Don’t just measure impressions. Drive conversions.

December 18, 2017
Ward Alles CEO, Board of Directors Member

Digital advice for healthcare marketers

Are you doing SEO and paid search well? Let’s find out what the experts think. Here’s Core Creative’s interview with Joel Cessna at Eruptr, a digital media expert focused exclusively on healthcare.

Eruptr is quite the success story. Tell us your story.  

JOEL: I came across Eruptr in 2010 while I was working at Medicom Health, and we started partnering with each other as they would drive patients to the risk assessments. In 2015, I joined their sales team and was employee number 6. The cool thing about Eruptr is almost all of our SEM/SEO ops specialists have been digital strategists in the healthcare space in previous lives. We’ve grown like crazy because we measure what matters most: conversions. Last year, we were recognized by Inc 5000 as #559 on their list of the fastest growing companies nationwide.

How is providing paid search services to healthcare marketers the same or different compared to other industries?

JOEL: Healthcare is its own beast. People searching online for healthcare are seriously looking to make a decision. They’re not just casually shopping like in the retail world. Healthcare needs to be crystal clear in the messaging. We need to have the right keywords in order to be found by those looking to take action, and then we need to guide people carefully to the information they need. It requires an “all encompassing” strategy and approach. Other than that, things like bidding challenges and geographic challenges are similar to other industries.

Is there a channel strategy that B2C advertisers use well that could be applied better in healthcare?

JOEL: Outside industries use Facebook really well. They make their ads an experience. Very engaging. In my opinion, that sort of thinking needs to be applied better in healthcare. Hospital marketers shouldn’t be shy about telling heart-tugging patient stories that allow others to connect to their brand.

(Thanks for the endorsement for Core. That’s some of what WE do!) What general advice do you have for healthcare marketers today?


  1. Measure more than clicks or eyeballs on a page. Measure your conversions (how many appointments did you get). Your cost per conversion. Your ad position. Your impression share. That’s what matters.
  2. Make sure you create great landing pages with clear calls to action – that’s critical.
  3. If you’re truly looking for patient acquisition, the best use of your ad budget is on SEM. It converts better with active searchers. Do that really well, and then layer in other tactics like display ads or Facebook.
  4. Finally, don’t just launch an online campaign and forget about it. You need to watch the quality scores on your landing pages and fine-tune along the way. Eruptr helps with that.

What’s the best success story you’ve been a part of?

JOEL: Eruptr has been fortunate to impact people’s lives downstream. Managing things like Google Ad Words may not sound “sexy”, but I know our both our SEO and SEM services have helped connect cardiac, transplant, bariatric and other patients to the life-changing services they need. That’s pretty cool.

What’s been the biggest challenge of working in the healthcare space?

JOEL: Our challenge is needing to re-educate clients to think differently. It’s not all about impressions. Focus on conversions!

Where is the puck going in healthcare marketing?

JOEL: As a whole, healthcare providers have been late adapters and many still don’t do digital well enough. But that’s changing and they are reallocating their budgets finally. It used to be that healthcare marketers only dedicated about 5-10% of their ad budgets on digital. Now some organizations are nearing 45%. That’s better – because that’s how people search for information. On their smart phones, tablets, etc.

What do you love about your job?

JOEL: I have full confidence in every single team member at Eruptr. We all love the excitement of starting up with a new client – it’s really rewarding. We demonstrate our value quickly and things just steamroll from there. We get a lot of client referrals because they are so happy with the results.

Core Creative is a branding agency that specializes in telling the life-changing stories for mid-market healthcare systems and the emerging med-tech world. If Core can help you tell your brand’s story, and if Eruptr can help you reach your audience, contact either one of us: ward@corecreative; 


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