[DENTISTS] DO IT YOURSELF – 7 Easy Steps To Auditing Your Own Dental Digital Marketing PPC Campaigns

By Loran Simon | Our Service

A few weeks back we wrote about how your Google Quality Score might be seriously hurting your PPC performance and dental digital marketing campaigns. We also offered a free Google Ads (Adwords) Audit to anyone wanting to benchmark or just review the performance of their PPC campaigns and campaign set up.

We also promised that we’d give you your own checklist, so if you are that inclined, you can do a mini audit yourself.

Here it is but if you want us to do it for you, skip to the end and book your PPC Campaign Audit today!

PPC Audit Step 1: Check your conversions tracking is set up properly…...or at all!

As unbelievable as it may sound, a huge number of dentists and dental business are running Google ads (PPC ads) without setting up any goal conversion tracking. A goal represents a completed activity, which depending on your landing page or website could be anything from making a phone call into the practice, to downloading dental content or perhaps booking an appointment for a treatment.

More worrying still is that of those practices which have set up conversion tracking, many have implemented it incorrectly, so they are tracking the wrong thing and skewing their results. It may seem obvious but just in case, remember that your conversion tracking code should always be placed on the page that appears AFTER a conversion has been completed.

Over the years Google has made it easier and easier to set up Google analytics and Google Tag Manager, so if your google account is failing to deliver and you don’t know why (and can’t find out!) then perhaps (and this is all the more likely if you really can’t find out) you haven’t set up conversion tracking, which is the first step in understanding whether your marketing spend is working for you. Let Google help: https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/1722054?hl=en

And you don’t need to be a technical wizard to do it. It really is as simple as placing the right bit of code on the right page on your site.  Set up conversion tracking today and begin your PPC overhaul.

PPC Audit Step 2 - Analyse the performance of your keywords in 7 easy steps

The 80/20 rule can be applied to any number of business scenarios from sales to marketing and PPC is no exception. One of the most common reasons for PPC campaign failure is a poor keyword strategy, or put simply poorly performing keywords that are draining your ad spend.

It stands to reason that you should be spending money on those keywords that generate a profit and the reality is only a small minority of your keywords are giving you the majority of your conversions. Countless research studies have shown this to the case.

And yet, many of you are still bidding on way too many underperforming keywords in an effort to improve your conversion rates. Often, it’s out of desperation rather than sound data analysis which is all the more sad, because it's not that difficult to know which of your keywords are the best performing. When you bid on too many underperforming keywords your ads show up for less relevant searches and produce less relevant clicks, which ultimately will lower your conversion rates and eat up huge chunks of your budget unnecessarily.

To understand which keywords are working for you and which are not follow these simple steps:

  1. Click on “All campaigns”
  2. Go to the Keywords tab
  3. Open the “Details” drop down menu and click “Search Terms All.”
  4. Export this report into Excel and sort your data to see which keywords are performing well and which by contrast are showing zero conversions
  5. Remove non-performing keywords from adwords
  6. Re-direct the surplus spend on your high-value keywords
  7. Watch while sales soar.

Note: keep bidding on your brand keywords even if they are achieving zero conversions.  Own brand bidding helps with your quality score and will gain you more online real estate in search engine results in front of users who already know you.

PPC Audit Step 3 - Review your ad groups for relevancy

Knowing how many keywords and which ones to include in your ad group should not be guesswork.

The best rule of thumb is to use no more than 20 keywords per ad group and arguably that’s still too many. The more keywords you have in your ad group, the less relevant they are likely to be to your ad copy or the keyword being searched.  Ideally you want to include hyper relevant, granular keywords for one topic or theme. If you follow this advice you will see the performance of your campaigns improve dramatically. The key is to review your ad groups regularly and move terms that aren’t a good fit into new ad groups.

PPC Audit Step 4: Check Number of Ads Enabled Per Ad Group

Creating multiple ad creatives for testing purposes is sensible approach for any campaign. There is nearly always a winner. Once you’ve established which creative is generating the most conversions, remember to pause the others and may be add new creative to see if your new ideas can outperform that winner.  You probably want to have 2-3 ad variations running at any one time.

PPC Audit Step 5: Set up or review your Ad Extensions

Implementing Ad extensions is often an immediate and highly impactful way to improve click through rate. Ad extensions provide additional information and let people take action directly from the search results. Google’s own research shows a 10-15% Click through rate uplift from implementing a new ad extension. Check that all of the extensions you are running are appropriate fits for the business itself, that your sitelinks, callouts and structured snippets match your offerings.

Extensions are only shown when your Ad Rank is high enough, so you may need to increase your ad quality or bid in order for your extensions to show.

Google itself has said that using ad extensions is the more cost effective way to get more clicks, when compared to raising your bid in order to increase position.

Google says: “ If you have an eye towards managing your costs, consider lowering your Max CPC bids rather than removing ad extensions.”

One final note of caution, be sure to opt out of any automated ad extensions in advanced extension settings that Google may have implemented on your behalf but which may not be positively performing.

PPC Audit Step 6 - Beware of those Broad Match Keywords

Broad match keywords are the Google default. Broad match keywords produce plenty of traffic but typically generate poor click through and conversion rates.  Exact match keywords get the highest conversions but limited search engine volume.

You should be using a mix of match types and this is where an agency, doing a good job can really transform you account. Advanced Bid strategies include ‘tiered or stacked bidding’ where the same keyword is added in multiple match types to better control costs. The closer a query is to a keyword, the higher the chance that it could lead to a conversion, hence the more an advertiser is willing to spend.

While we are on the subject of keywords, remember to proactively QA your negative keywords list. Negative keywords tell Google what search queries are not relevant to your business, so you ad is not served up for non relevant searches. Negative keywords should be set up at the outset of any campaign, but if for any reason this was not done, then one of the best ways to identify negative keywords for your PPC campaigns is to look at your query reports to see how people have been searching and what terms have been triggering your ads.

Steps to create a search term report:

  1. To conduct a search term report, go to the Keywords tab and select Details> Search Terms> All.
    The search terms people were using when your ad was triggered will appear in the first column.
  2. Go to Columns> Customize Columns> Attributes. Choose “Add” next to the Keyword option and select “Apply.”

You can now see which keyword you have programmed that triggered your ad to show for a search.

From here you can add or exclude keywords. You also have the option of adding keywords to either an ad group or at a campaign level, or to an existing negative keyword list.

PPC Audit Step 7 - Where are you sending your traffic?

This is a really simple question to answer - where are you sending your traffic and how relevant is that information page to the ad itself and the original user’s search query. If you are not using a dedicated landing page about the treatment you are promoting then you should be and please don’t think that the product page on your dental site can ever perform as well as a treatment specific landing page. The figures speak for themselves. By way of comparison, our landing pages convert at upwords of 10%. Websites particularly information sites like dental ones convert at anywhere between 1 & 2 %.

Research conducted at Stanford University showed that a poor initial website experience can eliminate up to 75% of your potential sales. If you destination page is not converting clicks into leads or enquiries, then your budget will be drained away with nothing to show for it.

The treatment landing page and the ad connected should both be as compelling and relevant to each other as possible to each other.

Hopefully, this checklist has given you some food for thought and a structured approach to reviewing your own campaign set up.

As we said at the start, we’re happy to offer a FREE FULL Pay-Per-Click Audit today , no obligation and no fee.

If you’re concerned that your Google Adwords campaigns are not delivering a great cost per lead, then let us take a look to see what you can do to improve performance. Book your PPC Audit today.

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Loran Simon

FREE 7-Part Guide to Dental Digital Marketing


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About the Author

After generating more than 85,000 patients for our own dental lab, and for the clients of our digital marketing agency for dental practices, I cracked the code for running successful online marketing campaigns.