The fact is, today, most people begin their search for a new local dentist on the internet. Another point is that most people don’t go beyond the first page of search results. As a result, this can make pay-per-click advertising essential for any dentist who needs to grow their practice.
Typically, the top results for any search query are paid keyword ads. These ads could be the only results on the first page on a mobile device. As you can see, PPC ads quickly dominate the search results, putting advertisers at a distinct advantage.
If you search for “dentist in your local area” and your practice doesn’t appear, that’s a problem. Fortunately, dental PPC ads can quickly rectify the situation. Today, digital marketing is vital for every business, including dental and medical practices.
Unfortunately, dental practices that are not actively marketing online are attracting very few new patients. The good news is that PPC advertising is relatively affordable, with the average dental keywords going for between $2 and $10. With a good keyword strategy and a great, optimized landing page, spending a few dollars per click can pay off.
Let’s review a few basics to highlight the benefits of pay-per-click advertising for dentists. Then, you’ll quickly see what search engine marketing can do for your bottom line.
Is Dental PPC a Good Strategy for Your Practice?
The first step in planning your digital marketing strategy is creating a budget. Most big city dental practices can expect to spend $1000 per month, or even more, for a significant increase in website traffic. Moreover, increasing website traffic does not automatically translate into new patients. As a result, practices in smaller cities will face less competition and can budget less money.
But, for most dental practices, acquiring just one new patient monthly can pay off. According to research, a new dental patient has an average value of $22,000 over their lifetime. That value increases if a new patient refers their friends. So, if you spent $1,000 on PPC ads to acquire that new patient, the initial $1,000 cost in PPC ads has an ROI of 2,200%.
If yours is a new dental practice, PPC advertising is essential. It could be the only way to gain visibility and awareness of your practice in your local community. PPC advertising puts your new dental practice in front of everyone actively searching online for a new dentist. Search engine advertising might be the only way for a new dental office to attract a substantial number of new patients.
PPC Advertising Begins with a Keyword Strategy
So now that you’ve decided that PPC is an excellent way to grow your practice, you need to decide on your keywords. The keywords need to be relevant to your new patients and your practice. Also, factor your location into your keyword strategy. Finally, you need to limit your ads to your local region.
The Google AdWords Keyword Research Tool is an excellent place to start. Also, it can give you a general idea of the going rate for keywords.
Start with searches in your area, such as “dentist your city.” Then, expand with any specialty services you offer, such as orthodontics or cosmetic dentistry. This research should give you an idea of the popular keywords in your area and how much they cost.
The first keywords you should bid on are your name and the name of your practice. That bid should be very low, but it will ensure that you always appear when someone searches for you by name. Next, ensure your ad and landing page include positive messaging about you and your dental practice.
You’ll also need to create a list of longtail keywords; these are more specific than “dentist your city,” for example. For example, a longtail keyword could be “dentist open on weekends in your city.” However, this process won’t produce as much overall traffic, but it is less expensive and will produce specific traffic that easily converts into new patients.
Geo-qualifiers are essential for advertising local businesses online, including dental practices. Advertising all over the country is pointless and expensive when you only need to advertise in your town. For instance, if you are a dentist in New York City, you should target “dentist NYC.” In a big city like New York, you also want to target neighborhoods like “dentist the Bronx.” In rural areas, you might use your county as a geo-qualifier.
Step Two: Write Great Ad Copy
Search engine ads can be challenging since minimal space exists to get your message across. For example, Google ads have a 90-character limit for headlines, including spaces. Therefore, writing ads that grab attention and highlight anything unique about your practice is imperative.
To learn how to write effective PPC ads, begin with competitive research. Do this by studying the current ads for your chosen keywords. Then, as well as studying effective ads, review the ads that seem to fall short. This way, you’ll understand what is working and what isn’t.
Next, you’ll write ad copy highlighting what makes your practice different or why it’s the best choice. This type of ad can catch the attention of someone looking for a specific service. You’ll need to experiment with different ads to see which version works the best.
If your dental practice has special introductory offers, such as free tooth cleaning for new patients, PPC is a perfect place to advertise that. This type of ad stands out and generates lots of traffic.
Google also features ad extensions, such as location and site link extensions. As a result, your ads look more prominent and dynamic. For dental practices, the mobile call extension can generate many phone calls to make an appointment.
Using Analytics to Determine ROI
Determining the return on investment can be the most challenging part of PPC advertising. But, as Pranjal Bora with Digital Authority Partners points out, an experienced digital marketing agency knows what to review. In addition, they have the tools to determine if a digital marketing campaign is producing results.
Understanding the cost per lead, cost per conversion, and the return on ad spending takes practice. Furthermore, measuring and monitoring these metrics takes not only a set of online tools but also technical expertise.
Having a digital ad agency set up the analytics and produce reports can help you to save time and maximize your ROI. You’ll also need a website developer to set up the ad tracking codes on your website.
Collecting and analyzing this data takes time and expertise to interpret. But, it’s necessary to adjust your keywords and bids to maximize your digital marketing ROI.