Wouldn’t marketing be fun if your dental practice had an endless budget? You could try every “sure fire” strategy that every marketing or advertising professional suggested and basically, spend until you reached your patient flow goals.
Wouldn’t that be fun? But alas, we live in the real world.
Marketing budgets are not endless and in fact, dentists and marketing chiefs typically have very strict budgets, making the success of every marketing strategy you invest in downright vital. For dentists and dental specialists who have a budget they need to stick to but also need a marketing strategy that produces results, pay per click (PPC) advertising is an excellent choice. Here are a few of the latest reasons why:
- Year over year, PPC spending has increased on all device types.” – SearchEngineWatch.com, 2014
- 82% of PPC experts say that conversion rate is the most important element of PPC advertising in 2014. – SearchEngineland.com, 2013
- On average, the top three PPC ads received 41% of overall clicks. – Wordstream, 2013
- 45% of users can’t tell the difference between PPC ads and organic listings. – Wordstream, 2013
Those last two stats are the ones most marketers (and dentists) should pay attention to. What it tells us is many of your potential patients don’t even realize they are clicking on paid ads, debunking the stigma that people always prefer organic listings over paid ads. In fact, the frequent exposure to a listing that is high in Google’s search results can generate the clicks you need to make your marketing investment a sound one.
What’s more is a recent marketing study found that most marketing professionals considered pay-per-click advertising to be more effective than email marketing, social media and print advertising. And we have to agree! PPC is the ONLY marketing strategy that is solely focused on conversions (ie – taking your potential patients to a landing page that shows them how to book an appointment) AND has the ability to be successful with a strict budget. Not sold yet? Here is why PPC keeps your marketing budget in check:
- Set your Budget and Stick to It – Pay-per-click costs usually come from how much you have to bid for each keyword you are targeting. By selecting keywords that aren’t high in competition and high in cost – like “dentist Dallas” – you get the most bang for your buck. Additionally, you can set your budget and once you reach it, your campaign will intuitively stop and your ad will no longer be served to people searching with your selected keywords, leaving your marketing budget intact and usually some new patient appointments to show for it.
- Shift your Budget (When you Want To) – The good thing about PPC is you can quickly and easily increase or decrease your budget based on your practice needs. If you have unexpected expenses in another area of your practice and need to scale back, you can easily do so in a pinch with PPC, unlike some other advertising strategies that require time and usually a big budget to be effective.
- There is ROI in any size budget – We have to be honest, having a large PPC budget doesn’t hurt. But, we have seen success with just about every sized PPC budget. So don’t be intimidated and think you don’t have enough money to engage in PPC. Trust us, you do and typically, you can see results with a well-run campaign of any size.
Has PPC piqued your interest yet? Here is what we believe are the key elements of a successful dental PPC campaign that stick to a budget:
- It’s Imperative you Hire a Pro – Take a minute and see if any of these terms make sense to you – exact match keyword, geo-targeting, impressions and conversion rates. Confused? It’s okay, most people without an extensive background in PPC are. While PPC is an excellent marketing strategy to increase new patient flow quickly, it also is one that should not be approached lightly. Its efficacy is usually found in well-crafted campaigns by skilled PPC experts. And nothing wrecks a PPC budget like someone putting together a campaign who isn’t 100% sure about what they’re doing.
- Know your Campaign Objectives – To quote Stephen Covey, it’s always best to “begin with the end in mind.” For PPC, pinpointing the goals of your campaign is vital. For more dentists, it means you want more patients in your chair, but for some it’s booking more cases for a certain procedure. Know where you want to be and what you want before you begin and then build your budget around that.
- Be Keyword Savvy – As we mentioned earlier, bidding on generic keywords like “dentist” and “dental office” can be costly. There are just too many dentists and dental marketing teams who want to claim those keywords. Our PPC experts can help you truly understand what kinds of keywords your patients are using when they search for services like yours and craft your campaign around them – ensuring that your PPC budget is maximized.
- Don’t Forget about Negative Keywords – Nothing kills a PPC campaign or drains a PPC budget like too many clicks that likely won’t result in conversions (ie – booked appointments.) Here’s an example – If you are a dentist who wants to start a PPC campaign to get more patients searching the web for dental crowns, you wouldn’t want your ad to display to people who are searching for crown moldings or tiara-like “crowns.” So, without getting into complicated terms like exact match keywords or broad match keywords, you could choose the phrase “crown moldings” as a negative keyword so Google knows not to serve your ads to people searching for that terms.
- Quality Score is Everything – Your PPC Quality Score is a number that Google gives your account that affects everything from how much you pay for your keyword bids to how high your ads rank on a search results page. How do you make sure your Google AdWords account has a good quality score? Running a solid campaign with relevant ads, landing pages and keywords. Basically, Google treats your Quality Score like they treat every other platform – they reward quality work that brings the most value to their users.
PPC campaigns are an essential dental marketing strategy if you want to keep your practice’s budget in check. To discuss your options with our skilled dental PPC team, contact us today to set up an initial consultation.