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The Kelvale Medical Group brings 20% of its new patients through the door with HealthEngine, and achieves a 500% ROI on their Google Ads investment. Here’s how they do it.

The Challenge

First-rate patient care and customer service are the hallmarks of Kelvale Medical Group, which has been servicing Kelmscott (in southeast Perth) since 1966. That care is one reason they have over 7,000 patients on their books and a practice of 12 full and part-time practitioners.

But past results aren’t enough when today’s customers are mobile in more ways than one. “Australian patients can move very easily today,” says James Manning, Business Manager for the Kelvale Medical Group. “There’s nothing to stop someone from walking down the road to a medical centre half a kilometre away.”

The practice needed a fresh way to help new patients make appointments with them ― in short, a way to deliver great customer service before patients came through their doors.

Reaching Patients Early

Google is where potential patients begin today, especially the young people that Kelvale Medical Group wanted to reach most. The doctors of the practice believed that if they could bring potential patients to their website, where they could show the high quality of their care, patients would be eager to make appointments with them.

That’s why the Kelvale Medical Group began working with the team at HealthEngine. “When I searched Google for doctors, I noticed that HealthEngine kept coming up,” says Manning. “We felt they could help us remove any barriers between someone waking up in the morning, not feeling well, and successfully booking a consultation with us.”

HealthEngine helped Kelvale Medical Group in two ways.

First, they set up a detailed marketing campaign promoting the practice on Google Ads (formerly known as AdWords). People in Kelmscott and surrounding communities who searched for things like “flu treatment” or “book a doctor appointment” began to see ads like this:

Google search for doctor's appointment

HealthEngine’s proprietary system not only put Kelvale Medical Group in front of potential new patients, it sent them directly to the practice’s website

HealthEngine made the process simple for consumers and for the Kelvale Medical Group’s doctors and administrators. “HealthEngine was ready and willing to discuss strategy and options with us,” says James Manning.

“They brought us keywords and other targeting strategies, which our doctors discussed and modified at a roundtable meeting. It was a truly collaborative experience.”

The majority of GP practices aren’t large enough to afford a full-time marketing person of their own. HealthEngine gives even smaller businesses a powerful tool to reach new customers by not only offering products for managing patient bookings but also marketing tools to attract those patients in the first place.

Why It Works

“The younger generation shops totally different than anyone did previously,” says James Manning. “They want to see when their appointment will be. They want to know the cost. They’ll make a decision before they leave the computer screen.”

Case in point: One Kelvale Medical Group doctor recently saw a patient who came from the other side of the southern Perth suburbs, a good 20 kilometres away. “Why did you come here?” the doctor asked. The reply: “I typed in ‘minor surgery’ and your practice came up.” That was when the doctor realised how well the HealthEngine Google Ads campaign was working.

With that kind of success, the practice is now expanding into more detailed approaches, like running campaigns specifically for vaccinations. With help from HealthEngine, they’re finding new and more detailed ways to use Google Ads.

The Results

Over 20% of Kelvale Medical Group’s new patients now arrive after making their own appointments online through Google and HealthEngine.

Managed by HealthEngine, the practice’s ads now hold around 15% market share each month on Google Ads compared to the average 9% in a typical competitive market.

Return on investment (ROI) is an impressive 500%, a 5-1 return on their Google Ads budget.

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“We’re happy with the ROI, of course, but for us the real objective is market share and exposure,” says Manning. “We want to say clearly to potential patients, ‘This is who we are’.'”

“Great customer service today means reaching new patients where and when they need us. Thanks to HealthEngine, our marketing is now an essential part of the patient’s journey between feeling unwell and finding help with us.”

Fritz Holznagel is a writer for Google.

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