How Google Ads Works for Healthcare? (Best Practices)

How Google Ads Works for Healthcare

Advertisers must meet Google Ads standards.  This is imperative. Otherwise, you risk scrutiny.

Failure to adherence may involve further dire results. Do you want to risk a suspension of your ad account? Follow the rules, especially in the healthcare segment. You cannot make any kind of false or misleading claim.

Libelous actions in healthcare can be fatal. Therefore, it can invite lawsuits worth millions. Google does not want to take the risk.

Obviously, marketers don’t want to risk it either. This niche holds a direct influence on the physical and mental well-being of citizens. Let’s explore its various aspects as per Google Ads.

Health insurance ads on Google

You will need a certificate to sell health insurance on Google. This requirement is not mandatory in most other niches. Moreover, this goes to show how dead serious Google is.

It published a special memo last year ( April 20, 2021) covering US health insurance for Google Ads.

So, here’s the gist.

  • Its top priority is to elicit user trust
  • You must have a certificate from now
  • Government exchanges must oblige
  • Also, first-party services should follow suit
  • Third-party brokers must have a license

However, the window for certification is over (May 3, 2021 – June 2, 2021). 

Health niche certificates needed

Advertisers in the US must follow certain rules. These policies cover key healthcare issues. Do you want to run an online pharmacy?

Are you a drug producer? Do you want to promote prescription drugs vide Google? What’s the process?

  • You must follow the rules for your country
  • However, you are out of luck if your place is not there in the list
  • Next, fill up the online form
  • Include the Google Ads customer ID
  • Don’t submit incomplete forms
  • Agencies can also submit on behalf of healthcare services. But, they must show proof of association.

The addiction niche is highly sensitive. Rules are very strict on what you can do. Like above, you will need a certificate to foot. Also, not all countries are eligible.

Currently, it is available only in the US, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland. In addition, you need to keep keyword usage strictly relevant to addiction.

‘Rehab’ here is an umbrella term. It includes clinical addiction treatment providers and sober living environments. It covers referral agencies as well. Besides, drug and alcohol crisis hotlines are also eligible.   

Opioid painkillers are critical. These drugs can be addictive. Advertisers cannot use Google Ads to promote drug abuse. So, eligible drugs include those prescribed for opioid use disorder.

Besides, there’s a long list of eligible drugs for Google Ads.  However, there are certain exceptions. For example, opioid painkillers referred to in non-opioid drug ads are eligible.

Do you run a certified addiction recovery center? In that case, you can place ads referring to opioid painkillers.

Retargeting is not applicable in this niche

This is one of the most important rules. You cannot use Google ads for remarketing the health niche.  Such a campaign uses a system of cookies.

These cookies target users who show initial interest. Relevant ads will then start to pop up in the user’s search history.

However, this does not apply to healthcare. This is a strict rule as it is vital to protect patient privacy.

Marketing experts suggest making a separate landing page for healthcare ads. This will ensure that people who click on your ads for the first time have access to your contact details. If need be, they can always get in touch later.

Also, there’s another thing. New marketers can find Google ads quite complex. It involves a steep learning curve when you embark alone on the journey. From keyword selection to setting other parameters, it takes some time to master.

Google knows this and uses it to its advantage. As it is, new marketers have the smart campaign settings as default. The smart campaign is quite easy to follow.

You merely set keyword themes, and do not bother with exact keywords. Then, you set a budget and let Google do the heavy lifting.

However, you cannot decide where your ads will show up. You cannot set up the specifics of spending either. Google will do the spending for you, including setting higher bid amounts. Moreover, you have limited access to analytical features in this setting.

This is why it is important to select the ‘expert’ mode on the initial ad setup page. It appears as an inconspicuous link in the bottom left of the page where you must set the campaign goals.

Go ahead with it even if you are not an expert yet. You will soon be if you keep reading this blog.

What are Google ads rules for abortion? This is a very important issue, particularly in the US. Most women in the US are uncomfortable with the Biden administration meddling with their intimate rights.

The situation seems very depressing with the Texas Abortion Law still in effect. But, what is the stand of Google on such a key issue? Google has an exhaustive list of countries where these ads cannot show up.

The US is not on this list. However, Google does forbid abortion ads in several countries though. Also, the Google Display Network does not show these ads under any circumstance.

Clinics providing this life-saving service must obtain due certification from the authorities. Depending on the certificate, Google will display a disclosure on whether such help is provided.

Disallowed healthcare substances in Google Ads

Google Ads does not allow certain substances. Here are a few of them.

  • You cannot promote ephedra.
  • Marketers cannot promote products with hCG hormone for weight loss.
  • Also, you cannot promote herbal supplements with banned ingredients.
  • You cannot promote products that compare with prescription drugs to claim that they are as good.  
  • Products that carry an official warning are not eligible.
  • Healthcare products that mimic the name of other similar-sounding chemicals are also not eligible.
  • DHEA products are only applicable to the US.
  • Melatonin products are available only in the US and Canada via Google Ads.


Google Ads for healthcare is under greater scrutiny than other ad segments. This is vital to protect patient privacy and prevent medical abuse.

All advertisers must follow the rules outlined above.

As always, for any help with Google ads management, you can always contact me and I would be happy to assist you : )

Share it