Five Reasons AdWords Doesn't Often Work For Dentists

Curious about Google AdWords? We hear this often from customers, which is why we wrote about it back in 2014! This latest information comes to us from CEO & Founder of Grow Practice Grow, Sean Hamel. Sean has some great insight as well, particularly if you're thinking Google AdWords, couldn't possibly work because you've already tried it!

And, now... Sean!

AdWords doesn't work for dentists, right?  


Yes, wrong.  

Google AdWords is complex.  

I've met countless practices who tell me AdWords doesn't work.  Or that the practice's front office girl had their cousin's best-friend's nephew try it with a budget of $300 per month and the practice got "nothing".  Heck, I've even seen campaigns managed by marketing agencies that were messy and yielding few tangible results.  The truth is, AdWords is an inexact science and marketing a dental practice is a very unique and challenging task.  Coupled together, this can be a recipe for disaster or the two can become a powerful, streamlined, well-oiled dental marketing machine.  I want to see your practice enjoying the well-oiled machine.  

If your AdWords aren't working, here are 5 common reasons why:

  1. Your Account is on Autopilot

    Are you paying a marketing company to 'RUN' your Adwords?  Do me favor. Go log into your account and look at the change history.  If there are no recent changes, then you're getting robbed.  Most marketing companies are going to treat you like a “set it and forget it” type client.  You’re going to sign a one-year contract.  You’re going to have your initial meeting with them to discuss your practice location and maybe a few key terms you’d like to hone in on.  Then they’re going to write one generic ad, route it to your website (not a landing page) and not look at it again until they call you 11 months later to renew.  That doesn’t work.  That’s why you’re not seeing the results you want.  That’s why a lot of dentists are sour on AdWords.

    Your Google AdWords strategy is much like an investment portfolio.  It needs constant care.  It needs attention.  It needs foresight and adaptability to patient wants and needs, changes in the market, etc.  Otherwise, your strategy is going to underwhelm, underperform and fall flat.  Your marketing dollars should be spent intentionally.  To generate ROI, the money needs to be working for you ALL year.
  2. Your Account is Mis-managed

    It’s not about the amount of money you spend.  It’s not about the cost-per-click.  It’s the amount of effort being put into campaign management.  By focusing on the account all year, every day, you can change and align your ad strategy with what prospective patients are searching for..

    Many times, non-dental marketing companies will dump your cash into a keyword strategy they conjure up on their own. They don’t understand how dentistry works.  They may be able to get your phone ringing, but if the prospect calling is not the patient you want, you’re actually losing MORE money in opportunity costs on top of wasted marketing dollars. Basically, you’re paying the front office staff to field calls and spend their time talking to people who are not going to convert into new patients.  Mismanagement will cost you a considerable amount of money, time and frustration.  Also, if you don’t have landing pages built that correlate to your Ads, you’re being underserved.  

    Ads that bounce prospects to your website homepage aren’t going to convert as well for your practice. Remember a patient is likely going to "Google" you because something hurts, broke, chipped or fell out. If it's an Ad about root canals, have it go to a specific service page all about them. Invisalign search? On to practice Invisalign page!
  3. You're Not Being Negative

    Have you heard of “negative” keywords?  If you haven’t, you need to call your SEM marketing company immediately and ask them why they never discussed this with you! Negative keywords are actually very positive for your AdWords strategy. By negating words you don’t want to show up for (negative keywords), you stop your ad from showing where you don’t want it to. If it doesn’t show, people you don’t want calling won’t be... calling. You’ll cut down on wasted phone calls and erroneous clicks.

    Not employing negative keywords means you’re leaving money on the table.  You’re not allowing your budget to work effectively for your practice. You’re wasting money every month.  Employ this simple and powerful tactic in your AdWords strategy and watch your cost per patient acquisition start to decrease.
  4. Your Google Local Business Listings Aren't Set Up Properly

    One of the most common reasons for a failed Adwords strategy is not properly syncing Google's Local Business listing feature with your Adwords account. Adwords allows local businesses to optimize their map listings and feature the content of those listings in your ads. When done correctly, this can significantly increase click through rate and quality score...and take your campaigns to the next level of new patient lead generation.
  5. Call Tracking & Lead Intake is Broken

    Getting phone calls is half the battle. Leads don’t matter if they never become patients.  Converting new patient phone calls and optimizing your front office lead intake process is huge. I encourage practices to track and record phone calls for every one of our clients, and use the data for training purposes and to find out exactly what is being said, how it's being said, and to coach your team to become better conversion champions for your office. The battle for new patients is won or lost by your staff on the phone. You can spend a fortune on AdWords, have a beautiful practice, an amazing website, a killer location and eight saltwater fish tanks full of the coolest fish known-to-man, but if your staff is dropping the ball, AdWords is not going to work.

Want to learn more about Sean and his work? Visit Grow Practice Grow online for more information!