Patients today make their healthcare decisions online. A PatientPop survey revealed that 74.6 percent of people have looked online to learn more about a doctor, a dentist, or medical care.
For the most part, patients are looking for their dental care on Google. Google has 88 percent of the U.S. search engine market share, according to StatCounter. According to Google, one in every 20 searches is health-related, which translates to at least 100 billion health searches a year, according to Search Engine Land.
Thus, showing up prominently in Google results is a key marketing priority for any dental practice. Dental ads offer dentists a unique opportunity and competitive advantage in reaching patients who are searching for their services. Read on to learn why paid dental advertising is a good investment for your practice.
How dental ads are different from traditional marketing
1. You control where you rank.
On Google, paid dentist ads appear above organic listings on search engine results pages (SERPs). They look almost identical to organic results but are delineated with the word “Ad” in a green box. Placing a dental ad on search can place you at the top of the search results.
This is important because where you rank on Google matters. Generally speaking, the higher you rank, the more clicks you can expect to receive. According to Advanced Web Ranking, the top organic Google result on desktops garners a click-through rate of about 31 percent, the second position receives about 15 percent, and the third position receives almost 10 percent.
2. The results are immediate.
Online advertising for dental practices is the perfect complement to search engine optimization (SEO). It’s important to have a website optimized for SEO, but climbing search results organically is a steady process, and you may not be ranking for all the keywords that you desire.
When you place a dental advertisement, you can rank the top of the page for that keyword as soon as your campaign goes live, which can mean an instant boost in traffic and dental patients. This can be an especially good strategy if your website has recently been redesigned, as it can take several months for Google to index your site.
3. You can reach your ideal customer.
Unlike more traditional forms of dentist advertising, placing a dentist advertisement on Google allows you to control who can see your ads, meaning you only market to the people you are trying to attract to your practice.
You can select to market only in relevant geography. If you’re a dentist in Brooklyn, for example, you may choose to only market to Brooklyn, rather than all of New York City, depending on your specific goals.
A beginner’s guide: online marketing for dentists
4. Place dentist ads on the highest value keywords.
One goal of search dental advertising is to reach patients who are ready to convert (book an appointment). The keywords that patients use when searching for care can show their intent of seeking dental care.
For example, a patient searching for [teeth whitening] might just be curious about the process and how it works. They may not be ready to book an appointment just yet. However, patients searching for [affordable teeth whitening near me] are showing their intent to seek dental care soon. This may be a higher value keyword because it’s likely to generate more appointment requests. With paid dental advertising, you can rank specifically for these high-value terms.
5. Payment is tied to results.
Paid search advertising for dental practices works on a payment model called pay-per-click (PPC). This literally means that you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. It doesn’t matter how many people have seen your dental ads.
A lot of practices hesitate to spend money on dentist ads, but this pay model makes it a safe marketing investment. Because your ad is targeted to those seeking your specific services, the chance that those clicks become booked appointments is higher than with other dental advertising strategies.
6. The return on investment is highly measurable.
With Google advertisements, you can see everything that’s tied to a click on your ad — from the person’s initial search query to what they did on your website, including whether they booked an appointment or if they called.
You can see which of your dental ads are working and which aren’t and calculate exactly what you’re getting in return for your investment.
7. It’s a consistent marketing investment for your practice.
Because you pay per click on your ad, it may feel like something that’s difficult to plan month-to-month. However, after some trial and error and figuring out which of your dental ads work best for you, this form of dental advertising becomes consistent over time and is something that you can plan for in your business.
Other ad types: 5 online advertising options for healthcare practices
8. You can change your budget at any time.
Paid dental advertising is a flexible form of advertising. You can adjust your budget or start or stop your dental ads at any time. Use online dental ads to serve your marketing needs on a budget and commitment that works best for your practice.
PatientPop provides dental practices with an all-in-one solution that helps them expand their web presence, boost their online reputation, and automate their front office. Our practice growth platform includes a website specially designed to rank in organic search. Our search engine marketing experts also help practices manage paid dental advertising campaigns that are designed to convert.
Ready to get started with paid dental advertising? Read our blog post “Marketing your private practice with paid advertising.”