How to Not Waste Money with Google AdWords

The last thing any medical or dental practice owner wants to do is throw money away when it comes to advertising and yet so many do when they run their own Google AdWords campaign. There are countless success stories in terms of new patient acquisition when it comes to Google AdWords but there are also countless stories of advertisers who yield no profitable return from their AdWords campaign. With the depth of reporting and ever-increasing complexity of AdWords, even the most seemingly unimportant variable can mean the difference between success and failure.

To generate the most new patients from your Google AdWords campaign, avoid the following.

Opting into the Display Network

By default, all Google AdWords campaigns include both the search and display networks. The main problem with this default setting is that the display network tends to generate a lot of traffic for campaigns but only a small amount of conversions. This means that the display network could spend almost your entire daily budget.

INSTEAD: Get the most from your campaign by opting out of the display network. Then create a secondary campaign solely focused on the display network. This ensures that budget caps are separate and allows you to track the return on investment from each network independently.

Having One Campaign and AdGroup for All Keywords

This may seem like an obvious faux pas but you’d be surprised how oftenGoogle AdWords advertisers utilize this highly ineffective set-up. Combining all keywords into one campaign and ad group significantly dilutes relevancy.

INSTEAD: Create campaigns for different services and ad groups for different keyword sets. For instance, if you want to promote general dental services, implants and dentures, create a different campaign for each of those service focuses. Inside each campaign, create multiple ad groups with about 10 keywords per ad group. By creating a granular structure with a minimal amount of keywords per ad group you’re able to increase your relevancy. The more relevant you are, the higher your quality scores. Higher quality scores help deflate cost per click.

Using Broad Match

In the past, broad match was an ideal way of capitalizing on the most search volume for your Google AdWords campaign as it allowed for synonyms, related searches and other relevant variations. However, the big problem with broad match is that it potentially allowed you to show for irrelevant searches. For instance, if you are a dentist with the keyword “teeth whitening” there is a chance your ads will be triggered by searches such as “Crest White Strips.”

INSTEAD: Utilize Google’s new keyword match type – broad match modifier. This match type allows for close variations but not related searches or synonyms. With these restrictions, broad match modify keywords help prevent irrelevant traffic without significantly limiting search volume.

Ignoring Search Query Reports

Probably the most beneficial report you can find in AdWords is the search query report. All too often advertisers fail to use this report to boost the performance of their campaign(s).

INSTEAD: Rather than attributing clicks and costs to keywords in your campaign, use the search query report under the Keywords tab to see exactly what users are typing into Google to trigger your ads. This report is extremely helpful for expanding your negative keyword list. Review this list and add words and phrases as negatives that are not relevant to the services you are promoting.

Aggressively Competing for the First Spot

It’s natural to think that the top spot will generate the most leads. Too often advertisers will get into an expensive bidding war to achieve that first position for certain keywords. This battle consists of competing advertisers constantly increasing keyword bids until one gives up or goes broke.

INSTEAD: Rather than increasing bids, focus on ways to improve your quality scores for the keywords you want in the coveted first position. Try to boost your quality score by:

  • Ensuring the keyword is located in the text ad and prominently on the landing page
  • Playing around with different match types
  • Testing variations of ads and landing pages

Additionally, you can also try stronger calls-to-action in your text ad to boost the click through rate for your ads that can help you achieve higher page position without the extra cost. You can also track conversions for those keywords to make sure that they are generating enough conversions to justify the inflated cost of the first position. Lastly, keep in mind that you may be able to achieve a better cost per conversion cost in the second, third, fourth or fifth position on the page.

Sending All Traffic to the Home Page

It’s less work to send all campaign traffic to the home page. Sending all traffic to the home page can negatively affect both your conversion rate and your quality scores.

INSTEAD: Send traffic to the most relevant page on the website. If you don’t have individual pages focusing on specific services, create those pages. Not only will you boost you quality scores, you’ll also increase the likelihood of generating conversions from your website.

Don’t waste money with your Google AdWords campaign. Avoid the common mistakes listed above and utilize the “instead” recommendations to boost the performance and conversions from your Google AdWords campaign.

About Alan Moore: Alan started his career in 1999 as an Marketing Consultant and is the owner of Over the years, he has migrated his focus of expertise to everything digital. His mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven, online marketing strategies. He manages over $3,600,000 in yearly marketing budgets and has worked with local businesses, agencies and the US government. Give him a call to schedule a Free Online Marketing Consultation for your practice.

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