Have a budget
Search ads are just a few pennies here and there but they can become expensive very fast when done wrong. You don’t want to start the process and check in two weeks later to find out you owe Google $300 with nothing to show for it. Every ad platform whether Google or Bing allows you to set budget limits. It is important to take advantage of this when setting up. Start small and keep tweaking until you figure out what works. Don’t just throw money at it. Anyone who tells you that is wasting your money.
Be highly local
Focus your ads strictly on your geographic area that you serve. Don’t get tempted to go wide, at least not initially.
Most clients are not going to drive 2 hours to come see you so be as targeted as you can be when setting up your ad campaign.
Use highly focused phrases
Don’t use general terms like mental health counselor or family therapist, otherwise Google will eat your lunch. Make sure your phrases are targeted and exact, such as “best marriage therapist in Milwaukee” or “highly rated depression therapist in Atlanta”. The more focused you are, the better .
Use negative keywords to tighten up your results
Negative keywords are words that search platforms let you add to your campaign to reduce getting your ads shown for searches that are not relevant thereby costing you when clicked on. For example, you can add “training” to you negative keyword list in your ad campaign to prevent showing up when someone is looking for a supervisor. You can also add cities that are close enough but you don’t serve. Tweaking your ads including your negative keywords will be important to your search ad success.
Provide a number to call
You can provide a number to call in your ads or if you don’t want to spend the additional fee to do that, then make your number front and center on the page you direct searchers to. Your service is the type that requires trust and establishing trust includes being very accessible.
Focus your landing page
Your landing page is where Google and Bing will direct people to when they click on your ad. Make sure the message on the page continues the message in your ads. Don’t have an ad on teen depression and then send people to a page that is very general or discusses marriage counseling. They will bounce and leave your site quickly. Most people will not spend the time finding the information that fits their need if it not front and center. Instead, they will immediately hit the back button and go to the next link in their search result.
Make it easy for them to “follow the scent” you created with your ads that led them to your site. It’s very easy to create a single page focused on your ad and it’s also good for your organic search. This means it’s also going to help you get found when people search for things related to that site even if your ad did not appear in the search result. There are also various tools that can help you build landing pages. Don’t focus too much on having some great design. Bad design is bad for business, but you don’t have to spend a ton of money and with the right tools (some free), you can do it yourself. Talk to your website design person or see if your website platform has tools to help you.
Measure results and double down on what works
Now that you have things in place, you need to know if clients are finding you through your search and if it’s a winning strategy for your organization. This means test and measure. Set up conversion goals on Google Analytics, and try to ask users how they found you. For example, you can put put a contact form on the landing page and track that to see if they come from Google or Bing.
You can try various ad phrases and see which one is working by the conversion goal. You can also put a free article or write up on the landing page for download and see how many visitors are downloading it. No matter what, find ways to measure what is working. There is help if you need it and we partner with folks like therapy sites.com that can make it easy to set things up. You can even email our support line at TheraNest if and we’ll gladly give you helpful tips and guidance.
You have to at least try these things to know if they work or not. Not trying for any reason is not a strategy.