Competing Against Other Dentists in the Google Ad Auction

Video Lecture

Lecture Text

We’re now going to discuss the Google Ads Ad auction.

As you’ve seen, Ads are prominently displayed in Google search results – both above and below the organic search results. Ads are labelled in a very subtle manner as being ads in the search results. See our Ultimate Guide to Dental Ads to see all the different ways you can advertise your practice.

It is the Google Ads Ad Auction that determines what order these ads appear in on the search engine results page when someone types in a term related to your dental services.

For more information see our Google Ads for Dentists page.

The Highest Bid Doesn’t Always Win in Google Ads

I need to point out that Google Ads is an auction but not your typical auction.

In a typical auction the highest bidder always wins. For example, if multiple people are submitting bids at a car auction, the highest bidder will always get the car.

That’s not how Google Ads works.

You do bid on keywords in Google Ads – and when a user’s search is related to your keyword, your ad may show. But there are many more factors that determine how you perform in the auction.

You Don’t “Win” the Auction, You Get More Clicks

You also can’t really “win” an Google Ads auction, but the better that you perform in the auction, the higher that your ad will appear on the search engine results page.

And, the higher your ad appears in the search engine results page, the more likely it is that a prospective patient will click on that ad, and call your office to set up an appointment.

Getting back to the auction. The Google Ads Ad auction takes all of the following into account

Your Keyword & Bid Factor Into the Ad Auction

As you can see, this is an actual screenshot from the Google Ads administrative interface showing a keyword and an associated bid for dental crowns


Your Landing Page Factors Into the Ad Auction

The auction also takes into account your landing page – which is the page that you send your searcher to after they click on your ad. Remember that this landing page should very closely match their search phrase and the ad they just clicked on.

Your Ad Factors Into the Ad Auction

Finally, you have control over your ad. Here’s a screenshot from the Google Ads Administration interface showing what an ad looks like.

So these are the factors that you can control. Your keyword, your bid, your landing page and your ad.

Google Ads Ad Auction Factors Outside of Your Control

The other relevant items in the Google Ads ad auction that you don’t have control over are:

  • The user’s search phrase
  • Your competitor’s ad campaign – which includes THEIR keywords, bids, landing pages and ads
  • And of course lets not forget the Google Ads Algorithm

Google takes all of these factors into consideration within their algorithm to determine where each dental office’s ad will appear on the search engine results page.

The more relevant your ad campaign is to the user’s search – and the better experience that you provide on your landing page, the more likely Google is to give you a bump up in the ad auction compared to your competitors.

So it is possible that you could be bidding much less for a keyword than your competitor and still appear higher up than them on the page.

Sample Ad Auction – Higher Bids Don’t Always Rank Higher

Here is a sample search engine results page illustrating what I mean. The ad auction isn’t all about how much you’re bidding. If you know what you’re doing with Google Ads, you can bid less for the same keywords as your competitors, and yet your ad will appear higher up in the ad auction.

So that covers the ad auction and the factors involved in getting your ad to appear in the search engine results page.

In the next section, I’ll be covering targeting options for Google Ads. Targeting options give you the ability to put your ads in front of the best possible prospects for your practice.


Google Ads Ad Auction


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