Articles & News

Google Ad Words – by Carl Burroughs

If you read my article in the last edition of this wonderful publication, you will know that my preference for promoting your website on-line is via Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). This is because there are dozens of credible reports that show the public prefer search results that appear organically (SEO), to the paid for advisements in the ‘Sponsored Links’ section of Google and the other search engines.

However, Google Ad Words is a credible ‘advertising’ medium and if you currently advertise in the Yellow Pages directory, Yellow Pages on-line or the local newspaper then you should seriously consider Google Ad Words as a viable alternative.

Google Ad Words works by placing you in the ‘sponsored links’ section of a Google page on agreed and specific search terms. Where you are placed on these results i.e at the top or the bottom depends on how much you agree to pay ‘per click’. There is a simple tool on Google that allows you to work out where you are going to appear in the results by bidding on the search term. So for example your agreed search term may be ‘Chatswood Dentist’ and you bid $5 per click. The Google tool will tell you that for this fee you will appear between five and ten on the search results. So in the same example you may decide you want to be number one and bid $10 per click trumping competing sites. Unfortunately the dentistry profession is already one of the highest ‘cost per click’ categories on the net, so the figures in my example are current.

Once you have selected the different key words you want your site to be found under, you then select a daily budget. This means that you are in control of your overall spend and will not get any nasty surprises on your credit card bill. If your daily budget is reached, then your ad simply disappears until the next day. This gives you a huge amount of control, unlike any other advertising medium. So let’s say most of your key words are costing you $3 per click and your daily budget is $30. That’s ten unique visits to your website per day. If these viewers to your site are resulting in genuine patient enquiries and ultimately new patients, then you may wish increase your daily budget? However, if these ‘clicks’ to your site are not producing a flow of new patients, then you can analyse why and adjust your campaign accordingly. These adjustments may include making changes to your website to make it more engaging or changing your key words to attract more relevant viewers.

Where Google Ad Words can really come into their own is when they are used in conjunction with SEO. For example through SEO you should be able to get your site found high if not number one on an organic Google search under the term “suburb dentist’ . You should also appear on the Google map that appears for your suburb in the process.

However, you may be close to another major suburb that you believe you can attract patients from. From an SEO point of view it may take anything up to three months of work to get you ranking in this competing suburb just to find that the public in this area will not travel outside their area for dentistry in significant numbers.

To save the time and effort in reworking your website to appear organically in search results that include this competing suburb, simply pay to appear in the sponsored links area for a while and see what happens. If you are attracting patients in significant numbers then you may decide to use SEO to get found or you may just continue paying to appear in the sponsored links.

Remember, with Google Ad Words, you pay per click, so the more people you get to your site the more it is going to cost, but with SEO there is no cost per click. So the more successful your SEO campaign is the less it is costing per viewer.

In conclusion, Google Ad Words are a valid advertising medium and should be considered by those practices with a formal advertising budget. If you consider that Google carries 94% of all the internet searches in Australia it is worthwhile considering diverting budgets currently spent on Yellow Pages on-line and other such mediums.