5 Tips For PPC Success in the Health & Supplement Vertical

By Cassie Oumedian | @cass_oumedian | Associate Director of Services at Hanapin Marketing

Series week continues as we assess PPC management across different industries. Yesterday, Kristina covered the Tourism and Travel industry. Today, Cassie will be discussing the Health and Supplement Industry.


The Health and Supplements vertical for PPC is complex as it is heavily regulated with strict editorial constraints. The ad copy must be informative. However, you are still looking to sell a product, which technically falls into eCommerce. This unique set up means you are always walking a tight rope between providing information and driving revenue. This forces advertisers in this vertical to think outside the box.


Back in the day, remarketing was key for this vertical. In some accounts, remarketing drove 40% of conversions at 20% lower CPAs. But times have changed. Remarketing health and sensitive products is no longer. Google put the kibosh on this channel, forcing marketers to seek other opportunities to drive revenue. Lucky for you, we will open up our secret vault and let you in on 5 tips to help make up conversion volume and put you on the road to success in the health and supplement vertical.


1. Yahoo Stream Ads


In the Health and Supplement vertical, display types of advertising perform really well. Yahoo Stream ads are no exception.


Yahoo stream ads are a form of cost per click text ad with a small image (82×82 pixels) that is populated in the 3rd and 13th rank in a user’s organic content stream, and at the top of Yahoo mail inboxes.




Yahoo’s algorithm determines if your ad is relevant to the user’s search history based off their interactions including: interests, social signals and Facebook Likes, and click data across the entire Yahoo network. Stream Ads will format your ad to show across all devices. In addition to user’s search interests, Yahoo will look at your bid, performance (CTR), location targeting and competition in the auction to determine when and where your ad shows. The ads are now available across most Yahoo sites.



2. Google Display Network


As mentioned above, Display type PPC advertising performs well in this vertical. In fact, in some accounts Google Display network accounts for up to 51% of total conversions. However, CPAs tend to be higher (avg. 10%) than search. Now that Remarketing is off the table, testing things like DCO (Display Conversion Optimizer) is a great opportunity to drive incremental conversions from the Display network. Just make sure to regularly run placements analysis and exclude sites that could be increasing spend and not converting/assisting.


When running Google Display campaigns be sure to run both text and image ads and segment them into their own ad groups or campaigns because they perform very differently. If you don’t have a fancy creative department to build your image ads, AdWords Ad Gallery provides templates and opportunities to create your own image ads easily. Having both text and image ads allows you to expand your market reach in the display network.



3. Facebook


Facebook has also proven a very profitable channel for the health and supplement vertical. In fact, we’ve seen in some health and supplement accounts CPAs 40% lower than AdWords or Bing.


Newsfeed Ads seem to have the highest conversion rates. However, we have also seen click thru rates improve with the new layout of the right hand side ads that have a larger image. The vast amount of targeting options available makes showing your ads in front of your precise target market a clear opportunity for success.


We have noticed Facebook getting more aggressive with regulating the health and supplement vertical ads, so be cautious with your ad copy and how frequently you are showing ads to avoid disapproval. Here is a list of the guidelines for Facebook ad policy. I encourage anyone advertising in this vertical to read through it because getting support through Facebook after you start advertising can be challenging.


4. PLA


PLA or Google Shopping Campaigns are the Belle-of-the-Ball in the health and supplement vertical. If your company sells more than 10 versions of a supplement product, PLA is where it’s at.


In some health and supplement verticals we’ve seen CPAs up to 92% lower than Adwords search and display campaigns. If you’re in this vertical and not participating in PLA, it’s time to start!


5. Seller Ratings Extensions


Because supplements are not regulated the same way as prescription or non-prescription drugs by the FDA, clinical trials, word of mouth and reviews are huge in this industry. Luckily for everyone, once your company receives 30 or more reviews the star ratings will start to show automatically with your AdWords ads.


SellerRating Example


Tracking performance of seller ratings on ads can be difficult because there are no segmented reporting options available in AdWords. However, in one account, we tracked conversion rate from before the ratings started showing until after, and saw conversion rates increase by 50% and click thru rate increase on average 14%.