Google Ads For Dentists: Step-by-Step PPC Master Guide

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Google PPC Ads

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, dental practices must adapt their marketing strategies to reach potential patients effectively. Google Ads has emerged as a powerful tool for dentists to boost online visibility, attract new patients, and grow their practice. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the ins and outs of Google Ads for dentists, uncovering its benefits, the best ad campaign types, and how to create winning ad campaigns step by step.

How Does Google Ads for Dentists Work?

Google Ads, the advertising platform by Google, operates on a pay-per-click (PPC) model. Dentists bid on specific keywords related to dental services, and their ads appear at the top or bottom of Google’s search results when users enter those keywords. When someone clicks on the ad, the dentist pays a predetermined bid amount. This targeted approach ensures that dental practices connect with potential patients actively seeking dental services in their local area.

Benefits of Google Ads for Dentists

Benefits of Google Ads for Dentists

Targeted Reach 

Google Ads enables dentists to target relevant keywords and specific locations, reaching potential patients who are genuinely interested in dental care.

Cost Control

Dentists have control over their ad budget, ensuring they don’t overspend. They only pay when someone clicks on their ad, making it a cost-effective advertising option.

Immediate Visibility

Unlike organic SEO efforts that take time to show results, Google Ads provides quick visibility, allowing dentists to attract new patients promptly.

Performance Tracking

Google Ads offers detailed performance metrics and analytics, helping dentists track the effectiveness of their ad campaigns and make data-driven decisions.

What Type of Google Ad Campaigns Work Best For Dentists?

What Type of Google Ad Campaigns Work Best For Dentists

Search Ads

Text-based ads that appear at the top of Google search results when users enter relevant keywords. They are effective for targeting users actively searching for dental services.

Display Ads

Visual ads displayed on various websites within Google’s Display Network. Display ads can boost brand awareness and remind potential patients of your dental practice.

LSAs (Local Service Ads)

LSAs are highly effective for dentists, particularly for local service-based businesses. They appear at the top of search results and are accompanied by a “Google Guaranteed” badge, increasing trust among potential patients.

Does Google Ads for Dentists Actually Work?

Yes, Google Ads can be highly effective for dentists when executed strategically. By targeting relevant keywords and locations, creating compelling ad copy, and optimizing campaigns based on performance data, dentists can attract quality leads and convert them into new patients.

Try Local Service Ads for Dentists on Google Ads (LSAs)

LSAs are a game-changer for dentists seeking to establish a strong local presence. With the “Google Guaranteed” badge and prominent placement, LSAs instill confidence in potential patients, making them more likely to choose your dental practice.

Step-By-Step Guide On Creating A Winning Google Ad Campaign For Dentists

Perfect. Now that you have a good understanding of what Google Ads for Dentists is and what type of campaigns we can create with Google Ads, we’re going to be setting up our first Dental Marketing PPC campaign. 

Setting Up Your First Google Ads Dental Campaign

Begin by visiting Google Ads and continue to create your new ad account. If you already have an ad account, you can skip to this step.

Upon starting a new account, you will be directed to the following page. You are going to type your company name as seen below.

What Is Your Business Name?

Next, you will be asked, “Where should people go after clicking your ad?”

You are going to type in your website URL:

Where should people go after clicking your ad?

After you type in your website URL, Google ads will scan your site and show you a mobile and desktop mock-up of your site, double check to make sure this is your site and hit continue once you are ready.

Setting Up Your First Google Ads Dental Campaign
People come here after your ad Google Ads Screenshot

At this stage, you have two options:

If you are not very tech savvy, you can opt for the less advanced and straightforward approach using Smart Campaigns. Simply select “Get more visits to your physical location.”

PRO TIP: It is important to note that when selecting a smart campaign, you will have less control over your campaigns and you will be letting Google choose your keywords, conversion metrics, and optimizations (not recommended long term).

Since we are going to set up Google Ads like the experts do, we can go ahead and select “Switch to Expert Mode.” which is found at the bottom of all the options.

Select PPC Marketing Goal

We are now presented with multiple marketing PPC objectives to choose from. We are going to select “Create Campaign Without Goal Guidance”

Select Marketing Objective For Your Dental PPC Campaigns

Next, you will want to select the “Search” campaign type and type in your website for website visits.

Note: We will be setting up conversion metrics for advanced tracking later, our conversion goals will be website leads and calls, not traffic. 

Type In Your Website

Now we will name your campaign name plus add the campaign type in the title. We also are going to want to deselect the two options for partner networks below. We want to make sure when running our first campaign, all of our efforts go towards search queries on Google and not on display ads on other sites. This will help us reach account maturity faster!

Search Network Google Ads

Now We Can Select Our Location Option Settings:

Locations: Target a radius around your clinic (with strategic implementation – select a radius people are typically willing to drive or walk to go to a Dentist. Keep in mind that radiuses will be smaller in NY compared to a state like Texas where people are willing to go further to a Dental clinic). 

Setup Location Target Setting Google Ads

Now we will want to select all the excluded areas to ensure we only market to people in your local area. If you skip this step, you will start to show up for people searching for dentists in other states DESPITE your local radius. This is why this manual step is crucial for campaign success. You can toggle the button on the top right of the map, and start excluding all of the surrounding areas in the entire state one by one. Hit save once completed.

Add A Radius Google Ads Location Settings

Pro Tip: It is not necessary to exclude every other country in the world if your dental practice is only local to a state in the US, just exclude every state you are in and cities of the state you do not provide service to.

Next, you can upload all the other states you do not provide service to by selecting upload in bulk. This is also important as people searching for dental service from your state in another state could receive your ads. We want to limit all wasted ad spend.

Add Excluded States in Bulk Google Ads Setting

Location Advanced Settings: Always select the following for local campaigns. (Target & Exclude Settings).

Location Targeting Setting Google Ads for Dentists

For Google Ads audience and language settings, select the following:

Select Observation Mode in Google Ads

Pro Tip: Make sure to have audiences in observation mode, you will want to add as many relevant audience segments as possible. Do not be shy, it won’t hurt to have more. These audiences will just be observed and not used, but down the road, we can optimize using audience segments to improve the overall performance of our Google Ads Campaigns.

Now we can set up your budget, your ad rotation options, and your bidding objectives. You can select the options below and hit “Next.” 

For budget, we recommend a 2k+ budget. It can be more or less depending on your competitive market. For now, we will put the budget to one penny so we can continue editing the campaign without it spending any money.

Select Google Ad Campaign Budget

NOTE: We will be changing the bidding option to manual CPC later, Google has removed the option to select Manual CPC from the start to make it harder for users to control how Google spends your money. But since we are pros, we will set it up like pros and maximize our Google Ad spend as much as possible.  

Keyword Research For Your Dental PPC Campaigns

Now that we completed our initial setup, we are going to identify relevant and high-intent keywords related to dental services in your area. We are going to create your first ad group by making this ad group about locality. We will type in “Dentist near me” and hit search. We will then clean the list and only keep the relevant keywords for our local search intent ad group. Make sure to use parentheses in your keywords, we want to keep the searches to phrase match for your dental campaigns.

For now, we will only create one ad group, but once the local shell campaign is created, you will want to create more ad groups based on service. The general ad structure of your campaign will be as follows:

Keyword Research Planning Tool


General Dentistry

Ad Groups: 

  • Localized Ad Group (Near Me)
  • Cosmetic Dentistry
  • Teeth Whitening Dental Services
  • Braces Dental Services
  • Bridges Dental Services
  • Veneer Dental Services Ect.

Make sure to use Google’s Keyword Planner to create ad groups with service based keywords for each of your services. If your budget is limited, then select local ad groups + your top two or three dental services.

Create Google Search Ads

Now that we finished creating our Google Ad Groups, we can now create compelling ad copy to ensure you have a high CTR. Create attention-grabbing ad copy that highlights your unique selling points and call-to-action. Try to use as many headlines and descriptions as possible. In the sample below, we are creating headlines for dental whitening services. The reason we have ad groups by service is so we can optimize ads and improve user experience by having dedicated landing pages and ad copies according to the ad group and keyword search intent. This ensures you maximize ad spend!

You will also want to create at least:

  • 4 Sitelinks
  • 1 Promotional Offer
  • 3 Pricing Packages (if possible)
  • 1 Call Tracking Phone Number
  • 6 Callouts
  • 4 Structured snippets

Once the above are created, you have finished your first ad for your first ad group! You will later create all the ad groups and ad variations needed to have fully optimized dental google ad campaigns.

Billing Information  

Once you have created your first ad group and ad, you will now enter your billing information. Your first campaign is now ready!

Maximize Your Campaigns By Adding Negative Keywords

Maximize Your Campaigns By Adding Negative Keywords

Now that you have your shell campaign, we can start creating a negative keyword list. When setting up Google Ads for a general dental office, incorporating negative keywords can help refine your ad targeting and prevent your ads from showing up in irrelevant searches. Here is a list of negative keywords that can be useful for a general dental office:

Job-related Keywords:

  • Jobs
  • Career
  • Employment

Free and Cheap keywords:

  • Free
  • Cheap
  • Low-cost
  • Discount

DIY Keywords:

  • DIY
  • DIY dentistry
  • At-home dentistry

Negative Conditions:

  • Pain
  • Home remedy for toothache
  • DIY braces

Academic Keywords:

  • Dental school
  • Dental courses
  • Dental education

Non-dental Services:

  • Veterinarian
  • Pet dentist
  • Pediatrician

Negative Locations:

  • Dentists in [other locations]
  • Dental clinics in [other locations]

Non-specific Dental Terms:

  • Dental supplies
  • Dental equipment

Unrelated Procedures:

  • Orthopedic dentistry
  • Neurological dentistry

Specific Treatments Not Offered:

  • Orthodontics (if not offering orthodontic services)
  • Dental implants (if not providing dental implant treatments)

Remember, the negative keywords you use should align with the specific services your general dental office provides. Regularly review and update your negative keyword list based on the performance and relevance of your ad campaigns to ensure optimal results. Be careful not to exclude keywords such as “dental education” since dental education contains the root word dental. You would have to ONLY exclude the word “education” so that you don’t exclude dental from your search queries. This would clearly be detrimental to your PPC campaigns.

Setup Google Ads Tracking and Optimization For Dentists

Setting up tracking and optimization for Google Ads involves several steps to ensure you can measure the performance of your ad campaigns and make data-driven decisions. Follow these steps to get started:

Step 1: Set Up Conversion Tracking:

**Sign in to your Google Ads account and click on “Tools & Settings” (the wrench icon) in the top right corner.

Under “Measurement,” click on “Conversions.”

Click the “+ Conversion” button to create a new conversion action.

Choose the appropriate conversion action type based on your goals, such as “Website,” “Phone Calls,” or “App.”

Enter the necessary details, including the conversion name, value, count, and attribution model.

Install the conversion tracking tag on your website or app to track conversions accurately.

Step 2: Enable Call Reporting:

In your Google Ads account, click on “Ads & Extensions.”

Select “Extensions” from the left menu and click on “Call Extensions.”

Enable call reporting to track the number of phone calls generated from your ads.

Step 3: Link Google Ads with Google Analytics:

Sign in to your Google Analytics account.

Navigate to the Admin section by clicking on the gear icon in the bottom left corner.

Under the “Property” column, select “Google Ads Linking.”

Follow the instructions to link your Google Ads account to Google Analytics.

Step 4: Set Up Goals in Google Analytics:

In your Google Analytics account, go to the Admin section.

Under the “View” column, click on “Goals.”

Click the “+ New Goal” button to create a new goal.

Choose the appropriate goal type based on your objectives, such as “Destination,” “Duration,” or “Event.”

Enter the necessary details for the goal, such as the destination URL or event conditions.

NOTE: Google Analytics 4 is constantly changing. For up to date information on Google Ads tracking, hire Doc Digital SEM. We can guide you on setting up conversion tracking for you!

Change Your Dental PPC Campaign To Manual CPC

Now that we have finished your shell campaign, the last thing we want to do is transitioning your dental PPC campaign to Manual CPC (Cost-Per-Click) bidding. Manual CPC gives you greater control over your ad spend and allows you to set individual bids for keywords and ad groups. Here’s a step-by-step guide to change your dental PPC campaign to Manual CPC bidding in 

Step 1: Access the Campaign Settings:

Click on “Campaigns” from the left-hand menu to view your active campaigns.

Select the dental PPC campaign that you want to switch to Manual CPC bidding.

Step 3: Navigate to Bidding Settings:

Once you’ve selected the campaign, click on “Settings” from the left-hand menu.

Under “Bidding,” find the “Bid Strategy” section and click on “Change bid strategy.”

Step 4: Choose Manual CPC Bidding:

In the “Select a bid strategy” window, choose “Manual CPC.”

Click on “Save” to confirm your selection.

Step 5: Set Individual Keyword Bids (Optional):

After selecting Manual CPC, you can set individual keyword bids for more precise control over your ad spend.

Click on “Keywords” from the left-hand menu to view the list of keywords in the selected campaign.

Adjust the bid amounts for each keyword by clicking on the bid amount in the “Max. CPC” column and entering your desired bid.

Step 6: Save Changes:

Once you’ve made the necessary adjustments to your keyword bids, click on “Save” to save the changes to your campaign settings.

Tips for Successful Manual CPC Bidding:

  • Start with moderate bids and adjust them based on performance data.
  • Focus on high-converting keywords and allocate more budget to them.
  • Regularly check for new keyword opportunities and add them to your campaign.
  • Use negative keywords to exclude irrelevant search queries and optimize your ad spend.
  • Experiment with ad copy and landing page optimization to improve your click-through rates and conversions.

By switching to Manual CPC bidding, you can take greater control of your dental PPC campaign, optimize your bids for maximum ROI, and achieve better results. Continuously monitor and refine your bidding strategy to ensure your campaign remains effective and aligns with your dental marketing objectives.

Google Ads For Dentists Overview

Google Ads For Dentists Overview

Google Ads for dentists is a powerful digital marketing tool that can drive patient acquisition and propel your dental practice towards success. By leveraging targeted ad campaigns, LSAs, and compelling ad copy, dentists can attract new patients and grow their practice in an increasingly competitive online landscape. Follow the step-by-step guide to create winning ad campaigns, and watch your dental practice thrive in the digital world. Embrace the potential of Google Ads and position your dental practice as the go-to choice for quality dental care in your local area.

Hire Doc Digital SEM To Manage Your Dental PPC Campaigns For You!

Hire Doc Digital SEM To Manage Your Dental PPC Campaigns For You!

At Doc Digital SEM, we have managed over 100+ Local Google Ad Campaigns and have managed over 1M in ad spend for medical doctors. We are experts in dental marketing and have tools, time-tested builds, and Google Ad scripts that can take your dental practice to the next level! Speak to one of our digital marketing experts to see how we can help you generate revenue with Google Ads! We promise you will not regret hiring our Google Ads Agency for Dentists!

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