GOOGLE ADS FOR DENTISTS
Your Best Bet for New Dental Patients
Google’s total revenue in 2018 was $136 Billion – mostly from online advertising.
Note: Google AdWords was recently rebranded as "Google Ads". It is the same advertsing platform.
Google search ads are the most powerful Internet Marketing tool you can use to bring new patients into your practice.
“But no one clicks on ads. I know I don't.”
Actually, we all click on Google Ads - many times without realizing that we're doing it! It is nearly impossible not to.
The ads Google shows for searches are extremely relevant. Additionally, Google has blurred the line between ads and regular search results so it is extremely difficult to tell the difference between them
Regular (organic) search results appear below the ads. SEO techniques are used to appear on this lower part of the search engine results page, and are still a worthwhile endeavor for generating patient leads. However, it is wise to start out using PPC with Google Ads to get quick results while also working on SEO - which can take months to achieve results.
You (and most everyone else) click on Google ads because the ads provide the answer for your search.
Google made $136 Billion in 2018 because their ads are profitable for their advertisers.
Google Ads for Dentists is probably the most important lesson within
How a Dentist Gets Patients with Google Ads (formerly "Adwords")
An example of how a search leads to a dental appointment is shown below:
Step 1: Search
A patient that you can help goes to Google and searches for a solution to their dental problem.
Step 2: Your Ad Shows
At that exact moment that they complete their search, a text ad for your practice appears in the search results.
Step 3: Phone Call
The patient reads then clicks your ad and realizes you can solve their dental problem. They call for an appointment.
People Actually Want to See Ads in Google
Get People What They Want – Without Interrupting Them.
Google search ad campaigns are far superior to traditional forms of advertising – like radio and tv – because you’re getting your message in front of your future patient at the exact moment they’re searching for services that you offer.
It is RUDE to Interrupt. Imagine this...
Picture yourself at the movies getting ready to enjoy yet another superhero action movie set in the Marvel Universe (because Hollywood can’t seem to come up with anything original).
I’m not judging – you like what you like.
Back to the movies... you have your popcorn ready, the previews have ended, and the movie starts.
Then some loudmouth bozo starts talking on his phone right as the movie starts!
This “loudmouth bozo” is traditional advertising – like radio and tv ads.
Traditional advertising interrupts you from what you’re trying to do. Maybe you're watching cheese-rolling or mountain unicycling on tv (both are real - Google them). Or maybe you're listening to curling on the radio (again no judgment) when sudenly someone pipes in, interrupts your program and tries to sell you something you're not interested in.
Don’t Interrupt – Give Your Future Patients What They Want Right When They Search for It
With Google search ads, you’re providing the solution right when your prospective patient needs it.
They need a dentist. So they search for services your dental practice provides – your ad shows, and they call you to set up an appointment.
They are searching for a solution to their problem – and you provide it to them.
Anatomy of a Google Dental Ad
When you advertise on Google's ad platform, you will create dental advertisements that have a structure like what is shown below:
Google Dental Ads Examples
If a prospect is searching for dental implants in Cleveland - your ad can talk about your Cleveland office’s dental implant services.
If they’re looking for teeth straightening in Schenectady, you can talk about your Invisalign or ClearCorrect services and the great results your patients have had.
After your ad is clicked, you'll send them to the most relevant page. If your ad is about implants it will send them to your implants page. If your ad is about clear aligners, they'll arrive at the clear aligners page on your website.
Having an ad and landing page that closely match the patient search and combining that with a fantastic offer will usually result in more leads.
Getting Profitable Patients using Pay Per Click (PPC)
Let’s look at a typical search engine results page.
Here you can see that someone has searched for dental crowns in Colorado Springs, CO. They're looking for a nearby dentist who can fix their dental issue.
And you can see the results that Google provides on the search engine results page (SERP).
The user enters their search terms A . Google shows multiple ads B at the top of the search engine results - in fact, ads DOMINATE the search results for most dental related searches. You have to scroll way down on the page to see results that aren’t ads C .
Each of the dental practices that are running ads are trying to encourage the user to click on their specific ad. You’ll notice that many of the advertisers focus on these key ingredients in their ad copy:
Alright, great - so then what.... What happens when my ad gets clicked?
Two things happen:
- Google gets paid (more on this in a minute)
- The visitor is taken to your landing page
A landing page is a page on your website that specifically talks about the services that you offer that they were searching for. You can have different landing pages for each service that you offer.
We do a deep dive on landing pages in a later chapter.
Every time a searcher clicks on your ad, Google charges your practice. This is pay per click (ppc) advertising. The goal is to make sure that the revenue that you receive from your ad campaigns outweighs the cost of your ad clicks.
Makes sense, right? Pay X dollars on ads, and receive 2X, 3X, 4X (or more) over the lifetime value of the patients that you’re bringing into your practice.
You get charged a cost per click (cpc) every time someone clicks on your ad.
Ok… so just how much is a cpc?
CPC for ad campaigns can range from around $1 cpc for less competitive keywords up to $50 cpc or more for higher end keywords - like dental services in competitive urban markets.
Of course click cost is important, but you absolutely can’t look at click cost in isolation. Your return on your ad investment is the key factor - as shown below.
Focus on Return on Investment
|Ad Campaign A||Ad Campaign B|
(% of Clicks who Become Patients)
Total Dollar Revenue / Patient (After Overhead)
With Ad Campaign A:
($1,000 * 100 clicks * .15 Conversion Rate)
Total Ad Costs = $5,000
(100 * $50 = $5,000)
Ad Campaign Net = $10,000
($15,000 – $5,000)
With Ad Campaign B:
($100 * 100 clicks * .05 Conversion Rate)
Total Ad Costs = $600
(100 * $6 = $600)
Ad Campaign Net = -$100
($500 – $600)
PPC and Ad Position: Bidding on Keywords
Google Ads is kind of like an auction. You end up bidding on “keywords” that are similar to what the user is searching for.
According to Google, Keywords are:
“Words or phrases describing your product or service that you choose to help determine when and where your ad can appear.”
Each of the dental practices that are running ads are trying to encourage the user to click on their specific ad. You'll notice that many of the advertisers focus on these key ingredients in their ad copy:
While your bid amount matters, it isn’t the only factor in determining where your ad appears in the search results. The highest bidder may appear towards the bottom of the ads - or not even appear at all.
So, My Ad Should Be at the Top of the Page for Best Results, Right?
But again, it is about getting the best return on your marketing dollars.
If you’re only focused on your ad being in the top spot all the time – you’re focused on the wrong thing.
Having your ad on top of the search results can sometimes be beneficial. It will obviously get noticed more. But there’s also a chance that you’ll get a lot of clicks that you don’t want when your ad is at the top of the results. You’re prominently featured and can get a lot of impulsive people who click on your ad without even reading it – just because you’re on top.
Sometimes you can get a lower price per click (and a better return on your ad budget) by being a bit further down in the ads. You don’t always have to be in the top spot to have success.
Google Ads Targeting
You get an incredible amount of control with Google Ads in determining who will see your ad and who won’t be able to see your ad. A brief primer is provided in this chapter.
The power of targeting is amazing. You can:
You can even exclude members of your community who wouldn’t be a good fit for your dental practice – and they’ll never even see your ad.
Targeting options allow your budget to go much further by showing your ads to only those patients who are a good fit – and greatly reducing the chances that a person who isn’t a good fit will ever see it.
Geographical Targeting in Google Ads (Geo Targeting)
You can even exclude locations near your office. As an example, if you’re running a dental implant campaign, you can target a radius around your practice and then exclude zip codes that are predominantly young families and college students.
This is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.
With Google Ads you can schedule when you want to run your advertising.
As a dentist, you only want to run ads when someone in your practice is available to properly handle incoming phone calls.
Most dental clicks are of an urgent nature, and if your office is closed, the person will just keep searching and calling dental offices until someone properly picks up the phone and helps meet their needs.
Running ads outside of your normal business hours is almost always a big mistake and a waste of your budget.
Device Bidding Adjustments
You can also bid differently on your keywords depending on what device the user is conducting their search from.
You’ll want to experiment with bidding a bit more on smartphones than you do on desktops. In my experience, tablets are the least effective device at generating new patients, so you’ll want to bid even less on tablet devices.
The obvious benefit of getting smart phone clicks is that they can easily call you immediately as they conduct the search.
Google Ads has budgetary controls which will help you to ensure that you stay within your budget.
You set a daily budget – while on any given day that budget can be exceeded – your daily budget on average for the month won’t be exceeded.
For example, in a 30 day month, if you have a $10 daily budget, your total monthly ad spend won’t exceed $300 – but on any given day you could be spending as much as $20 on ads.
While this sounds a little quirky – and it is – the point is that with Google Ads budgeting there won’t be any runaway spending. You won’t exceed the budget that you’ve established for the month.
You can target on age, gender and household income.
Seemingly, women seem to make most of the dental appointments for the family. Cosmetic dentistry would also do best in areas where household income is high.
Monitor your demographic data and you can adjust your bids accordingly to target your best patients.
Be sure to take advantage of Negative keywords.
Negative keywords help to prevent your ads from ever showing to bad prospects.
For example, if someone searches for “free dental services in Phoenix” you don’t want your ad to appear. You would be paying money for someone to click on your ad who isn’t willing to pay you for your services.
In this case “free” would be a negative keyword.
You also don’t want your ad to show for other dentists in your area.
You’re not going to convert their patients into your patients.
When someone searches for “Dr Smith Salt Lake City” – they probably already have a relationship with Dr Smith’s dental office and are looking for their phone number to figure out an insurance issue or set up an appointment. They’re not actively looking to change dentists.
So, it is a smart idea to make the last names and practice names of dentists in your area negative keywords.
Google Ads Video Lesson
PPC Client Management for Dentists
PPC with Google Ads can be extremely complex. If you’re interested in learning about having our team help with the management of your paid search campaigns, contact us using this form.