A Blog for Dentists & Other Healthcare Professionals

How to Increase the ROI of Your Dental PPC Campaign

(Originally Published on September 24th, 2015. Updated and Expanded on July 23rd, 2019)

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is an awesome way for dentists to generate new business online. It can also deliver a very high return-on-investment (ROI) — provided you do it right. Organic search engine optimization is important, but it can only get you so far. If you want to grow your practice, you can’t neglect PPC for dentists.

One study found that when people are searching for a product or service, PPC ads grab nearly two-thirds of all clicks on Google’s search engine results page. That’s impressive, but there’s more to Google Ads than just increasing your clicks.

Why You Should Be Using Dental PPC with Google Ads

I always tell my clients that an effective marketing plan is a diverse marketing plan. That’s because your target audience is diverse. If you want to reach them, you need to be where they are most likely to find you.

For that reason, I fully believe that every business owner should test Google Ads for their dental PPC campaigns.

If you are completely new to online marketing, you may not know what Google Ads is. Google Ads is an advertising program from Google that allows a business owner to get on the first page of Google through ad buys. That’s something that can be very difficult to do through SEO particularly if your website is new and doesn’t get much traffic.

Google Ads is focused on keywords. When someone searches for the keywords you bid on, your ad will appear at the top of the list of search results. You’ll benefit when somebody clicks on your ad and visits your website, and then calls you or makes an appointment online.

Google Ads cost money. As a result, many dental practice owners wonder whether Google Ads is effective, and if the results they get will be good enough to justify the money they spend.

We believe that Google Ads, when used in combination with other marketing and advertising, can boost a dental practice’s revenues and help attract new patients. Here are the 5 most compelling reasons to make Google Ads part of your marketing mix.

Reason 1: Google Ads Can Be Measured

Google Ads is a great form of advertising because companies can measure their success in several ways. Google provides detailed analytics that include:

  • Impressions (how often your ad has been viewed)
  • Clicks (how often people click your ad)
  • Call clicks (how many people tap the “Call” icon on mobile ads)
  • Verified calls (how often you received calls forwarded by Google)
  • Map actions (how often people clicked your business pin on Google or got directions to your practice)
  • Analytics goals (use tracking IDs and tags to monitor traffic from your ads)
  • Ad spending (how much you’ve spent on Google Ads)

Using these analytics, you’ll be able to see exactly what is driving increased traffic and engagement, and what is having little to no impact. This makes it much simpler and more convenient to assess if your company’s campaign is generating revenue or draining cash.

Reason 2: Google Ads is Much Quicker than Traditional SEO

If you have ever worked on SEO (Search Engine Optimization), then you know it can take time to see any type of results from your SEO campaign. This can be frustrating, especially for dental practice owners who want to see results right away. It isn’t uncommon for it to take six months or longer to see measurable results from SEO.

Dental  pay per click ads work quickly, and you won’t be waiting around for months to see results. Clicks on your Google Ad campaigns are immediate and will also allow you to see which keywords are working instantly. The data collected on your ad success is almost immediate.

As a bonus, measuring Google Ad results can help you improve your SEO. If your Google Ads are generating a lot of clicks, then it’s likely that using the same keyword(s) on your site will improve your organic search results, too.

Reason 3: You Can Remarket

Remarketing is beneficial to dental practices because you can target people who have expressed interest in your product by showing them Google Ads related to their activity on your site. Remarketing allows you to use cookies to track the people who have shown interest in your site.

Once the cookie is logged, your advertisement will follow them around and trigger Google Ads to show specific ads tailored to the potential patient’s interests. Remarketing ads remind people what they were interested in and increase brand recognition at the same time.

Reason 4: Google Ads are Highly Customizable

Dental PPC management is easy with Google because dental practice owners can customize Google Ads to make them more relevant to the keywords they want to target.  This is crucial for targeting the specific keyword or mix of keywords that you can target uniquely.

You can set up any ad the way you want, but Google Ad Customizers have taken customization to a new level. They include the following options:

  • Dynamic keyword insertion places keywords into ads on a query-by-query basis. For example, you could create a single ad and then create multiple headlines based on the keywords you choose.
  • Dynamic keyword insertion places keywords into ads on a query-by-query basis. For example, you could create a single ad and then create multiple headlines based on the keywords you choose.
  • Dynamic keyword insertion places keywords into ads on a query-by-query basis. For example, you could create a single ad and then create multiple headlines based on the keywords you choose.
  • Countdowns allow you to put a timer on special promotions and offers
  • If function customizers are useful if you want to identify a criterion to indicate which ad version to display. If the criterion isn’t met, then your default ad text will be shown.

You can also do all the typical things you’d expect with a Google ad, including using ad extensions, setting keyword matches, choosing your audience, and directing ads to different pages on your website.

Reason 5: Google Ads Is Engaging

The ad formats used for Google Ads are more engaging than those that you would might find elsewhere. Google has updated their ad layouts to draw in more attention, be engaging, and get clicks. By buying into this high-quality content designed by Google, you know you are getting the best content for increasing click through.

Google Ads has been proven as one of the top advertising platforms for a reason. Dental practices should use Google Ads to attract new patients and increase revenues. If you are interested in learning about businesses that have had success using Google Ads, read here.

Google Ads mistakes for doctors

How to Increase the ROI of Your Ads

Now that you know why Google Ads are ideal for dental practices, let’s talk about some of the things you can do to maximize the ROI of your dental PPC ads. These techniques will help you minimize your PPC spend and increase the number of clicks and conversions your ad campaign generates.

Here are some ways to get the biggest possible ROI from your PPC ads.

Target the right keywords

It might sound obvious, but many dentists do not use the right keywords in their PPC campaigns. Here are some tips to help you choose the right keywords for your PPC campaign.

  • Target localized, long-tail keywords. These have less competition, they help you target your audience, and they tend to convert better than generalized keywords.
  • Vary your keyword groups for different ads. For example, you might have one ad targeting keywords for dental hygiene, and another targeting cosmetic dentistry keywords.
  • Choose negative keywords to eliminate irrelevant search terms and get more targeted traffic

When you use these tips to create PPC ads with highly targeted keyword groups, your ads will generate more clicks and get higher relevancy scores from Google (or Bing, or whatever search engine you’re using) making them appear higher on the SERP (search engine results page). As a result, you’ll get more new patients and a lower cost per click!

When you use these tips to create PPC ads with highly targeted keyword groups, your ads will generate more clicks and get higher relevancy scores from Google. As a result, you’ll get more new patients and a lower cost per click!

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Optimize your ads for phone calls

As of 2018, mobile devices account for more than half of all organic searches. That’s a trend that’s likely to increase, with Statista predicting that there will be 221 million mobile search users by 2020.

What that means for PPC is that enabling phone calls through your ad is – and will continue to be – essential for PPC ad success. For a dental office, a phone call means that the patient you’ve reached with your ad is ready to book an appointment.

By having a link that calls your office directly built into the ad, you make it even easier for potential customers to contact you.  You also have more evidence for the success of your ads by tracking people who arrive from this source.

Adding an option for people to call you from your ad can also improve your ROI because you’ll only be charged for your PPC ad if people click a website link – not if they opt to call you instead.

You can add your phone number to your Google Ad without it contributing to your character limit by using Google’s phone number extension. This extension allows mobile users to click on your number to call you. (You should also look into the other ad extensions offered by Google, including the location extension and seller rating extension).

Finally, maximize your PPC ad’s call-generating potential by setting up your phone number-optimized ads to display only during business hours when someone is around to pick up the phone.

 The takeaway: Including your phone number in your dental PPC ad increases your campaign ROI.

Optimize your landing page

Linking your PPC ad to your homepage or another unrelated page of your dental website is a conversion killer!  It’s one of the most common mistakes.

If you want to get conversions, not just clicks, you need to link your ad to a targeted landing page.

Here are some elements to put on your optimized landing page:

  • Content that directly relates to the offer in your PPC ad
  • Content that answers a question related to your search keywords
  • An eye-catching header
  • Your practice logo and a symbol of trust, such as a Better Business Bureau logo or an award your practice has received
  • A compelling call to action (CTA) accompanied by a simple opt-in form, so you can collect information about visitors to your site

You might also consider adding a video to your landing page, as video has been proven to increase conversion rates.

An optimized landing page for a dental pay-per-click ad contains these elements combined with a clean, simple design.

Track and test your campaign

We’ve already talked about the fact that it’s easy to track your results with Google Ads. Even so, PPC takes a bit of trial-and-error to perfect. Tracking your campaign metrics allows you to figure out what works and what doesn’t.

By staying on top of your click-through rates, conversions, and other campaign metrics, you will get a clearer picture of the ROI of your PPC ads. That will allow you to identify the things you need to tweak in order to improve it.

For example, you might want to experiment with different keywords, background colors, and CTAs. Once you come up with some variables, you can use split testing to see which options give you the best possible ROI for your PPC ad campaigns.

When you test, make sure to test only one element at a time. Test headlines and then, when you’re happy, try testing out different images or calls to action.

Dental PPC ads can be an affordable and effective way to jump to the top of the search engine results page and get more traffic to your website.  When managed well, they add far more value than they cost. The key is to understand how to use Google Ads properly, and to optimize all your PPC ads – regardless of which search engine you use – to maximize their effectiveness and increase your ROI.

Is Google Ads the Most Effective New Patient Generation Strategy Ever?

About the Author

Tyson Downs, the owner of Titan Web Agency, has years of experience working with small businesses and helping them meet their revenues goals. Prior to starting Titan Web Agency, he freelanced in SEO and Web Design while working in the corporate world. Tyson is a graduate of Brigham Young University, the father of 5, and a passionate bodybuilder.

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