Nothing we do at M.Ad is templated, cookie-cuttered or otherwise automated. Many of our processes involve hours of grueling, detailed grunt work. We’re a small company because we prioritize one-on-one communication with our clients and offering personalized service like this takes time. Although it’s harder to scale, we love our business model because our methodical approach keeps us ahead of the competition. We’re the group with our noses in the data, day-in-and-day-out.

Patients are Searching for You – But How?

Our long-term clients will know – we’re advocates of search-based marketing. This is the kind of marketing that relies on a user submitting a search online in order to gather information. We work to make sure our clients web properties get infront of searchers who are most likely to become new patients. In the search-based marketing world, it’s about quality over quantity. These days there are countless avenues for generating business online, but, we mostly work for small practices that don’t have massive marketing budgets to get started with. They need lean marketing solutions with the fat trimmed. By getting started with strategies like this, we’ve helped single-provider practices increase revenues by 250% and expand into multiple locations.

A Search Engine is a Comfortable Place to Seek Help for Ones Mental Health


Particularly in the mental health space, a user approaching a search engine for help is a delicate and powerful phenomenon. The users’ inputs will directly impact what the search engine outputs. Depending on how accurately people describe what they are looking for, what they find, could have remarkable or disastrous consequences. Search engines are comfortable spaces to look for help: they can be accessed in the privacy of ones home, anonymously and for someone experiencing a difficult time, a search engine can offer hope in the form of remedies that have not yet been explored. It’s crucial therefore, for mental health care providers to understand how prospective patients search for help, in an effort to make their content more accessible to them.

In-Person Hesitations with Asking for Help, Follow People Online


Dr. Ellen Hendriksen PhD, in her piece, “How to Ask for Help” in Savvy Psychologist, examined fears that influence how people ask for help:

  • Reason 1: Fear of Being a Burden
  • Reason 2: Fear of Admitting Loss of Control
  • Reason 3: Fear of Owing a Favor
  • Reason 4: Fear of Appearing Weak
  • Reason 5: Fear of Rejection

While “asking for help” is traditionally something associated with a person-to-person interaction, we believe the same hesitations influence a user seeking help through a search engine. 

You need to isolate a few vital pieces of information to better understand how people search:


  1. Who is your target audience
  2. How are they describing ‘their problem’
  3. How are they describing the solution their looking for

Keep in mind that next to indication and treatment type, you’re very likely to see people include location and financial qualifiers to their searches.

Some searchers know exactly what indication they need treatment for, some even know the specific treatment they’re searching for: “Deep TMS for Depression in NYC” is an example of a nearly perfect search. But search terms reports rarely reveal such confident searches. You’re far more likely to see slightly sloppier searches like: “help for depression“, “new treatments for depression“. Even these reveal a degree of sophistication and a basic understanding of how search engines populate search results. Users with less of an understanding of this will resort to typing into the search engine as if they’re speaking to it:

  •  “help me find mental health services
  • need to find a therapist or institute for trauma work that takes medicare in Manhattan
  • looking for a therapist specializing in trauma

When searching, patients want: the best, the closest, the most affordable and to be comforted throughout the entire online transaction from searching to booking (although this comforted piece has more to do with the tone and color palette of your marketing initiatives it’s still worth considering). You’re likely to see the following qualifiers mixed into a users search: ‘top rated’, ‘good’, ‘best’, ‘affordable’, ‘cheap’, and ‘highest rated’

Prepare for some informational searchers to creep into your search terms reports as well in the form of people looking for: ‘Tests‘, ‘quizzes‘, ‘symptoms‘. Keywords like this are a sign of a premature searcher, they’re uncertain about their mental health condition and are researching whether help is necessary. Understandably, they are a more difficult group to convert, however, it’s a good strategy to host content on your website that captures these users attention. If they consume content on your website that convinces them that they do perhaps need help, your practice will have earned credibility in their eyes as an educational resource and they’ll be much more likely to convert with you.

Why Do We Advocate Search?


We advocate our search-based strategies above other channels because it’s a more direct interation. A user is searching for a service, an ad appears for the service, they convert with the service provider who best meets their needs. The challenge is to make sure your business’ ads get infront of them first (as opposed to your competitors) and that your online profile convinces them that your business is the best fit. Social Medial and Display Advertising (two other channels) use rich media like images and videos to catch users’ attention indirectly. Users are not directly searching for a service but instead you’re hoping to distract them from their original pursuit and lure them to your ad and your website. This indirect approach is usually great for building long-term brand recognition and awareness but is less successful at delivering leads right away. 

Interested in Learning More about Our Search-Based Medical Advertising Strategies? Contact Us for More Information.