Outside of referrals from friends or coworkers, the main resource where patients will find dentists is by searching for one on Google. However, it can be difficult for your practice to appear on the first page of search results if you live in a large community with multiple dentists. One way of moving your practice to the top of local search results is by advertising with Google.
You might feel like this something you need to hire a consultant or a marketing firm to help you with, however, setting up an ad in Google is as easy as setting up a social media profile and only takes a few minutes. This guide will walk you through all the steps of creating a Google Ad account, setting up an ad, and marketing your practice.
To start you need to go to https://ads.google.com/home/ and create an account. Once you arrive at the Google Ads page, click “Start Now”. The next page will either have you sign in with a current Gmail account or create a new account for Google Ads. Make sure whatever Google account you use is tied to your dental practice and not an employee’s personal account, that way it always remains with your practice.
If this is the first time you’ve created a Google Ads account you will be greeted with a page asking what your goal is. Your choices are:
- Get more calls.
- Get more visits to your physical location.
- Get more website sales or sign-ups.
Because your future patients will need to call to set up an appointment, you’ll select “Get more calls”.
The next page will ask you to describe your business. All you need to fill out is the business name (either the name of your practice or primary dentist). You will also be asked for your business website, the address to your website, which you can either provide your main website or link to your page on Facebook or ZocDoc. Click next.
You’ll now be asked to describe the type of customer (patient) you’re looking for. By default, it will show you an audience of the entire United States. You’ll notice on the left this is a potential audience size of over 243 million, so we’ll want to shrink this down to a more relevant group. Click on “Set up a radius around your business” and click next.
Google Ads will automatically fill your business address based on the location of the computer you’re using. If the business address isn’t correct, go ahead and provide the correct address. The radius is set to 15 miles from your location by default, but you may want to increase this if your practice is in a more rural area. Click next.
The next page will ask you to categorize your business, basically letting Google know that your ad should appear when a future patient searches for “dentist”. Google will make the best guess of what your business category is, so either select or type “dentist”. The next line will ask what products or services you want to promote, this is where you would put any specializations you have.
If you scroll below that question, you will see suggestions of services you might want to promote. Select any that are relevant to your practice and then click next.
Now it’s time to actually create your ad. Based on the information you provided about your practice, specializations, and location, Google will recommend a basic headline and description for your ad. If you want to make changes to the headline and description you can do so here, but follow Google’s guidelines if you try to write them yourself. Click next.
Because the goal you selected earlier was “Get more calls” instead of visitors to your website, you’ll need to provide the phone number for your practice. Select “United States” for the country code (the “1” at the beginning of your phone number) and then type the rest of your phone number starting with the area code. Click next.
Now you’ll need to decide how much you want to spend on your ads. When budgeting for Google Ads, understand that you’re only getting charged whenever someone clicks on your ad, either to visit your website or to call your practice, so a good percentage of these clicks should become patients.
By default, Google will place your ad budget somewhere in the middle of a typical budget for dentists in your area, however, this might not be right for your practice. Look at the estimated performance on the left and determine if your practice has the capacity to see that many patients. If you don’t have the capacity for that many patients, you should decrease your daily budget for the ad. Click next.
Before you fill out your practice’s billing information, you’ll be given a confirmation page to review everything you’ve previously filled out. Check the location, budget, and ad for mistakes and click next.
Finally, you’ll be asked to enter your payment information to run the ad. Just fill out the relevant debit or credit card information and click submit to run the ad.
Your ad should start showing up in Google searches for your area within a day. You can track the performance of the ad by logging back into Google Ads and reviewing the dashboard on the main page to see if anyone has clicked on the ad.
If your staff doesn’t already, start documenting how new patients heard about your practice (also a great way to credit referrals). Keep a weekly log in Excel or on paper of how many new patients you get from Google versus the number of clicks you’re receiving.
If you have any questions or need help setting up a Google ad for your practice you can call 1-855-738-7723 and a member of Google’s team will help you for free.