As a dental practice, you likely have a beautifully designed website and branding, complete with the best web practices, fully optimized for SEO, resulting in your practice's website on the first page of results for relevant searches. You also regularly post on different social media platforms and reach out to your patients for reviews. You think you've done everything but are still looking for new patients. How else can you bring in more new patients?
This is just one of the scenarios where you, as a dental practice owner, should consider taking advantage of online advertising, as part of your digital marketing strategy.
One of the most effective online advertising services is Google AdWords.On an average, there are 40,000 search queries on Google per second (3.5 billion per day on average). Then why not take advantage of such an opportunity to expand the online presence of your dental practice and the services you offer? Our statistics show an increase to the number of appointment requests for practices that have both good natural SEO placement AND AdWords campaigns (regardless of the source of the interaction). It's as if there's the perception that having both adds additional credibility while providing additional opportunity to show branding and messaging to the potential client.
When you are looking for something, what is the first thing you do?
Search on Google.
Therefore this approach extends and goes hand in hand with having a well designed, functional, responsive, and well optimized website.
Are you intimidated by the idea of Google Adwords because it sounds too complicated or involves too much money being spent on a monthly basis? Does it seem like a high risk strategy? Well, it doesn’t have to be, as we go in detail explaining what exactly is Google AdWords, how it works, its benefits, and if it is the right marketing strategy for your practice.
What is Google AdWords?When you do a Google search for almost anything, the first few results you may see could have a little "Ad" tag on the left, those are Google Ads. (Google used to place ads down the right hand side of the screen as well - but this newer practice streamlines all results and is more responsive to different screen sizes).
These ads are for businesses that pay for their ad to appear with natural results when people are searching for something similar to what they are selling. In short, paraphrasing Google's own explanation, "Adwords is an advertising tool that connects businesses with customers in a targeted, yet broad sphere".
How Does it Help?
- It supplements your organic SEO. Learn more about the difference between SEO and PPC here
- It helps you focus on a more targeted audience based on the devices they are using, their location, time of the day, and interactions on the web
- It gives you first page results (if you wish to pay for that placement)
- And the best part, due to Google's algorithm, it displays your ad to people who are at the point when they are looking/searching for something that your practice can offer, and therefore results in bigger benefits in terms of conversion - your ad bringing you more patients
- Remarketing - if a potential patient has already visited your website in the past 30 days, Adwords can show them your ad on millions of websites across the internet that they visit who are part of the Google Ad Program, reinforcing and reminding them to go through with the actions (conversions) you want
- It is trackable. Meaning, you can track how well your ad is doing, how many impressions, clicks, and conversions are resulting from your ads. It also allows you to make changes based on your results, in terms of changing your bids, budget, keywords, or target audience
How Does it Work?Let's simplify - It all starts with a query. When a person searches for something on Google, Google's algorithm searches through its ad pool to pick the best ads to display. If your ad is displayed, you pay depending on the cost model selected.
The best ads are determined by a few characteristics:
- Keywords → Starting with what you think is most relevant, Google Adwords advises you on similar, often used, and/or additional keywords and phrasing
- Bids → The maximum amount you are willing to pay for a person to click on your ad
- Ad Formats → Whether it is a simple text ad or includes rich media formats, or if ad extensions are enabled. For example, when creating an ad, Google AdWords gives you the option to include additional information like contact information, links to specific pages of your website, and other options, which are known as ad extensions.
- Expected CTR (Click-through rate)→ prediction of how often your ad will get clicked when shown for a keyword based on how well your ad has performed in the past for that particular keyword searched
- Landing Page Experience → When a person clicks on your ad, where are they directed to? Is the page relevant to their search query? Does it represent your business offering clearly? Is it easy to navigate? All these factors make the landing page experience a positive one and helps with increasing your ad's ranking in the ad pool
- Ad Relevance → How relevant is your ad to the search query? The keywords used in the content of your ad determine how relevant it is to the search query
There are also many different media cost models you can choose from to advertise your practice through AdWords based on your goals - whether you want more people to click your website, sign up for your newsletter, or take advantage of one of your seasonal promotions.
The most common model is PPC or pay per click. This means you pay each time someone clicks on your ad. This is good for when your goal is to increase your website traffic. There are other cost models too, like vCPM (viewable cost per thousand impressions, which is different from CPM where you pay every time the publisher serves your ad versus vCPM where you pay every time your ad is displayed on the screen for the viewer to come across), CPA (cost per acquisition) - meaning you pay every time there’s a conversion, or someone completes the desired action on your website like signing up for your newsletter, booking an appointment, or any other action you advertised.
Click the infographic to learn how different cost models benefit suggested goals.
Ultimately, the cost model you choose will depend upon your goals and objectives as well as certain particulars involving location/competition, type of service, and relative costs.
Is Google AdWords Right for My Dental Practice?
- Did you just open up a new practice and don't want to wait a few months for organic SEO, reviews, and other factors to help boost your website to the first page(s)search results?
- Is your practice in a competitive location?
- Do you want to promote your practice (or specific services) in areas farther out than your local area?
- Do you have special seasonal promotions?
- Do you want more people to learn more about your high end procedures like cosmetic dentistry?
- Do you have all the above covered but still want to try to increase your number of new patients each month for a reasonable cost per acquisition?
Are you still intimidated with the idea of using AdWords as your digital marketing strategy or don't know where to start from? There's no need to worry! Contact UpOnline and a representative will help you answer any questions you have about the process, and will be more than happy to set and manage your Google AdWords account for you. Learn more about our AdWords service here.