Website and PPC Marketing Performance Statistics – Are They What They Seem?

Don’t get duped by what you read!

mistake signI’ve written before about the unscrupulous tactics used by self-proclaimed SEO “experts” in the field of dental SEO, whereby unsuspecting dentists are duped into buying poor services which don’t deliver the results they promise.

These tactics are now rife as the dental marketing sector becomes more and more congested and an increasing number of false promises are made. We see it all the time with claims about search engine optimisation and you can read more about this here. However, we are now seeing the same types of promises filter into the world of pay-per-click (PPC) marketing, primarily with Google Ads and Facebook.

So what do you need to look out for when searching for a PPC specialist and to avoid being duped by false promises?

What makes a good pay-per click marketer? (and what doesn’t!)

Qualifications – one of the biggest things which PPC teams do to hook in new clients is plaster qualifications all over their website. This includes the Google Ads qualification which on face value looks great. But in real terms it’s typically very basic and perhaps equivalent to a GCSE in the academic world – so not high level. There are much more stringent Google qualifications of course, but a lay person can’t differentiate between those and the basics which PPC teams quickly gain to make them look credible. So you really need to know what you’re looking for here. Just because someone passed the basic Google test doesn’t mean they are any good.

In contrast, the team here at Dental Media has been working with Google mentors to optimise live accounts over several years, trying new techniques and testing to see what works and what doesn’t. This type of experience is way more valuable than a basic Google Ads badge.

A holistic, data-driven approach – increasingly we are seeing the need for comprehensive digital marketing campaigns for dentists, incorporating a multi-channel approach. So the use of organic SEO, PPC, Facebook Ads etc. Whilst these disciplines are independent, they work together to inform overall strategy and to ensure the widest reach possible. Consequently we see much better synergies where the digital marketing team has expertise in all disciplines and work together to meet the client’s targets. For example, Google Ads can be very useful for some tasks where Facebook advertising would be unsuitable – and vice versa. Similarly, the paid channels can be used to overcome localisation issues where traditional SEO falls down.

So bottom line is that you need a holistic approach and a coordinated strategy across all of the marketing channels. Simply contacting someone who claims to be a Facebook specialist but nothing else, won’t deliver this.

Watch out for exaggerated claims and false data

This is what I alluded to at the start of the article and is now becoming rife. In the world of dental marketing we often refer to ‘goals’ or ‘conversions’ and these can be wide and varied depending on what you are trying to measure. For example, you can evaluate how long someone stays on your web page or whether they downloaded your treatments e-book and many other things too. However, perhaps the universally most important metric is to measure the number of people who made contact with you to make an enquiry or booking. In turn you can then factor these enquiries against the cost of running the overall campaign to reach a ‘cost per enquiry’ figure. This is fundamental to assess your return on investment.

However, what many marketers do is to report less meaningful conversions and factor these against the cost of running the campaign – for example how many people visited a landing page from an ad, rather than those who actually then proceeded to make an enquiry. Of course the former looks much better than the latter, so it’s this that the marketer uses to hook you in! It’s similar to the SEO guys who claim position one results for search phrases that no-one uses. But unfortunately a lay person often won’t know the difference and they jump in regardless.

Skimming your ad budget

Unfortunately you need a realistic budget to “pay to play” with Google Ads and Facebook Advertising these days – often several hundreds if not thousands of pounds per month in competitive environments. Lots of marketing teams will take a percentage of your budget and even skim more, irrespective of how the campaigns perform. The bottom line is that they can actually be doing very little in terms of managing performance but will still ensure they make healthy margins. So you really need to understand the payment model to ensure you’re not being fleeced. It’s better for you as the client to pay click costs directly to Facebook and/or Google and agree a fixed management fee for the account. Alternatively agree a ‘fee per lead’ but do make sure that the leads are what you expect and not some false metric like I mentioned earlier.

Compromising your business

This is another area where you need to be really cautious. Many PPC marketers are rather ‘gung ho’ when it comes to writing your ad copy in the effort to gain clicks and many times we’ve seen ads which break not only advertising standards regulations but GDC guidelines too. The guidance here is that you should always validate the ads that your marketer proposes to use and then you’ll stay out of trouble!


We are starting to see disingenuous, exaggerated claims emerge across the whole spectrum of dental marketing, not just the murky world of SEO but now pay-per-click too. This ranges from displaying false statistics to skimming advertising budgets, so great care is needed before you step in. Unfortunately it’s not so easy for a dentist who is inexperienced in the field to spot these tactics and they only realise something is wrong when patient enquiries haven’t increases six months down the track. By then thousands of pounds has been wasted. You may kick the marketer into touch but then they simply move onto the next unsuspecting dentist.

If this all sounds a bit perturbing, then you’re right; it is a bit of a minefield. However, there is an alternative. If you’d like fair and transparent digital marketing advice from a long-standing and trusted supplier, please get in touch with the team at Dental Media on 01332 672548. Our aim is to deliver campaigns which work and are fully backed with clear reporting. You will know exactly how your campaigns are performing and how your budget is being spent – so please call us for a no obligation chat.