Pay-Per-Click Budgeting For Dentists
Reaching the “tipping” point needed for meaningful conversions
As a long-standing Google Ads provider for dentists, we are often asked about budgeting for clicks and what is a suitable level to get started to ensure meaningful ad campaigns. The level of understanding regarding dental PPC click-budgets is very mixed amongst dental business owners, from those who didn’t even know that you need to pay Google each time an ad is clicked, to those who realise that budgets are often many hundreds, if not thousands of pound per month.
In today’s blog I’d like to give newcomers to paid ads an appreciation of typical click costs and how this translates into the overall budget you will need to allocate. I’ll also describe what I like to call the “tipping point” for ad budget, i.e. the level you need to allocate and be comfortable with to ensure you get sufficient clicks and enquiries to make your ads worthwhile. It is often a lack of appreciation of this which leads to campaigns gaining insufficient traction to make them meaningful. Let’s start with typical click costs and see how this works through to overall budget.
Typical click costs for dental pay-per-click campaigns
As you might imagine, what you pay Google when someone clicks on your ad is hugely dependent on the competition for the services you are advertising in your particular location. So click costs for popular treatments like implants and Invisalign are typically quite a lot more than for general dentistry. It is worth keeping in mind that PPC is effectively an auction and the primary factor which determines how high your ad displays, is how much you are willing to bid per click. As I’ve explained in other blogs in this series, there are quite a few additional factors which contribute to ad placement, but everything else being equal, the ad with the higher click bid will typically appear higher up in the Google listings.
Taking implants and orthodontics for example, as a guide you can expect clicks to cost in the range of £2 – £5 depending on location. There will be outliers, some lower and some more expensive, but that range provides a reasonable rule-of-thumb. For more general dental terms e.g. advertising “dentists” in your location, you might typically expect £1 – £3 per click. Please also keep in mind that it’s a very dynamic market place which is just one of the reasons why you need someone with expertise managing your campaigns.
Now that we have an idea of typical click costs, we can explore how this works into the overall budgets you will need to allocate.
Calculating overall click budget
When calculating click budgets, there are a couple of important parameters to keep in mind. The first is the conversion rate which indicates how many enquiries were actually made after your ad was clicked. These are first stage conversions i.e. calls or contact forms submitted rather than the number of patients actually booking in for treatment. You might expect a conversion rate of around 7% for a typical campaign although I’ve seen this as low as 1% and as high as 20%. Of course this doesn’t mean that all of those people who enquire will actually take up you services; more likely around 20 – 30% of those enquiries will actually come to fruition. So some simple maths tells us that to gain one treatment, we may need actually need around 60 – 70 clicks to actually achieve it. In a competitive environment and for a popular treatment, this could cost you in excess of £100 to achieve; correspondingly less for less-competitive terms.
So if you’re looking to secure several treatments per month for popular treatments using Google Ads, you need to consider that your budget will be hundreds if not a few thousands of pounds. Like any business, you need to factor this against the profit margin for the treatment, and in most cases, you will still be in a very favourable position. But you do need to come to terms with having to spend considerable amounts of money to gain a lot more back.
It is this “tipping point” which puts off a lot of dentists when they look at paid ads and the quite large budget you will likely need to make it worthwhile. But that budget should not be viewed in isolation; it is essential to view it alongside the return you make from investing in the campaign. If you are only able to allocate a few hundred pounds of month to pay-per-click ads, it is quite likely that you will not gain the traction you were expecting. Please also keep in mind that you will need to pay for expert assistance to ensure that your campaigns are maintained and operating optimally.
Google ads, generally known and pay-per-click (PPC) can be very worthwhile and a fast and effective way to bring new patient enquiries to a dental practice. However, it isn’t for the faint-hearted and, as I’ve hopefully illustrated, does require a sensible click-budget to reach the tipping point where it becomes worthwhile.
Here at Dental Media we manage hundreds of thousands of pounds of ad spend for dentists, so if you’re interested to get started, please call our PPC team on 01332 672548 for a no obligation discussion.Google+