The amount of money you have to spend to generate a phone call, email, chat message or some other opportunity to connect with a prospective patient is called the cost per lead (CPL) in your marketing campaign. The problem is that dentists don’t usually know what the cost per lead of their campaign is or whether or not their cost per lead is unreasonably high.

If you pay more than needed to generate patient leads, that leaves less money in the budget to attract MORE new patient leads, and thus, strangles the campaign. If you can achieve a low cost per lead, you can use the additional funds to fuel the campaign and see a better return on the dollars you invest in advertising.

We used this approach for one of our clients and achieved a cost per lead of just $50. It’s possible to potentially achieve the same results with your marketing. 

finger navigating the web on their cell phone

Is $50 Per Lead a Reasonable Cost Per Lead Goal?

In any successful dental digital marketing plan, you will set a campaign goal. Depending on your goal, $50 per lead may be unrealistic. According to a study conducted by HubSpot in 2017, it cost $285 to generate a potential patient in the medical industry. That was a nationwide average across all types of medical providers. You can imagine that dental is one of the more competitive areas of the medical industry and that the competition has grown more fierce in the four years following that study.

So again, if your goal is to generate clicks and potential patients for competitive keywords such as dental implants, Invisalign, or “cosmetic dentist”, you can expect to spend more to generate a call or email than the national average.

How Do You Lower Your Ad Costs to Decrease the Cost Per Lead?

Your goal shouldn’t be to reduce your cost. Instead, it should be to increase your conversion rate. If you’re spending $500 to generate a lead, that’s fine as long as you are generating $5,000 or more from those leads. If that’s not the case, then you DO need to change up the ad strategy to reduce the cost per lead. It’s all a math equation.

If the lead quality and your ability to schedule and close treatment on leads from very expensive keywords is a struggle, you may want to try your luck with less competitive keywords. That was the beginning of our strategy that helped our clicks get a cost per lead that was 20% of the national average in the medical category of businesses.

cost per lead graph

You can also lower your ad costs by making changes to your website. If your website isn’t fantastic, it will take more clicks to generate a lead. People will still click on your ad, but if they don’t like what they see, they are less likely to convert. Google quantifies this as “Quality Score”. They attempt to analyze the relevance of your landing page and how likely it is that a user who clicks on your ad will find what they are looking for and decide to contact your office.

If your website’s landing pages are not built to convert or are too general and focused on you rather than what the patient wants, your conversion rate will suffer and your cost per lead will go up. Reduce costs by improving your website.

For our client, we made sure to promote the niche service they offered on the home page but also created a dedicated landing page with details about the service. The ads then directed clicks to that landing page with multiple calls-to-action for phone calls and emails.

Boost Conversions With a Niche Offering

If you can find a group of keywords that represent a group of patients looking for a specific offering, the cost of those clicks is probably lower than more general or high-demand keywords. Obviously, you need to offer the service that these patients are looking for. Here are some ideas for you to consider:

  • “Metal-free dental implants”
  • “Female dentist near me”
  • Holistic dentistry

That last one is what won the day for our client. They offer holistic dentistry very proudly, going beyond being metal-free. This is important because if your office doesn’t truly embrace the idea of holistic dentistry, these leads could be an annoyance and lead to a poor patient experience (and bad reviews). Our client also offers services that other dentists don’t such as ozone therapy. Though the volume of searches for “holistic dentistry” is lower than many other dental keywords, the conversion rate for the campaign was quite high and the cost per click was less than half of what you might pay for “dental implants” or “Invisalign”.

It’s also worth noting that the client’s practice developed a reputation for holistic dentistry in their area. The “birds of a feather” concept was evident as their holistic patients referred holistic-oriented friends and family and they now rank #1 in their market for holistic dentistry, thereby further boosting their likelihood of pulling in these choice patients.

If your dental PPC company doesn’t know how to manage your budget to optimize for cost per lead, call us at (970) 672-1212 or schedule a consultation online now. We’ve helped dentists all over the US, Canada, and even Australia to build better new patient pipelines using Google Ads pay-per-click advertising.