According to the Urgent Care Association of America, 25–40% of urgent patients do not have an outside primary care physician in any given survey year. In fact, there is a shortage of primary care physicians in the United States. The Association of American Medical Colleges predicts a shortage of up to 122,000 physicians by 2032. Given this, the urgent care industry is poised to continue its rapid growth.

People who are searching for urgent care have one thing in common—they are in a hurry and want care as soon as possible. This means conversion rates (the percentage of users who perform a specified action from an ad, such as place a phone call or book an online appointment) are typically much higher than in other industries, making pay-per-click (PPC) advertising the perfect complement to your business’ marketing strategy.

Here are five ways to improve your urgent care center’s PPC efforts:

1. Answer their questions.

Urgent Care PPC ads need to be to the point compared to ads in other industries. The most effective urgent care ads answer common questions, such as:

  • “What time are they open?”
  • “Do they take walk-ins?”
  • “What are the wait times?”
  • “Do they offer COVID-19 testing?”
  • “Are appointments needed for flu shots?”
  • “Are flu shots free?”

Answer these questions in your ad to encourage users to click through to your website to learn more or book an appointment.

2. Utilize the right features.

Google has made it extremely easy for businesses to provide contact access points for consumers to use. Using “Call Only” ads or putting a “Click to Call” button on your current text ads will allow users to reach you easily with their mobile phone to book an appointment. If users would rather be “walk-in” appointments, Google allows advertisers to show their address within the ad. When the address is clicked by the user, they are given the option to add the address to a GPS navigation app in their phone.

3. Consider seasonality.

This is a great opportunity for brand awareness and attracting new customers. During certain times of the year, people will be searching for common seasonal illnesses or injuries. For example, people search for allergy symptoms during the spring, back-to-school physicals in late summer and flu symptoms in the winter. Placing an ad on these searches will provide exposure to those who may not be aware of your business.

4. Exude convenience.

Vacationers traveling to and from ski areas or the lakes region, relatives visiting for the holidays and athletes competing in tournaments are just a few examples of the types of patients that will visit an urgent care facility in a different state or town. These travelers don’t necessarily know what’s in the area, so if they have a need for treatment, they will go for the most convenient option available. Having a strong online presence will help you capture those looking for convenient care, right when they need it.

5. Assure those worried about COVID-19.

As many patients are still concerned about receiving care in an emergency room or hospital setting, urgent care centers are becoming more popular. Healthcare providers across the country are sharing concerns about patients avoiding routine and preventative care. Advertising safety protocols, enhanced precautions and routine care offerings will help patients feel more comfortable choosing your location.

In a 2020 poll conducted by the Saint Anselm College Survey Center in conjunction with Catholic Medical Center, 56% of respondents said they would return to a healthcare facility if they were confident in the protocols and procedures they had in place to prevent transmission of COVID-19. As the need for testing continues to increase, urgent care centers are often the location of choice. Convenience, efficient protocols such as online or call-ahead appointments and locations offering drive-through testing where you can remain in your vehicle are preferred options for many. Ads that highlight your testing offerings and ease of patient procedures will help drive increased traffic.

There are plenty of ways to advertise your urgent care office, but one of the most effective ways to see results is with a PPC campaign. By optimizing your PPC campaign, you will find users who are actively searching for care at that moment and give them plenty of reasons and ways to reach out and visit you, thus driving further conversions.