Oct 20, 2022



How Healthgrades Fits into Your Hospital’s Marketing Budget

Hospital marketers and CMOs are accustomed to doing more with less—here’s how Healthgrades can maximize your media spend.

Hospital marketers and chief marketing officers (CMOs) are accustomed to doing more with less, but recent macro trends have made budget planning more challenging. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed many hospitals in a position where even if their top-line revenues can recover, their profitability might not. Outpatient procedures continue to migrate out of hospitals and into ambulatory surgery centers (ASC), with ASC claims increasing by 47% between 2020 and 2021 and hospital outpatient department claims falling by 15% between 2019 and 2020.

Also, ongoing labor shortages threaten productivity and patient volumes, with staffing still down by 1.1% compared to pre-pandemic levels. In an Ipsos survey earlier this year, around a quarter of respondents revealed that they’re likely to leave the healthcare field sometime soon, contributing to rising labor expenses per adjusted discharge and further shortages. On top of these trends, hospitals must wrestle with existing pressures to expand, upgrade their technology, attract talented physicians, and invest in other areas to stay competitive.

Unfortunately, there’s no concrete end in sight. Some hospitals are coping with these financial losses by cutting their budgets, purchasing more ASCs, and merging with other health systems. These factors create internal challenges for health systems marketers as they strive to regain and grow volumes while budgets continue to shrink. 

You must strategically allocate parts of your health system’s budget to investment opportunities that will exceed expectations, help you build a strong brand presence, and generate more leads from every dollar. Healthgrades is one investment opportunity your health system can’t afford to miss. 

The good news is that Healthgrades provides hospital marketers with an easily justifiable budget line item that will deliver results for their brand marketing and patient acquisition efforts. We reach the right patients in the right context at the right time with guaranteed leads. Here’s why having our advertising solutions in your budget is worth it.

Why Should Healthgrades Be a Budget Priority?

Or, better yet, how does Healthgrades reduce investment risk? We understand that hospital marketers and their internal stakeholders (e.g., finance leads, etc.) are wary of trying new solutions that necessitate some financial risk, and they must be able to guarantee results. With Healthgrades, you can mitigate that risk while boosting brand exposure and acquiring patients. Plus, we can provide that guarantee.  

We design every contract so hospital marketers can rest assured that we are safe spend, and they will see real results. When you partner with us, we lock in metrics that will guarantee more qualified leads than other third-party sites, and we’ll best your benchmarks. This provides contractual protections to rationalize budget spend that you won’t find in other channels.

Healthgrades also helps you generate more guaranteed leads and maximize your existing marketing budget in three key ways:

1. Maximizing the impact of your spend

You might assume that Google is your best bet for getting the most return on your investment—Google ads typically yield fast results, after all—but the search engine’s paid placement packages alone aren’t enough. Google operates on a pay-per-click model where competitors must bid for a specific keyword to make the list of the top three paid ads. However, the average click-through rate for Google Ads displaying healthcare sites is only 3.8%, making it an expensive investment for little reward.

On the other hand, a quarter of Google users click on the first organic search result, showing that it’s worth investing in quality content and third-party health sites that promote your health system to boost your SEO prominence naturally.

When paired with Google SEM, Healthgrades is proven to attract the low-funnel healthcare consumers that Google might miss. In partnership with a health system client, we commissioned a study that activated both healthgrades.com and SEM to maximize patient encounters. During the year-long study, there was only a 2% overlap in shared Google and Healthgrades visitors, with Healthgrades accounting for 68% of all downstream encounters at a cost per conversion that’s 2.7x lower than Google Ads.1 Healthgrades and Google together yield more patient connections without compromising your financial plans.

2. Driving more profitable volume 

Patients who come from Healthgrades are 40% more likely to be commercially insured than typical hospital patients, making it a hub for qualified patients who want to learn about your health system and engage with your team’s profiles when it’s most important — right before they choose a doctor.2 Working with us ensures your hospital dominates top search rankings, facilitating natural and timely connections with low-funnel patients ready to make an appointment with your physicians.

Our advertising solutions also work to promote your hospital’s outpatient services, effectively guiding patients back from ASCs they might have frequented during the height of the pandemic.

3. Offering flexible options 

Our campaign-style approach to healthcare consumer marketing is flexible enough to fit your financial goals. Whether through six-, nine-, or twelve-month campaigns or service-specific outreach initiatives, our solutions boost your health system brand at a pace that aligns with your financial plan. All it takes is setting aside a percentage of your existing budget to see real results.

Invest in Guaranteed Leads with Healthgrades

Negotiating your marketing budget for the new quarter or year can be nerve-wracking. Enhancing a marketing strategy that hasn’t met expectations may require you to think outside the box and invest in new resources, and the prospect can be daunting when hundreds of thousands of dollars are at stake. 

What differentiates our advertising solutions from competing placement opportunities is that Healthgrades reaches low-funnel healthcare consumers who are ready to appoint and choose a health system–and our conversion metrics far outperform industry benchmarks for digital advertising. Healthgrades advertising solutions center on patient acquisition, retention, and brand awareness with tools like:

  • Premium, contextually-relevant placement on doctor search result pages
  • Calls to action on profile pages, with embedded appointment links to your OAS
  • A competitive intercept feature that redirects appointment opportunities by showing alternative options at your hospital 
  • Syndication to extend your brand’s reach to consumers searching on Healthgrades partner healthcare sites

Let Healthgrades be the first dollar you spend after Google. By reallocating your budget to fit us in your plans, you’re establishing new sources of revenue and lead generation. Contact us today to learn more about how Healthgrades can elevate your brand while making every dollar count.

1 Healthgrades Case Study: Drive Efficient Media Spend by Pairing Healthgrades with Google SEM, Data from 1/1/18 and 12/31/19; Healthgrades conversion = patient call
2 Healthgrades site study, 2022.