Medico Digital Insights

2024 Healthcare Paid Search Benchmarks

Healthcare marketing | PPC | The online patient journey

Read time

4 min


20th June 2024


Written by Ollie Capel


Patient acquisition

2024 Industry Benchmarks for Direct-to-Patient Advertising in Healthcare

At Medico, we’re often asked about industry standards for paid advertising: 

“What’s a good click-through rate?”

“Is my conversion rate what it should be?”

“What can I expect to generate from this level of media spend?” 

These questions are critical for healthcare marketers, yet finding reliable benchmarks can be challenging.

The healthcare sector is unique in its advertising dynamics. For example, campaigns aimed at healthcare professionals will have distinct outcomes compared to those targeting patients directly.

A quick search on Google for industry benchmarks in healthcare often yields broad results, sometimes even combining the beauty sector within their analysis. This lack of specificity can be misleading for healthcare marketers who need precise and relevant data.

At Medico, we have built a treasure trove of data from managing ad campaigns in the healthcare sector for years, targeting both patient and healthcare professional (HCP) audiences. Recognising the need for accurate and specific benchmarks, we decided to establish true industry standards for direct-to-patient advertising performance. 

Here’s a look at our methodology and findings.

Analysing £5.3 million in direct-to-patient ad spend

Using data from 2023 and 2024, we examined £5.3 million worth of direct-to-patient advertising campaign media spend across over 50 Google ad accounts covering various specialities and client scales. This involved a meticulous analysis from our paid media team who cleaned and categorised over 6,500 data points and conducted statistical analyses to derive meaningful insights.

To ensure the results were as accurate as possible, we excluded the best and worst performance outliers and removed brand search term campaigns which don’t give a true indication of patient intent and would therefore skew the results.  

Realistic benchmarks for healthcare advertisers 

Our initial findings provide a comprehensive overview of industry benchmarks for typical direct-to-patient advertisers who invest in Google Search, offering a realistic and attainable performance range that healthcare marketers can use to optimise their ad campaigns.

MetricAverageBenchmark Range 
Click-through rate (CTR)8.41%6.24% – 10.82%
Cost per click (CPC)£1.23£0.91 – £1.52
Conversion rate (CVR)4.71%3.25% – 6.02%
Cost per acquisition (CPA)£30.66£13.31 – £43.96

The rising cost of paid media advertising

According to a Wordstream report from 2021, the average cost-per-lead (CPL) for hospitals and clinics was $33.45. In comparison, our findings show a higher average cost-per-acquisition (CPA) of £30.66 (approximately $38.94), highlighting the competitiveness and investment required in the healthcare advertising sector, making it essential for marketers to understand and leverage these benchmarks effectively.

What next? 

Our next phase involves breaking down the data further into specific therapy areas, campaign types (e.g. local vs national) and segmenting softer conversion actions e.g. newsletter subscriptions and calls from ads vs harder conversions such as contact form submissions and successful bookings/registrations. 

We hope this detailed segmentation will provide even more precise benchmarks, helping healthcare marketers tailor their strategies effectively.

Stay tuned for more detailed insights as we continue to analyse and segment the data. If you have any questions or are interested in a free audit of your PPC activity, get in touch today.

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