If you’ve tried paid ads before, and not had a great deal of success with them, you’d certainly won’t be alone. There can be quite a learning curve when figuring out how to set up, manage, and optimize your ads.
However, paid search ads really can give you pretty much instant visibility and kick-start new traffic and leads for your optometry business, so they are worth the time it takes to learn how to do them well.
In this article, we’re going to talk you through what paid search advertising is, what an ad is made up of, and what the benefits are, and give you our paid search best practices for optometrists.
What is Paid Search Advertising?
With paid search advertising, you can pay advertising networks, like Google, Yahoo, and Bing, to place your ads at the top of their search results. Some platforms also have ad placements at the bottom of the search results, which can still be very effective.
Paid ads are an excellent choice for building your brand and raising awareness of your business. You can also get great results, and even instant traffic and income, if you’re still waiting for your SEO efforts to kick in. You can set up an ad and quickly have targeted leads in your sales funnel, even if your website isn’t yet indexed or appearing high enough in the search results to be easily seen. This also works beautifully if you’re introducing a new service or opening up a new location. You can quickly set up ads to let people know about your news and to start bringing in qualified leads.
Paid Search Best Practices for Optometrists
Take your time when researching your keywords and choose them wisely. If you don’t, you could end up paying a lot for higher cost per click keywords that won’t bring you enough of a return. Or you might find you’re missing your intended audience altogether. While “optometrist” and “optometry practice” might look like great keywords, they’re also quite broad and likely to cost more. Instead, include your local, location-based keywords and think about what services you want to promote too. You may find you do far better with a key phrase along the lines of, “Lasik eye surgery in Orange County” or “Contact lens subscription, Des Moines.”
2. Negative keywords
Use negative keywords well. If you only work in Dallas, for example, you wouldn’t want your ads shown to the whole state of Texas because you’ll then be spending money on people who will never buy. You can add negative keywords so that your ads aren’t shown where you don’t want them to be.
3. Have a dedicated landing page for each of your ads
It’s not a good idea to send people to your general website when creating an ad. There is far too much going on on your main site and you’ll give them too many distractions that could get in the way of the action you want them to take. Instead, create a tailored, well-keyworded, branded landing page with great copy that matches the look and feel of your ad and has just one clear call to action. This will reassure your audience that they’re in the right place when they click and the only thing they’ll be able to do on that page is to choose whether or not to follow your call to action. Your page really does need to be as focused as that.
The other reason for keeping a tightly focused, well-keyworded page for each ad is that Google will assess your ad and your landing page and give them an overall Quality Score. It’s this score that affects how often your ad appears and where, so it’s important to get this right.
4. Keep an eye on your ads
Sadly, paid ads aren’t a one-and-done task. You do have to keep your eye on them, watch your spend, and keep checking your results to make sure they are what you want. You can also pause or stop ads that aren’t working and throw more of your budget at ads that are performing well.
5. Keep testing
Don’t just be satisfied with the first ads you create. Keep trying new headlines, copy, keywords, and more to see which version of your ad works best. Even something as tiny as the color or wording on your call-to-action button can make a difference.
However, only test one element change at a time or you won’t have any idea what made the difference.
What is a Paid Search Ad?
A paid search ad is simply a digital ad that you set up on an advertising network to gain visibility, attention, and leads.
Paid ads like these consist of three parts, along with optional, though recommended, ad extensions:
Your headline is what’s going to stop people scrolling and get them to pay attention to your ad, so it has to be good. Don’t just write a couple of options for your ad. Write as many as you can and then choose the best one.
However, don’t worry. You’re not stuck with this, and you can A/B test your ads to compare headlines and see which performs best.
On Yahoo, you can have one headline of up to 50 characters, or two headlines of 30 characters each to attract your audience. On Google and Bing, however, you have just the one headline of up to 30 characters.
2. Display URL
Just under your headline, your display URL will be shown in green text. You can have up to 35 characters for this, so keep it short, if you want to also add any tracking info on the end of it to see where your visitors are coming from.
Showing this URL is really useful for both you and your audience as it reassures anyone that’s likely to click your ad that they are being taken to a relevant page and not to anything that might be a scam.
3. Description text
While your headline’s job is to get attention, your description text needs to keep it and to encourage visitors to click through to your landing page.
This description must be well-written and enticing and contain relevant keywords. However, you only have 150 characters on Yahoo and 80 characters on Google and Bing. There’s not a lot of space, so your copy has to be concise and compelling.
If you’re not sure, it’s best to hire someone with experience in writing paid ads copy. Great copy really can make all the difference to your results.
4. Ad extensions
Standard paid ads can be very small and plain, so using ad extensions can make them look far more attractive and also offer your audience more information.
You can add extensions for your location, address, contact details, opening hours, prices, maps, reviews, and more. Your audience can also get to the exact page they need, such as your booking page, or even use a click-to-call button.
Benefits of Paid Search Ads for Optometrists
1. More visibility in local search results
We talked earlier about adding your location and maps in your ad extensions and, as well as improving the look of your ads and providing more information to your audience, this also gives you more visibility in the local search results. If anyone enters your location and searches for an optometry practice, you should come up, giving you access to an audience that’s actively looking for your kind of business in your area. You can’t get much warmer leads than that.
You can also refine your ads with negative keywords to ensure your ads are only seen in your local area.
2. More traffic to your website
While you are sending traffic to specific landing pages with your ad, these are still likely to be pages on your website, and once your visitor has clicked through and chosen whether or not to follow your call to action, there’s nothing to stop them going back to your main website and browsing what you have to offer.
Instead of waiting for your SEO efforts to take effect, you can start an ad today and start sending traffic and good leads right back to your website.
3. Higher quality leads
There’s a lot you can do when creating an ad. You can target people by their demographics, including their location, their gender, and their age. This allows you to run ads, for example, to 50 or 60-somethings who might be needing their first pair of bifocals. Or you could target a younger audience that’s still in the prime age range for Lasik surgery.
And each lead you pick up will be far better qualified than any leads that happen to stumble over your website or your social media at random.
You’re much more likely to at least get people asking for more information and, quite possibly, even people who want to book with you immediately.
4. Detailed analytics
We mentioned earlier that it’s good practice to split test your ads and see if changing the headline or the copy, for example, will attract more clicks and a higher conversion rate. You can check what is working and what isn’t in your analytics. And with paid ads, you do get highly detailed analytics. You can see how long people stay on your landing page, their location, and even what they used to see your ad.
Don’t try to skip looking at your analytics. They’re incredibly important for ensuring your ads are working and that you are spending your budget wisely.
Attend a Surefire Local Marketing Platform demo
With Surefire Local’s all-in-one marketing platform, you can manage your paid ads right in our dashboard and use our reports and analytics to see how things are going.
Even better, you can manage all of the other important aspects of your marketing too, including email marketing, managing and replying to reviews, content marketing, blogging, updating over 80 business directory listings, including your Google Business Profile, and so much more.
Make it easy on yourself with an intuitive platform that can take so many marketing tasks off your plate and free up your time why not book a demo with our friendly team?