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When we talk about organic search engine results, everyone wants to rank as high as they can. So it’s no surprise that some companies and trained professionals like dentists with newly-formed business websites will likely assume that garnering the first ad position in their PPC dental marketing is always the primary goal. After all, you are paying as it is, hence it can be very frustrating if your ad position is not where you want it to be. In fact, many competing advertisers will fight tooth and nail in order to make it to that coveted top spot. Well, guess what, being first is not necessarily the best for everyone, let alone for your practice. Here’s why.
Let’s say a user wants information on Invisalign and types it on Google. The top results will be the paid ads, followed by the suggested sites. Some of them tend to skip the first result because it seems like spam. As a result, they will check out the succeeding links instead.
We can’t blame people if they think this way, with the proliferation of malvertising where scammers deliberately inject malicious coding into legit ads to divert users to dubious websites, infecting your hardware with viruses. Although this is being put under control by PPC advertisers through the implementation of a content security policy (CSP), quality scoring, etc., there is still a bit of stigma that remains in some users such that they are averse to clicking on ad links in spite of their legitimacy.
Unfortunately, small to medium businesses like solo dental practitioners are absorbing the brunt of this hesitation, and may ruin their site’s reputation in the eyes of the users, especially if their ads have actually fallen prey to this unscrupulous activity.
Think about this. If you are in the process of growing your practice by getting your PPC dental marketing in order, you must know that you will be up against other dentists and dental service providers who are more established not only in their profession, but also in the digital world, where they may have already been deemed the veritable authority in their field. Google’s bidding system makes this premium slot very expensive when there’s too much competition. For example, a keyphrase such as Beverly Hills dentist will yield too many options, so acquiring the top spot for paid ads will be a pricey affair.
Another factor that can increase the cost could be the exact opposite of click hesitancy, which is heavy traffic, albeit irrelevant for the most part. In other words, it’s clicking with no intention of buying. According to statistics by the Search Engine Journal, there is a 28.5 percent chance of the topmost ad being clicked compared to less than 16 percent odds for the 2nd place ad. This is further enhanced when you have text-heavy content that spreads your reach to sitelinks. It raises your click activity to nearly 50 percent when you have the highest position. When you hear these numbers, it implies that the strategy works because you are getting high click percentages. However, being at the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) may be due to click-happy users who do not really plan to be your consumer at all. This will incur costs on your end because you are being charged for the click-throughs regardless of the outcome (whether they end up buying your services or not).
In relation to the cost, the most important question is – is it worth it? You may be paying so much for that highest spot, and it is not a bad thing if you are actually getting it back tenfold given your sales. The perceived behavior of your target demographic will also tell you if landing the top spot is a worthwhile exercise. While young users will probably have a fickle mindset, the older generation may not have the patience to run through pages of results, which may improve your conversion with your PPC ad at the top spot. But, if you get so consumed by that 1st place ranking even if you are competing with the industry heavyweights, you will burn a hole in your budget by bidding so much that your return on investment is in the red, without any chance to turn a profit if you keep at it. The rule of thumb is that if you are profitable in your current position, whether you are on the first page or second page, and have extra funds to add to your PPC dental marketing enhancement, you can increase your bids to get to a higher spot. On the other hand, if you are not realizing your target ROI, you should decrease your bids and prioritize continuity of your paid ads instead.
If it seems an impossible task to own your keywords, especially when they are highly competitive ones and you are just getting your practice off the ground, then being second best in this instance is good enough. This may entail a more reasonable cost for you such that it will allow you to keep those PPC ads a bit longer. Remember, being second, third, fourth, or even up to the eighth position is still viewable in the first page of search engine results. And you will not have to spend as much to be in any of those lower positions, but at the same time, you will still likely get a considerable amount of traffic to your site.
Now you know that while PPC ads ranked at the top are very ideal, they are not always beneficial for everyone. We will dig deeper into the rabbit hole to put your practice where it should be using the most updated and effective dental marketing techniques to grow your business.