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How Pay Per Click for Dentists Can Quadruple Your Website Traffic

By on February 18th, 2014

You may be familiar with the phrase, “If you build it, they will come.” This phrase became iconic after it was whispered to Kevin Costner’s character in the cult classic film “Field of Dreams“.

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In this film, Costner plays a Iowa farmer who plows away his corn field to build a baseball diamond at the behest of an ethereal voice. This field becomes a little piece of heaven on earth as the Chicago Black Sox eventually appear from the corn to play baseball for the sake of pure love of the game.

Unfortunately, digital marketing is not as effortless. More times than not, a “build it and they will come” approach is not enough to see the return on investment we all wish for when we launch a new or redesigned website or service.

So, while a great dental website, with great design, and plenty of great features that patients will find useful is the foundation for your digital marketing efforts, unless it is properly marketed and optimized, it will be almost useless.

How do we solve this and solve it quickly? Enter “pay per click” (or PPC as it is often referred to as).

There are many facets of online marketing for a dentist or orthodontist to consider, including social media marketing, SEO, and email marketing. However, the best way to be found by potential patients quickly is to have your website ranked at the top of relevant search results. This is what pay per click advertising does for us.

So let’s learn a little more about what pay per click is exactly.

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What is Pay Per Click?

Pay per click is a for-pay marketing technique that allows your website listing to be placed ahead of other listings in relevant search results. Like search engine optimization (SEO), it works off of keywords. After setting up your pay per click account, you will choose certain keywords, relevant to your dental website. When those keywords appear in search phrases, your link will automatically appear at the top of the search results. On Google (the most popular search engine), these results appear before and next to the organic results, in a slightly shaded box, and are labeled as advertisements.

The best part about pay per click is that you will only have to pay for the ads when they actually work. It is called “pay per click” because you only have to pay when someone actually clicks on your ad and visits your website. This makes it an extremely cost-effective type of marketing. Unlike other advertisements, which must be paid for whether or not they are effective, PPC only requires payment when it results in a click-through.

Though search result PPC is the most popular and most effective, there are also PPC campaigns available on social media venues like Facebook and YouTube.

Why Do Dentists and Orthodontists Need Pay Per Click Marketing?

While organic SEO is the best way to find new patients, pay per click for dentists and orthodontists is a great way to get ranked fast while you are waiting for your SEO or Social marketing efforts to find a footing in the search results. It enables you to still connect with the people that are searching for dentists or orthodontists, while your website otherwise climbs through the search results. And because you automatically appear at the top of the search results, you will always trump your competitors.

Studies show that people are most likely to interact with links that are on the top half of the search results page, also referred to as links that are “above the fold.” The higher your listing is, the better. When just starting out, this can be discouraging because it can take several months before Google has thoroughly indexed your website and before it allows this page to climb the search results. Pay per click is a great intermediary that costs money only when someone actually clicks through to your website and gives you the premium search results position.

It is especially important to emphasize the low cost of these kinds of campaigns. The “cost per click” can be very low for less competitive keywords, which helps to keep the cost of the entire campaign very reasonable. This makes these campaigns viable for even the most cash-strapped practices. Even if you’re well-established dentist or orthodontist, it may seem frivolous to put money into expensive traditional offline marketing plan. PPC campaigns, on the other hand, are extremely efficient and have very little risk.

How to Implement Pay Per Click Marketing

Before a pay per click campaign can begin, you need to have keywords relevant to your website that people are likely to search. You can have a hundred keywords in your campaign, but if no one is likely to search them, then the campaign is just as effective as having no PPC at all. Finding these keywords can be difficult, but there are several different services that offer keyword research. There are even online marketing companies that specifically research keywords for PPC campaigns. These keywords may be exactly the same as SEO keywords, or they may differ slightly, depending on the ultimate goals of the PPC campaign. The best first step is to consult a specialist or company that is certified in Google Adwords, preferably someone that specializes in marketing for dentists and orthodontists.

Once you have your keywords, you will apply them to your campaign. Once the keywords have been implemented, the campaign must be monitored to ensure that the keywords are working and that your dollars and efforts are not being wasted. This is where a PPC management firm can help. Not only can they conduct the necessary keyword research, they can manage the campaign once it has begun and make adjustments if it’s not bringing in the expected amount of new patients.

How does Pay Per Click Differ from SEO?

Pay per click and SEO are related, as they both affect a websites position in search results. However, pay per click ensures that link is at the top of the page, while SEO gradually lifts a page through the search rankings, using relevant content and keywords. PPC is more like a sprint to the top, whereas SEO is more of a marathon. SEO will usually pay off bigger dividends down the road, but PPC gets you immediate results.

Ultimately, the best digital marketing plans are diverse and include dollars for web maintenance, SEO, blogging, social media, and pay per click. By setting aside part of your marketing budget for PPC and running your campaign properly, you are guaranteeing instant traffic to your website that is qualified and looking for the dental or orthodontic services you provide.

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