Driving Incremental New Patients with Paid Search

Paid Search Case Study

National Physical Therapy Provider

The Challenge

A leading national brand for physical therapy knew that paid search could contribute to their growth goals, but they weren’t confident that their existing program could inform spend decisions based on keywords that were driving incremental new patients. The client needed a search strategy to reach in-market individuals seeking physical therapy treatments while accounting for a number of complexities, including varied revenue margins by location and offline conversion integrations.

The Strategy

Rise suggested a three-part strategy to reach the client’s target audience and evolve their search program.

Warming up from CPL to ROAS

The brand was previously measuring the cost per scheduled appointment to evaluate search performance. Within 30 days, both teams were using ROAS to make optimization decisions. 

  • Migrated to Search Ads 360 to support the integration of offline data—in this case, realized appointments—at the keyword-level using GCLID matching.

  • Determined revenue figures from each realized appointment and developed a custom solution for integrating this data into a performance framework.

  • Built automated rules that bid more aggressively on keywords while optimizing spend toward ROAS and AOV. 

Breaking a Sweat by Proving Incrementality

Not all paid search conversions are created equal. Rise and the client knew that converting a patient who searched for a competitor is “more incremental” than converting an individual that was already searching for the brand. 

Instead of optimizing to drive the most efficient ROAS, regardless of whether or not the revenue came from a branded search or a competitor search, Rise developed a custom framework to measure Incremental ROAS that better reflected the likelihood that a conversion would not have otherwise occurred.  


The Big Flex - Optimizing Based on Incrementality

With the model established, we faced the final challenge: How do we pull this off and optimize based on incrementality? 

  • Tripled the volume of campaigns and budgets and assigned different goals for branded, non-branded, and competitor keyword campaigns. 

  • Layered unique budgets and goals dependent on location.

  • Launched new fields in SA360 for real-time Incremental ROAS at the keyword-level. 

  • Created a series of automated rules that optimized keyword-level performance to unique incremental ROAS goals based on location and the type of search.

The Result

A powerful strategy and the right technology enabled a granular approach to optimization at scale, resulting in:

Significant increase in the contribution of new patients from digital

Stakeholder mindset shifted from CPL to ROAS, aligning the business plan closer to growth goals