Find out how your cosmetic dental design practice can benefit from paid advertising online.
Let’s talk about your marketing. Whether you specialize in cosmetic dental design, orthodontics, or general dentistry, you have to get your practice in front of possible patients. If you’ve been following along, you already have a large toolbox of marketing ideas.
Marketing doesn’t need to be scary – or expensive. You don’t need a billboard or a full page newspaper ad to reach your market. In fact, if you work strategically, effective marketing is inexpensive and has a high ROI.
Pay per click advertising (PPC) is a guaranteed way to reach the people looking for you. The best part is that it is easier and less expensive than you may think.
What is PPC advertising?
For the sake of this tutorial, we’ll stick with cosmetic dental design, though any dental practice can use PPC to the same effect. We’ll also use Google AdWords and search results for most examples, then go over advertising on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn briefly.
PPC advertising has two parts: the first part is bidding for placement at the top of the page of Google search results. For instance, if you search for “Los Angeles cosmetic dental design”, the first four results are ads, as indicated by the small icon to the left of the website URL.
The second part of PPC advertising is the fee you pay when someone clicks on your ad. Before you ask how much this costs – it’s hard to say. If you are in a crowded market, like Los Angeles, it will probably cost more than if you are in Norman, Oklahoma. Supply and demand also factor into the price, so PPC advertising is a little different than taking out a flat-rate ad in your local newspaper.
Budgeting for your PPC ad
Without a set price per ad, it may sound as if you could easily rack up a hefty bill. Here’s some good news and bad news. The good news is that you can set a budget which will limit your PPC expenses. If you only want to spend a certain amount, that’s all you’ll pay.
For an ad with average competition, you may pay $1.00 per click. If that ad suddenly gets a lot of competition, the price could go up to $2.00 or $3.00. Some highly competitive ad space can be well over $100 per click.
The bad news is that a spike in demand could limit your ad visibility. This is also good news, though, since it keeps your total expense under control. This is how AdWords works, in a nutshell. Write your ad, set your budget, and let the ad do its job. You can use Google analytics to tweak your ad and get results, but that’s a conversation for another time.
Writing a PPC ad for your cosmetic dental design practice
The only thing you need for an AdWords account is a Google account. If you use Gmail, you have a Google account. If you don’t, you can sign up and get one for free. Once you have your account, it’s time to get started with PPC ads!
You want your advertising dollars to work, so find and target the right keywords. Start at your AdWords account homepage. Go to “Tools” on the right of your top navigation bar, then click on “keyword planner.” Next, go to “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category.”
As an example, here is a search for “Washington D.C. dentist” and “Baltimore dentist.” The results show that there are over 200 more average monthly searches for “Baltimore dentist” as there are for D.C dentists.
Once you know the search volume, it’s time to check out your competition. Type these same phrases into a regular Google search. Use quotation marks so your results contain the exact phrase. There are currently 7,910 competing pages with the phrase “Baltimore dentist.” “Washington D.C. dentist” has 13,400 competing pages.
If you run a cosmetic dental design practice in Laurel, Maryland (halfway between D.C. and Baltimore), you get more search volume with less competition by targeting the “Baltimore dentist” keyword. The suggested bid is also about half of what it is for “Washington D.C. dentist.
Writing your PPC ad
Advertising and marketing are about your audience. What benefit do they get by making an appointment with you rather than any other dental practice? The trick to conveying that benefit with AdWords – and with sponsored posts on Twitter – is the character limit.
AdWords allows the following:
- 25 characters for your headline or website
- 35 characters for your first line of text
- 35 characters for your second line of text
- 255 characters for your display URL
Google may pull in additional information from your website or combine lines, leading to ads that don’t seem to follow these guidelines. However, this is what Google has listed in their AdWords policy page.
Given these guidelines, and making it benefit driven, you may end up with an ad that looks something like this fictional example:
Beltway Cosmetic Dental
Don’t hide your inner beauty.
Let your smile shine through.
PPC advertising on social media sites
Google isn’t the only place you can take advantage of inexpensive paid advertising. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn all have sponsored or promoted content. They all work essentially the same as AdWords, too.
Like AdWords, you set a budget and create your ad. It really is that simple. In fact, you get step-by-step instructions as you create your ad.
What about your local newspaper? There is no reason to rule out any stream of advertising. In fact, advertising in a local school program or at a community event is a good way to get your business name out there.
The big difference is that you have more control over your audience with online advertising. When you advertise on these three social networks, you can choose your audience specifics from location to age to interests and even what device they are using to access the network.