Your dental practice has a stellar reputation, excellent customer service, and rave reviews, but why are you having trouble attracting new patients?
The answer is simple: your current marketing strategy isn’t doing your dental practice justice.
Despite your 5-star skills, you’re still just one office in a sea of dental practices. The phone book and word-of-mouth referrals only go so far in 2019. Even social media isn’t enough!
You need a marketing strategy that puts your practice front and center.
The right strategy starts with a question: where are your potential patients going to find dental practices? If you guessed Google, you’re right. 97% of consumers depend on Google to find local businesses.
The marketing power of Google is undeniable. That’s why Google has its own advertising program. In this guide, you’ll learn how to leverage Google ads for dental practices to attract more patients.
Understanding the Power of Search Engines
When was the last time you checked the second page of Google to find a business?
Chances are, you’re among the majority of users who don’t go past the first page of results. This statistic isn’t great news when your dental website is sitting on the second, third, or worse, the fourth page of Google!
Does this situation sound familiar?
This revelation should be your cue to invest in search engine optimization ASAP, but more specifically, search engine marketing.
Search engine marketing leverages both organic SEO and paid advertising for optimal results. Organic SEO is essential for pushing your website up the ranks in Google, but results don’t happen overnight. However, paid search advertising, like Google Ads, skyrockets your practice to the first page within minutes.
Together, organic and paid search ads are a powerful marketing strategy for dental practices. Google ads also improve your website’s search engine ranking as more people click on your ad. This is all the more reason you need to craft a compelling Google ad strategy that converts.
What Are Google Ads?
Now that you understand the potential of Google ads for dental marketing, it’s time to dig into the nuts and bolts of this advertising program.
Google’s advertising platform is called Adwords. The first thing you’ll need to do is create a Google Adwords account. You’ll need a published website or landing page to do this.
If you don’t have a dental website yet, you’ll need to develop one before creating your ads. For maximum SEO, optimize your website’s homepage, meta description, web content, navigation, and load time first. Your dental practice’s contact information should also be visible on the homepage page, as well.
Once your website is polished and published, create your Adwords account. You’ll also need to provide your payment method of choice and a business phone number.
How Much Do Google Ads Cost?
Are you worried about your marketing budget? You can rest easy knowing that you won’t break the bank with Google Ads.
Adwords uses a pay-per-click method, also known as PPC. Unlike paying one lump sum, you only pay when a user engages with your ad. This model makes Adwords one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies for local dental practices.
How much you pay depends on the cost of your bid. Adwords marketers bid on the most relevant keywords for ads. The higher the competition for a keyword, the larger the bid.
Your chosen keywords will largely depend on your goals. Are you trying to raise brand awareness or reach patients who are ready to book an appointment? These are critical issues to work out before creating your Google ads.
Setting clear goals is the best way to make the most out of your Google ads budget.
Types of Google Advertising Campaigns
Adwords also comes with options. There are five different types of Adwords advertising models available. These ad models are called campaigns.
There are six types of campaigns to choose from:
- Google search ads (Text Only)
- Call-only ads
- Display advertising
- Google shopping ads
- Universal App Advertising
- YouTube Ads
Creating separate marketing campaigns help you target, optimize, improve, and track your results from beginning to end. A combination of these campaign types can drastically increase your online presence quickly.
You could create campaigns to advertise a specific service like dental implants, raise awareness about your new dental practice, or promote new patient specials.
Let’s explore these campaign types further.
Google Search Ads
If your goal is to attract patients who are ready to book now, search ads are your best bet. These ads for dental practices are text-only and sit right up top above organic search results. These ads only appear on Google’s search engine.
According to a recent study, more than 60% of all Google users report they would click on a search ad. And the data backs this sentiment up. Numbers show that 65% of Google users click on search ads, while only 35% click on organic search engine results.
Clicks are fantastic, but how do you get people to book a dental appointment?
You already run an excellent dental practice, so you’re halfway there. Now, you need Google search ads that will do your office justice.
Your next challenge is to craft compelling search ads that encourage people to patients to call.
What Makes a Quality Search Ad?
To craft high-converting Google ads for dental practices, you’ll need relevant keyword targeting, high-quality ad copy, an Adwords budget, and bid strategy.
As you can tell, responsibilities add up quickly, even for one campaign. At this point in the game, you should consider hiring a PPC manager, especially for multiple search campaigns. PPC management teams oversee campaign logistics, keyword research, bidding, budgets, conversion rates, and scheduling.
You can even hire an agency to write compelling ad copy for you!
To ensure your Google search ad lands on the top of the pile, you need to shoot for a high “quality score.” Your ad’s quality score is based on seven factors:
- The relevance of your website or landing page
- Your Ad’s keyword relevance
- Click-through rate or CTR
- Advertising copy quality and relevance
- Your search ad bid amount or Vertical QS Tax
- The overall historical performance of your campaigns
- The quality of your Adwords account
Make your quality score a part of the goal-setting process. This score has a significant impact on your campaign’s conversion rate. Ads with top billing have a higher click-through rate than ads with lower quality scores.
Use your quality score as a benchmark for improvement. The moral of the story here is that relevance is essential for good quality scores. Google’s algorithms are more sophisticated than ever and are designed to weed out low-quality ads.
Make sure your ad’s target URL matches the intent of the search ad. This URL should be your dental practice website or a specific service page.
The same philosophy applies to your keyword research. Only use relevant primary keywords and keyword groups in your ad copy. Google even provides a free keyword research tool called keyword planner!
Next to relevance is consistency. Keep improving your campaigns to enhance your historical performance and account quality metrics. Consistent, relevant search campaigns are the key to high quality scores.
How to Write Google Ads for Dental Practices
Your Google ads need to “speak” to potential patients. Think about the types of qualities that patients look for in a dentist.
Going to the dentist is personal for many. Patients value experience, friendliness, comfort, patience, and trust. You want to encapsulate these feelings in your ad.
Google lets you use up to three headlines, two descriptions, and one display URL.
A High-converting search ad addresses problems, presents solutions, emphasize benefits, and end with a compelling call-to-action. Your challenge is to achieve this within 160 characters or less!
A successful call-to-action is critical for any advertisement, regardless of which campaign type you leverage.
Here’s a look at more Google campaign types.
Search Ads with Display Options
If you want to raise awareness for your dental practice, consider using Google search ads with an additional display option.
The additional display option is excellent for new dental practices. Not only do your advertisements appear on top of search engines, but your ads display across other websites too. These websites are participating publishers with Google’s Display Network.
Don’t want to appear in Google search just yet? No problem! You can use the display campaign type without appearing in search engines.
The display-only option is helpful if you want to appear on specific publisher websites in the GDN network. These ads also leverage remarketing to capture leads the second time around.
If you do choose the display-only campaign type, you’ll need a compelling image to match. These advertisements perform best with relevant visuals. Use high-quality images with visible dental practice logos.
You’re a dental practice, not an e-commerce store. Despite the rise of email, chatbots, and social media, potential dental patients still prefer to talk to a human.
Fortunately, Google has a call-only option for text ads. Instead of directing users to your website or service page, people can click to call your office directly!
This advertising solution is an excellent way to increase appointment bookings. It’s also an essential local marketing strategy for emergency dentists.
These search ads feature a telephone icon next to the text advertisement. You are charged per click, just like a regular search campaign. Google also provides call reporting so you can track your success.
Other Campaign Types to Consider
Text-only search engine ads, call-only ads, and search with display options are three of the best campaign types for dental practices. But they’re not the only options.
Adding additional campaign types can help you reach more marketing objectives. Remember, Google also offers video ads, shopping ads, and advertising for dentist apps.
A dental equipment company would benefit from a Google shopping campaign, while a dentist search app could increase its brand awareness with Google’s Universal App advertising program.
Of all the supplementary advertising methods, video is the most beneficial for dentists. Here are the best ways to leverage video ads for dental practices.
How to Use Video Ads for Dental Practices
Google bought YouTube in 2006, and the website serves as Google’s primary video advertising platform. More than 1.8 billion people visit YouTube.
People watch YouTube for entertainment, but they also watch videos to learn about a skill, product, service, or company. A YouTube ad strategy lets potential patients see your stellar dental practice in action.
Video ads are not dissimilar to text-only search ads. Topic relevancy, search intent, and your target URL are critical for conversions.
However, instead of working within the limitations of 160 characters, you have to create a compelling case via video.
Video ads play before regular YouTube videos. They’re also placed on relevant videos to help you reach your target audience.
Video campaigns are ideal for introducing potential patients to your friendly staff. You could promote a video that tells your dental practice’s story. Another idea is to create an animated infographic that shows how dentistry works.
If someone has never undergone a root canal before, they’re going to research the procedure first. Use this consumer behavior to your advantage! Craft compelling educational videos that increase patient trust.
Testimonials for real patients also make for quality video ads. Trustworthiness is essential for dental practices.
Since YouTube users have the option to skip video ads, the beginning of your ad is the most important. Users can skip your ad after five seconds, so make those few seconds count!
Measure for Success
All campaign types let you track your ads from beginning to end. This feature is essential for improving brand awareness, increasing dental appointment bookings, and conserving your marketing budget.
You have enough expenses as a dentist. The last thing you want to do is throw money at marketing strategies that don’t convert. For best results, work with a PPC strategist that understands your niche and patients.
Start Attracting More Patients Now
You’re one step closer to growing your 5-star dental practice. Your next step is to take action now. Use this guide as you create your first Google ads for dental marketing!
Remember, you want to do your dental practice justice. Don’t let your practice wither away in anonymity. Stay updated on the latest strategies for growth or fill in the form to get started.
You have made it all the way to the end of this article, so I thought I should reward you with an info graphic that outlines the steps that you should follow before launching a Google Ads campaign.