Are you interested in marketing your dental practice online? In this post, we share must-know tips for setting up a PPC ad campaign for your dental practice.
Let’s get started.
A pay-per-click (PPC) ad is a type of online advertisement. As its name suggests, you, as the advertiser, pay each time someone clicks on your ad.
Most PPC ad platforms work in a way that’s similar to an auction. But the highest bidder isn’t always the winner.
Your cost for each click will depend on several factors, including how much you bid, your ad rank, and the quality of the ad itself, along with the relevancy of your landing page.
Here’s a quick snapshot of how PPC ads work on Google:
You create an ad around the keyword phrase “dentists in Kissimmee, FL.” Next, you set up an ad on Google, and define your maximum bid amount.
Later, someone initiates a search on Google with the words “dentists in Kissimmee, FL.” This search is known as the user’s query. Within fractions of a second, Google runs an auction to determine which ads to show for the user’s query, and in what order (first, second, third, etc.). Google selects your ad because it’s relevant, well-priced, and has a good amount of ad extensions (we’ll discuss ad extensions later in this post).
But, if you have competitors who you’re bidding against, Google will also review all of your competitors’ ads to choose the right ads to show.
It’s mind-boggling how quickly all of this can happen. But it happens billions of times over each month. And that’s just on Google.
There are several PPC ad platforms to choose from, such as:
PPC ads are primarily text-based but, depending on the platform and type, may also include an image.
Here are the biggest benefits to using PPC ads for your dental practice:
PPC ads show up on search engines, social media platforms, and websites. If you want to increase your visibility online, bidding for an ad is a great way to do it.
PPC ads are small but have the power to drive a lot of traffic to your dental practice’s website. You can use these ads to introduce your practice to prospective patients in your area.
Your ads can educate prospective patients about your services. You can also use ads to offer special promotions and coupons to woo new patients to your practice.
Can ads save money? Yes. With PPC ads, you don’t pay unless people click on your ads. Compare this with other ad types, like postcards or billboards, which require you to pay first before seeing your results, if any.
While SEO (search engine optimization) is essential to your long term visibility online, your PPC ads can help you show up right away. The process of setting up an ad, bidding on keywords, and going live can happen within mere hours. (SEO can take months or even years to work.) By this time next week, you could have patients coming into your practice because of your ad.
Now that you understand how PPC ads work and why they’re beneficial to growing your dental practice, let’s discuss exactly how to use these ads.
PPC ads can help you accomplish all sorts of goals. For example, the goal for your PPC ad campaign can be to:
Choose one goal for each ad. You can always choose a different goal for your future ads.
The next step is to target a specific keyword with your ad. Because this is such an important step to the success of your ad, let’s take a few moments to unpack what this means.
A keyword is the word or phrase you’d like to target with your ad. This may be the user’s search query (if using a search platform like Google or Bing). But it can also be a phrase that you hope will trigger interest in your ad (which is useful when promoting posts on Facebook).
When creating a PPC ad for your dental practice, choose keywords related to your local area or the dental services that you provide.
There are several different types of keyword match types to consider for your ad. A match type defines how closely your target keyword should match the user's search query. Here’s a quick overview:
If you choose a broad match, your ad may show up in more searches, but the users that your ad reaches may not be the ideal group. For example, an ad that targets the user query “teeth cleaning” will be shown to a huge amount of people, and many of those people may not live in your area. However, an exact match for a user query like “teeth cleaning in Kansas City, MO” will generate better results.
In addition to choosing keywords that you’d like to target with ads, also identify keywords that are irrelevant to your dental practice.
For example, if the name of your practice is Apple Dental, you wouldn’t want to show up for a generic search on granny smith apples. You also wouldn’t want to show up for searches on Apple computers. In this instance, assign “apple” as a negative keyword. This ensures that your ads don’t show up for irrelevant searches. When you’re paying for every click you don’t want to reach the wrong people.
Your audience is the target group of users who you’d like to see your ad. While audience targeting is possible with several platforms, Facebook is the best platform to use when you want to reach specific groups. This is because Facebook knows an incredible amount of information on its users. And with nearly 3 billion users worldwide, it’s safe to say that at least some of your target audience uses Facebook.
With Facebook, you can target audiences based on where they live, what they like, how they behave, and recent events in their lives. For example, targeting the newly engaged is a great strategy for any dental practice. Before weddings and engagement photos, people tend to seek out teeth whitening services. So it makes sense to create an ad just to reach this group of prospective dental patients.
And that’s just the beginning of what you do on Facebook marketing. Check out this post for more tips on Facebook marketing for dental practices.
PPC ads are short. You have a maximum of 300 characters to attract, engage, and convert a user into a new visitor for your website.
The best-performing PPC ads get straight to the point. They make a promise or introduce a benefit. They are aligned with the user’s search query. In summary, PPC ads give your reader the next step to take (known as the call to action).
When writing PPC ads, speak directly to the audience and use words they understand and would use themselves to describe a problem. This ensures that you’re not speaking above their head with a lot of dental jargon.
When setting up your ad on Google, be sure to fill out the information in the “Ads and Extensions” settings. Ad extensions provide more information about your dental practice. Google may pull from this information when showing your ads to its users. Ad extensions can make your ad more valuable because it offers additional information, like your phone number (which is clickable on mobile devices), your location, along with your hours of operation, and driving directions.
In addition to your ad, you also need to create a landing page on your website. This is the page where your new visitor will “land” after clicking on your ad.
A landing page is important because it gently welcomes visitors to your website directly. If they were to land on your home page, that would be overwhelming. For example, let’s say they want to learn more about your monthly promotion, but instead they land on your home page that makes no mention of your promotion. Now, they’ll have to search through your website to find more information about your special, but that can be intimidating.
Instead of making your visitor jump through hoops, link to the exact page that’s most relevant to your ad. In fact, create a landing page specifically for that ad. And if you have multiple ads with different messages or goals, create multiple landing pages.
Your customized landing page should do the following:
Be sure to test and tweak every element of your ad, including the keyword, headline, call to action, target audience, landing page copy, and more.
Testing your ads will make them stronger and more effective.
Digital marketing is a great way to build awareness for your dental practice, but trying to do it on your own can be overwhelming. We’re here to help.
In addition to building performance-driven websites, we also offer a suite of marketing services that includes SEO and paid search.