Determining where to place advertising dollars can be a daunting task. An abundance of platforms and possibilities exist and they all claim to be your best option.
That’s why I decided to write this post. Is your practice’s main intention with advertising to attract new patients? If your practice has some ad budget available I suggest you begin with running search ads through Google Ads. Keep reading to learn why!
Target Interested People
Search ads show up in various areas of search results after someone performs a search query, most prominently at the very top in many instances such as the following example for a Sesame brand search:
When prospective patients look for a new dental services provider, they generally perform a search query to see what options exist in their area. By having an ad for your practice show up for the types of searches they perform (think “Dentist in Seattle, WA” and similar) you can immediately attract a prospect’s attention and compel them to click on the ad to learn more.
Positioning – Especially in Competitive Markets
Google’s largest source of revenue is derived from search ads, and 89% of searches in the USA happen on Google. Every time an ad is clicked on, Google collects the cost of that click. In short, they earn A LOT of money every single day and it’s why ads on Google get front-and-center treatment.
Since search ads are pay-to-play, you can pay to have ads for your practice featured prominently in relevant results. This is especially important for practices operating in markets where people have many options, such as in large cities or even suburbs.
Having your practice’s website appear on its own within relevant search results generally requires search engine optimization (SEO) support and, while worthwhile, can take some time.
With search ads, however, you pay for positioning so an ad for your practice can be placed near or at the top of search results. That increased visibility will help drive more traffic to your website from prospective patients.
Even if your website is ranking well in search results, running paid search campaigns can help boost overall traffic to your website.
That’s because having multiple listings within a search result increases visibility for a practice by taking up space that would otherwise go to competitors and allowing the practice to provide more information (services, location, staff info, etc.) to prospective patients right away.
The result is more overall website (or landing page) visits. Although somewhat dated now, in 2011 Google did a study with results indicating that 89% of the traffic generated by search ads is not replaced by organic clicks (clicks on non-paid results). In short, your practice will get considerably more traffic to its website by running ads on Google than it would without an ad effort.
Perhaps the most important element of Google Ads is that results are easily quantifiable. This contrasts with many forms of advertising like print ads, billboards, and handouts which don’t have very accurate methods of performance tracking.
With search ads performance tracking is simple. Results are tracked within the Google Ads platform so your practice can easily determine what’s working and what isn’t and make adjustments accordingly. Crucially, you can see if your advertising efforts are paying off.
In summary, because of superior targeting and positioning capabilities, Google search advertising allows practices to get right in front of prospective patients. Engaging in paid search also helps to generate more overall clicks to a practice’s website even when they are already well-placed in search results and performance can be easily quantified within the Google Ads platform.
If you have any related questions or your practice is in need of PPC support please feel free to reach out to the Sesame Team!
—Mike Fitterer, Sr. Marketing Manager II, Sesame Communications