Connect With the Right Patients at the Right Time Using These Three PPC Strategies
Here’s the good news: The Internet has made it easier than ever for you to connect with potential patients. Here’s the bad news: The Internet has made it easier than ever for your competitors to connect with potential patients. Every opportunity the Internet offers is accompanied by its own set of challenges, namely, competition. Most dental practices today maintain some online presence. But if you want your practice to flourish, you have to think beyond the digital basics and deliver cutting edge PPC strategies.
Dental practices are all too familiar with emergency calls; from cracked molars to chipped front teeth, often when people are searching for a dentist it’s not out of leisure, but rather emergency. They want to be able to find a practitioner in their vicinity and connect immediately. In some cases, they may not even take the additional step to review your site in detail. So rather than making potential patients spend the time digging around for contact information – especially when they might not have much time in the first place – provide it up front with click to call. Click to call is when a local business or service provider included a telephone number directly in local search results. All searchers have to do is tap on the telephone icon to call a provider. Click to call is powerful because it eliminates common mobile search pain points, including outdated UX and slow-to-load contact forms. Contrary to popular thought, consumers still like to pick up the phone and talk to a business representative. A 2015 Marchex study estimated one billion clicks-to-calls from consumers in 2015. Mobile searchers in need of specific, immediate information often feel that they can get more (and in less time) from speaking to a human rather than sifting through a site. People in need of immediate dental care especially don’t want to be bothered with endless site searching – whether they’re in severe pain and need to communicate the urgency with a provider or worried about symptoms and looking for reassurance, including phone calls in your PPC strategy can spell the difference between a new or lost patient. In 2016, Google expanded click-to-call reporting to make it easier for advertisers to understand how often customers call and for how long.
Don’t Waste PPC Spend
As a small practice, you likely don’t have an unlimited monthly advertising budget to burn. Most small businesses and medical practices need to be mindful of every dollar spent to drive new customer awareness and transactions. But are you also aware that you need to be mindful of the dollars you’re spending that aren’t driving anything? That’s right, if you’re not currently bidding on negative keywords, you’re likely throwing money out the window. A negative keyword is a bid on a word or phrase that you don’t want to target.
Perhaps your practice does not specialize in procedures like teeth whitening, but searchers won’t know you don’t offer this service if you don’t bid on the negative keyword teeth whitening. In this scenario people searching for local practices in need of these specific procedures will click on your ads only to be disappointed and move on to the next dental provider; they’ve just wasted their time and you’ve just wasted your spend.
Get on the Map
Thanks to mobile-first mindsets, on-the-go searching mobile searching is more prevalent than desktop searching. Furthermore, a third of mobile searches have local intent, which means searchers want to connect with practices in their areas. To maintain a successful practice, you simply cannot afford to not be on the digital map. Luckily, in 2016 Google unveiled new local search ads to make connecting with your neighboring community even easier. The new format offers more ad real estate on Google Maps and Google’s SERP to advertisers running location extensions.
The key to running an effective PPC practice is constant experimentation. You have to be willing to incorporate some of the latest trends and tools into your practices, as well as think outside the box and growth hack your way to success. The world of PPC is never static, and if you want your ads to outperform other local practices you have to employ an ongoing commitment to testing and connecting with local searchers.