7 Mistakes Dentists Make with Google Ads ™

Google ads can be great for increasing new patients and boosting sales and revenue when done correctly. However, we have observed that most of the dental practice ads we come across online are done incorrectly. Here is a list of the top 7 mistakes dentists make in their google ads campaigns.



We frequently notice that dentists use all the keywords suggested by Google. They want to input all the keywords related to ‘dentist’ and ‘dentistry.’ While you may think this is the best tactic, it is not. Your ads will appear for keywords unrelated to your practice, and if a searcher clicks on your ad, you will be paying for clicks that do not convert.

For example, you are a dental practice focused on cosmetic dentistry, yet your ads appear for keywords such as ‘dentist jobs’ or ‘dentist equipment.’ We know those keywords will never convert as the people searching for them are not interested in those services.

Do not target every dental-related keyword, especially when it is a service you do not offer. You should focus on intent-based keywords that are most likely to get results and scheduled appointments. Your ad shown should match the keywords being searched.


Another costly mistake many dentists make is in the area of negative keywords.

Negative keywords are keywords you do not want to bid for, and you do not want your ad to rank or even appear for such keywords. It is essential for you to regularly update your list of negative keywords. Otherwise, Google will display your ad for search terms unrelated to your practice.

Add the services you do not offer and keywords you do not want to appear for under a negative keyword list. For example, if your dental practice doesn’t provide services to children, you should add the words ‘pediatrician,’ ‘children,’ ‘dentist for children,’ in the negative keywords lists to prevent your ad from being displayed for such searches. Other negative keywords to note are ‘job,’ ‘cheap,’ ‘free,’ ‘clothes,’ etc.

Utilizing negative keywords limits unwanted clicks and traffic that does not convert.


There are three match types on Google ads: The Broads match type, the Phrase match type, and the Exact match type.

If you are using the broad match type in your ad, you could easily show up for any search that is remotely related to dentistry, such as ‘dentist jobs,’ ‘dentist stressed out,’ ‘dentist clothes,’ and so on. These will never convert into dental patients as the people searching for these terms are not looking for a dental practice or a new dentist.

You should use the phrase and exact match types to focus more on your dental practice and service. Although these match types generate lower traffic than the broad match type, they are more likely to convert. If you do not use a specific match type, your ad will be sent to the broad match type. So, think about it, would you rather have a lot of traffic to your ad but no conversion, or lower traffic that is guaranteed to increase conversion and boost revenue?

Also, many marketers make the error of adding several keywords to a single ad group. This makes it difficult for you to optimize your campaign as you cannot understand which keywords are working or not. You should create a single keyword ad group for your campaign.


Many dentists make the mistake of directing prospects to their website and website homepage instead of a landing page. When you refer patients to your website, you expect them to navigate on their own just to locate the page of your website relevant to the service you are offering. This can leave a patient confused or discouraged, so they waltz off into the waiting hands of your competitor.

Directing a patient to your general website will get them distracted. They can start exploring your website instead of filling that form or booking an appointment. At the end of the day, there is little to no conversion.

Direct patients to a landing page that applies to the search term or service they want. The patient can quickly get all the information about such a service and sign up for an appointment. Google rewards this effort by increasing your quality score, which lowers your cost per click and your cost to acquire a new patient.

Your landing page should distinguish you from other practices out there. It should show your practice brand and culture and relieve patients’ fears by answering their questions upfront. You should add a picture of you and your team in a relaxed and welcoming pose. Also, include testimonials and photos of happy patients.

Do not use a single landing page for all your services. Create a specific landing page for each service you offer.


Many dentists create a stellar google ad and think that is the end of it. They expect the prospective patients to just convert by themselves. It does not work that way. Your Google ad is one of a series of steps to convert prospective patients.

Just as important is your lead nurturing skill. This is where your office assistant or front desk staff comes in. What is your office response time? Do you have an automatic email response when patients send an email? Are you running ads outside of business/work hours? If yes, do you have someone ready to turn leads to patients even outside of work hours?

You should respond to clients’ forms and requests within 15 minutes of such coming in. When patients do not get a response immediately, they move on to other dental websites until they get to one that is ready and available to respond to their request.

You should have a specific email account for your Google ad only. This will help you easily monitor emails to that account; as you know, incoming emails are from prospective patients that viewed your ad. If you have your general work email linked to your ad account, you should check such email regularly.

Also, inform your staff (particularly the front desk) that you created a Google ad so that they are extra prepared to respond to calls, form requests, and emails from leads.


So now you have created an ad, and you are so confident that this will bring the much-needed conversion and revenue boost to your business. However, 3-6 months down the line, you have no idea where the new patients are coming from. Is it from your Google ads, radio spot, TV advertisement, or your referral contest? There is no growth if you cannot measure what works for you and what does not.

You should measure your Google ad performance beyond the number of clicks.

Use tracking numbers (unique phone numbers that redirect to your phone number) to know the number of phone calls you receive from your ads in a day. You will also be able to listen to the call again to ensure that you reach the right target.

Monitor your search term report to determine the actual searches that caused your ad to appear each day. If your ad appears for an irrelevant term, add such a word to your negative keywords list. To see your search term report, go to your keywords tab section on your Google ads account, and then click the search terms button to see your search term report.


Many dentists do not pay enough attention to competitor research analysis. You are bidding for a specific keyword because hundreds or thousands of other dentists out there are bidding for that exact keyword. If no dentists were bidding against such keywords, then there would be no need to bid in the first place. All you would have done would be to add such keywords to your website and be the only one ranking for it on Google, but sadly, this is not so.

Compare your ad description, landing page, and website. Now put yourself in the shoes of an unbiased customer. Who would you go to? Check for things you need to add or improve to have a stellar performance on Google.

So, there you have it. The 7 crucial aspects of your Google ads campaign to focus on. Note that other factors also contribute to the success of your ad, but these 7 are the most important.

You should also pay attention to your ad’s headline and description. Ads have a character limit. So instead of repeating the same word in your headline and description, your copy (description) should complement and give more information to your headline. Check for grammatical errors and misspellings, so you do not appear unserious or unprofessional.

Do not target the entire city or country at once unless you are the only dentist offering such service. No patient would want to drive or travel a very long distance to meet you when another dentist provides the same service in their city or region. You should target a 10-mile radius around your dental practice, so you only advertise to prospective patients in your area. Try not to target a minimal radius or location so your ads can meet Google’s location targeting criteria.

To know more about growing your dental practice check out our other blog posts and listen to our podcasts, all designed to ensure you scale your dental business. Sign up today to build your customized dental marketing plan and start your dental marketing campaign.

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