Do it Yourself Google Advertising – Are you falling foul of these 4 common mistakes (and what to do to fix them?)

By Loran Simon | Our Service

Dentists – you’re my heroes. Not only have you, over the years performed minor miracles on my somewhat neglected teeth but with many of you also being small business owners, you represent all that’s great about Britain.

The demands on your time are doubtless huge and yet many of you have still found the time to become, if not experts, certainly pretty savvy marketers. Hat’s off to you.

And Digital, in many respects has made it all the more tempting to ‘do it yourself.’ After all Google makes it look easy right – roll call Adwords Express! However, the reality is you might find some success, but there are a myriad of mistakes you will inevitably make (unless you are also google certified and even then you’ll still make a fair few!). This is because it takes time, energy, commitment and skill to get good at digital, let alone staying stay on top of all the new trends, strategies and features that google, facebook and the like issue daily.

I know there will still be a large number of you who are if not hesitant, downright averse to outsourcing this activity. It may be that you’ve managed OK yourself for years, or you’ve got a practice manager with just enough knowledge to keep things ticking over, or worse, you outsourced once and vowed never to do so again.

If so, this is for you – a handful of common mistakes and a few helpful tips to save you time and improve the performance of your campaigns. And for those of you who have already reached the tipping point of cost, value, effort and decided that’s it’s time to call in some pros then skip the tips and give us a call.

Incorrect Bidding

56.1% of digital ads are never seen on the Google network according to Neil Patel (Marketing Guru).

One of the most common mistakes we see is bidding too low on what we know to be expensive keywords. If you’re not bidding enough for those competitive, high value keywords and let’s call them out: invisalign, implants, orthodontics to name a few, then you’ll achieve a much lower share of impressions than you deserve and when your ads do appear, they will be way down the pecking order in the SERPs.

It may be counter-intuitive but increasing your bids tells google you’re serious and while in the short term you may pay more for the clicks, over the longer term the improvement in the account’s performance will see google rate you better and you will benefit from an improved Quality Score. Your Quality Score has significant influence over the cost and effectiveness of your paid search.

Tip #1 - Checking your average position to see if you are bidding too low, if your average position is below 6, then consider increasing your bid. And if you are new to google adwords, then be careful to ensure that your bidding is within the first page bid estimate.

What is a Quality Score?

Quality Score is Google's rating of the quality and relevance of both your keywords and PPC ads. It is used to determine your cost per click (CPC) and multiplied by your maximum bid to determine your ad rank in the ad auction process. Your Quality Score depends on multiple factors, including:

  • Your click-through rate (CTR).
  • The relevance of each keyword to its ad group.
  • Landing page quality and relevance.
  • The relevance of your ad text.
  • Your historical AdWords account performance.

Wordstream 2017

Not understanding the role of your quality score

If you’re only just now learning about your Quality Score then now might be the time to think about outsourcing. Only kidding. However, your Quality Score governs where your ad ranks, so knowing what to do to improve it can save you a lot of money.

Broadly speaking, the key components are expected click-through rate, ad relevance and landing page experience. Google incentivises you at every step to improve your ads relevance, not least because it makes them more money when you do, by improving the user experience. So the Quality Score issue is a virtuous circle, you scratch their backs and they’ll reward you.  If your ad copy is well crafted and resonates against the keywords in an ad group, your CTR will go up and your quality score will improve.

Tip # 2 - Work on your Quality Score to avoid raising your bids (which incidentally can backfire if you’re not paying attention to your ‘Search Lost IS (Budget)’ - the percentage of possible impressions of auctions entered into, but lost).  An increased Quality Score means extra clicks with no change in your bid or your budget.

Poorly organising your account

Not using ad groups is one of the biggest mistakes DIY google marketers frequently make. Closely followed by those people who try to do too much in one ad group. Every ad group you create needs to have a clearly defined focus and be based around similar types of keywords. This allows you to customise the ad to the search term (which helps your quality score!) and also makes your campaigns easier to manage, maintain and optimise.

Tip #3 - Our advice is not to use more than 20 keywords per ad group. Make it manageable but most of all make sure that your ad copy matches the keyword that is being searched on as closely as possible

Not Bidding on Your Own Brand

There are so many mistakes to make when working with keywords from not using the right broad match, phrase match, or exact match keywords, to not using negative keywords. But what we see often and is something of a schoolboy error is not bidding on your own brand.

The simple truth is, if you are not bidding on your brand, your competitors will be to target your visitors.  This won’t impact your natural or organic search rankings but your competitors might be  advertising directly above that result.

Tip # 4 - Don’t ignore the low hanging fruit and certainly don’t scrimp on this most valuable of terms. Always bid and bid high. If people are searching on your brand name then they are already engaged and are therefore more likely to convert. Don’t let your failure to appear first, or at all, allow a competitor to steal away your hard earned visitors..

These are just a few common errors that DIY digital marketers make but there are plenty more we could  have written about. As with anything, it takes time to become a specialist and we pride ourselves on delivering real value back to our clients.

On average we generate new patient enquiries at £22 each. But new patient enquiries can be even cheaper than that in some areas, for one practice in 1 month we generated 46 new patient enquiries from Google for just £183 / $242 / €206.

We deliver incredible results using digital marketing to every single one of our clients, at the most affordable prices.

By all means ‘do it yourself’ and if you are still not convinced you want to outsource, then please CLICK HERE TO APPLY FOR ACCESS TO OUR DIGITAL MARKETING FOR DENTISTS membership site, where you can download campaign examples and step by step instructions on how to set up, manage and optimise your own campaigns.

Otherwise, give us a call and let us help you achieve the sort of results these channels are made for.

Schedule a FREE Strategy Call

Learn how digital marketing could help your practice grow by 85% in 1 year.

Loran Simon

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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.