Learn how to get more patients using Google Ads for dentists with these strategies and tactics to grow your practice.

In the past, dental practices and other companies relied on traditional methods of promotion like referrals from friends, adverts in the Yellow Pages, direct mail, and billboards to bring in new customers.

However, times have changed, and these techniques are gradually becoming outdated. Presently, it’s not what dentists say about themselves, their practice, their team, or their technology that drives business growth. Rather, it’s what current and potential patients say about them and their digital marketing efforts. With the aid of digital marketing, dentists can expand their audience and enhance their business’s growth.

Having a well-thought-out digital marketing plan is essential for the success of any dental practice, either existing or new. Google Ads (Formally Google AdWords) is the solution you need to achieve this for your dental practice.

Why Use Google Ads for Your Dental Practice

Google Ads is a powerful tool that can place your dental practice at the top of search results, making you more visible to potential patients. Google is the number one search engine in the world and customers often use it to locate services like a family dentist as well as many other dental services in your local area. Therefore, using Google Search Ads is a crucial part of any dental digital marketing plan that can help attract new patients but should be part of a bigger plan.

If you are looking for other ideas to get new patients for your Dental practice, I’ve also created this article “Digital Marketing For Dental Clinics

So, how can you leverage Google Search Ads for Dentists? Let’s dive in.

Upon setting up your Google Ads (Formally Google Adwords) account, you have access to several ad channels for your business. The most commonly used are:

  • Search Ads
  • Display Ads
  • Local Services Ads
  • YouTube Video Ads

Google Search Ads

Search Ads are the most common type of Google Ads and appear similar to organic search results. They are used to reach customers who are ready to engage your services. You can create different campaigns to target customers from different locations and with different interests. Each ad or campaign requires specific keywords or search terms. Thorough keyword research helps you find the right keywords to use and identify keywords you don’t want your ads to appear for.

Search Ads also work on a pay-per-click model and lead prospective customers to your website’s landing page with a call-to-action (CTA) that prompts them to call, text, or email your business.

Google Ads is a type of internet marketing that allows people to display ads for their products or services to potential clients that search for relevant topics. As the name pay-per-click suggests, it means that dentists and other advertisers are only charged when someone clicks on their ad. PPC is a great opportunity for dentists to get their practice out there and in front of potential clients who may not know about their practice

Google Display Ads

Google Display Ads are the banners that appear on webpages that allow Google to show ads on their website. They are used to help increase your dental clinic’s visibility and remind potential customers of it. Additionally, they can be used for re-marketing purposes, as they are typically shown to people who have previously interacted with your brand in some way on social media.

Example Google Display Ads

Example Google Display Ad for Web Design



How does this work? This works by tracking the keywords that people use when searching for a certain product or service, and then ‘following’ them to display your ad on every webpage they visit to lead potential customers to your website’s landing page, prompting them to take action.

Google Local Services Ads

Google ads for dental practices offer numerous advantages, particularly through Local Services Ads, which differ significantly from traditional display and search ads. These ads act as virtual business cards, featuring your practice’s name, location, client reviews, and operating hours. They specifically target potential customers seeking your services in your immediate vicinity, resulting in higher conversion rates.

Promote your dental clinic on Google using Local Services Ads to maintain a connection with potential clients. Obtain leads in the form of phone calls and messages, which you can respond to, track appointments, and manage either online or via the app (Android, iOS). The messaging feature is currently available in the United States and Canada.
Google Local Services Ads operate on a cost-per-lead basis, charging you only for leads that contact your practice. This cost-effective approach ensures your ad budget yields tangible results. The ad display format allows customers to quickly gather information about your dental clinic and reach out with a single click, eliminating the need to navigate your website to schedule an appointment.

Creating Your Google Search Ads Campaign for Dentists

When setting up a Google Ads campaign, careful planning is essential. Here are some key steps:

Keyword Research

Use tools like Google Ads Keyword Planner to identify effective keywords. Remember, while some potential patients search for generic terms like “dental care,” others search for specific services, like “teeth cleaning services near me.” These specific, longer phrases are known as long-tail keywords. They often have lower search volumes, but higher conversion rates due to their specificity.

Google Search ads are ads that are shown at the top and bottom of the search engine results on platforms like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Your ads are shown to individuals when they search using keywords related to your ad.

Google Ads for Dentist

When creating your keywords for your ads, it is important to know that, although potential clients search for generic keywords such as “dental care” or “dental services,” they also search for specific services, from “teeth cleaning services near me” or “cavity fillings in [my location].” These are known as long-tailed keywords, which are three and four keywords that make up a phrase that is related to your industry even if not directly mentioning it.

They often have a lower search volume but the individuals that are searching these terms have a better chance of converting to a customer because of the precise targeting.

Some questions to help you get the perfect long tail keywords are:

✅ Who is your target audience?
✅ What are their pain points?
✅ Where is their location?
✅ How popular is the keyword you are trying to target?
✅ What keywords are your competitors targeting?

You can also leverage tools like Google Ads Keyword Planner to conduct keyword research for your ads.

Keyword Match Types

Keyword Match Types in Google Ads are parameters that advertisers can set to control how closely the keyword needs to match a user’s search query in order for the ad to be displayed. Choosing the right match type for your keywords can help you reach the right audience with your ads.

Here’s a breakdown of the different keyword match types and how they can be used in your dental practice’s Google Ads campaign:

Broad Match: This is the default match type and the one with the widest reach. If you bid on the keyword “dentist,” your ad could show up for any search queries related to dentists, including “dentist near me,” “teeth cleaning,” or even “orthodontist.” While this can help you reach the maximum number of people, it might not target the most relevant audience, leading to lower conversion rates.

Modified Broad Match: This allows you to specify that certain words must be present in the search query for your ad to show. You indicate this by putting a plus sign (+) in front of the necessary words. For example, if you bid on “+dentist +Boston,” your ad will only show up for queries that include both “dentist” and “Boston.”

Phrase Match: This match type means that your ad can show when someone searches for your exact keyword phrase, or close variants of that phrase, in the exact order you enter them, but there might be other words before or after that phrase. For example, if you bid on the phrase match keyword “dental clinic,” your ad can show for the search query “best dental clinic in town,” but not for “clinic for dental services.”

Exact Match: This is the most specific match type. If you bid on the exact match keyword [pediatric dentist], your ad will only show up for that exact phrase or very close variants of that exact phrase. This can help ensure that your ad is being seen by the most relevant audience, but it might limit the number of impressions your ad receives.

Each of these match types has its strengths and weaknesses, and the best choice will depend on the specific goals of your Google Ads campaign. It’s often a good idea to use a mix of match types to strike a balance between reaching a wide audience and targeting the most relevant potential patients for your dental practice.

For instance, you could use broad match to ensure that you’re capturing all potential patients searching for dentists in your area, while also using exact match for specific services like “teeth whitening” or “dental implants” to attract patients looking for those particular services.

Personally, I rarely use the Broad Match or Modified Broad Match when I create Google Ads Campaigns.

Negative Keywords

Google Ads Tip to Save Money: when choosing your keywords, it’s also important to create a list of Negative Keywords.

Negative keywords are keywords you don’t want your ads to show up for. A great tip to ensure your ads reach your exact audience is to block your ads for these negative keywords. For example, you may want to avoid keywords like ‘cheap’ because someone looking for this is not planning to get treatment at a PT clinic.

Ad Copy

When writing your ad copy for your dental internet marketing ads, it is important to make your ad stand out and get people to click on your ads. To do so, your message within the ad should focus on the benefits that your dental office can provide for the customer. Your ad should create a strong, clear, and concise call-to-action (CTA) for the potential customer. Ultimately, your ad copy should mirror the potential customer’s end goal.

Google Text Ad Example for Dental Clinic


Google Ad Extensions

Google Ad Extensions are a type of ad format that show extra information (“extending” your ads) about your business. They are designed to enhance your ad by making it more useful to users and can lead to better click-through rates (CTR). Ad extensions are free to add—you only pay for the clicks they receive.

Here are some of the most common types of Google ad extensions:

Sitelink Extensions: These allow additional links to be added to your standard ad, which can lead users to specific pages on your site. For example, you might include sitelinks to your hours, specific services, or contact page.

Call Extensions: These allow you to add a phone number or call button to your ads, making it easier for potential customers to get in touch with you directly from the ad.

Location Extensions: If you have a brick-and-mortar location, location extensions can help people find you by showing your address, a map to your location, or the distance to your business.

Callout Extensions: These allow you to include additional text in your ad to highlight specific information about your products or services. For example, you might highlight free shipping, 24/7 customer service, or special promotion.

Structured Snippet Extensions: These show beneath your ad text in the form of a header (e.g., “Services”) and list (e.g., teeth cleaning, root canal, teeth whitening). They provide an opportunity to showcase a particular aspect of your products or services.

Price Extensions: These showcase your services or product categories along with their prices, so people can browse your products right from your ad.

App Extensions: If your business has a mobile app, app extensions can provide a link to the app download page in your ad.

Promotion Extensions: These allow you to show special sales or offers with your ad, giving users more incentive to click.

Remember, Google Ads chooses which extensions to show in response to each individual search on Google, so you won’t always see the same ad extensions for every search. It’s a good idea to use all the extensions that make sense for your business to give Google Ads a range of options to optimize your ad visibility and performance.

Dentists should also take advantage of using extensions in their ads. Extensions are additional snippets of relevant information that extend your ad and provide greater visibility and prominence on the search results page which can increase your click-through rate and improve your quality score.


Google Ads for dental clinics

For example, as seen in the image above, the text within the red blocks are extensions. The first red block is outlining site link extensions. These are links listed directly below your ad copy that will link individuals to additional pages of your website. These links can increase conversion rates by providing users with several relevant links to additional landing pages that can increase their chances of converting; Contact Us, About Us, Our Services, schedule an appointment, etc. 

The highlighted text beneath these is known as structured snippet extensions. They highlight specific services or products that dentists may offer. For example, root canal treatments, teeth whitening, dental implants, or invisible braces.

Tracking Performance with Google Ads

Google Ads provides a wealth of data that can help you track your campaign’s performance. Key metrics to pay attention to include click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, and cost per conversion. These metrics will help you understand how well your ads are performing and where there’s room for improvement.

Want to learn more about important metrics to track, read my article on “Digital Marketing Metrics Every Business Owner Should Know

Having a proper dental clinic marketing strategy in place can increase the number of patients and overall bookings at your dental practice. Instead of spending money on traditional methods, get ahead of your competitors, start a digital media strategy, and get your dental clinic content marketing running today.

Read more about Digital Marketing for Dental Clinics here ⬇️

Digital Marketing Strategies for Dental Clinics

Marketing is one of the departments in your dental clinic that can function either in-house or be outsourced to an independent marketing agency. While marketing can be time-consuming and complex, it is an integral part of maintaining relationships with patients and attracting new ones, and it shouldn’t be left to chance.

You have a couple of options when it comes to moving forward with your dental digital marketing strategy. One option (which is also the more common approach) is having a team member handle certain marketing activities. The other is hiring a dental marketing agency or consultant that specializes in healthcare marketing, which can be a beneficial choice if your practice lacks budget or experience in this realm.

Do you want to investigate either of these possibilities before investing in a digital dental marketing plan for your dental clinic? I would be delighted to help. You or a team member can Schedule Free “Digital Marketing For Dental Clinics” Discovery Call with me.

During our call, we will:

– Discuss your current strategy
– Discuss some potential ‘quick wins’ to start getting new patients
– Review your Google ads account to make sure you are not overspending
– Discuss a potential road map for your business.

Our call will be 30 mins and it will be over Zoom.



Published On: March 31st, 2023 / Categories: Google Ads, Search Engine Marketing / Tags: , /

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