Case study Asia Medical

Asia Medical Specialists

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The Challenge

Asia Medical Specialists (“AMS”) is a Hong Kong-based medical practice with two clinics specializing in three practice areas, orthopedics, physiotherapy and back problems. The practice has a bilingual Chinese-English website,

After advertising online for the past year with another agency, AMS approached Cogney to take over their SEM because their traffic -- and lead generation -- had hit a plateau. They tasked Cogney to generate more leads (i.e., patients) on the same budget.

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The Strategy

The goal of most SEM clients is relatively straightforward and ASM’s brief to Cogney was no different: they sought to increase click-through rate (CTR) while lowering their cost-per-click (CPC) in order to increase return on ad spend (ROAS). To that end, we performed a granular analysis of their existing campaign set-up and history to adjust budget allocations for the following elements:

Broad, phrase and exact match keywords

When the searcher types in a close variant of your advertised keyword, your ad will show up if “broad match” is permitted. In comparison, the search query must match the stated keyword or phrase exactly when “exact match” is specified. “Phrase match” keywords must be present in the search query in the same order as designated.

The number of keywords for any given adgroup

(An adgroup is a set of keywords triggering the same ad or ads.) Thus, if you’re a jeweler selling various types of jewelry, you might want to set up separate adgroups for “Rings”, “Bracelets” and “Earrings”. The Rings adgroup might consist of keywords such as “engagement ring”, “cocktail ring”, “wedding band”, etc. This simple example highlights the importance of choosing keywords that are sufficiently related to each other so that it makes sense to show the searcher the same ad. Should someone looking for an “engagement ring” see the same ad as someone looking for a “cocktail ring”, for example? As you can imagine, a failure to closely scrutinize the relatedness of the keywords within the same adgroup can impact ROAS significantly.

Premium position

Is it worth paying for placement at the top of the page for all the keywords in your campaign? Some keywords are really expensive whereas others might be underpriced considering the company’s selling proposition or best products. Consequently, eliminating overpriced keywords is key to optimizing budget.

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The Keys to Success

In order to generate new leads and deliver the best match between ad and search query, it was crucial to understand how patients were expressing their pain points - literally. We studied how people suffering from back or joint pain described their ailment without using medical jargon. This way, we were able to narrowly tailor ad groups and write more relevant, “surgical” ads. Just as important as creating a better fit between ads and queries, we cut out the fat in the campaign by eliminating traffic which was never going to result in an appointment. For example, we used geographical targeting to exclude searches from areas distant from AMS’ two clinics. Next, we stopped premium placement bidding for hotly contested queries like “back pain” in favor of queries that contained the who ("back pain doctor", "back pain surgeon"), the where ("back pain clinic", "back pain hospital") and the how ("back pain treatment", "back pain relief"), while at the same time negative matching any queries that lacked intent for a doctor visit like "home" or "self". Finally, we implemented better tracking and AMS modified their website to implement our user experience recommendations. Within three months, conversion increased by five times and we have been taking care of their search marketing continuously since 2017.


Online Advertising: Google and Yahoo ads in both English and Chinese.

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The Results


Decrease in cost per acquisition


Increase in conversion rate

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