Internet advertising for dentists
Historically, the best way to get new patients was to get referrals from current patients.
With a good clinic location, a quality outdoor sign can also be very effective.
In recent years, a new way of acquiring new patients started to dominate: web or Internet advertising.
Myth # 1: nobody clicks on ads
Up to 2010, I thought almost no one clicked on Internet advertising. The Americans even coined the phrase "Banner blindness" to describe the phenomenon
of user excluding advertisements from their field of vision. In 2013, Google had revenues of $57.86 billion (USD), mainly from Internet advertising.
This amounts to about 2,000 clicks per second on Google ads, 365 days a year. That’s a lot of nobodies.
Myth # 2: people do not choose a dentist using the web
At first, I had doubts. Especially since some dental websites were so bad that they scared potential patients away.
However, by following best practices for the web, my dental clients have confirmed to me that they were getting many more new patients.
Today, I am convinced. When web marketing is done right, it can significantly increase the number of new patients for a dental clinic.
Two ways to pay for web advertising
Internet ads can be paid for in two ways:
- Per click. This billing system is called "Pay Per Click" or PPC.
- Per impression, usually calculated in thousands and called PPM. Disadvantages of this system are
(1) the impressions are not necessarily views (for example if the ad is at the bottom of the page),
(2) we cannot really validate if the ads actually appeared on these sites
(3) the person who saw the ad may have no interest in your product or service.
Where to advertise on the web
On the Internet, we see advertisements on these types of websites:
- In the result pages of search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
- On websites that display advertisements throughout their content and share ad revenue with an ad networks.
For example: www.rateMDS.com, www.youtube.com, etc.
- On social media websites like Facebook, Instagram, etc.
Advertising on search engines
Suppose that you are looking for a dentist in Ottawa. You go to www.google.ca and you search for "Ottawa dentist" or "Ottawa dental clinic". Google will list websites that best match your query. On the result page, Google will mix ads and links for Ottawa dental clinics.
This type of advertising works very well for dental clinics because those who see the ads are receptive to your message. Indeed, they are looking for solutions to their dental problems.
Advertising on websites (as opposed to search engines)
Many if not most websites are funded by advertising.
These ads are paid either per click or per thousand impressions.
The click rate is often one-tenth that of search engines, a clear signal that they have limited appeal.
However, they can still be useful to build or strengthen your brand.
Dental clinics seeking new patients will benefit from using search engines advertising. It is a fast way to buy a spot on the first page of search results..
Since Google has a near monopoly on search, Google AdWords is recommended. Bing is a marginal player in the search market.