Do you need to rethink your Online Advertising?

27 February 2015 | | Marketing, Pay Per Click

A practices main goal is to recruit new patients, therefore choosing the best place to advertise becomes very important so you may need to rethink your PPC, mobile and SEO strategies moving forward into 2015.

What is PPC?

If you want to get highly targeted traffic to your website fast then there’s nothing better than a Pay Per Click Campaign, a form of online advertising where users are directed to a website or landing page after clicking on an advert in the search results.

Using AdWords, advertisers can create adverts with a title length of up to 25 characters; the body of the advert is then made up of 2 lines each with a 35 character limit. These adverts are displayed on top or to the right of the natural search results. Advertisers select keywords which will trigger these ads to show in the results and pay a budgeted amount when a potential customer clicks through on the Ad.

Why is PPC better than where I currently advertise?

Using PPC allows you to set up adverts and market to potential patients in the most prominent area of the search results. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) report, search ads accounted for $9.1 billion, or 39%, of the total Internet advertising revenue for the first half of 2014. When including mobile-related search revenue, search ads totalled $11.8 billion in revenue.

More targeted traffic:

Who wants their teeth whitened? A person typing ‘teeth whitening dentist’ into Google does! With PPC you can make sure your advert shows for these people and these people only. By testing various keywords related to your practice, you will be able to create campaigns that will drive traffic to your website.

So, why do people place an advert in the local newspaper? That’s a lottery. People aren’t looking for a dentist, they’re reading the news! PPC removes this gamble as your advert will target only those actively seeking the services you offer. One of our favourite PPC tools is the ability to add ‘negative keywords’. This will prevent wasted clicks and save you money! For example, if you are an exclusively private practice, you could add  ‘NHS’, ‘Cheap’ or even ‘Free’ to your campaign to ensure that someone looking for ‘cheap teeth whitening’ won’t see your advert.

Only pay for what you actually get:

With traditional forms of advertising you will pay a fixed, upfront cost, no matter how much business you gain from it. PPC advertising is so much smarter as you only pay when a user clicks on your advert. So, costs are only accrued after a user has searched for a particular service, seen your advert, and clicked on it for more information which makes for a very good prospect!

Mobile Optimisation:

2014 showed us that trends in paid advertising are pointing more towards social and mobile-friendly designs. Marketing Land reports that 37% of all Web traffic comes from mobile, which indicates that users are increasingly viewing ads on their mobile devices, it’s therefore important to get ahead of this trend going into 2015.

How much will it cost?

Search engine advertising is set to continue to grow in 2015 with PPC bringing in new business within hours, making it a great choice for quickly increasing your sales. As for your budget, you could say that depends on how many patients you want to attract. That being said, it will very much depend on your location and the words you wish to be found for. For example, a dentist in London wishing to be found by a patient with a dental emergency will pay about £2 per click. As a result, this particular dentist could spend upwards of £500 per month. In contrast, a dentist in a small town would be wise to only spend about £150 per month. One of the greatest attractions of PPC is that you are in total control of your spend, meaning you will never be faced with a large, unexpected bill! Managing a PPC campaign is not just a one-off task, the campaigns with the best return on investment are monitored and tweaked on a continual basis. You should therefore set a cost per click, a daily budget and track your results regularly. You’ll soon see if your advert is working. If it’s not, stop it immediately.

SEO and Pay Per Click go hand in hand

PPC is much simpler than search engine marketing however the two go hand in hand. SEO and Pay Per Click advertising are often seen as two different entities however the Google search results contain a lot of information, all of which compete for searchers’ attention. So, while being listed on the first page is great, being listed twice is even better, particularly if both your organic search ranking and ad are listed in the top three organic and top three paid positions. Additionally, if your competitors are listed once on the first page for a particular keyword, while you’re listed twice, you have double the visibility and are at a clear advantage.

The general look of ads changed slightly in 2014 with the yellow backdrop being removed in favour of a yellow label and the underline on ad headlines being removed which makes the organic and paid search results look more similar. In fact, a study shows that 45.5% of Google Search users can’t identify paid results if not clearly listed in the sidebar on the right-hand side of the page. More importantly, 65% of people searching for particular items e.g. ‘dentist London’ will click on a PPC advert as their first port of call. So, even if you have a negative view about PPC, the people looking for a dentist in your area clearly don’t.

Can I run PPC myself?

From adjusting bids so that you’re ahead of your competitors, to tweaking your ad and landing page copy for optimum Quality Score, a PPC campaign needs a lot of care, attention and analysis in order to be successful. It can be a full time job so is sometimes best handled by an experienced PPC expert.

Some companies promise immediate search engine ranking for your website, but they cannot fulfill promises. PPC is an exception to the rule however. By opting for a PPC campaign you can see immediate results and get placed on the top results.

I think we have come to the conclusion that PPC is a fantastic way of targeting new patients online but managing it effectively requires close attention, expertise, marketing skill and foresight. Every year, PPC advertising gets more and more complicated so dealing only with a Google accredited agency – and one that has dental experience – will significantly reduce your risk. This will allow you to concentrate on what you do best – dentistry!

If you would like any further information then give the Dental Design team a call on: 01202677277.

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