5 Things You Need to Know About the Recent Google Changes

In late February 2016, Google significantly changed how they display search results. They removed Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertisements from the right-hand side of the results page and added a fourth PPC ad at the top of the search results. What does this mean for your practice? Trust us, these changes are crucial for any doctor or dentist who uses the internet to attract new dental patients. Here are five things you need to know about these changes:

1. Impact on Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

This update further diminishes the value of traditional, organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Suppose you invest heavily in an SEO company to get you to the top of the organic search results. In that case, it’s essential to understand that the value of that service has been reduced. Why? Because the first organic search position—the coveted #1 spot—is now “below the fold.” “Below the fold means users must scroll down to see the result. With four PPC ads at the top, organic results are pushed further down the page, making them less visible and accessible.

2. Necessity of a Mobile-Friendly Website

How is this relevant? The reason Google made this change is straightforward: more people conduct searches on Google monthly using a mobile device than a desktop or laptop computer. PPC ads never appeared on the right side on mobile devices, so Google aligned the desktop/laptop experience with the mobile one. If your website is not mobile-friendly, you risk alienating more than half of your potential patients searching for dentistry online monthly. A mobile-friendly website ensures visitors have a positive experience, regardless of their device.

3. Importance of Being in the Top 4 PPC Positions

If you are using Google Pay-Per-Click (PPC) today, ensuring your ads appear in the top four positions is critical. Being in the number 5 or 6 position now means your ads are almost invisible, as they fall to the very bottom of the results page. To remain competitive, you must bid aggressively to secure one of the top four spots. This increased competition means adjusting your PPC budget and strategy to maintain high visibility.

4. Effective Use of Ad Extensions

Given the importance of securing a top-four PPC position, making the most of ad extensions is essential. Ad extensions enhance your ads with additional information such as location, site links, and callouts, which can attract more attention and improve click-through rates. These extensions are beneficial because they make your ads more informative and visually appealing, potentially increasing their effectiveness. Ensure you are using all available ad extensions to maximize the impact of your PPC campaigns.

5. The Growing Necessity of PPC in Your Marketing Plan

If PPC still needs to be a part of your marketing strategy, it’s time to reconsider. This change highlights what we have been advising our medical and dental clients for years: Google is shifting towards a model that favors paid advertising over traditional SEO. They prefer businesses to invest in their PPC platform rather than relying solely on organic SEO to attract new patients. PPC marketing generally offers the highest return on investment (ROI) of any marketing channel we use for our clients. Getting started costs little, and results can often be seen within the first few weeks of the campaign.

Getting Started with PPC

Have you tried PPC as a marketing strategy? If not, now is the perfect time to start. PPC can significantly boost your practice’s visibility and attract new patients quickly. Here are some steps to get started:

  1. Set Clear Goals: Determine what you want to achieve with your PPC campaign. Whether it’s increasing website traffic, generating leads, or boosting appointments, having clear goals will guide your strategy.
  2. Keyword Research: Identify the keywords potential patients use to find dental services. Focus on high-intent keywords that indicate a readiness to book an appointment.
  3. Create Compelling Ads: Develop engaging ad copy highlighting your practice’s unique selling points. Use ad extensions to provide additional information and make your ads stand out.
  4. Monitor and Adjust: Review your campaign’s performance regularly. Use analytics to track which ads perform well and adjust your strategy to improve results.
  5. Consult a Professional: If managing PPC campaigns seems daunting, consider consulting with a professional marketing company. Experts can help optimize your campaigns for better results and higher ROI.

To learn more about our Pay-Per-Click services, contact us at 888-412-8820 or visit New Patients Flow. PPC marketing could be the key to achieving your practice’s growth goals and ensuring a steady stream of new patients. Don’t let these changes catch you off guard—adapt and thrive in the evolving digital landscape.