Is PPC right for your dental practice?

29 January 2024 | | Pay Per Click

Increasing your patient base is important for most dental practices so choosing which marketing channels to focus your adverting on is an important decision.  More traditional forms of advertising, such as a Yellow Pages listing, are now redundant and TV, radio or print adverts are now considered more useful for increasing your brand awareness rather than lead generation.

What about Pay per Click advertising (PPC)? Would this form of advertising meet your marketing goals?

What is PPC?

PPC is a form of online advertising where users a directed to a website or landing page after clicking on an advert on the search results page. 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.

Benefits over traditional forms of advertising

PPC is more targeted:

Who wants to book a dental appointment, or enquire about teeth whitening? People who type that into a search engine – and you can make your ads appear for these keyphrases using PPC. A person reading a local newspaper may get attracted by your ad, but you just don’t know – most readers would probably be concentrating on looking up the local football team’s results!  Advertising using PPC means you a more likely to get that call or email enquiry because you are marketing to people already searching for your services.  PPC is so targeted that you can even prevent users who you don’t want to target from seeing your ad – if you only offered private treatment for example, you could add a ‘negative keyword’ such as NHS to your campaign which would prevent your ad from being shown to users who typed this phrase which will reduce unwanted enquiries.

You get what you pay for:

Traditional forms of advertising are charged by the number of impressions (how many people are likely to see the ad) So the more impressions your ad is likely to get, the higher price you pay. The problem with this is that it doesn’t tie into any desirable action. In PPC advertising, you only pay when a user clicks on your advert, not when they see it. This means that there is significant less risk advertising using PPC, and costs are only accrued after a user has searched for a particular service, seen your advert, then clicked on it for more information.

Measure your performance more accurately

Whilst it is possible to track TV, print or radio advertising performance – you can’t do it nearly as accurately or as in depth compared to a PPC campaign. PPC includes powerful analytics coding which allows you to track your campaign, advert and keyword performance so you can easily tell which of your adverts are getting the most clicks and which keywords are generating the most conversions. Using this more precise data, you can then make more informed strategic decisions to optimise your campaigns.

Higher control over costs

PPC allows you to be in complete control over you advertising costs, which is extremely important for small businesses such as dental practices.  You can set daily budget limits that will never be exceeded  and split that as you wish across different ads, giving you peace of mind that your costs are not escalating out of control. And unlike print media, any poorly performing ads can be revised until they do perform well or deleted quickly if they don’t. One important thing to note is that quality and relevancy is rewarded in PPC – a well optimised campaign can rank higher than competitor campaigns with higher budgets. Compare this to traditional forms of advertising where the company who pays the highest gets the prime ad position, be it a prominent space in a magazine or the best time on the radio.

PPC is also cost effective for those with smaller advertising budgets – local campaigns can typically be setup for as little as £150 per month depending on what you want to target.

Negative view of PPC?

PPC is a fantastic way of attracting new patients, but is there still a negative view on PPC advertising? Would you ‘look desperate’ if you were running a campaign? Of course not, in fact the latest research shows that PPC accounts for around 65% of clicks for commercial intent keyword searches (the natural listings trump PPC for people research keywords rather than commercial) and 45% of people can’t tell the natural listings from the sponsored due to updated search result page designs – so even if you have a negative view on paid listings, the users who click on your ads don’t.

Should I run my PPC campaigns myself?

In short – no. PPC is a fantastic way of targeting new patients online but managing an online marketing campaign can require close attention and diligence. Because of this I would thoroughly recommend you outsource your PPC management to a marketing company that has experience of running Dental Marketing campaigns (tip: look out for companies with a Google Ads accredited logo, this globally recognized official Google approval which showcases that a company is up to date with the latest PPC techniques and best practices which will allow them to run your campaigns effectively and profitably).

This will allow you to concentrate on what you do best….Dentistry!

 

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