How To Increase New Patient Opportunities with an Optimized Google Ads Budget

Want to attract new patients?

Google Search Ads places your practice right at the top of the search results and allows you to bypass search engine rankings. The catch? It will cost you.

In this blog post, learn how to identify the perfect Google Ads budget for your practice.

How is Google Ads billed?


Unlike print or other traditional media advertising, Google Ads is not billed according to how often your ad is shown. Instead, it’s billed by how often your ad is clicked on. This payment structure is referred to as PPC (pay per click).

A PPC structure incentivizes Google to make sure your ad is shown to the right people. Since Google only gets paid when an ad is clicked on, they will always pick the ads with the highest likelihood of getting clicked.

How much that click costs depends on a number of factors (something we’ll go over shortly).

Choosing the right keywords

For every service you want to promote on Google Ads, you will bid on specific “keywords,” all of which will have a unique cost per click. To make matters more complicated, this cost per click is dynamic and changes based on the moment and the quality of the ad you want to show.

For instance, “clear braces” and “clear aligners” are 2 common keywords associated with Invisalign. While they both target patients looking for the same service, they will each have a different cost per click. This cost depends on how often patients are searching for these specific terms and how many other people are also looking to advertise for that specific keyword.


How do you set a Google Ads budget?

You will have to set an average Google Ads daily budget for specific campaigns. This daily Google Ads budget will be what is spent on average for that campaign every day.

This amount is an average, and amount spent per-day may go up to 2X the budget, but throughout the month the budget will not exceed that daily average.

Keep in mind, just because you set a budget that does not guarantee that that budget will be met. This can happen when…

  • Your target location is too small for your average daily budget
  • There is not enough search volume for the keyword your campaign is built around
  • Your ad copy is not high enough quality, which reduces how often your ad is shown

When it comes to Google Ad Copy, quality matters

For every keyword and campaign in your Google Ads account, you will provide the ad copy.

When submitted, this copy will be graded by Google based on how likely someone will be to click on it. This grade is called a quality score. Since Google only gets paid when an ad is clicked, they will always choose to show an ad with a higher quality score. A low quality score can lead to average daily budgets not being met and ineffective Google Ads campaigns.

So just how much do you need to spend on a Google Ads budget?

Given the complexity of Google Ads and the different situations many practices are faced with, there is no set amount that you should be spending on Google Ads.

Much like any other expense you have for your practice, the amount is going to be dynamic based on a number of factors.


How big of a market are you located in?

Depending on where your practice is located and the market area your patients come from, your Google Ads budget will vary greatly. The main reason for this? Competition. Larger cities may have more people, but they also have many more dental practices vying for those patients. Because of this, the competition for ad space can be fierce.

Google Ads operates much like any other market — as more practices are trying to have their ad show for a specific search result, the cost of the ad goes up. When this happens, a higher average daily budget is needed to achieve the results you’re looking for.

Inversely, in smaller cities there are generally fewer practices competing for the same search terms. There are also less people searching for the terms, so the same Google Ads budget will provide more clicks. In these smaller cities, a smaller budget will be all that’s necessary to get the needed level of exposure.

Keep in mind that new patients are going to be more interested in your practice if they live close by. This is particularly true in larger cities. As such, if you are in a large city, focusing on a smaller radius with your Google Ads can increase your conversion rate, as the only people seeing the ad will actually live close to the practice.

While rural areas will always have a larger market area, be cognizant of the radius of where your ads are being shown. Only advertise in an area if it’s realistic for a patient to travel to you from it.

Average monthly searches and bid prices for “orthodontist” in 4 different US cities

City Average Monthly Searches Bid Low Range Bid High Range
Sante Fe, NM 110 $2.57 $5.00
Los Angeles, CA 4,400 $4.49 $12.46
Topeka, KS 140 $2.41 $6.50
Portland, OR 880 $3.00 $8.71
Boston, MA 6,600 $4.00 $12.46

As you can see, the amount people are searching for particular keywords plays a big role in the cost per click. As cities get bigger, prices for important keywords generally go up.

What services are you hoping to promote?

Depending on search volume and competition, different keywords will have different costs.

Generally speaking, services that are high-cost procedures, such as Invisalign and dental implants, will have a higher cost-per-click. While many of the keywords associated with these services don’t have a ton of search volume, given the value of each of these new patient opportunities, practices are willing to spend more to get their ads in front of patients.

For practices looking to bid on broader terms, a smaller budget will suffice. For practices looking to bid on multiple high-cost services, as well as some broader search terms such as “dental cleanings,” a much higher budget will be needed to achieve your goals.

How many new patients do you want?

Everyone has different goals for their practice. While some practices are looking to achieve a high level of growth, some are looking to keep growth steady or push a single new service offering.

For those looking to double new patient opportunities in a short period of time, it’s going to cost you a high daily average budget. If you’re simply trying to get a better ROI out of your advertising budget and keep growth consistent, a smaller, measured budget can be sufficient.

So what does this mean for your practice?

There are a couple of key takeaways:

  • If your practice is located in a big city with lots of practices competing for patients, a higher Google Ads budget is necessary. If you live in a small town or region, you will not have to pay as much.
  • If you’re looking to advertise multiple high-cost services, you’ll need a higher budget. If you just want to advertise more basic general services, a lower budget will be needed.
  • If you’re looking for high patient growth, a high budget will be needed. For lower growth, a lower budget will work.

Get the most bang for your buck with a well organized Google Ads account

While how much you spend will be based on your practice’s specific situation, how to get the most value out of your Google Ads budget is the same for most practices. While everyone bids on the same keywords, the strategies you use can greatly increase the clicks you get, the cost you pay per click, and the ROI of your Google Ads budget.

Learn about our top dental PPC strategies. Some of our top strategies include:

  • An organized ad account
  • Using the right keywords
  • Effective ad copy that increases your ad quality score
  • High-impact landing pages that are designed to convert 
  • Tracking results

Delmain can help optimize your budget

At Delmain, we’ve spent years zeroing in on how to run an effective dental ads ppc campaign. We work with dentists to identify what they need to spend on their Google Ads budget.

We have the expertise to make sure that the money you do spend is put into campaigns that will get results.

Learn more about how and why we track results and learn some dental ad ideas for dentists.

Get these 5 things right and your website will 2X NP bookings.


Get these 5 things right and your website will 2X NP bookings.

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