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Part 4: Succeeding at Dental Paid Advertising

Tyson Downs
January 12, 2023 | 8 min read

tab32 thanks Tyson Downs of Titan Web Agency for the insights in this post

We are up to Part 4 in our course: An Introduction to Marketing Your Dental Practice Online.

Last time we discussed websites, and the 9 most important elements that a dentist needs to get right to ensure his/her website is set up to convert traffic.

Today we are going to talk about one of my favorite and the most effective ways to generate new business for your practice, pay-per-click (PPC). While you can use PPC on Facebook, Bing, Google, etc, today we are going to discuss PPC using Google Ads.

If a dentist comes to me, and their concern is they need new leads fast, what do I usually recommend? PPC.

They want to expand into a new arena, perhaps they are starting to offer in-office sedation or Invisalign. PPC.

Don’t get me wrong, other marketing is extremely important and can offer a very high return-on-investment (ROI) — assuming your marketing agency knows what they are doing.. Organic search engine optimization (Local SEO) is important, no, not important, a necessity.

That said, with SEO, you don’t have as much control over the type of traffic you are getting (at least not initially, and as quickly) as you do with PPC. If you want to run a successful dental practice, you can’t neglect PPC for dentists, it is one of the most effective marketing strategies you can use.

One of the things I often hear from dentists is:

“Nobody clicks on the ads do they? I know I don’t.” 

Well, you may not, and I may not, but people do! For commercial searches, paid clicks on Google search results outnumber organic nearly 2 to 1! 

Need further convincing? The average ROI for PPC is 200%. Here, you give me a dollar, I’ll give two back. I’ll do that all day long!

3 Reasons Why Google Ads Are Effective for Dentists

Google Ads Easily Be Measured

While we know that most dentists don’t want to dive into Google Ads to look at the analytics, its there if they want to! There is detailed analytics that provides the following information:

  • Impressions (this is how often your ad has shown up in the search results)
  • Clicks (how often people click your ad)
  • Click to call (how many people tap the “Call” button on mobile ads)
  • Verified calls (how often you received calls forwarded by Google)
  • Map actions (how often people clicked your business pin on Google or got directions to your practice)
  • Cost per conversion (how much each lead is costing you)
  • Ad spending (how much you’ve spent on Google Ads)

Using the analytics on your dashboard, you’ll be able to determine what is driving traffic, how much that traffic costs, where there is opportunity for improvement, and more. Being able to have this information at a quick glance is a lifesaver for somebody new or less experienced at Google Ads.

(The screenshot below OBVIOUSLY isn’t from a dental campaign! Just imagine if your costs per click were that cheap!!! It is from a help article on Google's website).

Using these analytics, you’ll be able to see exactly what is driving increased traffic and engagement, and what is having little to no impact. This makes it much simpler and more convenient to assess if your company’s campaign is generating revenue or draining cash.

Google Ads Offers Quick Results

When done right (proper keyword research, sending traffic to a landing page not your homepage, having a special offer, etc), Google Ads can yield quick results (as in, once your campaign is up, you can expect an increase of inquiries within days). You can login to your Google Ads account and see what keywords are showing up, what keywords are being clicked, etc. It isn’t uncommon to see an increase of leads in the same week that your campaign starts running.

Google Ads Allows Remarketing

First let's define what remarketing is. 

Remarketing is getting your ad in front of people that have visited your website (or specific pages on your website), in the way of a banner ad on another website. 

Example:

A visitor clicks on your ad and lands on  your website. They aren’t ready to book an appointment, so they close their tab or browser. 

Later that day, they are browsing online. Perhaps looking at scores, or reading the news on a local news website. Then, your ad shows up. See an example of how they may look, they come in all shapes and sizes. 

Image courtesy of AdShark.

Oh, right, the visitor remembers….

The dentist, I need to get to the dentist. 

He or she then clicks on the ad, and goes back to your site, and has another opportunity to convert.

The great thing about these ads is they are quite a bit cheaper than the Google search ads we are used to, and they will ‘follow’ people around as they visit sites online, so you can stay top of mind.

5 Ways to Get the Most from Google Ads

So, we’ve talked about why Google Ads work for dental practices, let’s now talk about how to ensure that they are effective for your practice. By using these strategies, you’ll be able to maximize your ROI, and get the most from your Google Ads campaigns.

1. Choose the Right Keywords

Sounds obvious, right? But it isn’t always the case! Often, we see business owners simply let Google choose the keywords, which can be a huge mistake. 

Here are some things to consider when choosing the right keywords for your Google Ads campaigns.

  • Reconsider if your main keywords should be ‘cityname dentist’. Often that is too expensive, or too competitive, and isn’t worth it.
  • Target localized, long-tail (specific) keywords. These have less competition, they help you target your audience, and they tend to convert better than generalized keywords.
  • Use different ‘campaigns’ for each keyword group. For example, you might have one ad targeting keywords for dental hygiene, and another targeting cosmetic dentistry keywords. This allows you to create more effective ads, and send the traffic to better, more specific landing pages. It allows better and easier management of your campaigns.
  • Don’t forget negative keywords. What are negative keywords? These are the ones you don’t want to show up for. Think: free, medicaid, jobs, etc.

2. Use A Dedicated Landing Page

What is a landing page? It is a page you create on your site that has a specific purpose, to generate leads. 

One thing I see all too often is a dentist sending traffic to the homepage of their website for their Google Ads.

Why is this a problem? Think about it. 

If somebody clicks on an ad for dental implants for example, and they are sent to your homepage, they’ll be confused in most cases. There is so much information on a homepage, that they won’t know where to click, or what action they should take. They likely want more information on implants, so they can make up their mind on if they should call you. So, instead of your homepage, how about sending them to a specific page that you have created that is all about implants, and has little to no information about anything else? What is more likely to convert, the homepage, or a landing page like the below that we created for Christiansen Dental? The landing page!

Use a well designed, mobile friendly landing page that is specific to the campaign you are running, and your conversions will increase, your quality score will increase, and your cost per click will decrease. 

3. Optimize for Mobile

As of August 2022, mobile traffic sits around 60% of all web traffic. We see that as being pretty consistent with what we see for our dental client websites as well.

What does this mean for your PPC campaigns? A couple things. 

First, it means you need to have a campaign that is a ‘call only’ campaign. What is this? It is a campaign that just shows the ad and an option to call right from the ad, and doesn’t send people to a landing page. 

The second thing is your landing pages need to look, and operate as well on a mobile device as they do on a desktop. Don’t neglect mobile, or you will be losing conversions. People will simply click ‘back’ as opposed to having to try and figure out how to contact you through a page that isn’t mobile friendly.

4. Improve Your Google Ads Quality Score

Let’s first explain what the Quality Score (QS) is. 

Google uses a ‘Quality Score’ to determine your PPC cost per click (CPC) and ultimately your Ad rank, based on the keywords that appear on your landing page.  At the same time, Google has different metrics for how they rank pages in organic search. 

As I mentioned previously, having a good QS will get you more traffic, cheaper traffic, more conversions, and cheaper conversions.

A couple quick ways to improve your quality score:

  1. Make sure that you are sending traffic to relevant landing pages. If you have one landing page, and are sending all traffic to that, your QS will suffer.
  2. Ensure that the ads are specific to the keywords. In other words, don’t have limited ads, and send all traffic no matter what the keyword to that ad. If you are bidding on Invisalign, create an Invisalign ad, and send traffic to a landing page that is about Invisalign.

5. Track and Test Your Ad Campaign

We mentioned above how you can track your results with Google Ads, and how Google makes it fairly easy to do so. That said, if you are running your own Google Ads campaign, it can become more work than you anticipate. We work with dental practices each day to improve the results from their Google Ads campaigns. We’ve seen what works and what doesn’t. If you follow these steps we’ve provided, you’ll come out far ahead of those that are just winging it. 

If you need help with your Google Ads, let’s talk and determine if we are a good fit to work together. 


 Tyson Downs 1Tyson Downs, the owner of Titan Web Agency, has years of experience working with small businesses and helping them meet their revenue goals. Prior to starting Titan Web Agency, he freelanced in SEO and Web Design while working in the corporate world. Tyson is a graduate of Brigham Young University, the father of 5, and enjoys spending time with his family. Particularly on the baseball field.

 

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