8 Effective Google Ads tips for dentists
8 Effective Google Ads tips for dentists
From improving the user experience to making the best use of data, we share our top tips for getting the most from Google Ads.
June 27, 2024

Google Ads is a valuable marketing tool, providing the opportunity to promote your dental practice across Google’s various platforms, including its search engine, YouTube, and other websites in the network. These types of adverts are also known as paid search or pay-per-click (PPC) ads, because you only pay when a user clicks on the ad.

In this post, we’ll provide some practical strategies and useful tips to help improve your Google Ads performance – without blowing your budget.

1. Don’t auto-apply Google Ad recommendations

You might have noticed that Google Ads makes recommendations to improve your campaigns, which can be all-too-easily accepted with the click of a button. If you’re less confident using the platform – or working with an inexperienced marketing agency – these recommendations can wind up being blindly accepted.

However, doing this without understanding how they’ll affect your campaign is a mistake. Google Ads’ recommendations can upset the meticulous planning and structure of campaigns and clash with your strategy. Yes, this may generate more clicks, but it could also push you over your budget. When it comes to budgets and bidding, auto-applying recommendations is a volatile business.

Google’s recommendations around inserting new keywords can also be detrimental to your campaigns. Every keyword setting, including phrase or broad match terms, needs to be evaluated by an expert to ensure it is beneficial. We’ve seen cases in which agencies have bid on free dental implants or grants for implants, which are obviously detrimental to performance.

Though it’s a sophisticated platform, Google can only make recommendations based on generalised best practices, as opposed to tailoring advice to your account. For this reason, we’d suggest using Google’s recommendations for inspiration but keeping a firm hand on the reins – letting auto-applied recommendations take charge of your account is risky.

2. Match your landing page and ad copy with terms people are searching for

Users want to know that you’ve got the answers to their specific question (or the solution to their problem). By matching your ad copy and landing page with users’ search terms, you can create a more personalised and relevant experience – something that sounds obvious but is often overlooked.

Doing this improves the overall user experience, which can lead to higher engagement rates, lower bounce rates, and more conversions. It can also help build trust and credibility for your brand. What’s more, when your ad copy and landing page are highly relevant to the site that visitors are searching for, it will tick Google’s boxes too; it improves your Quality Score, which measures how well your ad, keyword, and landing page are likely to satisfy the user’s search query. This, in turn, can mean lower cost-per-click rates and better ad placement.

3. Add negative keywords

Negative keywords – specifying what you don’t want to be found for – are an important tool for optimising your Google Ads campaigns. They allow you to fine-tune your ad targeting and prevent your ads from showing up in irrelevant searches. This results in more relevant and effective ad campaigns.

Finding which words work best within your specific industry takes extensive testing. With more than 10 years’ experience working on dental campaigns for clients in the UK and Ireland, we’ve built a pool of knowledge in this area, which helps our clients’ campaign performance.

Negative keywords can firstly be used to funnel traffic to the most relevant campaigns; essentially blocking users from other routes so that they find your best way into a topic. A second benefit is that you’re able to exclude poorly performing or irrelevant search terms so that you don’t appear in searches that would be inappropriate.

This is an ongoing and ever-changing realm, so do check your campaigns regularly to manage traffic and discover any new negatives that should be added to your list.

4. Experiment with other campaign types

When we think of Google Ads, we might automatically think of search results – but the platform’s scope extends far beyond this. Experimenting with its different ad campaign types will help you improve your reach and awareness.

Each campaign type has its own unique targeting options, ad formats, and audiences. For example:

YouTube campaigns can help reach users who are already watching videos of similar products and services to yours.
Display campaigns can help reach users who are browsing websites related to your offerings.
Performance max campaigns can help maximise your reach across Google’s ad inventory, including Search, Display, YouTube, and more.

Testing and trialling multiple campaign types will give you a higher chance of getting in front of several target audiences and extending your brand awareness and treatment availability. As part of this testing, set clear goals and track key performance metrics to see which are the best-performing ads. This can be tricky and is where we often see mistakes.

But as ever, this kind of data is only half the story. Because users will often hop from one platform to the next, “meeting” your brand on each, we find that brand awareness builds over time. It can be hard to quantify the impact of some campaigns, as they positively contribute to other campaigns or direct visits. So, a holistic view of your marketing mix and your practice’s overall performance is also important.

5. Focus on the right metrics

There’s no denying that popular metrics, such as click-through rate (CTR) and cost per click (CPC), can be helpful indicators of performance. But it’s also helpful to add more detail to the overall picture. We suggest keeping track of the following metrics:

Conversion rate
Quality score
Quality of conversions
Cost per lead (CPL)

And, to fully measure the impact of your campaigns with Google, don’t forget to tie your data to Google Analytics and a lead management platform.

6. Test automated bid strategies

Although we’d warn against auto-generated recommendations, automation of other areas can be useful. Google’s automated bidding feature can help you set bids that are tailored to each auction. The main types of marketing strategies used in Google Ads are:

Maximise conversion value: which helps deliver as much revenue as possible within the given budget.
Target ROAS (return on ad spend): which works to adjust bids to maximise revenue while achieving a specific target return on ad spend.
Maximise conversions: which sets bids to get the most conversions within your budget.
Target CPA (cost per acquisition): which uses bid adjustments to help advertisers get as many conversions as possible at a specific target cost per acquisition.

It’s worth remembering that algorithms like Google’s rely on a good diet of data, which will depend on your spend and conversion levels. If you do have enough data, you can test automated bidding with a simple A/B test by dividing your campaign into two groups: one using manual bidding, and one using automated.

When you have enough data, you can analyse and compare the results to decide which marketing strategy will work best for each campaign.

7. Review and update site links

Site links and other ad extensions are essential elements of Google Ads. These are the areas that allow you to provide potential customers with more information, and to direct them to specific pages on your website. However, it’s important that this experience feels as smooth and relevant as possible.

Online content is constantly changing, so be sure to regularly review and update your ad copy and assets to keep them current. Check for broken links and make tweaks so that your ad copy reflects what the user can expect to find on the page.

8. Use data to fine-tune ad messages

As we’ve already seen, data is key to optimising your Google Ads campaigns. By analysing the results and testing variations, you can identify which ad elements are working well and make further changes to improve your campaigns.

In summary

Used effectively, Google Ads is a valuable way to drive traffic to your website. By focusing on the right metrics, choosing relevant keywords (those your target customers are searching for), optimising landing pages, creating relevant ads, and using bidding strategies, you can better your Google Ads performance, increase your ad rank, and boost your level of enquiries.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Google Ads or would like a free digital marketing health check, get in touch with our team.

The information contained in this article is based on the opinion of Hive Business and does not constitute formal tax advice. Any tax outcomes will be based on individual circumstances, tax legislation and regulation, which are subject to change in the future. You should seek specific advice before embarking on any course of action. Hive Business does not provide regulated Financial Advice, including advice on investment, insurance or lending products or their suitability for you. This article is provided for information only and does not constitute, and should not be interpreted as, investment advice or a recommendation to buy, sell or otherwise transact, or not transact, in any investment including Bitcoin and other crypto. Any use you wish to make of any information contained within this article is, therefore, entirely at your own risk.

By Luc Wade Marketing Director
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