Working with Google AdWords can feel a bit like walking in quick sand.

Just when you think you’ve got it nailed, something changes.

Confusing and frustrating at the same time, it’s any wonder we’re asking ourselves:

“How does a busy dentist make Google AdWords part of their dental business marketing strategy…and make it work?”

Great question.

It’s one we’ll go some way to solve by measuring the value of Google AdWords.

Google AdWords Belong In Your Marketing Toolkit

Regardless of how advanced your business marketing is, one thing is clear. Google AdWords will be part of the plan at some point.

Although pay-per-click marketing costs are rising, it doesn’t mean it’s not viable.

On the contrary, if costs are rising, it’s a sign that something is working well.

Rising costs also mean we dentists need to be more strategic about how we use Google AdWords. That’s just smart business.

More than just putting an ad up and hoping for the best, like anything we do for our business, great outcomes require critical thinking and a plan.

Plan Your Google AdWords

When creating any plan for Google AdWords, it’s essential to put yourself in the mind of the customer.

Think how they’d think.

Consider what they’re feeling.

Put yourself in their shoes.

Your aim is to create a seamless search experience for your potential customers.

When you do that, developing a Google AdWords strategy is more targeted and effective.

Optimise Pages, Especially For Mobile

There are general web pages and there are specific landing pages and they don’t do the same thing.

Think of it like this:

You have two people. One is looking to book an appointment with a suburban dentist. Another wants information about implants.

Two vastly requirements that demand two different approaches in terms of Google AdWords.

For the patient searching for a dentist, you might direct them to the home page of your website.

Ideally optimised for mobile, this would allow the patient to call directly. Ultimately, that’s the name of the game with Google AdWords – to get your phone to ring.

And the implant patient?

You could send them to the implant page on your website. You might even have a dedicated implant landing page with information and an opt in facility.

Treat a landing page like a standalone mini website that has all the information on one page.

A page like this gets in the mind of the customer.

It acknowledges their pain and presents the solution. It also gives them the opportunity to buy above and below the fold.

The goal? A seamless user experience where everything’s in one place.

It’s worth noting here that increasingly more ads will be viewed on mobile devices. That means optimising ads for mobile is a must in your Google AdWords’ strategy.

Consider this not just from a placement perspective, but from a content perspective as well.

Smart copy targeted to pain points rather than aspirations will hit the mark more often. That means better conversions and ROI.

Avoid Costly Google AdWord Mistakes

There’s no doubt Google AdWords is technical. Sometimes, deceptively so.

Knowing everything there is to know is way beyond the time any practising dentist has available to devote to the task.

That said, it’s important to know enough to avoid costly mistakes.

One of the classic mistakes people make is combining a search campaign with a display campaign.

Rather than using Google AdWords’ default setting, create a “search-only” campaign, which is not the default setting.

Another common mistake to avoid is to set up your search for keyword match types.

Rather than rely on Google AdWords’ default setting – called a “broad match” – refine your keyword match search.

Know Your Google AdWord Return On Investment

I’ve heard a lot of dentists complain that the return on investment (ROI) on their Google AdWords’ campaign just isn’t there.

Maybe they’re right.

But maybe they didn’t have some critical things in place either.

Particularly if you haven’t refined your keyword match search, there’s a very good chance you’re click-through rate is not great.

A less than ideal user experience usually follows.

The upshot? A bad quality score means a higher cost per click.

Often, this leads to throwing good money after bad – and a perception that Google AdWords just isn’t worth it.

Work At It

Google AdWords is not a set-and-forget affair.

Just like the rest of your marketing activities, it needs to be managed.

This is especially so if you’ve engaged an external provider’s help.

It’s easy to leave the mechanics to someone else, and this is appropriate to a point.

But it doesn’t mean you’re not involved at all.

Staying informed about what Google is doing and how you’ll respond is part of Google AdWords.

Importantly, this helps avoid wasted time, effort and valuable marketing budget.

If you’re working with a Google AdWords expert, be prepared to ask questions.

Do you own your Google AdWords account?

Do you own your analytics account?

What access do others have to your accounts?

What data will be presented to you?

Will they explain it? Or will you be left to work it out on your own?

Rather than handing it over fully, see it as an area you need to know enough about, and gather and analyse the information.

Final Words

Google AdWords is definitely worth the investment if you approach it strategically.

If you invest, be smart about it. Don’t set and forget, but work at it.

Refine your approach, rather than rely on default settings.

Optimise for mobile and be smart with your words.

Planning to make Google AdWords part of your plan for 2018? Let’s talk about it.

There are just a couple of days before our final workshop for 2017. Join us at Masterplan 2018: Preparing to Win , which will be held in Brisbane on 23-24 November.

It’s the perfect time to get strategise about Google AdWords and optimise your business for the coming year.