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Pay Per Click(PPC) Advertising for Dentists: An Introduction

The following is a guest post by Sharygo Barazi of If you are interested in guest posting for Dental Heroes, please sign up here.

Pay Per Click advertising (PPC) is a website traffic generation strategy used by dentists and professionals alike. PPC holds many advantages but also has its drawbacks. If you are a dentist just starting out with a new website or have an established website with little traffic and need new patients, then utilizing pay per click advertising is a good place to start. However, PPC can become very costly if not used correctly.

Advantages of PPC

PPC has the potential to be a really great tool to attract new patients every month. The best thing about it is the ability to track conversions easily. Simply setup a landing page somewhere on your website, send traffic to that page via PPC, then track how many become patients. Over time you can test different landing pages and get a good idea of how much you are spending per new patient.

Disadvantages of Using PPC Advertising

Cost is the biggest disadvantage of using Pay Per Click advertising. PPC has the potential to be relatively cost effective if done correctly, but that entails months of testing various key word variations and landing pages to find what converts website visitors into patients.

The second issue with paid advertising is that once you stop paying, new patients stop coming in. A much more effective online dental marketing strategy is to utilize search engine optimization (SEO) to drive consistent, organic web traffic to your website.

Cost Per Patient

It is shocking to find dentists who don’t know how much they are spending to acquire a new patient because of how simple it is to calculate. To illustrate, let’s use Shining Smiles (fictitious name) as an example. Shining Smiles has decided that they have $1000 to invest in PPC every month. On average, they spend $5 per click for a total of 200 clicks to their landing page.

Shining Smiles finds that they are, on average, getting two new patients a month as a result of their advertising campaign. What this means is that this dental practice is spending about $500 per new patient. With this knowledge it’s now possible to compare PPC advertising with other strategies the practice is using to attract new patients.

Broad Dental Marketing Strategy

The best dental marketing strategy is to keep it diversified. Depending on one source to drive new patients to your practice is risky and short sighted. The most effective, long-term marketing approach is to combine offline and online resources such as dental mailers, search engine optimization, PPC, patient referral program, and a dentist directory listing that offers reviews and additional online visibility.

Your Thoughts

Have you tried PPC advertising at your practice? What have been your results? Do you have tips for other dentists interested in trying PPC advertising? Please leave them in a comment below.

Reader Comments

  1. Chris Barnard July 16th

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    Great article on an all to often overlooked form of new patient acquisition, particularly the points about calculating the cost of acquiring a patient – too many practices rely on inaccurate ‘human’ reporting, or none at all. Targeting, copy, calls to action…and plenty of other tricks of the trade separate the waste of money campaigns from the PPC ads generating sustainable ROI.

    Tip #1 would be to figure out how many patients are needed each month to cover the cost of the PPC campaign.

    Looking fwd to more PPC articles!

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