Pitfalls to Avoid with Paid Advertising
In our last post, we looked at the benefits of paid advertising for dentists – a fast-track means of attracting new patients in your area looking for the types of dental service you offer. Here, we’ll be focusing on the pitfalls to avoid with paid advertising – and there are quite a few of them for the inexperienced.
While online paid advertising is a powerful marketing tool, it can be difficult to get right. This is because it typically centers on pay-per-click (PPC) ads. PPC can produce immediate results, with rankings right at the top of major search engines such as Google and prominence on social sites. Digital marketers also know that PPC can produce a solid return on investment.
However, paid advertising holds many potential risks without professional help. Lacking expertise in paid advertising, it’s easy for a dental practice to fall into the trap of throwing good money after bad leads.
Another problem is that paid advertising is time-consuming in terms of research and ongoing optimization – crucial for a successful paid advertising campaign.
Common Mistakes with Paid Advertising
Common and potentially costly mistakes with paid advertising revolve around:
- Inadequate keyword research.
- Not having a dedicated landing page.
- Limiting your platform options.
- Failing to take advantage of remarketing.
- Not optimizing your ads.
Importance of Keyword Research in Paid Advertising
Keyword research is critical for effective paid advertising. If you don’t understand which relevant keywords steer visitors to your site, you can’t drive traffic, sales, and return on investment. Unfortunately, inadequate keyword research is a common pitfall with paid advertising.
It can be tempting to choose keywords you think potential patients may be searching for. However, it’s imperative to use tools like Google’s Keyword Planner to find the right, relevant keywords.
Digital marketers also research keywords via platforms like AnswerThePublic, AlsoAsked, and LSIGraph – handy for finding LSI (latent semantic indexing) keywords related to a topic.
It’s also important to select the right match type for your keywords. In most cases, broad match options are something you should avoid. They often bring in a stream of irrelevant traffic – driving up your CPA (cost-per-action) while reducing your overall ranking.
Professional marketers tend to find 10 to 15 basic keywords and use them in three variants:
- Exact match – shows your ad when someone enters the exact word or phrase you’re bidding on.
- Phrase match – your ad is displayed as a result of searches for your exact keyword phrase or close variations.
- Broad match modifier.
Proper keyword research enables you to create paid ads that target a specific landing page.
Why You Need a Dedicated Landing Page to Back Up Your Paid Advertising
Misconceptions about what a dedicated landing page are common. A landing page isn’t just the place your potential patients happen to arrive on your website, like your home page. Landing pages are created with a specific aim – to convert those prospects into paying patients.
As with keywords, research is key to understanding your target audience when creating your landing page. If you don’t know your audience, you can’t produce a landing that speaks to them.
Landing pages often contain direct-response copywriting designed to connect with your audience by:
- Identifying the problems of your potential patients.
- Explaining how your dental services can solve those problems.
This is followed by a strong, clear, and direct call to action (CTA) to get people to become your patients.
Keeping Your Paid Advertising Platform Options Open
Google Ads gives you a prime focus for your paid advertising because Google is the world’s largest search engine. But there are other platforms you can use alongside a Google Ads campaign to get optimum results from your paid advertising efforts.
These options include:
- Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing Ads) – fewer competitors for your keywords.
- Facebook advertising – giving your dental practice a strong presence on social media.
- YouTube advertising – videos can engage with your prospective patients on an emotional level.
- Instagram advertising – potential patients respond better to images than the written word.
- LinkedIn advertising – reinforcing your professional status can help you get referrals and repeat patients.
Remarketing/Retargeting for Further Quality Leads
Remarketing is a way of retargeting that allows you to remain engaged with potential patients who’ve already visited your website but not yet become a paying patient – by placing targeted ads in front of these individuals as they browse elsewhere on the web.
Remarketing entails tagging and tracking techniques to get more quality leads that can reduce your advertising costs.
A popular feature with Google Ads, remarketing can also be an effective marketing tool on Facebook, with multiple benefits for dental practices looking to attract new patients. Facebook remarketing enables you to connect with a broad social media audience and encourage current patients to interact with potential patients.
Benefits of Optimizing Your Paid Advertising
Some paid advertising platforms – including Google and Facebook – allow you to create optimized ads to drive more qualified traffic to your dental site.
Google does it with ad extensions, with formats including:
- Location information.
- Call buttons.
- Additional text.
- Links to specific website pages.
Meanwhile, you can maximize results from your Facebook ads through Facebook ads optimization.
Investing Smartly in Paid Advertising
Paid advertising gives dental offices a fast way to promote their services to a targeted audience and consolidate their brand, but more advertising platforms and sophisticated technology increases the likelihood of getting it wrong.
Navigating the maze of functions and features of different paid advertising platforms can be overwhelming, and it’s easy to send your campaign down the wrong path.
Although paid advertising opens up the possibility of reaching potential patients right at the moment they’re actively looking for the type of dental services you offer, you need to invest in it wisely for maximum return.
When properly executed to avoid the pitfalls of paid advertising, your promotional campaign can be hugely successful. The best way to ensure the effectiveness of paid advertising is to get help from professional digital marketers with experience and expertise in dental pay-per-click advertising.