Dental PPC Strategies: How to Improve Your Google Ads
Organic search engine optimization will only get you so far. To attract new patients and grow your practice, you need to take an holistic approach to your digital marketing — that includes PPC for dentists.
Quick refresher — What is PPC?
Pay-per-click (PPC) is a type of online advertising where you pay a fee each time one of your ads is clicked. With this strategy, you’re purchasing visits to your site, rather than earning them organically. Compare this to other forms of online ads where you pay per impression — that is, how many times your ads are viewed.
Search engine advertising (like Google Ads for dentists) is the most popular form of PPC.
A PPC campaign is a powerful marketing tool, but it requires a strategic approach and a whole lot of know-how. Learn how to maximize the effectiveness of your Google Ads and get the best return on investment.
1. Lean into what sets you apart (What’s your USP?)
Identifying your unique selling proposition (USP) is an often overlooked aspect of setting up a PPC campaign. Your dental ads need to attract patients — but to do that, you first need to identify what makes your practice appealing.
Think about what differentiates your practice from competitors. What value do you provide? What sets you apart? These benefits should inform your ad copy and messaging.
As an example, here’s a list of some important selling propositions we identified for one of our dental clients:
- 150+ 5-Star Reviews
- Weekend & Evening Appointments
- No Insurance. No Problem
- Same-Day Appointments
- Se Habla Español
- 20% Off With Membership
- $69 New Patient Special
2. Keep your ad account organized
A well-organized Google Ads campaign is critical. We can’t stress this enough. An organized account leads to:
- Less time spent managing your account
- Better tracking and reporting of results
- Low-risk, high-reward experimental campaigns
- Lower cost-per-click bids
A good place to start is with these 4 specific areas of your account:
1. Campaign type — Separate search and display campaign types for easier management.
2. Networks — Experiment by including Search Partners. We’ve seen this work very well for certain campaigns like dental implants, but underperform for others. You’ll need to test and see what works for you. Kick off a campaign that enables this feature but make sure to come back to compare the data between Google Search and the Search Partners Network. You can do this by using the Segment > Network (with search partners) filter.
3. Device options — Test campaigns to see which devices (desktop, mobile, tablet) perform best and adjust accordingly.
4. Bid strategy — Automated bid strategies can drastically cut down on the management time required in Google Ads and often return the best results. However, you’ll need to configure your account and campaigns correctly for this algorithm to efficiently optimize your campaigns. If you’re new to Google Ads, utilize the Enhanced Bidding (eCPC) strategy. Enhanced bidding will slightly automate your set bids to bid up on keywords more likely to convert and bid down on keywords less likely to convert.
3. Target the right keywords
We could spend this entire post on the topic of keyword research alone — we’ve definitely spent some time talking about it already! For now, we’ll focus on 2 important keyword tips:
- Test location based keywords
- Test localized niche keywords
Location based keywords
Especially in recent years, the growing popularity of location-based searches in Google has grown. For example, someone in Phoenix looking for a dentist might search:
- Dentist in Phoenix
- Phoenix dentist
- Dentist near me
Running campaigns for these general location-based keywords should be a staple for your PPC strategy.
Localized niche keywords
More specific keyword search phrases usually don’t have the same kind of search volume as a location-based keyword. But this can be a benefit:
- Less competition
- Lower cost-per-click
- Better return on investment (especially for high-value services)
Niche keywords might include phrases like “dental implant dentist in Phoenix” or “professional teeth whitening near me”.
2 more keyword tips:
1. Organize keywords into different ad groups for different ads. For example: You might have one ad targeting keywords for dental cleaning and another focused on a group of cosmetic dentistry keywords like teeth whitening, veneers, and smile makeovers).
2. Identify negative keywords to eliminate irrelevant search terms, better target your audience, and get better results.
Read our beginner’s guide to finding the keywords you need to rank for.
4. Use ad extensions to maximize characterize limits
PPC ads have a short character limit. You’ll need to brush up on your copywriting skills, get creative, and communicate your value with as few words as possible. Thankfully, Google offers a little trick to help make this easier — ad extensions.
Google allows you to extend the length of your ad with relevant and valuable information. Some of these extension options include:
- Phone number
- Address (linked to Google Maps)
- Links to specific pages below your ad
- Google reviews rating
- Special offers callouts
5. Optimize your ad for phone calls
Here’s the thing — ad clicks cost you money. Phone calls are free.
While it’s important to drive leads to your website, you can boost your ROI if someone sees your ad and calls your number without ever clicking. Make it easy for someone to take this route if they choose. Here’s how:
- Make sure your phone number is featured in all of your ads.
- Run your Call Extensions only when your office is open. You don’t want to direct someone to call when no one is there to talk to them. This could lead to them going back, clicking on the ad, and contacting you online. Or worse, calling a different dentist.
- Use a dynamic call tracking program that allows you to connect the dots between a phone call and a specific adwords campaign. You can also utilize the free Google Forward number feature (available in most countries) and track calls when someone lands on your website. This will require additional code to function correctly.
6. Create effective landing pages
For every ad, create a website landing page specifically designed for that ad.
The job of an ad is to get someone to click. But your job’s not over — you still need to get the conversion. Whether it’s calling you, submitting a contact form, or scheduling an appointment online, your landing page should help make that conversion easier.
You definitely want to avoid your user thinking…
- They are on wrong page and clicking the back button
- Your ad was a scam
- Your practice is unprofessional
Avoid all this by making sure the transition from ad to landing page is smooth and makes sense.
For example, if you’re advertising a teeth cleaning, lead the user to a page that describes your teeth cleaning services. If you’re advertising a new patient special, the landing page should provide more information about the special and how to take advantage.
7. Always be testing, tracking, and adapting
Testing is a key part of creating an effective PPC dental ad strategy. You need to identify your key performance indicators for your ads, track results, and make adjustments along the way.
You should be tracking:
- Number of clicks
- Did those clicks result in a conversion?
- Cost per click
- Form submissions
- Driving directions
- Phone calls
- Keyword rankings
There’s a lot to look at and analyze. But doing so and connecting the dots is important to make sure your PPC efforts are paying off.
Don’t waste your time and money on ineffective PPC campaigns
PPC for dentists isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it marketing strategy. If you don’t have the ability to focus on this side of your business — including testing and tracking results — we recommend partnering with someone who does.
And as it happens, we can help you with that.
Delmain specializes in creating successful PPC campaigns for dentists around the country. Our proven strategies are designed to attract new patients who are the perfect fit for your practice — all while keeping your cost-per-click low and ROI high.
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