12 PPC Tips for Dentists
Using digital marketing, analytics and clever marketing optimisation strategies, learn how we win new patients for your dental practice quickly, efficiently and at the lowest cost per new patient acquisition of all your marketing activities

12 PPC advertising tips for dental practices

Google Ads For DentistsSo many dental practices make the same costly mistakes over and over again advertising on Google.

Most probably get good enough results to continuing advertising, not realising, they could squeeze even more from their advertising.

Well, it turns out, dentists that succeed with PPC do 12 things really well…


1. Target patients looking for you

Sounds obvious right? Using Google AdWords we can ensure your practice appears on the first page, every time it should.

Ever since Google reduced the number of results it shows in the Google My Business pack from seven to three listings, many local dentists have chosen to focus more on pay-per-click advertising (PPC) if they want to regularly appear in search results.

Using Google AdWords Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, we can ensure your dental practice shows up for specific patient searches like:

  • “where to get dental implants Manchester”
  • “teeth whitening London” or
  • “private dentist in Birmingham”

Here’s an example of how prominent the search results page has become with Google Ads dominating the top of the search results.

PPC for Dentists

While it can take many months, and thousands of pounds invested in SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) to even get close to page 1, with Google AdWords, you appear immediately.

2. How most local dentists approach online advertising

A common problem for local service businesses and dental practices alike is they regularly have to overcome the challenge of appearing to narrow target audiences while appearing for highly competitive keywords.

Want to know the best part?

With the right strategy in place, PPC advertising can be a highly lucrative, profitable channel to advertise all your treatments and services.

As we control how much to spend on every service, and track every enquiry back to the keyword typed into Google, we can really drill down into the cost per lead for each service like in the example below, ensuring a high, sustainable ROI.

Treatment Cost per lead
Dental Implants £13.04
Teeth Straightening £7.80
New Patient £3.60


3. The two key ways to attract new patients 

Some local businesses burn money showing ads to people who don’t have an interest in their service – by using the wrong targeting methods. Sometimes, dental practices execute half of this correctly, but often a combination of both approaches maximises enquiries and therefore new patients.

In AdWords, we find new patients by:
  1. Geo-Targeting (based on the IP address of the searcher)
  2. Keyword Targeting (coupling your dental treatment and location keywords)


Here’s an example of geo-targeting.

With geo-targeting, we are targeting (showing ads) to people searching for “Dentists” in your area.

Some geo targeting options include:

a) targeting people based in your area, searching for a dentist

b) targeting specific postcodes, around your practice

c) targeting an agreed radius around your practice


Keyword Targeting

Alternatively, using keyword targeting, and Manchester as an example, we can find new patients typing searches into Google like “Dentists in Manchester”, “private dentist Manchester”, “teeth straightening manchester” and so on.  


4. Ensuring you show for the right treatments

As well as targeting search terms users type into Google, we also want to prevent your practice from showing for certain terms that you don’t want to appear for.

To do this, we use a feature of Google AdWords (called negative keywords) to provide even more granular control over which keywords you show up in Google for. 

For instance, if a prospect types “Cheap dentists in Manchester” into Google, we probably don’t want to show an advert, and so we add the negative keyword ‘cheap’ ensuring we never show an ad for your practice when we don’t want to.

5. Advanced Location & Postcode Targeting

The default location targeting option for any AdWords campaign is set to target those users who are not just in your location but also searching for it. Whilst this works for some advertisers, it will not be suitable for the majority of dental practices.

We ensure the correct configuration of targeting settings to optimise results and often even target potential patients by postcode, so that your ads only show to users within your local postcode areas.

location targeting

6. Proximity/Radius targeting

I’ve used the chart below for illustrative purposes (credit to Liam Wade / Bright Local) which compares the conversion rates of two local businesses. Client A represents a local private dentist, Client B is a double-glazing firm.

Conversion rateAs expected, for local businesses who offer an on-premises service, the further away the person, the lower the conversion rate will become. The sweet spot in this example looks to be the surrounding 12 mile radius.

And guess what?

Knowing this, we can set tiered bid adjustments, showing ads more aggressively to people closer to your dental practice, and gradually taking our foot off the gas the further away the person is until we get to a distance that is most likely unviable/unlikely to convert. This is different for every practice. 

7. Find the best places to get new patients

Using analytics and data insights we can determine the best locations to target.

  1. If you have Google Analytics installed on your practice website, we can review your user location data and find your best performing areas (for example, this might be a high average-income area)
  2. Similarly, we can review your dental practice system, CRM, customer database or offline records.

Finally, if you are holding offline events, it can pay dividends to synchronise your online activity with your offline. Sending out mailshots to a neighbouring town next week? Ensure you’re visible online in that area when they search for you by using bid adjustments.

8. Daily advertising budgets from £1 per day

With AdWords, you choose a daily budget for each campaign based on your advertising goals and the average amount you’re comfortable spending.

Typically, local service businesses tend to spend anywhere from £300 – £1000 per month advertising their services. 

We can change your budget as often as is required and at any time.


9. How many new patients did I get this month?

Conversion Tracking is the answer. 

Using Google AdWords and Google Analytics, we track every phone call and every form fill into your practice, and send you a monthly report detailing all the results.

And, we setup an online dashboard where you can see your cost, traffic, patient enquiries and much more 24/7. 

PPC Client Report

10. Dental practice callouts and sitelinks

PPC Ad Sitelinks

With ad extensions, we can say more about your practice, treatments, services, opening hours and more.

These are a great way to bolster your ads. They take up more real estate on the Google search results page, draw a user’s eye to your ad over your competitors, and ultimately help increase new patient enquiries. We ensure your dental practice has localised, helpful ad copy in addition to the commonly used address and phone number extensions.


11. Tailored Adverts

We write highly tailored customised copy for each advert to maximise engagement and drive potential patients to your website. But it doesn’t stop there. We continually AB test multiple ad text variations to maximise results.

PPC Ad AB Test

To write great ad copy we create tightly themed campaigns and ad groups in Google AdWords, so that every ad shown has a super high degree of relevance to the patients search and use techniques like Dynamic Keyword Insertion to increase the relevance of the ad copy.


12. Persona bidding

Persona Bidding

In a well optimised set of campaigns, bids are adjusted based on a number of influencing criteria including:

  • Time of day
  • Day of week
  • Device
  • Location
  • Treatment / Service
  • New / existing patient

By gathering and learning from the data we acquire, we maximise the number of enquiries you receive.

BONUS TIP: Google My Business Listings

Finally, in addition to advertising on Google, every dental practice should take ownership of, and optimise their Google My Business listing. 

Here’s a simple optimisation checklist every dental practice can use:
  • Verify your listing and claim ownership
  • Enter complete data for your listing
  • Include relevant keywords
  • Keep your opening hours up to date
  • Add multiple enhancing photos
  • Manage and respond to customer reviews

Looking for help?

If you would like us to look after your digital marketing to make sure you have a steady flow of new patients while you are running your clinic, have a listen to our client testimonial video below to see how we helped Stuart Davison (Director @ Clyde Munro Dental Group) increase patient numbers through PPC.

Leave a comment