Google Ads is the most powerful Internet Marketing tool available to your dental practice.
One of the great things About Google Ads – but one of the things that can also be overwhelming to the inexperienced – is the amount of control that Ads provides advertisers.
Specifically, the ability to control who will see your ad – and who won’t be able to see your ad. Google Ads targeting for dentists allows you to ensure that the most likely prospects will see your advertising message and call your dental office – while those members of your community who aren’t a good fit will never even see your ad.
Your budget goes a lot further and you’ll get a lot more return on your investment when your ad only shows to patients who are likely to be a good fit.
Here are some of the key features of Google Ads that allow you to control who sees your ad.
Geographical Targeting – Show Your Ads to People Based on Their Location
First is Geographical Targeting – With Google Ads targeting for dentists your ads run close to your office. You can run ads in zip codes that you service – or even in a radius around your office – for example, you can specify that ads are shown only 7 miles around your office. If you’re in a big city, you may wish to specify a small radius – if you’re in a rural area, you can specify a radius of 20 miles or more.
You can even exclude certain geographic locations. As an example, if you have an advertising campaign for dental implants, you can target a certain radius around the office, and exclude the zip code that contains college students and young families. You can actually increase your bids in zip codes or regions that have an older demographic who are more likely to be interested in dental implants.
Scheduling – Only Run Ads When Staff Can Answer the Phone
Next We Have Scheduling Features in AdWords – You can schedule your ads only to run when your office is open and someone is able to answer the phone. I highly advise that you only run ads when staff is available. Callers can be very quick to move on to calling the next dentist on their list if your office doesn’t pick up the phone or your office closed. There’s no point in wasting money on advertising if you can’t service the caller when they are calling.
Device Bidding – Bid Differently Based on the Device Being Used for the Search
With AdWords you Also can Bid More – or less – on certain Devices – You can modify how much you’re willing to pay to show your advertising message based on the device the searcher is using. You can even ensure that your ad won’t be shown at all on certain devices.
So, you can bid more on smartphones – a bit less on desktop computers – and even less than that on tablet devices for the same keyword you wanted to.
Here’s a little tip: with the emergence of smartphones, you’ll want to make sure that you’re advertising on smartphones as they comprise a large percentage of the overall dental service searches.
The added bonus of advertising on smartphones is that the searcher can contact you instantly from their device with a click of a button. Smartphones provide an immediate, easy way for the searcher to make contact that tablets and desktop computers don’t offer.
Budget Control – Don’t Go Over Budget
The next great adwords feature is budget control – New clients always come to me and one of their top concerns is runaway spending. Not a problem in AdWords. You get to determine how much you want to spend on Google AdWords – you can set daily budget limits that your ad campaign won’t exceed. This helps you to keep costs under control.
Demographic Targeting – On Age or Gender
AdWords targeting for dentists also has Demographic targeting – You can Reach desirable Members of your local Community Through Demographic Targeting
While it isn’t perfect, AdWords targeting for dentists does give you the capability to target, exclude or place a premium on certain demographic groups.
For example, if your core patient audience for dental implants is an older demographic – you could completely turn off the 18-24 year old age group to prevent that audience from seeing your ads. You could also bid more on the 55-64 year old demographic as they have proven to be your main target audience.
The same principles apply to gender. While your patients may be an even mix of men and women, in many practices, it is women who actually call the office to set up the appointment. In that case, you may wish to pay a bit more to get your advertising in front of women as opposed to men.
The final Targeting Option I’ll discuss is Negative Keywords
You’ve already seen that you can easily target your audience by their location, by their age, by their gender and even by the time of day.
But there will still be some people that will slip through the cracks that you don’t want seeing your ads.
This is where negative keywords come into play. Negative keywords prevent bad prospects from ever seeing your ads.
I’ll give a couple of quick examples. Let’s say you’re a dentist in Denver, CO. Two categories of searches that you don’t want your ad to show for would be cheapskates —- and patients of your competitors.
Here’s another quick little tip – unless you have an extremely high budget, you don’t want to be advertising on the names of other dentists in your area. Some dentists like the idea of trying to steal patients away from other dentists – but I think this is a poor strategy that offers little in the way of return.
If someone searches for a dentist by name, they are likely already a patient and are trying to get contact information for the dentist to either set up an appointment, follow up on insurance or get an appointment reminder. They probably already have an existing relationship with that dental office and aren’t actively searching for a new dentist.
So, what you need to do is enter negative keywords. When the user has a search term that includes these keywords, your ad won’t show.
For this example, we’re adding free and cheap as keywords to keep out the cheapskates — We’re also adding smith and wilson as negative keywords so our ads don’t show for competing dentists Dr. Smith and Dr. Wilson.
Now when someone searches for Denver dentists our ad will show. But if they search for Free Denver Dentists or for Denver Dentists Dr. Wilson, our ad won’t show.
This is a very powerful way to ensure that the right people see your ad – instead of people who will never become patients.
This lesson scratched the surface on just how powerful Google AdWords on the search network is. AdWords allows you to reach the right patients at the exact moment they are searching for your services.
In the next lesson we’ll be covering the Google AdWords Display Network – which unfortunately isn’t nearly as effective in driving new patients to your practice.
Note: this article originally appeared on our Dental Marketing Class blog.