4 Tips for Healthcare SEM, Post-Affordable Care Act

With the new year underway, office workers across the country are busy game-planning for 2013 goals. For those in the healthcare industry, planning for 2013 requires additional strategy since significant portions of the Affordable Care Act come into effect on January 1. Most of the headline-worthy changes, such as penalties for individuals and small businesses without health coverage, won’t come into play until 2014.

What does this mean for healthcare marketing? It means that there will likely be a spike in search traffic in early 2013 because individuals will be looking for answers to questions about how the new healthcare law affects them.

Here are a few tips for capitalizing on this information-seeking search activity in your healthcare SEM campaigns:

1. Clarify your goal(s).

You know who you are trying to reach and why. But before diving any further, take a moment to map out which customer segments will be the most affected by the Affordable Care Act.  Need a quick, easy guide to making sense of what’s what in this complicated piece of legislation? Check out this interactive map from Kaiser.

Understanding which customer segments will be the most affected should give you an idea of the possible volume to expect. This will help you determine your return-on-advertising spend (ROAS) for e-commerce or CPL/CPA for lead-generation.  Regardless of your product/service, tracking progress against campaign goals will help you attribute any leads or conversions to your ACA-themed content.

2. Love your landing pages.

We all know that creating targeted landing pages that showcase relevant content from your SEM campaigns will influence your return. Why not create an FAQ landing page to clarify specific questions about how the Affordable Care Act affects your organization and stakeholders? This provides a platform for your organization to show off its deep knowledge of customers and offer direct access to current customer service channels. After all, the new legislation provides a great opportunity to be proactive. When sites like Investopedia offer an explanation of the ACA, you might want to join them in educating the masses if you’re a healthcare organization.

3. Refine your keywords.

The Affordable Care Act is known by many names. Include all of them in your keywords to ensure you’re not missing any traffic. Synonyms, misnomers and nicknames include:

  • The ACA (aka The Affordable Care Act)
  • The PPACA (aka The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act)
  • Obamacare
  • Universal healthcare
  • Federal health care law
  • Healthcare reform

4. Be mobile-ready.

Optimize the FAQ page for mobile. Imagine a visitor looking for new coverage terms while walking into the doctor’s office. Prepare your mobile site for the elements most likely to be searched on the go:

  • Prices/coverage
  • Locations/hours
  • Reviews

Healthcare reform is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. The sooner you can streamline your content to make it easier for searchers to find what they need, the better return you’ll see from SEM.


Check out Fathom’s white paper on Healthcare SEM. Learn the basics of PPC, common challenges hospitals face, and strategies for increasing ROI.

Learn more about Healthcare SEM


Photo courtesy of Leader Nancy Pelosi via Flickr.

About Fathom Team Member

Leave a Reply