In this episode, we discuss Google Adwords for dentists and other forms of SEM. How much should you spend? How does it work? Should you do adwords yourself? Who are your main competitors? All of this and more!

  • What’s the deal with Google Adwords for dentists?
  • What’s a “moderate” spend with Google Ads?
  • Passive vs. aggressive marketing
  • The basics of search engine marketing
  • Why are the obvious things easy mistakes?
  • Doing Adwords yourself?
  • The realities of Adword management
  • The bidding process
  • When search terms get overbid
  • What is NPI Command?
  • Popular search terms vs. terms that will work
  • Adwords competition

Podcast Transcription:

Hello, and Welcome once again to the Dental Marketing Mastery series. This podcast is brought to you by and New Patients Incorporated. I’m Howie Horrocks, the Founder of New Patients Incorporated, along with me once again, as my friend and partner and the President of New Patients Incorporated, Mark Dilatush.  

Howie: Hello, everybody. Welcome to our weekly podcast. We’re happy that you’ve tuned in again. Hey, Mark, how you doing?

Mark: Good, So. What number of podcast is this? By the way? Is it like one Oh, something?

Howie: Oh, no, I think we’re in the one.

Mark: Are we up by 110?

Howie: Yeah, 120 maybe? I don’t know.

Mark: Wow. You know, it’s like, it should be like the anniversary things like every hundred. You should get something.

Howie: Yeah.

Mark: Right, like paper, scissors or silverware or something.

Howie: Oh, it’s 109. I just figured out

Mark: 109 Okay, all right. Great. Welcome to our hundred ninth podcast. You crazy groupies out there.

Howie: Yeah. Anyway, what we’re going to kind of kick around is a very broad subject. And I don’t know this might turn into a series to – there’s a lot to it. But what the hell is with Google AdWords for dentists?

Mark: Right? Yeah, it is, We’re going to try to, we’re going to take this one step at a time and figure out how long it’s going to take. How’s that? Um, we’re gonna try not to get it at all technical. I’m not that you can’t handle it, dentists aren’t technical people. Um, but because you really don’t need to know it other than what matters to you, what matters to the consumer, what to expect, how to manage it. like we always do.

So. Alright, so let’s, let’s back all the way up because we keep we have a department here called NPI command. That department does nothing but manage Google ads for dentists. When we say Google ads, we mean basically all search engine marketing. you know, remarketing, targeted ads, banner ads, Google ads, all that stuff is all kind of under one roof. Right? So, they are, engaged primarily with customers, who – client dentists – who I’m going to say or at least moderately, have a moderate portion of their budget devoted to Google ads.

When I say moderate, these people, almost all of them have, are spending over $3,000 a month in Google ads. So and we keep getting cut, we keep getting questions with these podcasts and in our writing, and on our dental marketing mastery Facebook page. And just in general, you know, email conversations with prospective clients, when we get questions from all over the place? It is, why do we, you know, ‘why can’t I just manage them myself?’ You can. There’s no, that’s part of why we’re here. But then you get to a point where it almost doesn’t make any sense to try and manage them yourselves.

So that’s where we wanted to go with this, is where’s that line? How do I draw that line? In my own mind? When should I get NPI Adwords department involved? You know, when can I start on my own? How do I start on my own? What? What are the things to look for the pitfalls, so on and so forth? So this may take two or three of these, we don’t know, we’re just gonna, we’ll just get started.

Howie: Yeah,

Mark: Google AdWords? Well, first, let’s, let’s give it a definition. Google AdWords is a passive marketing medium. If you’ve listened to us over the years, you know, we have two basic categories for all advertising types, they are either passive or aggressive. And you know that passive means you are waiting for someone to have a real or perceived need, and search for the services that you may offer. That’s passive. You are the kid at the dance who’s standing in the corner. That’s basically what you are…

Howie: You’re waiting for somebody to notice you.

Mark:  You’re waiting for a girl to notice you and ask you to dance. Okay, that’s what you are. That’s okay. And, again, we always have to say this, you may create a, you may hear an influence in our voice, or we’re not saying passive is good, aggressive is good.

Passive is bad, aggressive, that’s not what we’re saying. But we are always saying is you have to have a mix of both in your dental office marketing plan. Okay, that’s the consistent that you should understand whether you hear an influence in our voice or not.

So dentist Google ads are passive. There are lots of, there are many people who have a real or perceived need and use a search engine to go find a solution to their problem. You may need window caulking and you don’t know where to get it. So you type…you, you go to Google, and you type in window caulking near me. and up comes all the hardware stores that sell window caulking , right? Basically the same thing, I have a need for a real or perceived need for dental services for me, or my family, or my husband or whoever. And I go to Google, and I type in what I’m looking for.

And Google brings up a search results screen, for the most part, organized, with the sponsored ads at the top, and potentially at the bottom as well, depending on how many people are bidding on those ads. Then it brings up a map, inside the map or some Google business pages with reviews, and maybe even some Google business page ads inside the map, with the little stars and the Google score. And then underneath of that comes your organics, which website, local or social media local looks to be the most relevant for this person’s search.

Understanding that Google knows where almost every surfer is in location, in the world. There are exceptions, of course, the people who actually check that box off of the 97th page of their terms of service that they’ll never going to see.

Howie: Yeah.

Mark: So they know where you are. And they know where their vendors are, they know where their businesses are, because they have a Google business page. So they organize it geographically and by the search words and terms that you typed into your Google browser. Okay, those are the basics. So at the bottom of a Google search page, you have your organics, that’s how well your dental clinic website ranks against those search terms and phrases in general. And at the very top, usually, you have three or four or five paid ads, and those ads have a little circle with the word ad in them. And the ad is written, most of the time  in such a way that they too, are taking advantage of search terms and phrases that you typed in.

Maybe it’s window caulking near me, then the ad probably has the words window and caulking somewhere in the ad. And that’s how they get up to the top, maybe the second ad, the third and fourth ad – there are search term matches involved there. So anyway, so there’s your ads.

Now imagine, which none of you have to do, because you’re all dentist. Now imagine you’re going to want to bid on those ads, you’re pretty much going to want to start off with your own Google AdWords account. And you’re going to need to know which of those terms the consumers use to find dental services. And Google has services.

If you have an AdWords account, they have services that will help you search like how many people search for window caulking near me. And 16,927 country wide, and then you can narrow it down within a certain geo. And then you get your idea of how many people search for those things. As a dentist, you’ll think of the obvious ones. And it’s funny how the most obvious things end up being the first mistake people make, right. So

Howie: Why is that? Why is that?

Mark: I know. So? Well? The answer to why is that is because Google makes money.

Howie: That will always be yes or no

Mark: Always be the answer.

Howie: Okay,

Mark: So. But ok, so now, you say to yourself, Well, how do I get my ads up there? And the answer is you pay? Because every time someone clicks your ad, you pay – I’m just going to use round numbers – 10 bucks.

Howie: Yeah. And then that those, that expenses is determined by you know, how popular the search term is, right?

Mark: No that..well, actually, the number of impressions, yes, how a number of impressions. And the relevance in the search, in the keywords and phrases determines if your ad even shows up.

Howie: hmm

Mark: Once it shows you don’t pay, if it just shows up and nobody clicks on it. You don’t pay?

Howie: Yeah, right. Yeah, that’s fine. That’s what you were referring to.

Mark: But when someone clicks it, you pay. You know what it’s like, it’s like going through the toll gate with an easy pass. I went through, I gotta pay.

Howie: Yeah,

Mark: So when someone clicks it you pay. And that person then goes to basically a landing page, some, some web page or website that you control with a message that you want them to see with an action you want them to take. Okay? Your hope is, is that people near you who have a real or perceived need of dental services at this moment, would find your internet property, learn a bit about you. And take some positive action, maybe to make their first appointment, maybe it’s to call the office, maybe it’s to schedule online, maybe it’s to email you whatever you want it to be, that needs to be on that on that landing page. So those are the basics of Google AdWords for dentists.

Howie: This might be a good time to stop for a moment for a little commercial break, and then we’ll come back and pick it up on the other side. Okay. So don’t go away. We’ll be right back.

Hey Mark, we should tell people about this new product we have NPI command Ah, well, new, probably new to the podcast listener, but not new to the customers who use it. So let me go through on the finer points. NPI command is a system we use. It’s an artificial intelligence system that creates decisions on where dentists, our clients should put their pay per Click money when they do Google Pay Per Click ad campaigns. If you’re someone who’s already done them, then you’re probably frustrated by the cost of the negative clicks.

Well, if there’s an artificial intelligence platform, monitoring your negative clicks, you can see immediately how doing these on an artificial intelligence platform will allow for a faster build, and the faster allocation of the advertising money to the places that are bringing in good clicks. Because with every PPC campaign, there’s sources of bad clicks and sources of good clicks. And the whole idea is to throw all your money in the good ones and pull your money from the bad ones. So NPI command is our PPC department. And it’s not just in the department of humans. It’s an artificial intelligence platform as well.

Howie: Alright, we are back and we’re talking Google AdWords for dentists.

Mark: Okay, so

Howie: Yes, go right ahead. Mark,

Mark: Those were the basics before the break. And I’m going to say, dentists, with budgets, If you’re going to spend a grand or less a month, you’re probably not and you’re in a reasonably competitive market. You’re probably not going to hurt yourself. Like maybe if you’re spending maybe 10-15% of your total budget, and you just want to play around. Okay. You know, as do it yourself. That’s, that’s fine.

I’m, but here are the realities. Okay. And, the realities are, that if you put 10 dentists, that were managing their own Google AdWords campaigns in the same town, if you put them all in a room, and you said, I want you to write down what you think are going to be the most popular keywords in terms that you would want to bid on those 12 dentist would come out with about 80% familiar. In other words, 80% of the search words and terms they wrote down would be similar in nature.

Okay like, “Dentist Madison Wisconsin.”

Howie: right

Mark:  Okay, if I had 12 dentists in Madison, Wisconsin, probably all 12 would type in “Dentist Madison Wisconsin.” Okay. So now, here’s where this starts to go off the rails. And this is where Dentist hurt themselves.

Okay, so Google AdWords is a bidding process, you are bidding to have your ad placed. Google’s not agreeing to place it there. They’re just saying they’re agreeing to take your bid. Okay. Okay. If you win the auction, or you’re one of the two or three winners of the auction, then they’ll Place your ad. So if it’s a bidding process, what happens to a price? When there’s 12 bidders versus one?

Howie: Let me go. I know, I know. I know. It goes up.

Mark: Okay. All right. So. with Google AdWords for dentists, here’s what we want you to get from this. And again, we’re not going to get overly technical. But here’s what we want to get from this. This there’s a balance between the number of increase in other words, the number of times people typed in “Madison Wisconsin dentist,” as the most popular search term for dental services in Madison, Wisconsin, versus the cost of it.

Search for “Madison Wisconsin Dentist” might be  $27 and36 cents every time somebody clicks your ad after that search, because there might be 35 dentists all bidding for it. And they’ve all been playing this little nerd war, like on eBay, right, driving up the bid of a search term that they think is the most popular that they think is going to bring them the most new patients.

Okay. So what happens is once you get 2, 5, 7, 9, 11, 17, 18, 21 even in some cases, hundreds of dentists spending $1,000 a month each all trying to do this on their own, all they’re doing is raising the bid for the most popular search terms. That’s all they’re doing. And they end up with, let’s say there’s 100 dentists all bidding on “dentist Madison Wisconsin,” only three of them are happy, because only three of them had their ad shown.

Howie: Okay,

Mark: The other 97 lost out on the bid.

Howie: Okay

Mark: Not only, so they don’t get new patients and the other people spend too much money to bid. Okay. So you end up, what ends up happening is the only real winner in an environment like that is Google. The patient doesn’t win, the dentist doesn’t win, the dentist for sure doesn’t win. Okay. So then it becomes you know, then you end up with 100 dentists who are saying, Google AdWords stinks or it sucks or doesn’t work, whatever. And then you have three dentists who say, Oh, it’s great. Because they’re the ones who are winning, right? You so you travel the country, and have you taken enough phone calls, and you have enough conversations with people kind of know what’s going on.

Your know, if you’re doing these on your own, and you have a budget of you know, let’s say a grand a month. In maybe in, I’m not gonna say maybe, I’m gonna say most US markets, it’s very likely, you’re being outbid. Or you’re just bidding on too many of the most popular search terms and phrases and your search term and phrase list is not broad enough. So in contrast, let me give you an idea of how we do it. On our end, if a customer came to us and said, “Okay, I want to start this new search engine marketing program called NPI command, please front load my campaign.”

We would not sit in a room and think of the first 16 that we could come to. What we do is we load 700, 800, 1000, 1200 search terms and phrases, many of them so obscure – be amazed if anybody ever typed them in. Okay. But what do all the obscure ones and the not so obscure ones all have in common?

They’re all very inexpensive. You know why they’re inexpensive? Because you’re the only one bidding on them. Okay. So few people click them, but when they do they become good new patients, and your costs are probably 100 times less than the more popular ones.

So we front Load the campaign platforms with hundreds of possible search terms and phrases, not 10, 8, 16 or whatever, you know, whenever you run out of energy to think of the next most popular search term or phrase or the next report you get from Google that tells you the most popular search term and phrase. Google wants you to see the most popular search terms and phrases. Why? Because you knowing that drives up the bid price. They want you to be lazy and just go based on their recommendations because they’re telling Bob Jerry, Sam and Harold the same thing. Everybody’s bidding on the same search terms and phrases and  for Google, they don’t care, you get 12 cents a click or $120. There’s some markets in the country where an implant searches $87.

That’s insane. And it’s all because of, not all, but most of it is because the people managing the Google AdWords campaign – they’re not – hey’re not really thinking like a marketer. They’re actually taking advice from the advertiser. You know what it’s like, it’s like going to a radio station.

Howie: Yeah.

Mark: And saying, I’d like to advertise my dental office and the sales guy saying, “Well, all you have to do is do a one minute run every two minutes. And you’ll be good to go.”

Howie: Yeah.

Mark: Okay, and fully funding it.

Howie: Okay

Mark: Basically, what Google does with their AdWord department. Umm, so the campaign management side of Google AdWords is so unbelievably important to the end result, now I’m going to close with, and we’re gonna have to do another one of these because I’m not even

Howie: Yeah, like

Mark:  Remotely done, but I’m going to close this podcast. Um, there’s a really good chance that, you know, most of you with thousand dollar a month budgets are in markets – where there are, there’s probably come competitors spending 10, 12, or $18,000 a month.

So your ads might run from the first of the month to the seventh of the month, and then it’ll totally consume your ad budget, and you’ll you won’t have an ad show up for the next 23 days. That’s another thing that’s going on with your ad budget that you may or may not realize. So you may get these little spikes and calls. And then nothing.

While your competition is cleaning your clock from the eighth to the 30th of every month, because they have a budget that’s more in line with the statistical reality of searches in that given market. So anyway, so we’re, we have to follow this up, Howie, because this close to, to what it needs to be for people to truly understand how to win at Google AdWords for dentists. And I want to make sure people do understand how.

Howie: Yeah

Mark: You know, it’s just like everything else. It’s just you got to do it for a while. And see, see how the game is played. And once you know, once you know how the game is played, then you can win. You can’t, it’s like taking a badminton racket to a football game. If you don’t know the rules, you’re not going to win.

Howie: Yep. Right. All right. We’ll call this series of number one there, and we’ll be back next week with the next in the series. We’re so glad that you tuned in today. Thanks a lot. We’ll see you soon. Bye now.

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