The Art of Geotargeting: 5 Tips To Navigate The Optometry Marketing Battlefield

Timing and Targeting? Geo-conquest? Evaluate and Refocus? If these sound like battle terms to you, you’re not alone. Local SEO and PPC Marketing are as much a battleground today as they’ve ever been! So, how do you stake your claim and declare your victory? One word: Geotargeting.

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What’s Geotargeting?

Many doctors think that casting a wide net and targeting their advertising as widely as possible is the way to get more patients. Actually, it’s quite the opposite! Casting too wide a net costs extra PPC money by targeting ads to people too far away to actually come into the practice, and it waters down more localized SEO efforts. This is where geotargeting comes in.

Geotargeting refers to the practice of targeting your eye care clinic’s PPC (Google Ads, Facebook Ads, etc.), local seo, or other digital marketing efforts for people located within a certain geographic location. This is often done simply to limit the reach of PPC and other marketing efforts to those closest to the optometry practice, who are more likely to make an appointment and come in. However, clever use of geotargeting can help you choose your marketing battles, by further segmenting and refining the potential patients your ad appears to, allowing you to choose patients who likely have certain interests, income, vision care needs, and more. Below we’ve compiled our list of top tips for how to successfully utilize geotargeting for the best return on your local SEO efforts and PPC dime.

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1. Evaluate and Refocus Your Optometry Marketing Periodically

Know your terrain and choose your battlefield. Not all locations and demographics will work for your practice equally. As a result, it’s rarely, if ever, advised to set a blanket digital marketing budget over an entire area.

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It may take some time to figure out which areas and which demographics work best to bring in revenue for your optometry practice, but be patient. Start running your PPC ad campaigns conservatively at first until you can compile some data about which areas and ads worked best for you, and which didn’t bring in as many patients or as much revenue. Once you have that data in hand, start to increase the amount of ad spend and local seo effort you put out for the stronger areas, and decrease the amount you put into weaker areas. This way, you can maximize the reach and effectiveness of your ads and seo, without increasing the overall time and budget you allocate to your marketing.

Be sure to re-evaluate these decisions every few months to ensure that your marketing doesn’t get stale, and that you’re always on top of any changes in the marketing reality around you, such as demographic shifts, new competition in town or new opportunities for cross-promotion and other types of networking.

2. Use Marketing Radius Wisely

A good offense can be the best defense. Google and Facebook Ads also allow you to set a radius around specific locations, so that if a potential patient enters that radius, they are served with an ad. This can be especially helpful for practices located in places like malls and shopping centers, where a lot of foot traffic occurs, and where there is a lot of potential for walk-in appointments. No single radius works for every practice, so you should make sure to try out different radii around you, and see what works best. Try each radius for a month or two, gather data, and evaluate. After a few months, you should find what works to bring in the right kind of patient for your practice.

Another interesting way to use the radius feature is to work on “geo-conquest” of your area. This refers to the practice of identifying your lead competitors in the area, and setting a radius around their locations to serve your ads to potential patients anytime they come within a certain distance of the competing location. Do some research on the competitor you’re targeting, to get an idea of what kinds of ads you should create to pull patients away.

Download our Digital Optometry Marketing Battle Plan

Are you competing against a Lenscrafters’ location? Offer a buy-one-get-one at your optical, or an attractive deal on a complete frame and lens package. Competing with another general practitioner for end of year flex spending? Offer a Use-It-Or-Lose-It end of year special for anyone who comes in and shows you that ad. There are tons of ways to apply geo-conquesting, and it’s a great way to find people who are already in the market for your services and products, and may just need to see a better deal at your eye care practice to make the switch to you.

3. Decide Where You Don’t Want Your Marketing To Show Up

Pick your battles. Sometimes, just as important as knowing who you are targeting with your digital marketing, is knowing who you aren’t. For instance, a practice that is running a back-to-school PPC and local seo campaign may want to generally target the city they are in, but may correctly not see value in spending PPC dollars to show their back-to-school ads to residents of the gated retirement community in that city. This is where the option to exclude certain locations in Google and Facebook Ads  comes in.

When setting up your target locations for digital advertising campaigns, do research on the city and community where your ads will be featured, and identify any areas where it is unlikely that they will produce patients. Excluding these areas will free up ad spend that can be more effectively applied in areas where your target audience is more likely to be.

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4. Timing and Targeting: Make Your Optometry Marketing Relevant

Strike precisely and deliberately. To get the most out of your local marketing, you’ll need to make sure it appeals to the right audience, at the right time. Get to know your community, and stay up-to-date on what’s going on there. Follow the local news, identify key events and holidays on the calendar, and get familiar with the specific needs and concerns of the demographics you want to serve in your area.

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Some examples of local marketing for a specific community might include Juneteenth promotions in and around communities with large African-American communities or Cinco De Mayo promotions for communities with large Mexican-American communities. You might also consider PPC ads with specific themes centered around things like local state or city fairs, big upcoming conventions or popular local attractions.

People gravitate toward things that are familiar to them, so make sure your digital marketing appeals to their sense of home and familiarity, and this can help bring new patients to your practice.

5. Minimize Overlap in Your Local SEO and Optometry Marketing

Divide (as much as possible) and conquer. With so many options to localize and segment the audience a practice is marketing to, it can sometimes be tempting to create multiple ads, targeting different demographics within the same area. While this can be beneficial, it does come with some risk. Demographics are multi-layered, with age, gender, race and other demographic identifiers potentially causing more than one of your ads to target the same individual. Since you’re paying per appearance or per click for many of these ads, having multiple campaigns show up more than once or twice in front of the same prospective patients can cost you money and drive down the return on your digital marketing investment.

While this can’t be avoided entirely, demographics being as complicated as they are, you should re-evaluate your marketing periodically to make sure you are minimizing the number of instances in which your different ad campaigns and local seo efforts compete against one another. When you see overlaps that are potentially problematic, it may be time to evaluate which campaign of those that overlap brings in the most revenue, and merge the other campaigns with it, or axe the other campaigns completely.

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These geotargeting tips are a great way to increase your practice revenue by helping navigate the complicated optometry marketing battleground and target the right people in the right places. If you’d like help with these and other marketing strategies, learn more about our Optometry Growth Plans or give us a call at 201.591.4350.