Aha Hero

Case Study: Improving Consumer Acquisition

Memorial Hermann

A little outside expertise can boost a healthcare system’s consumer acquisition efforts in a big way.

Based in Houston, Memorial Hermann Health System is one of the largest not-for-profit health systems in Southeast Texas, with deep roots in its community going back to 1907. The healthcare system is also an early adopter of digital marketing strategies. Years ago, Memorial Hermann embraced digital marketing, including a strong performance marketing program, to connect with people increasingly going online to find healthcare providers. Early success led to the expansion of their paid search efforts to build visibility for 14 service lines ranging from neuroscience to heart and vascular. But as Memorial Hermann expanded its digital marketing reach, its paid search performance began to plateau, and its return on ad spend (ROAS) declined. Seeking optimization opportunities, Memorial Hermann partnered with aha! to advance its consumer acquisition process, resulting in a 175% higher appointment volume, a 38% decrease in cost per acquisition, and much more.

The Challenge.

Keeping up with a rapidly changing digital landscape. Memorial Hermann had expanded performance marketing to align its 14 core service lines with the way people search for care on Google. As a result, managing the structure of Memorial Hermann’s Google Ads account and optimizing its website content had become a large resource commitment for the organization’s marketing team. In heart and vascular care alone, Memorial Hermann found it needed to constantly adapt its paid and organic content – including ads, landing pages, and keyword bids – to align with the dozens of ways consumers research providers for arrhythmia treatment, aortic aneurysm, mitral regurgitation, and much more.

The Memorial Hermann digital marketing team requested insight on how to best manage campaigns at scale across multiple service lines. It was cumbersome for a lean in-house team to keep up with Google’s algorithm changes and updates to search features – let alone adapt their paid search campaigns to remain cost-efficient and relevant to the changing search landscape.

The Solution.

Rebuilding acquisition to align with consumer intent. aha! collaborated with Memorial Hermann to augment internal talent and optimize its consumer acquisition process, ranging from realigning the content of its website to restructuring its Google Ad account. As part of that process, we identified ways to update Memorial Hermann’s digital content – including its keyword bids, ad copy, and landing pages – to match the evolving ways consumers search. If, for example, consumers in the Houston area were searching for inguinal hernia or sciatic nerve pain treatment more frequently, Memorial Hermann’s ad copy, website content, and keyword bidding strategy were now more aligned with those searches. And because we revised Memorial Hermann’s strategy for long-tail searches, the client’s paid search campaigns became more closely aligned with voice-based search queries, which are typically more complex. In all, our work included streamlining 40+ search engine marketing campaigns from the ground up.

In all, our work encompassed:

  • A detailed audit of how the entire account structure aligns with the consumer journey, ranging from on-site content analysis to keyword research.

  • Optimizing the value of the website content by aligning it with Memorial Hermann’s high-volume search terms.

  • Making the architecture of the campaigns mirror the patient’s website journey.

  • Implementing cross-group negatives to prevent ads in different ad groups from competing with each other in the results.

  • Revising the keyword structure to ensure that match types are grouped correctly to maximize automatic bid strategies.

  • Expanding the implementation of ad extensions.

  • Implementing a testing plan to include every asset is tested against incumbent performers.

  • Revising ad copy to better reflect the landing page experience.

  • Launching new landing pages to optimize conversion.

Memorial Hermann also benefited from the team’s relationship with Google. We receive advance notice on changes to Google products and search algorithms, which makes it possible for us to make necessary adjustments quickly to Memorial Hermann’s keyword bidding approach without missing a beat. And the team leverages our scale to achieve more cost-effective results for the spend.

The Result.

Even at a time when healthcare providers are being rocked by the Covid-19 pandemic, our collaboration achieved strong results. The search engine marketing portfolio on average increased conversions by 80% and decreased cost per acquisition by 31%. The campaigns exceeded expectations in many areas of care. For example:

  • 175% higher appointment volume and a 38% decrease in cost per acquisition within initial 90 days of the engagement

  • An urgent care campaign saw 208%+ increases in conversions.

  • A campaign for general surgery experienced an 81% decrease in cost per acquisition.

In addition, by having an experienced partner onboard to constantly monitor and respond to Google product updates and algorithm changes, the Memorial Hermann marketing team is more productive and efficient because they can focus on more strategic ways to build the Memorial Hermann brand.

About aha!

aha! is a health-experience agency that develops and deepens the connection between patient and provider through empathetic and innovative digital services. Firmly grounded in the principles of human-centered design, their multidisciplinary team applies years of retail engagement experience to the growing digital healthcare industry. aha! enables providers to meet both the inevitable and unexpected with agility, precision, and human touch.