How To Set Up A Paid Ad Campaign To Get 20 New Patients Every Month
What is a paid ads campaign?
A paid ads campaign is when you pay to have links to specific landing pages placed at the top of the results when users search for specific terms in a search engine. Of course, there are many distinct elements that go into a successful paid ads campaign, and we’ll delve into each of them as we go along. But in general, it’s best to think of the process as buying clicks, because you are only charged by the search engine when a user clicks through on your targeted ad. This type of marketing is also known as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising for this very reason, and you will see this term used interchangeably with “paid ads.”
Of course, every search engine operates their own PPC platform, but the vast majority of web searches now belong to Google, so naturally it makes sense to focus your resources there. Google’s paid ads platform is officially known as Google Ads, and it was formerly called Google AdWords (although colloquially, both names are still common). For this piece, we’ll be talking exclusively about how to run Google Ads for your dental practice.
It’s important to note that while both marketing strategies involve search engines, a paid ads campaign is a separate marketing channel from SEO. SEO is all about finding ways for users to find your company organically, and it’s important in its own right. However, creating an effective paid campaign allows you to target detailed groups of prospective patients with highly specific keywords, and to guide them quickly to tailored landing pages that will motivate them to take action at the right moment.
We’ll discuss them in greater detail soon, but first let’s introduce the three broad components that go into making a great paid ads campaign:
Think about whom you ideally want to click on your paid ads: remember, you pay every time they do, so it doesn’t make sense to target searchers who have a low likelihood of purchasing your dental services. You can create a great ad with a perfect offer and a landing page that facilitates the process for them, but if the right people aren’t seeing it then your campaign is grounded before it even takes off.
Once you know who you want to view your ads, you have to create compelling and interesting ad copy that will entice them to click through. This is one of the trickiest parts of honing your campaign, because you have limited space and time to say something that will convey immediate value to the searcher and set you apart from the crowd.
You’ve targeted the correct people, and they are motivated by your ad copy, so where do they go from there? Hopefully to a precisely curated landing page that expands on the information you’ve already provided, and gives them a clear and easy path for following through on your call to action. When these three elements are in harmony, you’ll start to see your paid ads campaign deliver reliable results and connect you to patients who are primed for your services.
Why is a successful paid ads campaign important for dental practices?
You may be asking, “do I need to pay money for a campaign when I can just work on my SEO instead?” Once again, SEO is useful, but the two strategies generally accomplish different things.
For one, a paid ads campaign allows you to get your business in front of your prospects quickly, whereas SEO is more of a curated process that evolves over time. With just a small amount of configuration, you can ensure that your paid ads will get views and increase your practice’s visibility.
Also, an effective paid ads campaign is the best way to capitalize on the immediateness of the moment for people who are searching for local dental practices. In ideal circumstances, you’re placing your ad in front of a person who used a search term that suggests they are ready to book an appointment right now. When you add a compelling offer and an impeccable landing page to the mix, you’re giving yourself an excellent chance of a conversion.
How to create a Google Ads campaign
The first time you log into Google Ads with your Google account, they will walk you through the process to set up AdWords campaign so you can increase your traffic in no time. The process itself is fairly straightforward, but there are a few different steps where it will be helpful to elaborate so that you have the best chance of success.
The first thing you need to know is what search terms you want to advertise for, and that requires keyword research. If people aren’t searching for the terms you are advertising for your campaign will be a nonstarter, but thankfully Google has a powerful keyword suggestion tool that will help you narrow down your possibilities.
Google will also tell you the cost-per-click for specific keywords, which is crucial because you need to know whether there is a viable chance of profitability before you make the decision to advertise. To determine this, you’ll need to know your average website conversion rate and the profit-per-customer you expect to earn from each new convert. Then, you can do some simple math to determine whether or not you can afford to pay for a specific keyword based on the cost Google is asking for.
Your local competitors are also using Google Ads to reach their patients, and they may already have a head start in figuring out which keywords work well for them. Unfortunately, Google won’t just tell you which keywords your competitors are advertising for, but there are some external ways that you can get an idea of what’s working for them.
First, try searching for some potential keywords yourself and see what ads pop up. This will give you insight into who your competitors are targeting. Additionally, there are some third-party tools that analyze PPC keywords, and you can use them to enter a competitor’s domain into the field to get an overview of their strategy.
Distilling your unique value proposition
After you discover what keywords will be beneficial to advertise for, the next step is to decide what to say in your ads. This should be based on your unique value proposition, or the reason why a person clicking on your ad would choose to make an appointment with you instead of choosing another practice or taking no action at all. Think about your specific strengths as an organization, peruse your reviews, and talk directly to your existing patients to see why they made the choice they did. All of this info can be used to craft a value proposition that will engage interested searchers and signal to unqualified leads that they should look elsewhere.
Creating a compelling offer
When you know what your value proposition is you can use it to create an offer that will be the core of your paid ad campaign. The perfect offer explains exactly why the user should take action at this time. It’s irresistible to a person whose needs match with your capabilities, and tells them exactly how they can continue the process (also known as the call to action).
Tips for optimizing your ad targeting
You’re not going to launch a paid ads campaign with a perfectly tailored list of targeted keywords overnight, but there are several ways that you can refine your keywords for improved performance over time, including:
- Delete keywords that are generating clicks but not conversions
- Remove keywords that have a cost per conversion that is too high
- Repurpose your best performing keywords into new phrases
- View how your campaigns are performing geographically
- See how your campaigns are performing during certain times and on certain days
How to improve your ad copy with testing
Creating the optimal ad copy for your campaigns usually requires some refinement as well. One of the most reliable strategies you have for this is A/B testing, where you test two different variations of an ad against each other and judge their performance accordingly. It takes time but delivers clear results that you can put to use immediately.
To get started, just test two different offers for the same keyword and see how users respond. Also, remember that the ad headline, display URL, and meta descriptions can be subjected to A/B testing as well. There are always new configurations you can try in order to get even more value out of your PPC campaign.
How to stick the landing with your landing page
Your landing page is much more than a restatement of the ad text that appears on the Google search results list. There are many facets of a high-performing landing page, but overall it’s important to note that they are specific, reaffirm the value proposition and the offer indicated by the ad, and provide a clear call to action. Never use your homepage or contact page, because they are far too general for these kinds of targeted ads. Check your photos, links, and forms frequently, because any formatting error on a landing page can halt the momentum you have built up with a prospective patient and spur them to look elsewhere.
How you can continue optimizing your Google Ads setup
Once you see how easy it is to start converting patients with a Google Ads campaign you’ll never want to stop tweaking it in order to get better results. It’s a continuous process, but one that enables you to connect with high-quality patient leads time and time again when you do it well.
At Connect the Doc, we strive to help local dental practices forge these connections with prospective patients through powerful digital marketing strategies such as paid ads. Get in touch with one of our representatives today to learn more about how we can help you jumpstart your paid ad conversion rate and make your marketing dollars as effectively as possible.