Chapter 3 — The Painless Podiatrist: An In-Depth Exploration of Google Ads & Business
At the beginning of 2021, we were contacted by a Podiatrist office in Camarillo without any web presence and very few of their patients coming from Google searches. One of the owners had experience with Google Ads while working for her previous marketing agency, but had very little knowledge of SEO. They expressed interest in picking up a Google Ads campaign, but rebuffed our attempts at SEO to support it. Our initial research showed an out of date website and a Yelp page that was only costing them money. We had recently been certified with Google Ads and wanted to put our new skills to the test. Our reasoning was, with a Google Ads budget, we could earn enough new clients to eventually invest into dedicated SEO. Furthermore, we convinced the owners of the Podiatrist office to rebrand and update their website for a small boost in their web presence. Since their website was outdated, a bit of on-site SEO and a nicer brand would attract the younger demographic they were sorely lacking.
As we’ve stated previously in past blog articles, a new website should be priority number one when considering SEO. Especially if the website is outdated and built without on-site SEO considerations. On-site SEO content/optimization strategies account for quite a lot of equity when the algorithm is categorizing a business. This is the first step to ensure keywords are directly connected with a business. In the case of our client, there was little online presence to work with, so a new website under the name The Painless Podiatrist went a long way in establishing a brand and real online presence. With SEO built into this new website, we were ready to start looking into Google Ads and allocate their budget into monthly direct advertising. If the ads resulted in just as many customers as the budget they spent monthly, they were willing to raise the budget or even invest in SEO beyond just their website.
Google Business Pages
Next let’s talk about something on a bit of a tangent, which is the google business page of The Painless Podiatrist. Their original page was under the name Jon Williams DPM, which we rebranded to The Painless Podiatrist just like their website. We then used some of our initial SEO optimization which we used on the website to bolster the descriptions and services of their Google Business page. For those of you reading this who want to employ as many SEO techniques as possible before calling a company like us to save on budget, this step is critical. The fine print however is that this only truly matters if your business is geolocated to a specific region of the country. If your business is national, this step will have little affect. For The Painless Podiatrist however, they are located in Camarillo California, serving the greater Ventura County area. When people Google them, they will find three things ideally: The website (ranked highly we’d hope), the Google Ads we’ve purchased and their Google Business page along with a map listing. Therefore a strong Google Business Page can be up to a third of your online presence on Google.
So what are the main components of a successful google business page? Firstly, there is the title, category and geolocation of the business. Under the info tab for the Google Page (when you have ownership of the business and are logged in to it) there is a option right at the top of the page to edit the name of the business. Choosing one with a t least a keyword in it will help a lot. If your business lacks a keyword in the title, just fill it in with your brand. In the case of Dr. Jon Williams DPM, we simply added a hyphen and the new brand since customers knew the business by the old name. So now it includes The Painless Podiatrist. That last word being very important since most new customers have no idea what Dr. Jon actually does. Next, the category is also important. Google will give options to choose from, though many are not as specific as we would like. If your category is missing from the list, try to match it as closely as possible because Google will often use this when listing the business on both maps and search. Finally, select a geolocation for the business. If there is a brick and mortar store, use that location above all else. If there is no actual office or store and instead a service, select the most important locations. We recommend no more than 3 and no larger than a city. Counties start to make things to vague for Google to rank your business higher than a highly location specific competitor.
In the case of The Painless Podiatrist, we chose Camarillo first since their actual doctor’s office is located in that city. Then we added one more, which was the closest city they also served, Oxnard California. Additionally, the category for Podiatrist auto-fills which makes it easy, but we also added Foot Doctor to ensure we capture the stray customer who doesn’t know what the official term is. Next, was the long list of services which are provided by a podiatrist including: ingrown toenail treatment, foot pain treatment, ankle pain treatment, custom digital orthotics and so on. Moreover, we optimized the description of the business which was a summary of the content found on the website, but with an eye out for important keywords. When all of that was finished, the final step is to set the labels for the business under the advanced information. This spot is key for listing out keywords not found under the services, allowing customers to easily find the store/business based on the label set.
Google Ads: Getting Started
First things first, make a Google Ads account and connect it to your Analytics account to ensure you can monitor the revenue you are generating and spending relative to web traffic on your website. If neither account exists, they can be made simultaneously, but we recommend starting with the Analytics since the Ads account will ask for it and not the other way around. When the account is in place it will ask questions like what the ads will be comprised of and how much money will be allocated for the month. Ensure the Ads themselves are keyword dense and contain the primary service which will attract customers. In the case of The Painless Podiatrist, this was foot pain, ankle pain and ingrown toenails — the most common searches in the podiatry field. If you are unhappy or unsure about what to put in the ad, do not worry because they can be edited later. Each ad is comprised of three titles and two descriptions. Ensure each of these are unique and not overlapping or repeating. Each Ad should target one service or offering from the company it pertains to. If there is too much being advertised, customers are likely to be confused by what exactly they see when an Ad populates in their searches.
Once your first Google Ad is in place, and a budget will need to be determined. Google will recommend what they feel the be the most effective based on what competitors in the area are spending. If their recommendation is 100$ or less compared to what you had originally set, we highly suggest meeting their limit. If they are asking for 200–300$ more a month, it may be a wise idea to consider SEO over Google Ads, as your main competitors will bury you in more Ads. Next, after the budget has been selected, it is time to add keywords to your campaign. The main guidance we can offer here, is review the keywords based on the services offered that were determined in our previous two articles. These SEO keywords will go great in the Ads campaign as well. Google will even auto-fill or pre-fill suggestions for you. After a long stretch of Ads, the data will populate and these keywords can be refined based on what people are searching for to find your Ads.
With the keywords set, the last and most important step is to add more Ads. We advise to initially set 3, which will cover the main services offered, or 2 depending on how many services you intend to highlight. If there are 5 or 6 services, keep adding on and creating new Ads, but try not to repeat keywords too much or spam out the same titles and descriptions. The Ads should feel and look unique. To contribute to this, be sure to set images to match the services being offered. It will also ask for a clean HD image of the logo, which we highly recommend because it displays and air of legitimacy which can only be achieved with a nice logo alongside the Ad content.
Google Ads: The Follow-Up
Our company checks on our client’s Google Ads weekly to ensure the money is being spent as we want and to check on the conversion rates of the Ads. When setting up your campaign, it will ask you for a conversion landing page, which is to say, how many visitors of the Ads made it to a particular page. We often choose the services or contact page. These weekly check-ups are important because you may want to increase or decrease your budget week to week. Moreover, it will show you how effective the money being spent is. Keywords can be reviewed and searches are listed, displaying clearly what keywords are most used and what keywords are doing poorly. Refine your selections each month and even revise Ads based on what these analytics are showing. Along side your website data, it should be clear after only a month or two just how well these Ads are working. If there are a lack of calls or conversions, it may be time to invest in more of them or switch to SEO entirely.
The Painless Podiatrist should serve as an example of how a small Google Ads budget can go a long way to ensure returning customers and the ability to reach new audiences or demographics. Even a modest budget with limited SEO can actually be powerful. We definitely recommend SEO in conjunction with Google Ads, but the Ads themselves can be extremely effective when limited to a geographic location with a lack of real competition. A new website, or at least an optimized website paired with Google Ads can be all that is needed. In the case of The Painless Podiatrist, their new website and the onsite SEO with some blogging was enough to propel them to new heights and gain them many new patients. If you are curious to see their website and how they are doing in Camarillo, check them out HERE. As always if you want to take on Google Ads and SEO on your own, feel free, but for expert help, visit us HERE.