Are you ready to make the top search engine in the world work for you?
A Google Ads campaign can get you there.
Yet, before you invest in one, it’s smart to do a little strategic planning, first. Mainly, you want to make sure that the investment you’re putting into the effort will yield the returns you expect and deserve.
When it comes to dental marketing, Google is one of the most efficient and effective ways to build your following, grow your brand recognition and direct as much local foot traffic as possible to your office. However, it isn’t free.
Join me today as I explore how much you can expect to pay for your Google Ads campaign and where that money is going.
Is Google Ads Worth It For Dentists?
First, let’s address a common question.
As a dental professional, do you really need to invest in a Google Ads campaign? The short answer is yes.
Compared to other digital marketing tactics, this is one that delivers an impressive and undeniable return on investment (ROI). For a minimal cost, you can get your message in front of a global audience, accessing audiences that you’d be hard-pressed to reach by any other means.
The best way to make sure you’re reaping all of the benefits of advertising on Google? Rather than taking a DIY approach or trusting your already-stressed in-house team to take the reins, it’s best to let a seasoned professional guide you along this journey.
Though you’ll pay to receive this hands-on support, the end result is more than worth it.
While online advertising is a productive outreach approach, it’s also tricky. Unless you know exactly what you’re doing, it’s easy to overspend your budget, spin your wheels and waste your time. Then, at the end of the campaign, you realize the results are nowhere near your projections.
When you team with a qualified Google Ads consultant, your account is always in capable hands. You’ll never have to wonder if your messages are optimized, your SEO game is strong, or your visibility is high. Not sure how to choose an experienced ad agency? I’ve got you covered.
Campaign Fees to Consider
When you run a Google Ad campaign in partnership with a professional agency, you’ll have two fee categories to consider:
- Fees paid to the agency for Google Ads management
- Credit paid to Google
All of these costs will factor into the expenses that you’ll incur over the duration of your Google Ads campaign. You’ll need to understand them clearly to measure your ROI.
Next, let’s take a look at both of those in greater detail.
Agency Fees for Google Ads Management
When you team with a Google Ads agency, you aren’t just paying for someone to direct you on a few key points. Rather, this team is responsible for getting your campaign off the ground and making sure it soars.
A few of the tasks they’ll take care of include:
- Keyword research
- Competitor analysis
- Google Ads account setup (for new accounts)
- Google Ads account audit (for existing accounts)
- Campaign launch
- Ongoing campaign management
- Monthly reporting
Imagine the costs you’d amass by trying to handle all of these responsibilities on your own. Even if you’re able to find internal employees willing to take on the challenge, you’d pull them away from their own job duties. Over time, the productivity losses alone would be enough to put your campaign in the red.
The agency you partner with will have its own fee structure for the above tasks and any other services provided. Make sure you understand them fully before signing on the dotted line. I’ll explain different pricing models below, so keep reading.
Credit Paid to Google
In addition to the management fees required to run your Google Ads campaign, you’ll also pay a credit to Google to get your advertisements where you want them.
In short, Google works as an auction system. This means you’ll place a bid to determine where your ad ends up, rather than paying set ad prices. Rather, the level of competition surrounding your industry, location, keywords and more will dictate what you pay. As expected, higher competition equals higher prices.
However, bidding higher prices doesn’t always mean you’re going to win. That’s why it pays to be strategic.
Think about it: Do you want to bid on the most competitive and expensive keywords and wind up losing out to competitors with deeper pockets? Or, should you go after the cheaper terms that no one’s fighting over?
If you can put your ad in front of more local eyes by going the latter route, that’s your best bet. Remember, at the end of the day, your cost-per-click metric isn’t the one that matters. What’s important is your cost-per-conversion.
That said, think about the keywords that will translate directly into foot traffic.
You could go choose words that advertise the full spectrum of your office, or you could ones that relate to specific services you offer. While there’s no right or wrong answer, keep in mind that to explain everything your office does, you’ll likely need to bid on multiple keywords. You’ll also need to create custom campaigns for each service, which can add up quickly.
Want a real-world example? Let’s take a look at three common scenarios:
- Scenario 1: A dentist targeting emergency dental patients only
- Scenario 2: A dentist targeting implant patients only
- Scenario 3: A dentist pushing the full breadth of his services in the local marketplace
Will all of these dentists have the same advertising budget? Of course not!
Each one will require a different budget to advertise his services to patients in the local area. The main difference? The dentists in Scenarios 1 and 2 might only require a budget of around 300€ to 500€ per month if they were truly only interested in targeting those demographics.
However, the dentist in Scenario 3 will require a much larger budget of around 1,500€ to 5,000€ per month to advertise widely enough to encompass all of the services that his team provides.
Another factor that plays into your costs to Google is the location of your ad.
If you’re willing to display it at the very bottom of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), your ad will be relatively inexpensive due to the limited visibility. On the other hand, if you want it highlighted at the very top in those first three or four coveted spots, you’ll pay more for that exposure.
Understanding Google Ad Agency Pricing Models
Now that I’ve described what you can expect to pay to a Google Ad agency, along with how the Google Ads pricing model works, let’s break the first category down into greater detail.
What kind of pricing models can you expect from an online advertising agency?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a standard industry pricing sheet that dictates what each agency must charge. Instead, you can expect the agency that you partner with to organize its fee structure in one of four ways:
- Percent of ad spend
Let’s take a closer look at how each of these structures works.
Percent of Ad Spend
Let’s get one thing straight. If an agency offers to work with you on a percentage of ad spend basis, run.
At first, the setup sounds ideal. With this kind of structure, you’ll pay the agency a pre-determined percentage of your spend on the ads that it’s tasked with managing. What could go wrong?
The short answer? They could be terrible at what they do, and you’re stuck paying for it regardless. Then, as the agency spends more and more of your marketing budget, it rakes in the dough while you’re left watching all of your hard-earned resources go down the drain.
In your research, don’t be alarmed to see that many ad agencies operate this way. Yet, just because it’s popular doesn’t mean it’s effective, or even ethical.
Fixed-fee pricing models are the second most common fee structures among PPC and Google Ads agencies. With this approach, you’ll pay the agency a set fee at the beginning of the campaign for all the tasks required within it.
Why is this such a popular tactic?
For one, it’s easy to understand. It’s also easier to plan. When there is only one figure involved, you eliminate much of the guesswork and advanced calculations that define other pricing models.
The only problem?
It leaves too much room for manipulation.
As long as they have a client under contract, the agency can claim that fixed fee, regardless of whether or not the campaign achieves any actual results. That’s a steady stream of income that they can rely on, whether they work diligently or sit on their laurels.
Of course, a professional and experienced ad agency would never take advantage of the system that way. However, there are plenty of underhanded scammers only out to get a quick buck, who would think nothing of tanking your efforts and draining your budget along the way.
Now, you’re beginning to separate the amateur ad agencies from the professional ones.
The latter are willing to put their money where their mouths are, promising tangible results before asking for payment.
Milestone-based pricing works as its name implies.
With this approach, the agency will typically work on a fixed-fee monthly payment schedule. The only difference? It’s tied to a specific performance level. For instance, you might pay a base fee of 350€, regardless of results. Then, if the campaign brings in 10 leads, you’ll bump it 400€. From there, 20 leads could equal 450€, 30 leads could equal 500€, and so on.
This kind of setup rewards the agency for a stellar performance, thereby encouraging their team to work hard for yours. The agency can then afford to spend more hours on your account, as they’re receiving a direct payoff for their premium performance.
How does this benefit you?
While you’ll pay the minimum fixed fee, you can rest assured that the agency will work to increase that payment as much as possible, bringing in more leads along the way. In that way, the leads become a shared interest that both parties pursue.
Finally, let’s talk about performance-based pricing.
This type of pricing model revolves purely around performance. In other words, you only pay if you see results.
While it’s ideal for the client, it’s riskier for the agency. They won’t make a single cent if your campaign fails to produce the leads you expect.
As such, you won’t find many that are willing to work this way. In fact, most are ready with a laundry list of reasons why they can’t guarantee you a certain lead volume, citing the myriad factors that are out of their control.
Remember those underhanded agencies that are all too willing to take your money, even if it means swindling you along the way? You won’t find them here! If they have even the slightest doubt about their work abilities, they’ll run for the hills when you mention this type of payment structure.
That’s how I’m different.
As an experienced Google Ads agent for dentists, I understand the importance of campaign performance. That’s why I’m willing to work on a purely performance-based model. Along with other top-tier agencies, mine is capable of assuming this major risk because I’m confident that I can bring qualified, actionable clients right to your office doorstep.
After all, isn’t this the reason that you’re interested in hiring a dental marketing agency to help you with your Google Ads campaign in the first place?
While almost no agency is willing to receive payment based solely on the clients that it leads to its customer, I’m ready to go against the grain. That’s why I only provide two pricing models for clients:
- Milestone-based pricing
- Performance-based pricing
That’s it. No hidden fees, no shady systems, and no sneaky ploys. I only want to be paid for work I’ve earned, not for just doing my basic duty and going through the motions.
Average Rates for Experienced Google Ads Professionals
Now, let’s review what you can expect to pay when you team up with an experienced Google Ads professional.
According to industry research, the hourly rates for a PPC agent or consultant, including a Google Ads professional, are as follows:
- Worldwide: $100
- United Kingdom: $51-$150/hour
- USA: $101-$150/hour
The average cost for a Google Ads professional worldwide is between $101 and $150.
At Profitable Dentistry, you can expect to pay £80/ 90€/$100 per hour. Again, thanks to operational efficiencies and a lean business structure, my overall fixed costs are lower. As a client, you’ll reap the benefit of these savings, paying far less than the market average for top-notch agency support.
A Dental Marketing Approach You Can Trust
As you’re researching the cost of your Google Ads campaign and other dental marketing efforts, remember to factor in all of the figures.
One of the most important ones to keep in mind? The efficiency and integrity of your ad agency.
Take a closer look at the pricing model that each one has in place and think about the long-term costs you could incur if it’s anything besides a performance-based or milestone-based approach.
Looking to cut through the weeds and head straight to an agency you can trust?
That’s where I come in.
I’m a digital marketing expert with years of experience in the dental industry. I’m uniquely positioned to help you uncover more leads, optimize your online advertising efforts, improve your SEO and much more. Contact me today to discover why my team is the best and how yours can be, too.