Pay-Per-Click Marketing For Your Dental Practice

By March 14, 2018April 11th, 2018Podcast
Dental Practice Pay-Per-Click Marketing

Episode 002 – Is Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing Right For Your Practice?

S1 00:16Hi everyone, and welcome to the My Dental Agency podcasts with your hosts Jackie and Shawn.
S2 00:20Just in case you guys are not aware, we are a dental marketing company. We eat, breathe and sleep dental. All right, maybe it's not our whole lives, but it's pretty close. We believe in thinking differently from other mass marketing groups that you're probably used to, and we help you stand up against corporate dentistry. Yes, you heard me say it. We help the little guys. We do this by helping independent practices like yourself build genuine relationships with patients, create and manage positive reputations by utilizing online resources, and retain your current patients. And you're probably thinking, "How the heck do you do that?" We do all this by creating custom, relatable, personalized, and distinctly different campaigns that reflect the needs and personalities of each individual practice. It's as simple as that.
S1 01:11So providing this valuable education to the dental community is a really big focus here for us, and this podcast just serves as one way that we do that. So in this episode and in episodes to come, we'll be talking a lot about common frustrations dental practices have with marketing, big marketing wins we've seen and been a part of, and even some really big failures. We'll also be sure to share as many tips and tricks as we can to make sure you're staying up-to-date on how you can really just best market your dental practice.
S2 01:40So let me paint you a picture. We recently spoke with a dentist that had been in practice for approximately about 20 years. They're using multiple marketing vendors, which is typical. Shawn and I see that a lot. They're running Google Ads in the past that were unsuccessful. Again, we hear that quite a bit. They told us that Google Ads weren't worth exploring. So clearly Shawn and I know that that's not the case, so we wanted to hear them out and make sure that we understood the full scenario there. So we dug a little bit deeper to find out why their previous marketing company, their methods didn't work. And come to find out, that company that they were using didn't have a clear strategy, didn't track anything, and they were doing very generic broad ads. The company didn't try to optimize the campaigns. As a result, the calls that were coming in for this practice were garbage calls, and they didn't see the results that they were looking for.
S1 02:42So this is really common that this happens. We talk to just a ton of practices who tell us that they've already, pretty much, done every form of digital marketing that exists, and then that they've never had any success, right? It's really common for us to hear, "Oh, I've tried Facebook, and I've tried pay-per-click marketing, and I've tried SEO. And I've spent all this money on these different things, and it's never done anything for me." And unfortunately, most of these practices just really didn't use these marketing channels the way they were designed to be used, or they unfortunately partnered with companies that truly didn't have their best interests at heart. And so it's really unfortunate because in some cases, these companies or these practices have invested quite a large sum of money in some of these campaigns. And so it's unfortunate that we have to hear that, but we know that these channels do work well when they're utilized properly. And the fact of the matter is that you just can't pick a few key words and type up a quick ad and put in your credit card information and say you're doing pay-per-click marketing on Google, right? I mean, there's just a lot more to it than just picking some key words and typing up a quick ad and giving Google your credit card. And there's just a lot more that goes into it there. And so in order to really have success, especially with pay-per-click campaigns specifically, you have to consistently monitor the performance metrics of those campaigns. You have to make sure you're A/B testing different ads and different campaigns settings and that you're constantly optimizing the campaign as more and more data comes in. Then you learn more about how to truly engage with your target audience and so--
S2 04:19Wait, wait Shawn. They probably don't even know what A/B testing is. Maybe you could explain that real quick.
S1 04:23Yeah, yeah, yeah. Great question. So A/B testing really is just testing different ads against one another. So it's really important any time you watch any kind of ad online. This just isn't important for pay-per-click ads, but also could be for Facebook ads or any other channel that you could be advertising on. Instead of just launching one ad with one message, we are big believers that you should always have 2 ads going at the same time with different messaging, especially as it relates to pay-per-click marketing. And the reason we want to do that is because we want to find out what ad truly elicits the best response from that target audience, right? And so then we have 2 different ads with different messaging, maybe different calls to action, who knows? But let's just pretend they're different, right? They have to be different in some way. We're going to find, after a period of time, that one's performing better than the other. And when we do that, we also learn a little bit about why it was performing better, right? And we get some insight that helps us then craft even a better ad.
S1 05:22So when we find that out, we stop using, obviously, the ad that wasn't working as well, continue with the one that was performing better, and then we draft a new one to test against the winner. And this is something that we consistently do. And I think no matter who's managing your pay-per-click campaigns or any online advertising campaigns, that you really need to do this. It's just terribly important because if you just set it and forget it and just launch one ad, you're never really going to have the success that-- you're never going to be that lucky where that first ad you launch is going to be what's truly going to drive the most success for the practice. And so the fact of the matter is that this is all real hard work. It takes a lot of patience and a lot of effort to really have success here, and it's not easy. And that's really no different than any other marketing channels. This isn't just for pay-per-click marketing. This is for everything. And this is really why so many, not just dental practices, but a lot of businesses, have had challenges in the past with marketing online, because unfortunately, there's just a lot of "marketing agencies" in the world that do kind of take that set-it-and-forget-it approach, and it's just a real shame.
S2 06:34And we get it. I mean, you guys are dentists, and you don't do this day-in and day-out, and you trust a marketing agency to do the best job that they can. And that's why I think we often hear, Shawn, that some practices don't have success, and they feel that these don't work, and it's just because they probably don't have a true understanding of what they should be looking for. So at the end of this, we're going to give you some tips of what-- whether you're trying to do it yourself or if you're using another agency, some of the things that you might want to consider or maybe ask the agency that you're working with if they're doing these things.
S2 07:09And just to clarify for you guys, it is very common for Shawn and I to hear people say, "I don't click on those Google Ads, so I know there's no one else that's clicking on them." And that couldn't be further from the truth. I mean, we've been running these campaigns for years and years and years, and we know from the stats that we see on our own campaigns that people are clearly clicking on them. But even a New York Times bestseller Neil Patel, he did his research and proved that the top 3 ads on Google get 41% of the clicks on the entire page. So I mean, it's a proven fact that these ads-- and this is why Google is around, is because advertisers and companies that are advertising on Google. At the end of the day, Google would not be in existence if it weren't for these ads. So clearly, they're working. People are using them. Large companies, small companies, service providers like yourself, dental practices. They are getting clicked on. We promise you that.
S1 08:10Absolutely. And so to shed maybe a brighter light on pay-per-click marketing, I'd like to maybe talk a little bit about a recent win that we've shared with one of our client's pay-per-click campaigns. And so although I certainly can't reveal the exact client's name or location or anything about the patient, I can just tell you a good story about what we saw transpire here recently. So this particular dental practice, just like we described before, they had tried dental marketing multiple times in the past and never had any real success. And the end result is that they really relied on word-of-mouth to build their practice, which is something that we see pretty often because honestly, it's a pretty safe way to grow their practice, but probably not a very aggressive way to do it, right? But--
S2 08:58And they're and average practice. I mean, they're an average practice. They're not a very large practice. They're not a real small practice, and they've been around for quite some time.
S1 09:06That's right, yep. So that was okay for them. But I think, for them, they were looking to get a little bit more aggressive, which is why they're working with us and why we're doing some pay-per-click marketing for them. And so a few months back, we launched a brand new pay-per-click campaign for them, and this really wasn't an easy task. Not that launching the campaign wasn't an easy task, but convincing him that this was the right step to take after they had or had experienced so much failure in the past really was challenging. But I think we were able to get them over that hump. And this was one of those practices who not only believed that-- not only did they not have success in the past, but they also were one of the ones that said, "I never click on these Google Ads. I don't think anyone does click on them. I don't think people that are searching for dentistry are really clicking on these ads," right? So it was a challenge, but we were able to get them over the hump.
S2 10:01And just so you guys are aware, this is just one piece of the puzzle. We're doing multiple things for this practice like we are for multiple other ones, but this is just one tool that we're using to drive some interest and awareness and new patients. So I just wanted, you guys, to give you the full picture there. But this one area that we're focusing on.
S1 10:21That's right. And so this campaign, like I said, has only been running for a few months now. And to be honest with you guys, I mean, it takes some time to have success here. We never launch these pay-per-click campaigns on Monday and on Tuesday, the phone's ringing off the hook, right? And if it was, the phone would likely be ringing off the hook with a bunch of patients you wouldn't really want to see anyway, right? And so it absolutely takes some time to have success here, and it can take a few months to really get a campaign, a pay-per-click campaign specifically, to a point where it starts to perform. And that's kind of why this case kind of stands out.
S1 11:00So in the first few months of this campaign running, we have seen that this campaign has generated-- just one particular case that totaled $15,000 in revenue already to the practice. That's not a treatment plan that the patient hasn't accepted yet or treatment that the patient hasn't moved forward with yet. This is already revenue on the books. A patient has already moved forward with this treatment plan. Not only was this patient sourced from this campaign in the last few months and completed $15,000 worth of treatment in these first few months, but think about how much revenue that patient's going to generate over the next coming months and years and maybe decades, hopefully, right? It would certainly be our goal. So absolutely, this is just a huge, huge win. And it's not that we see this often, right? But it's just proof that this really, really works.
S2 12:00Yeah, we can't be more realistic here and share with you guys that this doesn't happen all the time. Some practices see this right away. Some it takes a little bit longer. But we'd be lying if we said this happened all the time in the first 3 months. I mean, being realistic, it doesn't. And any agency that tells you that, they're probably fibbing a little bit. But it can happen, just like this practice saw that. But if we're being real and honest with you guys, I mean, this isn't something that happens with each and every practice that we work with.
S1 12:29Absolutely, and more commonly, what we see in these first few months is certainly new patients that come to the door. What's not as common is seeing such large cases being accepted so early on. But for here, it was absolutely a big win. And so obviously, you don't need a whole lot of these to see a really good ROI for your pay-per-click campaign. Even if he only got a couple each year, that could certainly still have a pretty positive return on your investment in that campaign. And so again, this really goes back to the difference between just doing something to do it and really doing it the right way and taking the time and effort, either yourself or hiring somebody or working with an agency like ourselves to really do it the right way.
S1 13:19So let's talk a little bit about why this campaign maybe works so quickly. So again, I think for us, agencies like us that work specifically in the dental field have the benefit of having quite a bit of research that we've done over the years and experience that we gained from watching other campaigns, right? So when you as an individual practice or dentist launches your own pay-per-click campaign, you're starting from the beginning, right? You've probably never done that before. And if you have, you certainly don't have a ton of experience, where we already know a handful of things that work really well and don't work really well, so that helps us.
S1 14:00And so again, the reason that we know-- I guess just to go back a little bit to talk-- we should probably talk a little bit about how we know this patient actually came from this campaign. And the reason we know is because it's really important that we heavily track all these pay-per-click campaigns. When I say track, I don't mean just track the number of people that are seeing the ads or clicking on the ads, but also track the people that are requesting an appointment on your website from these campaigns and all the phone calls that are generated from these campaigns. And that's exactly what happened here. This particular patient had placed a phone call, had seen the practice's pay-per-click ad, placed a phone call to the practice. We had a recording of that call. And at the end of the month, we followed up with the practice and talked to them about the patients that we had seen come through from the phone-- or sorry, over the phone or on the website, and that's how we found out that this patient had moved forward with that large case. Tracking is just really, really important.
S2 14:55So there's a lot of advice that we could give you guys on Google paid ads, but we're going to point out 3 of the major ones that we want to share with you. Again, whether you're doing them yourselves or if you're running these ads yourself or if you're using another agency and you might want to check with them to see if this is the approach that they're taking, we feel that these are probably the top pieces of advice that we could give you guys.
S1 15:20So the first is the one we just talked about. And that's honestly to track everything. So most of the dental practices that we work with that have launched any kind of campaign in the past didn't properly track it. And when I say track, we don't mean when the phone rings asking the patient how they heard of you, because 9 times out of 10, they're going to say they saw you on the Internet or they searched on Google. You're not going to know if they clicked on an ad, if they saw you on Facebook, or if their friend told them, or maybe an existing patient referred them and then they searched for you, so you really have to track using some sort of technology solution. And there's just a ton of them out there that'll do that, but it's just really important to track how these campaigns are performing online and also to optimize them. So the whole benefit of tracking is to find out what facets of the campaign are working better than others. And when we find a facet of the campaign that's not performing well and we do enough testing to really feel good about the fact it's not going to perform well, then we want to stop spending there and stop focusing our efforts there and shift those ad dollars and those efforts to a facet of the campaign that's working better.
S2 16:26Actually, we just got off a phone call with one of our clients, speaking of tracking, that told us that, "You know, I ask each and every patient that calls my office where they heard us from," and they said-- this happened to be a newer practice that we're working with or-- they're not a new practice, but a practice that is newer to us. And they said, "You know, we've only had 2 calls come from your campaign." And Shawn, looking at the reports said, "Nope, actually there's been 15 calls and 2 form submissions." And the reason I bring this up is because when you ask an individual, meaning the patient that calls in, and they're a new patient, and you ask, "Where did you hear about us, or how did you find us?" and they say, "Oh, I found you online," they don't know where they came from. A lot of these people are searching, and they could've seen an ad, and they don't realize they're seeing an ad. They could've found you organically, and they don't know those technical terms that they found you organically. They could have seen you on Facebook, and they just say, "I found you on the Internet." They're not going to articulate that they found you on Facebook or a Google ad. It's very difficult and no fault of the patient. They just don't understand the different marketing that we have online. So it's great that practices are asking, and it's great that they're tracking those as well, but we need some technology, hard numbers, and hard data that can show us, "No, there's truly these amount of calls, came from your campaign."
S2 17:56Another tip that we want to share with you guys is to take a more targeted approach and not a generic approach to these ads. It's difficult when you try to cast a wide net. And what I mean by that is, you are advertising for a specific service, something you want to grow inside your practice, whether that be Invisalign or any type of adult braces or implants or cosmetic dentistry. When you do that, you have a more laser-like focus. You're going to find the right type of patients, and you're going to find patients that are looking for quality dentistry. You're not going to find people that are just looking for an emergency. It's really important. And then, when you cast that wide, wide net of, "I do everything under the sun", you're not going to see the success that you would when you're able to resonate with an individual that's searching for something specific, whether they want a new smile makeover, whether they want dental implants or they're looking for Invisalign. If they're looking for Invisalign and you're advertising everything that you do in your practice, your ad may not resonate with them because they're not seeing what they're looking for right away. Or if you send them to your homepage and your homepage is full of information about everything you do, that landing page and that website may not resonate with what they're looking for specifically. So it's really important that we're-- have a more laser-like focus when we're doing these types of ads and not taking a generic approach to it.
S1 19:29Yeah, and the other reason is that almost any dental practice that's going to start doing some form of pay-per-click marketing for themselves is likely going to, at first, start advertising just for general dentistry, right? Because that's kind of the low-hanging fruit, but that also means that it's going to be the most competitive. And so not only is it going to be much harder to elicit a response from that audience because it's so competitive, and it's going to probably cost you a lot more to do so, but the patients you're going to get aren't going to be those really high-value, high-quality patients that you're probably looking for. So it's just like Jackie said, just really important to focus on specific services, and we'd recommend just starting with a couple to start out with. Maybe we'd pick 2. Maybe it's implants and Invisalign, or cosmetic dentistry and dentures, whatever it may be, right? Just pick a couple services and start with those.
S2 20:19Quality right? We're not looking for quantity here. It's not a numbers game to us. We want find the right type of patients, and I think you guys do too.
S1 20:28And the final tip here is really never stop testing. So we talked a little earlier about how we do A/B testing and how we test different ads against one another, but it really doesn't stop there. It's really important that in addition to testing the messaging in your ads, that you also test the messaging on your landing pages and the key words you're advertising for and days of the week that you're advertising and times of the day. And there's a lot more that I can list here than that, but it's important to do testing here and really analyze how all those different metrics are performing because you're absolutely going to find that some are performing better than others. And that's kind of where the real hidden gems are, if you will, and really getting these campaigns to perform better.
S2 21:10The moral of this story is don't shoot down Google Ads because you think it doesn't work based on one situation or something you've done in the past or the fact that you personally don't click on ads.
S1 21:22And that really goes for everything, not just Google Ads, really any type of digital marketing, because 9 times out of 10-- I mean, you may not know this, but 9 times out of 10, even if you've done them in the past, they probably weren't done as good as they could've been. And sometimes they are, right? And we're the first to admit if something is-- truly, we've given it a solid effort, and it's not working, it's not working, and that's fine. But it's very rare that these pay-per-click campaigns, specifically, don't work. So we hope all of you enjoyed today's podcast. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes or your favorite podcast platform to make sure you receive all of our future episodes. I also encourage you to visit our website at Or email us at if you have any questions or comments. Thanks so much for listening.
S2 22:07See you guys.