Top 10 Ways Dentists Fail at Google Adwords

Taylor Reaume

Taylor Reaume
Founder of Search Engine Pros

From: Taylor Reaume, “The Life-Like Web Guy”

Google Adwords is one of the best online marketing tools for dental practices. If fact, statistics show that businesses make on average $2 for every $1 that they spend on Adwords. However, it can be easy to make mistakes with Adwords, especially if you’re just starting out, and some simple errors can really affect your campaign’s success. With that in mind, here are the top 10 ways you could fail at Google Adwords and how to avoid them.

What is Google Adwords?

First, let’s take a look at how Google Adwords actually works in this step-by-step process:

  • Create a campaign and select keywords that a customer may use when searching for your service online. For example, a dental practice in Santa Barbara may choose: ‘Santa Barbara dentist’.
  • Next, bid against other marketers for your ad to show up on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) every time someone types in ‘Santa Barbara dentist’. You can select a highest bid amount, set a daily budget and let Google bid automatically for you.
  • Write your ad using the keyword ‘Santa Barbara Dentist’ and include a link to a landing page on your site, such as your appointment booking page.
  • Google will weigh up the bid prices alongside the quality score of your ad. That’s based on how relevant your ad is to the keyword, the click-through rate of any previous ads you’ve run and how relevant your landing pages are.
  • The ad will appear on the SERP whenever someone types in ‘Santa Barbara dentists.’ When one of those customers clicks through to your site, Google charges you the agreed bid amount.

Sound simple? Well, here are some key ways you can slip up with Google Adwords.


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Top 10 Google Adwords Mistakes

  • 1. Not using keywords properly – when you write your ads, remember to include your keywords in the headline and description lines so they’re relevant. Otherwise, your quality score will drop. It can be worth hiring a copywriter for this as effective ad copy can make or break a campaign.
  • 2 .Ignoring Search Query results – there’s a tab on your account under the ‘keywords’ section called ‘Search Query Report’, don’t ignore it. This feature allows you to see exactly what someone types into Google to trigger your ad and then click it. This information is invaluable for selecting keywords and writing ads.
  • 3. Not geo targeting – there’s no point targeting state or country-wide keywords if your dentist practice is only in one location. Instead, choose keywords that are geo-targeted to your local area, that way you’ll reach new customers in your area.
  • 4. Sending all Adword clicks to your homepage – sending all your ad traffic to your website’s homepage generally won’t help your conversion rate and it can negatively affect your quality score. Instead, send users to the most relevant page, for example: if your ad is about booking a dental appointment, it should link to your appointment booking page. Ideally, you should create landing pages for all of your keywords.
  • 5. Not categorizing ad groups – your Adwords strategy is likely to fail if you only create one campaign and Adgroup for all of your keywords. For a start, you’ll never be able to include all these keywords in your ad text, which will bring down your quality score. It’s also simply a disorganized, scatter-gun approach. Instead, group your keywords into separate, closely-related groups. For example, have one group for keywords related to braces, another for root canal work, teeth whitening and for repairing chipped teeth.
  • 6. Ignoring Ad Extensions – Adwords has handy extensions that can really improve the performance of your ads. These include a call extension that displays your business number in the ad, a location extension that brings up your address and a messaging extension that allows users to message your practice, which is great for use on mobiles. These extensions are great for dentist practices and they don’t cost any extra, so don’t forget to use them.
  • 7. Misunderstanding keyword matching – correct keyword matching is an important, but misunderstood feature of Adwords.
  • 8. Not split testing – to get the most from your Adwords account, you need to experiment with different keywords and combinations of keywords, matches and landing pages. So, make sure that you insert the conversion tracking code on every ad so that you can see how it performs. Then, run at least two ads per Adgroup to see which one wins. You need to constantly repeat this process to make sure you’re using the most effective ads.
  • 9. Forgetting to pause underperforming ads – regularly check all of your ads and split tests and pause or delete underperforming ads so that you’re not wasting your budget. Don’t forget to cap your Adword bids too, otherwise your marketing funds will quickly disappear.
  • 10. Only focusing on Click-Through Rate (CTR) – while it’s important to focus on the CTR of your ads, you shouldn’t judge success on this alone. For example, you may have one ad that has a 50% CTR but has a less than 5% conversion rate, while another ad might have a 10% CTR yet convert at 25%. So, when you’re measuring performance, weigh up a range of factors including conversion rates and CTR as well as ad costs and profits per impression.


Taylor Reaume

Taylor Reaume

 “The Life-Like Web Guy”

Taylor Reaume is the Life-Like Webmaster and founder of Search Engine Pros, a multi-touch online marketing agency offering full service web strategy, including search engine optimization, pay per click and social media consulting.

Taylor started designing websites in 1998, and has built over 600 sites, and published 30,000+ pages of content on the web. As his web business grew, he started to offer SEO services, and became a local authority on SEO because word got around that one of the sites was getting over 200,000 unique visitors per month… which led to the sale of the site for six figures in 2007.

He resides in sunny Santa Barbara, CA and spends most of his days solving the world’s web related problems, dancing salsa and whitening his teeth.