Creating a strong online presence and bringing in new patients is a challenge. But paid advertising like PPC can help boost your practice revenues. Unfortunately, some dental practices use PPC incorrectly or with unrealistic/unreasonable expectations and end up paying high amounts for too little return on their investment. Before you make the leap into PPC, let’s look at what makes a dental practice well-suited for PPC.
The Basics of PPC Advertising
PPC or pay-per-click advertising is just what it sounds like. When you display PPC ads, you only pay when someone actually clicks on your advertisement. Most PPC ads are displayed in search engine results or social media sites. After a user searches for a keyword targeted by your ad campaign, they’ll see your business come up either among the first few search entries or in the search engine’s sidebar.
At first, to a dental practice on a budget, PPC might sound extremely reasonable. Thousands of people can see your ad without you paying a cent. However, people fail to take into account bounce rates or accidental clicks.
A “bounce” on your website is when a visitor clicks your link but immediately leaves. They may have clicked your link on accident, immediately decided that the information on your site wasn’t relevant, or became impatient waiting for your site to load. So you should understand that not all the clicks you pay for will even result in a lead.
The other challenge in PPC advertising is targeting the right keywords. The process is similar to choosing keywords for your website’s SEO. When you set up a PPC ad, you’ll need to choose the keywords or phrases that will bring up your ad in a search engine. Choose a keyword that’s too general and you may use up your PPC campaign budget before you even reach your target audience. Choose a keyword that’s too popular, and you’ll have to bid against larger companies for ad space.
Instead, you should choose a long-tail keyword with details specific to your business. Long-tail keywords can include your location, such as “dentist in lincoln park chicago” or a service you’re trying to advertise “dentist who does teeth whitening.” As you can see in the second example, take care to use phrases that your audience would actually use in a search.
Pros of PPC
- Reach more people instantly
- Improve visibility
- Good for limited-time promotions
- Ad content is completely under your control
- Budget limits available on ad campaigns
Cons of PPC
- Easy to overestimate how far your budget can reach
- Finding the best keywords requires trial and error
- Can have a steep learning curve
- Difficult to achieve high ROI in the beginning
When to Use PPC Advertising
Even if PPC is within your practice budget, you don’t need to use it all the time. Instead, consider a few criteria before you start a campaign. You should try PPC advertising when:
You Have a Specific Offer to Promote
Your PPC ad needs focus. A general ad for your business may drive some traffic to your website, but it’s far less compelling than a highly targeted offer for your intended audience.
Your Website is Already Optimized for Leads
If your website has very low conversion rates, don’t start a PPC campaign. In order to generate leads and not just web traffic, you need a system that already works. PPC ads only get a visitor to your landing page. The rest of up to you.
You Have a Plan to Track Results
No one becomes amazing at PPC campaigns overnight. Even with a thorough understanding of your patient persona, it takes a few tests to determine which keywords, ad content, and promotions perform the best. Have a plan in place to measure the success of your ad campaign.
PPC vs. SEO
Some marketers claim PPC is useless and outdated. They usually advocate for SEO in its place, asserting that SEO is free and more effective in the long-term, while PPC can be a drain on your budget. But comparing the two isn’t worth your time.
Every dental practice should work on improving their website’s SEO. But it takes time to build organic SEO, so you can’t expect an instant increase in reach or a quick payout. PPC fulfills a unique function, but strong SEO truly will drive traffic to your website for years to come, provided you maintain your search engine ranking.
So don’t ask whether you should choose PPC or SEO. Always work on SEO and apply PPC when it’s best for your practice.
To learn more ways to drive leads to your dental practice, contact our team of marketing experts at Link360 today.
Link360 is a lead generation company located in South Carolina. We help business generate leads through digital marketing.