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At SmartBox Web Marketing, our claim to fame is helping you attract more and better patients. One way we do that is by dominating organic web search results. Research shows that 70-80 percent of search engine users ignore paid ads, focusing on the organic results. But that doesn’t mean paid search doesn’t have a place in your web marketing plan.
It may seem odd to do a blog post explaining paid search when so much of our industry-leading patient attraction system revolves around content marketing.
Obviously, the vast majority of people click on the organic links that come up when they search “find a dentist in my town,” or “ who is a gentle dentist in my city.” And we want our clients to not only be the first result on that page, we want our client to DOMINATE that page.
But it is simplistic to think paid ads have no place in a web marketing plan. After all, 20-30 percent of those searching for dental services online DO click on a paid link. And we want our clients to dominate THAT segment too.
Here is a quick look at paid search.
- Google, Bing and Yahoo ads
These are good because they appear in front of people who are searching using keywords you have included in your ads. You can control how much you spend and get a lot of data about who is clicking on your ad. But you’d better be willing to invest a lot of time in keyword and keyword string research. You’d also better have a compelling ad to compete with the other ads AND the organic results.
This is where people who have visited your website start seeing ads for your practice when they go to other websites if they didn’t do something on your site (like ask for more info or schedule an appointment). This is good because it hits people who have shown some interest in your practice already.
But you’d better have multiple ads hitting multiple messages, because they left your site once without taking action for a reason. And retargeting has the same problems as spending on social media: When a prospect is on another website (like FoxSports or Kohl’s), they are not looking for dentistry.
That’s right, you can make a YouTube ad that plays before the video someone requested pops up or shows up in their YouTube search results. This is good because videos are incredibly popular and you only pay for the ad when someone watches 30 seconds or more of it.
The downside: Do you have the talent to make a high-quality YouTube video? And when was the last time you watched an ad on YouTube, even for 30 seconds?
- Social Media Platforms
Sure, prospects are on social media. And Facebook and others make it easy for you to target the patients you are looking for.
But NO ONE IS ON TWITTER LOOKING FOR A DENTIST. The ROI is low here, and your money could be spent better elsewhere.
As usual, here is the standard disclaimer: Docs should not manage their own paid search. It takes a full-time person or even a firm to manage just the paid search portion of your marketing campaign so that it will return the greatest ROI.