, searched on a variety of keywords. Prior to her surgery, Singer searched for information on lumpectomy vs mastectomy survival rates, invasive ductal carcinoma, breast radiation treatment effects on body, and Hoag hospital one-time breast radiation treatment

Healthcare messages continue to grow in importance. One in three people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society.

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in American women, except for skin cancers. The average risk for a woman in the United States of developing breast cancer at some point in her life is about 13%, or a one-in-eight chance.

There is more than one type of breast cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that the United States this year will see about 281,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer in women, and about 49,290 new cases of ductal carcinoma. About 43,600 women will die from breast cancer.

Marketers have an important role in the survival of cancer patients. They must ensure that they reach the correct individuals with the precise information they need.

The Wall Street Journal reports that a pandemic-induced delay in screenings could lead to 10,000 deaths from breast and colorectal cancer over the next decade, researchers estimate.

Keyword research pulled from Google Ads projects that performance for the keywords used in the ad auction based on historical performance and competition data.

The keywords that Crooks selected were scraped from websites with relevant content to people at many stages of their breast cancer research and treatment. The agency does this because Google has tight limitations about the language marketers can use in keywords and ads related to medical terms. 

For example, impressions, clicks, and click-through rates (CTR) are performance estimates for a set of keywords for June 2021.

Crooks estimated the outcome of more than 100 keywords and created several advertising groups for June 2021. The ad groups include Diagnosis, Symptoms, Risk Factors, and Surgery.

For example, in the ad group Diagnosis, she estimates the keyword phrase “abnormal mammogram” will generate about 105.14 clicks and 15,893.6 impressions at a cost of $2,074. The keywords should generate a 0.7% CTR at $20 average cost per click.

This type of research would also help doctors determine the content for their websites. Some of the most expensive CPCs in June are related to mammograms. The keywords "First mammogram" have an estimated cost per click of $86, while for "breast scan" the average CPC is $104, and for "routine mammogram" the cost is about $366.

The Surgery ad group includes keywords such as "after lymph node removal" at a cost of $13 per click on 204.08 impressions. Crooks believes the estimated 1.14 clicks on the keyword term "axillary lymph node dissection" will generate 182.6 impressions at an estimated cost of $23.

By using Google Keyword Planner to scrape content the desired audience may read, the ads serve up by targeting keywords Google allows marketers to bid on and serve ads with messaging that is specific to individuals on their journey to treatment and recovery.

Next story loading loading..