• Michael Argueta

Conversions As a Vanity Metric In Veterinary Marketing

Far too often we come across a veterinary hospital’s online adverting account (e.g., Google Ads) that looks like it has been performing very well, yet, when we dive below its surface, we discover a ton of wasted spend. How could this be?

Targeting Searches for Your Brand

Over time, Google Ads optimizes itself to show your ads more often on Google searches where they perform best.

In most cases, targeting searches for your brand performs the best. When an existing client Googles your veterinary hospital’s name and your ad appears at the top of the search results page, the existing client is very likely going to click on your ad because it’s advertising exactly what they searched for.

When this self-optimization goes unchecked, the Google Ads account will place more and more budget toward targeting searches for your brand. This will inflate your conversion numbers and decrease cost per conversion, when a conversion resulting from a brand search is far less valuable than an appointment scheduled by a new client.

Targeting searches for your brand isn’t a bad practice. There are ways to structure your veterinary hospital's Google Ads account to make sure that most of your budget is being put towards new client acquisition.


You can separate brand targeting from new client targeting and clearly see the difference in performance between the two.

Tracking Phone Calls and Appointment Form Submissions as Conversions Is Not Enough

We’ve analyzed thousands of phone calls made to veterinary hospitals from their online advertising efforts. It’s not enough to use the number of phone calls and appointment form submissions to gauge whether or not your marketing efforts are performing well. There are many reasons why a new client contacts a veterinary hospital and ends up not scheduling an appointment.

Many of these callers are pet owners who dialed the wrong number, they live too far away from the hospital to schedule an appointment, or they're new clients who decide to go elsewhere because the hospital is booked too far out.

Google Ads offers a location-based conversion action that keeps track of when a pet owner interacts with your ad and then physically visits your hospital. This action can be included in your conversions, and when you separate brand targeting from new client targeting, you can see your cost per new client hospital visit.

Phone Calls Speak Volumes

The valuable insights that veterinary hospital call tracking reveals on the effectiveness of a hospital’s marketing efforts and operations is significant.


When all the phone calls that come through your online advertising efforts are monitored, you can see exactly how many new clients scheduled appointments at your hospital, and where they found you online.


You can put more of your marketing budget towards the advertising platforms and campaigns that you know for a fact are performing the best.

When you’re tracking valuable conversions, and not only vanity conversions, you have the information needed to make meaningful, profitable adjustments to your veterinary marketing efforts and hospital operations.

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