In our increasingly digital world, it’s critical that you have a high-quality digital strategy for your dental practice.
When it comes to online advertising, there are very few companies that can match Google Ads (formerly called Adwords).
In fact, every minute, there are 2.3 million searches performed on Google and the majority of search results pages include Google Ads. Paid for by businesses, Google ads can be a highly effective way of driving relevant, qualified traffic to your website when people are searching for the services your dental practice provides.
To help you understand how Google Ads work and why they are important to your dental practice, you should know a few things first.
What are Google Ads?
Google Ads is an online advertising platform. Advertisers bid to display advertisements, service offerings, product listings, or videos to web users.
Businesses can place ads both in the results of search engines like Google Search and as display ads on websites, mobile apps, and videos.
However, what makes Google Ads unique is that you can target your ads to specific people, and you only pay for results, like clicks to your website or calls to your business.
How specify your audience target?
Google Ads can be tailored to target specific demographics, including location, household income, gender, search keywords, sites visited, to name a few options.
In fact, Google Display Network targeting allows you to set where or when your ad is shown based on features of your ideal audience, such as their interests, age, or gender.
This targeting level means your ad can show up on sites related to your business or to users who match the specific criteria you’ve specified.
Ads are location-targeted, allowing you to make your target location precise so you are not competing with other dental practices in your city. Proximity is vital to patients, so ensure you are targeting your local area.
Probably the most targeted ad available and one you might not always recognize as an ad. These are the top 3 listings in Google Search when you search a word or phrase. These are not always apparent to users that they are an ad (they have the text ‘ad’ very small next to them) and they get a lot of clicks. They are often the best converting ads as the user is already in teh process of looking for a solution and so is being shown something they are actively looking for e.g “Tempe kids dentist” (instead of a banner ad as they are browsing the web).
A banner ad, also known as a display ad, is the visual ads you see on advertising-supported sites that pop up as you are scrolling through a news story or website.
The ads appear on these sites through Google’s Display Network. Banner ads can be targeted by using specific keywords, the type of websites people visit, user characteristics, and other criteria.
Google Maps ads
To place an ad on Google Maps, you will need to create a Google My Business listing. Not only will this ensure your business pops up when people are searching for a dental practice in your area, but it will also help customers find you. Eighty-six percent of people look up a business’s location using Google Maps.
Remarketing Ads – What are these, and why are they important?
Remarketing ads are a way to connect with people who previously interacted with your website or mobile app. It allows you to strategically position your ads in front of these audiences as they browse Google or its partner websites, thus helping you increase your brand awareness or remind those audiences to make a purchase.
It’s important to note that remarketing ads need at least 100 people in the ‘pool’ of users. If your traffic is too low, there will not be enough people to show ads to and the ads won’t run.
Can I run them myself?
Yes – get a pro to set them up initially, set your daily spend, and let it run. Check it each month to see performance and make necessary adjustments. Often agencies will want a monthly fee to manage the ads but in my experience this isn’t necessary as campaigns for a dental clinic are very simple and don’t require a lot of adjusting once they are running well.
Tip: In your Ads account you will see recommendations being pushed on you, do not just implement all recommendations Google tells you within the tool. These options are not always in your best interest. If in doubt, ask a Google Ads pro.
It’s also essential to use Google Analytics to track your website so you can see how many visitors from your Google Ads made contact via the site and therefore see a cost per conversion price. This way you can see a direct return on ad spend and optimize your account to maximize the possibilities of getting more contacts via the site.
To learn more about Google Ads and why they are important for your dental practice, make sure to download the first chapter of my book DentalEase: The Essential Guide to Building the Stress-Free and Profitable Dental Practice of Your Dreams. The first chapter is free to download and will give you even more insight into creating a successful dental practice.