Welcome to our fourth webinar of 2022. Today we’ll be talking about how to maximize lead flow with Pay Per Click and Google Ads. My name is Ian Cantle, and I’m the founder and chief strategist at Dental Marketing Heroes. We’re a dental marketing agency whose mission is to help dentists and orthodontists thrive so your team and families can thrive and so you can give more back to your community and worthwhile causes that mean something to you. Today I’ll be sharing information that has the potential to radically impact your practice and increase your new patient numbers.
What We’ll Cover Today
- Why dental and orthodontic practices shouldn’t ignore Google Ads
- Why PPC is key to unlimited scalability in terms of lead flow for your dental practice
- Key pitfalls to avoid with Google Ads
- Key ingredients for Google Ads success
- PPC KPIs
- How to start investing with Google Ads
- Your lead flow is just as important as your campaign and ads
Before we jump in, I like to offer a free resource in every webinar I present. And this month, if you stay until the end of the webinar, I’ll be providing a code for you to get a copy of our free Ultimate Dental Online Marketing Checklist.
Now let’s jump in by asking the question that is on many practice owners’ minds:
Who am I and why should you listen to me?
Well, I’m the author of Content Marketing for Local Search, which is an Amazon bestseller marketing book. I’m a weekly podcaster on the Marketing Guides For Small Businesses podcast, I have over 20 years of marketing experience, lots of certifications that I’ll share a little bit more about later. And the most important thing is I’ve shown our clients tremendous return on their marketing investment.
Now the other question you’re asking is, Should Pay Per Click and Google Ads be part of my overall Internet marketing strategy? Should I invest in Google Ads? Will it yield a good return on investment? And these are great questions. Before we explore those questions, let’s make sure we are all on the same page about Google Ads and Pay Per Click.
What Is PPC?
PPC is an acronym for Pay Per Click. And this can be attributed to any online advertising platform where you can Pay Per Click rather than Pay Per Impression. Generally, it’s attributed to Google Ads, Bing Ads, and other search platforms. And this is very different from social media advertising like Facebook or Instagram, which are very popular where you pay by impression generally.
I shared this slide during our SEO Webinar last month to explain how the three pack in Google works when people are searching. So in this webinar, I’ll highlight the paid ads side of things. But it’s important that you understand as a practice owner how this works. So when you enter a search term into Google like ‘dentist near me’, in nanoseconds, Google looks at its database of potential websites to send you to. Its algorithm looks at a myriad of factors, and presents the search engine results in order of priority of relevance. Google is a business, so it presents the ads first, then it presents map listings in which ads are often present, and then it presents the organic results. And wouldn’t you know it, there’s ads at the bottom of that list as well!
The most authentic data is the organic map results and the organic results. But surprisingly, even though ads represent only a small fraction of all search clicks, about 2% to 4%, usually it is extremely effective and offers a high return on investment when done right, because you’re only paying for the clicks.
Should PPC And Google Ads Be Part Of My Overall Internet Marketing Strategy?
So let’s go back to the original question. Should Google Ads be part of your internet strategy? The answer is a resounding yes. For most dental practices and orthodontic practices, it absolutely is a vital part of any strategic marketing plan. Here’s why.
- It helps you, first of all, to quickly show up in search results and get immediate results for your money.
- You show up where your prospective patients are looking. These are qualified buyers looking to fill their need. It’s either going to be you or it’s going to be someone else. I’ve got to believe that you believe that it should be you.
- You appear in searches outside of your geographic strengths, meaning you’re always strongest for organic results and map listings the closer you are to your location. So Google Ads helps you reach a broader audience of qualified buyers more often.
- It provides unlimited scalability. What I mean by this is that it becomes a simple mathematical equation that if you can handle a larger capacity of patients and desire to do so, Google Ads enables you to…
- Measure your ROI, your return on investment, and simply increase your Ad spend to get more qualified leads.
So here’s a simple real life example.
A dentist is spending about $2,000 a month. They get about 70 calls from these ads per month because we track how many calls they get from their ads. And this results in 15 new patients per month directly attributed to their ads. For this practice, a new patient’s lifetime value is conservatively $10,000 per patient. So your $2,000 just brought in $150,000 in lifetime value to your practice.
Even with attrition of new patients over time this is a very gratifying return on investment, and it’s a simple mathematical equation. Now imagine the dentist wanted to quickly double their new patients. All they would have to do is double their spend and continue to monitor and optimize their Google Ads. And now they’ve turned $4,000 into $300,000 of lifetime value. So I hope you’ll agree that this is a pretty fantastic method of generating new patients for your practice.
But some practices that have tried Google Ads have run into trouble. Often when there’s less expertise managing their accounts, that causes trouble. So let’s explore the key pay per click pitfalls and why many pay per click campaigns fail or achieve lower return on investment.
Key PPC Pitfalls To Avoid
Here are some key pitfalls.
- They fail to understand the auction process and complexity of the dental industry and how it works within Google Ads.
- They set up only ONE AD for all their services.
- They don’t create continuity between the search term, the ad, the landing page, and the calls to action on the landing page. Just sending people to your home page is a disaster in the making and a money pit for sure, but it’s done a lot.
- Another pitfall is that there’s no strong calls to action or offers on the landing page.
- Not measuring conversions that matter like calls and forms and being able to attribute them to your Google Ad spend.
- No negative keywords. This is a huge one. A lot of people spend money for clicks that aren’t relevant to their practice.
- We see this all the time when we take over accounts for clients and they have a set-it-and-forget-it attitude. Nothing could be further from the truth. If ad accounts are left to their own demise, they actually trend downwards over time.
Now bear with me as we move on to the next key pay per click pitfall, which is huge.
Over the years, Google has built into their Google Ads platform a thing called Recommendations SEO. What they’re trying to do is offer you a glimpse of, ‘here’s what’s happening in your account and here are the recommendations that we would have you do’. And on the surface, this seems like a fantastic way to get more results out of your ad spend. But here’s the challenge.
Some of the recommendations Google makes are good, but you have to know the difference and some are absolutely horrible. And again, you have to know the difference. Some common challenged recommendations that Google gives you that you should not take at first glance are when it recommends changing your Keyword Type. This can be huge. This can radically affect and diminish your results.
Also, watch out for Bid Strategy Recommendations. They make it sound so easy and simple that this small change will have big positive ramifications. The challenge is that your bid strategy dictates everything about your campaign. So you need to be very clear in your understanding of what this change means and actually how it affects the other areas of your Google Ad setup.
The other one, and this one is super common and it makes me chuckle, is that Google is always telling you to up your budget. They want you to spend more money. Google is a business. They want you to spend more money on their platform. So every time you get a recommendation every single month, they will tell you if you spend more, you will get more results — which does make sense to some level. But if your ad campaign is not running on all cylinders, you’re just going to be spending more money on these ads with low return on investment rather than a high return on investment. And watch out for Target Calls To Action (CTA) recommendations.
Again, none of these things are bad in and of themselves. But when you relinquish control of these things to Google, it is never a good thing and you will actually lose money over time. So let me say this again. Do not accept all of Google Ads recommendations. This is not a problem usually, when an expert is handling your account for you. But if you as a business owner, or somebody within your practice, is running your Google Ads, this is a really common problem and it makes costs escalate and returns on investment go down. So you’ll spend more money every month and be paying more per lead. And that’s never a good thing.
Ingredients For Success With PPC Campaigns
So now that we’ve looked at the pitfalls, let’s look at success ingredients for your Google Ads campaigns because I want you to be successful. Now, a lot of the things we’re going to talk about are not sexy topics. They’re very detailed, they get into the minutiae, but they’re very, very important.
The actual structure of your Google Ads account will often dictate its long-term success or failure. And one of the things I want to talk about is setting up call and form tracking on your website so that you can directly attribute to a source where these phone calls and form completions are coming from. And as I say here, this is huge. This is absolutely a game changer for businesses. When you can start to directly attribute true leads coming into your business, whether they’re calls or form completions, it will radically change how you view the return on investment for your ads. You’re not guessing anymore.
So conversion tracking within Google Ads is a must as well. So basically, I’m talking about layering tracking. So you have call and form tracking, which is outside of Google. You have conversion tracking within Google, and then you want to break down your campaigns into ad groups targeting your various services. Sometimes you can even get as granular as targeting specific geolocations.
But let’s talk at a higher level about targeting your services. The reason for this is that it gives you levers that you can pull directly related to those services. It also means that you can present specific ads that target those services.
And again, we’ll get into why continuity of relevance is really important. You need to take the time to learn about keyword match types if you’re going to be managing your account, this is really important. Keyword match types can make or break you. And sometimes, depending on your campaign strategy, you actually will have competing keyword match types that will diminish the return on investment for that type of bidding strategy. So you want to be really knowledgeable and careful about that.
Of course you want to write compelling ads. This is the first thing that’s presented to somebody when they see the ads. It’s the copy, it’s the headline. What is it that you’re presenting to them? It needs to be compelling. They’ve entered a search term. They might be looking for a ‘dentist near me’ or an ‘orthodontist near me’ or ‘dental implants’, ‘the cost of dental implants’, etc. Whatever it is, you need to write a more compelling ad than your competition, because this is a competition. This is one of the interesting places in marketing where you know very clearly, ‘I am competing with these other people’. So you need to do a better job than the competition.
You need to leverage ad extensions. We’ll talk a little bit more about this later. But ad extensions give you more impactful ads because you need to basically leverage everything that Google gives you access to, because they’re giving you different tools in your toolbox. And if you’re ignoring some of the tools that they’ve provided to you, you’re actually inhibiting the results you could be getting. And again, it’s about showing up better than your competition, creating more compelling ads. Ad extensions allow you to include a whole bunch of different things in your ads. And if you’re doing it and your competition is not, you’ll get more clicks. It’s been proven if your competition is doing it and you’re not, they’ll get more clicks. And it’s been proven.
You need to create compelling, specialized landing pages. I’ll get into more of the why of this, but this is really important. You need to structure your whole campaign around your buyer’s journey, your patient’s journey, so to speak.
And as I talked about in the pitfalls, you can’t have a set-it-and-forget-it attitude. You need to continuously optimize and split test your Ads’ campaigns, keywords, landing pages. It is a never-ending process, but what it will mean is that you’ll continue to get more bang for your buck and get more conversions, which is ultimately what you’re looking to get out of this, and a higher return on investment.
So with these key elements in place, your chance of success rises significantly with Google Ads.
Now let’s drill down into a key area that’s really, really important. I talked a little bit about conversion tracking, and this is the key to determining the return on investment of your Google Ads and to clearly attributing your leads to Google Ads and other sources.
The beautiful thing about setting up good tracking is that it means that not only will you know what the return on investment is for Google Ads, but if you have a good agency managing your account and they’re managing your SEO, they’ll be able to directly attribute your organic results to conversions as well.
So most practices are only guessing where their leads are coming from. Or maybe they have a vague idea or some vague tracking in place. But the key here is to connect the dots between a new patient, so money in your pocket, and the activities that you’re doing from a marketing perspective. So to be truly successful, you need to put in place clear tracking.
Google offers a very small version of this where they can replace a number in your ad and that kind of thing. But this is hardly helpful to a practice. What you need is deep call and form attribution that attaches a source to your leads that come in, whether it’s through a form or phone calls. And to do this you need a system, and the system needs to dynamically swap out a phone tracking number on your website for a different source. So depending on what source they come from, it will present a unique phone number.
So the beautiful thing about this is that you’ll be able to know, these phone calls came through our Google Ads account. These phone calls came through our SEO. These phone calls came through social media. These ones were direct. So somebody actually typed in our URL and came to our website. And so you’ll have a very clear idea of phone calls and form completions that are directly attributed to your different marketing efforts. This will enable you to not only attribute leads to pay per click, but also your SEO efforts and social media efforts, as I mentioned. And it will give you website form tracking all in one place.
So this is something that we do for every client who hires us to manage their Google Ads accounts. And the reason we do this is that we want to know our long-term success. We know that when we do this, we’ll be able to directly attribute the return on investment for our clients so they know, hey, Dental Marketing Heroes is doing this for me. Here’s the result. Here’s the return on investment. This creates very sticky clients for us. That’s what we want. We want long-term relationships. And it gives you as the practice owner, very clear return-on-investment details so that you know where you can invest more of your marketing dollars to get more results.
So really focus on that. And if you want to talk more about it, please set up a discovery call with me. I’m happy to chat with you about that.
Google Ads and KPIs — the next success ingredient for Google Ads is to define your key performance indicators, or KPIs.
- For most practices, this will mean tracking and reporting on your total Google Ads costs, which needs to include your Ad spend plus your management fees.
- Number two, your average cost per click. So that’s how much every single click is costing you on average
- Your average cost per lead. You want to know, okay, people saw our ad, which is an impression. They clicked on our ad, which is a click. They went to our website which is a conversion, and they did an action, which is a lead. And that action is either a phone or form completion, or could be some other action, but those are the two main ones and you want to understand directly and connect the cost per lead so that you can know if you’re improving or failing on those.
- And of course you want to know your return on investment.
- You’ll also want to ensure that your Google Ads Manager provides month-over-month reporting.
- And even more importantly, this is something we do for all our clients, is we do month over the same month from the previous year reporting. The reason why we do that is month-over-month reporting by itself can often be misleading. You’ll see fluctuations from month to month. For example, December might be a horrible month for most dentists. Even though benefits are running out, most people use those up before December. Your practice might be closed down for a couple of weeks due to Christmas. Obviously, your results are going to be worse in December than they are in January. So when you do your January reporting, you’ll suddenly look like you’re a rock star at Google Ads, when in fact it’s just seasonality SEO.In order to bypass that, we actually run a month over the same month of the previous year report. This takes out the seasonality from the equation and it shows whether you’ve improved year-over-year for that particular month as well. Of course, in the back end, you’ll want the person managing your account to be watching all of the metrics within Google related to impression, share and quality score, and click-through rates. But at a high level, you shouldn’t care about those because the four metrics we’re showing here will keep your finger on the pulse of how well your Google Ads are performing. And they will be the canary in the coal mine if something is going wrong. So you’ll be able to say, hey, Google Ads Manager, what is going on here? It seems like our cost per click is going up, our conversions are going down, our ROI is plummeting. What’s the deal? Or the opposite is true as well. Let’s put some more money towards it.
So a really great report that you should ask your Google Ads Manager for is a KPI dashboard.
So a Key Performance Indicator dashboard, or another term we like to use is an Executive Dashboard, that reports on key metrics for you as a practice owner. Not only does it show you what your monthly results are for your key performance indicators, but it shows the percentage change over the previous month’s SEO. Think of it like the dashboard in a car or the dashboard in an airplane. It’s telling you at a glance, what’s the health of my car or airplane? How are things going?
And that’s really important for you just to be able to keep an eye on things. You don’t need to be in the minutiae, but you do need to have your finger on the pulse. So this, along with your expert insights that your Google Ads Manager will provide you, will help you make smart decisions and retain a high level of confidence that your investment in Ads is performing well.
One final note, let me just go back to that. We see this a lot of times in the industry is that people will hire a Google Ads Manager. They’ll send you a report, but there’s really no way for you as the practice owner to understand what the results are. So what we’ve done over the years is we’ve developed a really neat type of reporting for our clients where we actually create SEO.
Not everybody has the time to put an hour-long meeting in their calendar to meet with their Google Ads Manager. So we actually record a video of us walking through the detailed results of, here’s what we did for you in Google Ads this month, here’s what the results are, here’s the return on investment, and here’s recommendations that we would like to give you in order to help you as the practice owner know whether you should be investing more, what your next steps are, where there’s some other low-hanging fruit. And this has been extremely helpful to our clients. We constantly get feedback that this video insights report helps them tremendously because it was really hard for them to understand and navigate reports that were just sent to them as a PDF.
So that’s a great question for when you’re hiring someone as well. How do they make sure that you understand the results? Now, I referred to this a little bit. I foreshadowed it. Another big success ingredient relates to the continuity of relevance and relevance of your visitor’s journey.
Continuity & Relevance Through Journey
So let’s explore this in depth. Here are some key components of an ad campaign that a visitor sees. There’s lots more in the background, but this is all about relevance and continuity throughout their experience.
Let me just pull these up and this is really important. Why? Because it’s important to the user and it’s important to Google. So these are your two target audiences. When you do Google Advertising, you have the user and you have Google.
So Google knows that they will have a happier searcher. Who will return for more searches if Google presents the most relevant search results in both organic and in the advertising side. But Google doesn’t stop watching the interaction after it presents your ad. So to walk you through this, let’s look at an actual search. So I’m looking for the ‘best dentist near me’.
I enter that into the Google search. I press submit. Google presents me with three ads, as well as map listings, organic results, some more ads… and I like the information in the ad I see on top and I click on it. And it’s important to note too, that the first ad gets more clicks than the secondary and third ads. So your ad copy is really important because you’re trying to compel someone to click on it.
The ad takes me to a landing page. The landing page perfectly aligns with what I was searching for, and it reinforces the information that made me click. I was looking for the ‘best dentist near me’. The ad copy told me, this dentist is the best dentist in Bradford. Where I’m located the landing page perfectly supported that premise.
Here’s the reason why this is the best dentist in Bradford and it presented a strong call to action that aligned with what I was searching for. Come in and learn why we’re the best dentist in Bradford. Here’s a checklist to find the best dentist in Bradford. The five key compelling questions you have to ask before choosing a dentist. And it showed me, here’s some clear ways I can take action right now. In order to have my first appointment, I can phone by clicking on a button. I can complete a form and they’ll call me back.
The scenario I just walked you through is so common, we all do it.
So the scenario I shared would result in a high quality Google Ad score. So, a Google Ad score of high quality and a landing page experience, which is something else Google tracks, and it would give you a good rating in Google’s eyes. Google then uses this information and scores as a key factor for ranking your ads in the future and will result in your cost per click going down, which is a good thing, and making your ad spend go even further. So that’s scenario one.
The alternative is if somebody didn’t do that, if you as a business didn’t create continuity of relevance throughout. The alternative is what a lot of companies do. They present a generic ad that doesn’t align with the search term. The ad copy is generic as well and doesn’t align with what the searcher was looking for. So they probably don’t even click on the ad. But if they do click on the ad, it might even take them to the home page, which again is generic. And this just creates frustration in the visitor and they bounce off your site — and Google’s watching all of this.
The result is that Google knows this and your cost per click will go up and your priority placement will go down, resulting in a lower conversion rate and a lower return on investment. So that’s really important for you to understand as a practice owner who’s considering advertising on Google Ads. It’s all about quality, score and page experience in Google’s eyes.
How To Write Better Ad Copy Than Your Competition
Now how to write better ads against your competition. One key component mentioned in the last slide was your ad copy. The words you use to compel people to click, they have to be better than your competition. Again, this is a head-to-head competition, not just in your visitor’s eyes, but in Google’s eyes.
So it has to be relevant to the search term that somebody entered. It’s a lot of work, but your work will pay off in lower ad costs and higher returns on investment. So how do you create good ad copy? Of course, the easiest way, and you’ll hear this a few times through this webinar — Google Ads can get very complex, so I always would suggest hiring an expert. People who do this every day are very good at it, just like you’re very good at what you do. So here are some tips about writing ad copy.
Less is more. Most often you don’t have to use big words. You don’t have to say more sometimes. In fact, when we do a B testing, we often create competing ads, one with short ad copy, one with long ad copy just to see how it performs. Sometimes we’re surprised when the short ad copy outperforms the long ad copy, or vice versa.
Number two, perfectly align the ad with what people are searching for. So this takes a lot of work because you want to make sure that your keywords are directly attributed in sending people to a particular ad and that your ad is sending people to a particular landing page.
Tell them what you want them to do. What are your calls to action? What is compelling for them? Is it an offer? Is it a free checklist? It could be anything. It could be 20% off. You name it. And I strongly suggest you try different things.
If you have special offers for service, then reference it in the ad. Try to make your ad as compelling as possible. Look at what your competitors are advertising. That’s a helpful way to do it as well.
But don’t offer too many options of what they should do. You want to keep their decision super simple. You just want them to click on the ad.
Now one of the things that’s often overlooked because again, not everybody understands the platform deeply, and I’ve noticed that some practice owners treat this as kind of a pet project. They weren’t super happy with the results they got with someone. They might have tried someone else, and eventually they just get frustrated. But they keep hearing that Google Ads can work for them, so they bring it in-house. They do it themselves. It becomes kind of their moonlighting project. But part of the challenge is, without deep understanding of what’s available to you in your toolkit, sometimes you miss things, and ad extensions are one of those things that often gets missed by people.
Use Ad Extensions To Make Your Ad Stand Out
We’re not going to go too far into the weeds on this, but you need to understand that there are tools available, whether it’s you or your Google Ads Manager, that you can use to your benefit to help you show up better than your competition. So let’s highlight a few.
There’s call extensions. This makes your phone number pop out as a key action that people can take under your ads.
There’s structured snippets. These are pieces of information, again, that pop out.
There’s call out ad extensions. These are things like Meet Our Team. While you have to be careful about Number One Dentist, you can call out different things about your practice that people care about.
There’s site link extensions. These are things that we’ll send them directly to. As an example, your Request An Appointment page.
There’s location extensions where it will actually show where your address is in relation to them.
Lead form extensions — you can actually have a lead form pop-up directly in Google Ads.
And there’s keyword insertion extensions. And these actually allow you to, in a dynamic way, have the actual keyword that somebody entered show up in your ad. And you have to do this with a very clear understanding of how to do it well. Otherwise you could be creating gobblygook. But when done well, this can be a very powerful way to create relevance and continuity with the search term through to your ad.
The important thing to note is that these extensions make you stand out more than your competition who doesn’t use them. It’s also important to remember that if your competition is using them and you’re not, you’re at a disadvantage. So you have to get using them. They’ve been proven to raise click-through rates and conversions, so it’s to your benefit not to ignore them.
Now, the next step from your search term to your ad to your calls to action, is your landing page. And it must align with both your search term that somebody entered, and your ad.
Your Landing Page Must Align
So continuing with their journey, your landing page. It has to be relevant and part of the continuity process.
So most landing pages that are successful are simple. You want it to directly relate to what people are searching for.
It needs to be compelling. You need to have an offer. In this example, there’s actually a countdown timer for when they can get this dental implant assessment and free teeth whitening kit. So there’s lots of things you can offer, but you need to be really clear and you need to make it compelling.
It needs to be clear what they have to do in order to get what you’re offering.
You want to talk about the benefits. A lot of people fall into this very common marketing mistake of just showing features as opposed to benefits. So, this is a feature of our practice, whereas you want to convert that feature into how it benefits the patient. So you have to talk about benefits. How does your massage chair actually benefit the patient? How does your process in which you deliver expert patient care benefit your patient? There’s lots of ways to do it, but you have to be savvy about that.
You want to include social proof. So in this example, it shows a testimonial. So you want to make sure that you’re providing social proof. It could be Google reviews. It could be a testimonial. Whatever it is, you want to show social proof that you are indeed the quality dentist or orthodontist that you say you are. And having other people say it is always more powerful than you yourself saying it.
And as mentioned earlier, if you have an offer and it’s relevant to the search term and the ad and the landing page, then by all means include that as well. You’re trying to reduce barriers to people taking action.
Now let’s talk about lead flow. It’s really important.
Your Lead Flow Is Just As Important As Your Ad Campaigns
Usually the conversation about Google Ads stops there. You got somebody to your landing page. They filled in your form or picked up the phone. They called you. Fantastic.
We’re not like that. You’re not like that. And most importantly, your patient isn’t like that. Their journey continues after they fill in a form or pick up the phone. So what happens after your visitor takes action is as vital to your success as the steps that happened before.
Now this is where things get more into your wheelhouse. But I want to talk about lead flow management because it’s so important. I don’t want it to get lost in the discussion because it’s so vital to your true return on investment. As a practice owner, what kind of experience are you providing to your new patient — or even before they become a patient?
So a visitor calls or submits a form — what’s their experience, what’s your lead flow process? Is there an auto-responder follow-up? If it’s a form, super easy… ‘Hey, John, thanks for contacting us. We’ll be in touch within 6 hours… 3 hours, 2 hours, 1 hour… we’ll get in touch with you within 24 hours’. Whatever you can deliver, this will at least help them to know that you’ve heard them and you’re going to respond.
You need to make the human connection as quickly as possible. Whether this is texting, whether it’s picking up the phone, whatever it is, even a legitimate, authentic email response is better than no response. You have to create that human connection. Of course, phone is always best because you’re directly connecting with someone.
We always recommend having a nurture email or text campaign that flows out of this. So as soon as somebody contacts you, why would you not create this flow of nurturing over time where you’re telling them, hey, this is what we do best. This is why we’re the best at what we do. These are the things that make our clinic special. Here are some client testimonials, right? You’re just dripping out information over time. The more you can directly align it again, continuity with what they were searching, the better. But even having a generic nurture flow afterwards can yield big results, even if it’s educating your future patient.
And then it’s all about the customer experience. You’re delivering a great patient experience to them. When they come in for their first meet and greet, their first check up, their first treatment, you’re creating a great customer experience. And of course, that’s where you guys live. That’s the core of your practice.
And then it’s, after that, what do you do in order to have them share that great experience with others? Whether it’s through Google reviews, Facebook recommendations, video testimonials… all are super powerful. So you need to think about all these things. And so that’s why I’m talking about this, because you have to remember the patient experience doesn’t stop at the click, and that’s really important to remember. So all of this sounds good.
How To Start Investing In Google Ads
Maybe you’re thinking, Ian, I’ve tried Google Ads, but I’m ready to try again. Or, Ian, I’ve never done this. How do I start investing wisely in Google Ads? SEO? I’m not going to go real deep into this. I’m just going to say, here’s what I would recommend. Find a good, proven Google Ads provider. Ask them to show you some reports that they’ve done for their clients so that they can prove that they’re actually generating great return on investment. Have a conversation with them. I’ll actually share some questions in a minute about what you should be asking them.
Then get your landing pages, ad copy, and call tracking set up. If the person you’re talking to does not talk about landing page optimization, ad copy optimization, and call and form tracking, run away, go find somebody else.
Then start with a small ad spend. This is very relative to where you are as far as your budget, but from my perspective, a small ad spend is $500 to $1,000 per month. Any lower and you start to see diminishing return on investment and you won’t show up enough against your competition because dentists spend a fair bit on Google Ads.
Then monitor, tweak, improve over a three-month period. And by that time you’ll have a very clear indication of what’s working, what’s not. In fact, within the first month you’ll see a good return on investment. No doubt if you’ve chosen a good Google Ads provider, you will see a good return on investment. But by month three they’ll have had time to even tweak and improve what the return on investment is for you.
So you’ll feel even more compelled to invest more into Google Ads. And you need to remember, Google Ads is just one part of your overall marketing strategy. It does not replace SEO and having a strategic marketing plan for your practice. You really need those things. Or you’ll always be spending money on Google Ads to grow your practice. And you don’t want that. You actually want a balanced portfolio of what’s building your practice.
Now, some important questions to ask your Google Ads provider or your potential Google Ads provider. And these are really important.
Important Questions To Ask Your Google Ads Provider
So these are questions you should be asking somebody. And I’ll role play it out.
How much of my budget goes to Google ad spend versus your management fees? And watch out for hidden costs. One of the things that we’ve done early on, when we started providing Google Ads management, we really struggled with, there’s kind of two pricing models for Google Ads. One is you pay a Google Ads management provider a lump sum and they take that lump sum. Some of it goes to them. Some of it goes to Google. As I mentioned earlier, I came from the corporate world before starting my business and I didn’t like that model. I felt there wasn’t enough transparency there.
So what we recommend is that your management fees and your ad spend are actually two separate things and that your ad spend is directly billed to your credit card, your own practice credit card, and not to the manager, the agency. And then the management fee is billed to you by the agency. And this just creates really clear delineation. And there’s no hidden costs whatsoever. So that’s two good questions there hidden in one.
The second question, what type of tracking will you be putting into place? Do you do AdWords call and web form attribution tracking? And will you delineate pay per click calls versus organic calls versus social media calls versus direct calls? These questions are really vital. Again, if you don’t track it properly, you can’t understand your performance and you can’t truly understand your return on investment.
So this is really important. How will you track and share key performance indicators for my practice related to Google Ads? Another really great question. And if they answer that, they’ll provide you with a KPI dashboard directly related to the key performance indicators that you tell them are most important. That’s a checkmark. A nice green checkmark. If they tell you that they’ll provide you with a walk-through video of what was done and the results of it each month, another great big green checkmark. If they tell you that they’ll send you a PDF report from their business, which, you should know, is probably automatically pumped out from their monitoring tool… that’s a big red X. You don’t want that.
Number four, will you be setting up specific landing pages for each ad group? Or will traffic just go to the homepage or existing service pages or one landing page for everything? This is really important. We’ve already covered why you want to make sure they’ll do that, but with some Google Ads managers, there’s an extra cost. Like sometimes when we build out campaigns, depending on the type of practice, we don’t include that on other ones. We include it in our price. So it’s an important question.
Number five, do you split test ads in ad groups? Again, the only way to get better results is to continuously optimize and test things. And then if there’s a winner between an AB test, you put all of the ducks in that basket for that particular ad campaign. So that’s how you do it. You test it. A lot of times in marketing, you have a hypothesis, you test your hypothesis, and then you learn from it.
Number six, will you be leveraging ad extensions to make my ads stand out more than my competition? If so, which ones? How will that be done? Really great question.
And number seven, what are our targets for cost per lead and return on investment? So from our experience, we would share with you, hey, here’s some sample costs per lead that we have with our current clients. And here are some example returns on investment that we’re seeing. And so that helps.
You know, just, are these guys really good at what they’re doing now? I know it’s a lot to understand. We’ve covered a whole heap of stuff, but I hope you found this really helpful. And implementing it is obviously harder than just talking about it. It takes a lot of training and experience to do it well.
And for most dentists and orthodontists, they will never do Google Ads themselves or even have an in-house person do it because you usually don’t have the staff to do it. So you need an external partner to help you. And that’s where we come in. At Dental Marketing Heroes, we’ve become well-known for our expertise in Google Ads.
We’re a National Excellence award winning agency. For the past three years, we’ve been named a top SEO and Web development agency. We’re an SEO for Growth Certified consultant, and we’re a Strategy First Master Certified Duct Tape Marketing Consultant. As mentioned earlier, I’m also a co-host on a weekly small business marketing podcast called Marketing Guides for Small Business, where we explore lots of different topics that are relevant to you as a practice owner. And I co-authored a book about local SEO called Content Marketing for Local Search: Create Content That Google Loves and Prospects Devour. So that’s all I’m going to say about me and my team.
But to say the very least, we love helping clients with their whole marketing strategy, SEO, and Google Ads as part of that strategy, and we see really great return on investment. We find that when we implement our comprehensive marketing engine into practices, we consistently achieve a greater than five times return on investment for you. And SEO is a key part of that. Google Ads is a key part of that. So if you’re interested in learning more, please schedule a free marketing consultant consultation with me.
And one of the things I should say too, is that a 5X ROI is very, very conservative from our standpoint. Even when we look at just Google Ads alone we actually get returns on investment for our dental clients in upwards of 100 times return on investment. So we see great return on investment from Google Ads.
Now as promised, I wanted to share some free resources with you. So to get a free copy of the Ultimate Dental Marketing Checklist just go to that QR code, scan it in, enter your information and you’ll get that delivered right to your inbox.
And of course I want to make myself available to you for a free strategy session so just click on the link in the email that will follow this webinar, or click right here and we can book a time together.
And lastly, I’d like to invite you to join us for our next webinar in this very exciting series of webinars that we’re doing and it will cover the important topic of everything you need to know about Google Business Profiles. You might not even know what a Google Business Profile is because it used to be called Google My Business up until a few months ago, and they recently changed it to Google Business Profiles. So on May the 6th, 2022 at 12:00 p.m. ET we will be covering this: How to Leverage Google Business Profiles to Attract More Leads and Help You Grow Your Practice.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this — Keep Calm and Market On!