Google AdWords for dentists
Here's how dentists can use Google AdWords for generating new patients and marketing their dental services.
Google AdWords provides a powerful tool for dental practices looking to attract new patients. Google runs the biggest search engine in the world, and AdWords can drive a huge volume of traffic to a dental website. Visitors will land on your site at the exact time they are interested in the dental services you offer.
In an AdWords promotion, you bid on keyword phrases and only pay when a patient clicks on your advertisement and is directed to your website. Results from an AdWords campaign can be instantaneous. If you have the resources to outbid the competition, your ads will immediately appear in top positions in Google search results. According to the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO), the authoritative non-profit educational resource on search engine marketing (SEM), AdWords is so effective because it delivers the specific information that a person is searching for at their "moment of need." (1)
Google AdWords plays a major role in the success of thousands of small- and medium-sized enterprises like dental offices. Key benefits of the system include:
- Speed—SEO (search engine optimization) can take weeks or months to become productive. AdWords produces immediate results.
- Customization—AdWords enables you to tailor your promotion to fit the particular needs of your dental practice.
- Targeting—AdWords engages with potential patients at the exact time they are in the frame of mind to join your practice as a new patient.
- Measurability—With AdWords tools, you can gauge how well your promotion is performing. This allows you to make adjustments to fix any glitches.
However, AdWords can be a difficult system to master for the uninitiated, and if your campaign isn’t effectively optimized, you’ll pay a lot more than necessary in cost-per-click (CPC) fees. Without some experience in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising with AdWords, you can end up throwing away money as opposed to seeing a sound return on your dental paid-search investment. So, here we’ll look at some strategies for a strong AdWords campaign.
Finding the right keywords is vital
Keyword selection is critical with AdWords if you want to see your dental practice at the top of Google search engine results pages (SERPs). Choosing keywords appropriate for your practice may seem a simple matter, but failure to get it right can prove costly.
A successful AdWords campaign calls for extensive keyword investigation to produce a marketing plan that will keep your cost-per-click fees to a minimum while ensuring high visibility among your potential new patients. The best AdWords strategy will strike a balance between high-volume keywords and less costly, low-volume keywords to achieve optimum return on investment.
You want keywords that help you to stand out from the crowd while not being so obscure to the extent that few people are likely search for the term. For example, if your practice is based in Austin, Texas, and offers services for people suffering with sleep apnea, using a keyword term like “oral sleep appliances in Austin” will reach a bigger audience than “mandibular advancement devices in Austin.” You can see for yourself by typing these terms into Google and comparing the number of results the search engine returns for each phrase.
When getting started with AdWords, it’s important to bear in mind that while there are keywords you want to use, there are also those you don’t. These are known as negative keywords. (2) Setting the right negative keywords for your AdWords promotion can save you money by avoiding getting clicks on your ad from people not interested in your dental services. For instance, if you are an orthodontist you don’t want to show up for a Google search for “Ankle Braces”, so in this instance your negative keyword would be "ankle."
Longer, individualized keywords get fewer hits than short keywords but target your prospective patients more effectively. Generally, there’s also less bidding on long-tail keywords, so they’re less expensive.
The Google AdWords' Keyword Planner is a handy tool for generating keyword ideas, determining those to avoid, and getting a feel for what your competitors are doing.
An AdWords campaign requires ongoing fine-tuning
AdWords can be a cost-effective way of driving traffic to your website because you only pay when someone actually arrives on your site, and you can spend as much or as little as you like.
With AdWords, though, once you’ve set up your promotion, you can’t just sit back and relax. To get the best results, you need to constantly fine-tune the marketing campaign. Maintaining an effective AdWords operation is a complex and time-consuming operation, and this is why many busy dental offices turn to professional dental AdWords management agencies.
Google AdWords offers four platforms:
- Search ads—Your ads are shown prominently when potential patients are searching for the type of dental services you provide.
- Display ads—You can connect with a wider audience by featuring on the web and in aps on different devices.
- App ads—Your app is promoted to Android and Apple iOS mobile-device users.
- Video ads—These are displayed only to people interested in what your dental office has to offer.
One potential pitfall when getting started with Google AdWords is the temptation to go for a default ad with AdWords Express. This version is designed for local businesses like dental offices and ostensibly offers a quick and easy solution. However, you won’t be able to customize your ad precisely to target the prospective patients you want to reach.
Many AdWords specialists believe that Google Search Ads is the best platform for small businesses like dental offices to get top value from search engine marketing, particularly if it’s linked with organic search engine optimization. To reach a broader audience, Search Ads can be opted in to the Google Display Ads network. This tactic connects you with people as they use Google’s search engine and then visit different sites across the web. The process works mainly by presenting your ads on the Search system, and then showing them on the Display network if your remaining budget is sufficient.
Maximizing an AdWords promotion
The effectiveness of an AdWords campaign can be maximized by combining other search marketing techniques, including off-page and on-page optimization of your website. This will improve your AdWords Quality Score and Ad Rank, which helps you to get better cost-per-click exposure.
You also need to consider the website content where your ad leads. If your site contains quality material appropriate for the search term, Google will rank your ads above those of your AdWords rivals with content that’s poor quality.
Take these tips and discover how Google AdWords can be a powerful tool for acquiring new patients and marketing your dental services!
1. 6 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Google AdWords. SEMPO. https://blog.sempo.org/2016/06/6-reasons-why-you-should-be-using-google-adwords-in-2016/. Published June 7, 2016. Accessed March 1, 2018.
2. About Negative Keywords. Google AdWords. https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2453972. Accessed March 1, 2018.
John Marks is the Chief Operations Officer for DentalROI, a digital dental marketing company with more than 20 years’ experience in creating custom dental websites. He is a pioneer when it comes to custom marketing (including Facebook) and dental websites. For more information, email him at email@example.com or visit dentalroi.com.
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Editor's note: This article first appeared in the Apex360 e-newsletter. Apex360 is a DentistryIQ partner publication for dental practitioners and members of the dental industry. Its goal is to provide timely dental information and present it in meaningful context, empowering those in the dental space to make better business decisions.
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