When Suzy received a call from a Google salesperson, she thought they had read her wishful-thinking mind. With a decreased client load during the summer months, she wasn’t sure how to market her private practice. When the Google salesperson told her their product, Adwords Express, is a great way to jumpstart a small business, she practically ran to get her credit card. It was perfect – an expert was setting up an ad on Google!
Two months later, Suzy still hadn’t received any calls. Unbeknownst to her, the ad she was paying for was being shown to people searching for terms unrelated to her practice – including search terms like ‘massage therapy,’ ‘therapy for canines’ and more. She was paying for clicks that placed people onto her website that didn’t have any interest in her services.
Google Adwords Express is advertised as easy to use and perfect for small businesses, Adwords Express is turning out to be a money-wasting service for therapists. Have you recently received a call from Google about doing Adwords? If so, think twice before saying yes and handing over your credit card!
What is Adwords Express?
If you’ve ever tried creating an ad with Google Adwords, you know how not-user-friendly it can be.
Google created Adwords Express for those who don’t want to spend time trying to figure out how to create an ad, choose the right keywords, pick the right budget, etc. Its a one stop shop — where Google creates the ad for YOU. According to Google, if you are a small business with a small budget, Adwords Express is supposedly “perfect” for you. Sounds pretty great, right? I mean, Google must be creating an ad to get you clients, right?
Wrong! Adwords Express is a complete waste of money for therapists. Unlike creating ads for the local pizza joint around the corner, Google doesn’t understand therapists, or how to market a private practice. Google is motivated to have you spend more, so when creating your ad, they are going to suggest a bunch of terms that don’t make any sense for your private practice. An unclear ad means spending money on wasted clicks.
Recently, clients have been reaching out more and more saying Google called them to tell them about — Adwords Express — that makes getting an ad on Google really, really easy. The well-spoken Google salesman, I’m sure, sounds quite convincing — with promises of more business, increased website exposure, etc. The problem is, as I mentioned before, Google doesn’t create a successful ad — it actually renders you paralyzed. Google does not understand the business of therapy. With an ad created by Adwords Express, it will ultimately end with you spending a bunch of money you shouldn’t be spending and having visitors coming to your website that aren’t at all interested in what you do.
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.
5 Reasons You Should NOT Use Adwords Express
Unlike Adwords, Adwords Express is fully automated, and, according to Google, is a convenient way to get an ad online quickly. After entering a few keywords that describe what you do and your services, as well as a short description to serve as an ad, Google creates the ad automatically.
While this sounds like an easy way to jumpstart your online advertising, there are many reasons why you should not fall into this ‘one-stop-shop-easy-peasy’ mentality. Below are 5 reasons why you should not use Adwords Express for your private practice.
- Adwords Express gives you no ability to fine-tune keyword choices. With Adwords Express, Google chooses the keywords for you automatically through their system, based on the industry category you selected. If you are using Adwords Express, DON’T accept the keywords Google suggests, because they DON’T know the industry. You want to choose your keywords carefully, because, more likely than not, their suggested keywords won’t convert.
- Adwords Express doesn’t allow you to add a negative keyword list. When creating a Google ad, negative keywords are imperative. According to Google, “Negative keywords are an important part of every campaign because they help make sure that your ads appear only to people looking for what you offer. This added level of control can help you increase your clickthrough rate (CTR), reduce your average cost-per-click (CPC), and increase your ROI.” For example, if you are selling expensive designer clothes, you don’t want to pay for a search that had its search term as ‘cheap clothes’. This example is applicable to just about any scenario. So, if your ad doesn’t have negative keywords, your adwords will show for massage therapy, colon therapy, physical therapy, etc. Things that are NOT related to you. If you want to be successful with Adwords, negative keywords are a huge part of that success.
- Adwords Express ONLY uses broad match. Broad matching is an Adwords feature that causes your ads to automatically run on “relevant variations of your keywords, even if these terms aren’t in your keyword list.” While this may work with a simple term such as ‘pizza’ or ‘fat free foods,’ using broad match for therapy terms is an invitation for unwanted clicks. For example, if your keyword is ‘Couples Therapy’, your ad will run on any variation of ‘couples’ and ‘therapy.’ This means that your ad could show up for anything from ‘Couples Cabin in Aspen’ to ‘Massage Therapy Degree’ to “should I seek credit counseling for bad debt?” You don’t want to pay for those clicks! With Adwords, you can choose from Exact Match, Phrase Match, Expanded Broad Match, and Broad Match. With Adwords Express, broad match is your only option, and is sure to lead to an empty wallet.
- Adwords Express automates everything – including bidding. Not only does Adwords Express automate your ad copy and keywords, it also automates your bidding – the price you pay for each click on your ad. While bid automation may sound like a good approach, managing your own bidding will be a smarter and more successful way to run your campaign.
- Adwords Express doesn’t give you the ability to track conversions. With Google Adwords, you have the ability to set up conversion tracking to see how successful your ad is — through phone calls and other tools. This allows you to measure your return on investment. With Adwords Express however, you do not have the ability to track conversions. You can see how many clicks and impressions your ad has (which is sure to be high with broad matching and no negative keywords), but what’s the point of seeing this if you can’t see a real measure of success?
If you are using Adwords Express, I would HIGHLY recommend pausing your campaign immediately. The money spent on wasted clicks could go much further with a regular Adwords campaign, set up strategically to reflect your private practice.
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.