The 3 Important Steps to Make AdWords Work for Your Private Practice

Getting potential clients to visit to your website is an important part of making your practice website a success. A nicely optimized website does wonders in most markets, but even a site with winning content, strong keywords, and visual appeal can struggle to rank in competitive markets.

This is where Google AdWords comes in. AdWords is a service Google provides for businesses that want to display their ads on Google and its advertising network. Think of it like Google putting on neon, reflective clothing and pointing to your web page. You’re rising above competitors and making it easier for potential clients to find you when they search for a therapist.

AdWords is the perfect solution for therapists who have created a great website, but have a tough time getting the attention they deserve on the web.

Consider the following case study for April Lyons, a therapist in Boulder, Colorado – one of the most saturated wellness markets in the nation.

Although April had a created a strong website, she was having trouble getting enough traffic from potential clients online. After weeks with no phone calls, she began to question whether she could make it in such a competitive market.

That’s when April decided to give Adwords a try. Within a month, she had doubled her practice.

While the effectiveness of AdWords varies by market, specialty and website quality, it can do wonders in helping many therapists reach their ideal clients, grow their practices, and get their names out there.

However, Google Adwords almost never works when it’s not approached correctly.

Here are three important steps to make AdWords work for your private practice.

1. You Need Well-Written Specialty Pages

One rookie mistake many therapists make is to link their ad to their website’s homepage. Homepages, while necessary and important, are not helpful to customers searching for solutions to specific problems. They’re looking for answers, and they’re more likely to leave your website than try to find the information they were expecting when they land on your home page.

Let’s say you’re a therapist in California, and a potential client searching for “depression therapist” clicks on your AdWords ad. If you send them to your homepage, they could get bogged down with unrelated information, such as your greeting, where you’re located, your background, and your mention of anxiety treatment, panic disorders, and couples counseling. No—you want to send them straight to a depression specialty page, where they will be getting the exact information they’re seeking, in depth. If someone called you asking about depression, you’d most likely not waste time talking about other things. The same expectation exists, online. Give them the exact type of information they’re seeking, immediately, and they’re more likely to call for a consultation or initial appointment.

Remember, you’re paying Google by the click. You’ll see a higher return on investment  (ROI) if you direct potential clients to a specialty page. And, as an important and often underestimated added benefit, you build trust and client confidence when your link provides the specific content that meets their needs.

Don’t lose potential customers by sending them to the homepage. Bring them right to a specialty page and let them know you understand their needs.

2. Create a Professional AdWords Campaign

Google AdWords makes money by charging businesses per click. That means it’s super important for your ROI that every click to your site is from an actual potential client. How can you ensure that?

Negative keywords are a feature on AdWords that help ensure that your ad is only seen when someone is searching for issues and populations you treat. 

Let’s say you’re trying to build the couples side of your practice. You will be telling google to show your ad when people type “couples counseling”, “couples therapy”, “marriage counseling”, etc. into Google. However, you don’t want to pay for irrelevant clicks. Creating a list of negative keywords, such as “massage”, “retreat”, etc. will keep your Couples Counseling ad from being shown when people enter terms like “couples massage therapy” and “couples retreat” in their searches.

Similarly, you can use negative keywords like “free” and “school” to keep your ad from being shown to people who are clearly searching for a service you don’t provide, such as free therapy, or school counseling.

I can’t stress the importance of negative keywords, enough. We use 6-900 negative keywords to prevent us – and our clients – from wasting money.

In addition to negative keywords, use adgroups to target specific clients for each specialty. For example, clients searching for “depression treatment,” “depression therapist” and “am I depressed” should be sent directly to your Depression Therapy page as soon as they click on your ad. Likewise, clients searching for “anxiety treatment” and related terms should be directed to your Anxiety Therapy page.

Take advantage of AdWords’ customizable settings to make the best of your ad campaign.

 3. Fine-Tune Your Campaign

AdWords provides users with nifty reports, graphs, and charts to track ad performance. Among other data, you can see impressions (how many times your ad was shown), and clicks (how many people went to your site).  These metrics can help evaluate your ad copy and how well your ad resonates with customers.

You can also see the exact terms that people typed into Google to end up on your website. If you are getting a lot of relevant clicks, but no phone calls, then you can be sure that your website content did not reach your site visitors on an emotional level.

Maybe you’re seeing a high bounce rate as your ad is shown to the wrong target audience. AdWords works with you in the trial-and-error period, helping you fine-tune your ad with A/B testing to optimize ROI.

Don’t underestimate your potential for growth if you’re willing to make a few tweaks here and there.

Creating successful ad campaigns takes time, energy, and a willingness to adapt as you get more data from Adwords.

Google Adwords Might Be the Answer You Need

If you’ve worked hard on your website, but your phone is not ringing, it may simply be that you are not getting enough potential clients seeing your site. Take advantage of all that AdWords offers to help your practice grow.

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