Search Marketing Strategies for Private Practices

Kobe Digital
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A woman smiling at the dentist's office

Rangchi Family Dentistry found it difficult to continue expanding. Kobe Digital helped them take the next step by advertising online.


The paid search market for specialized practices in industries such as medicine, law, and dentistry can often be downright brutal. Bids often start as high as $20 per click — and that’s often only for the most general keywords in the space. It’s not uncommon to see bids of up to $100 per click for the most targeted keywords in highly specialized industries.

With this in mind, we knew immediately that achieving manageable customer acquisition costs would be the biggest challenge for Rangchi Family Dentisry’s AdWords campaign. This would require minimizing the number of wasted clicks, designing advertisements with the highest possible quality scores, and methodically optimizing pages for maximum conversions.


By evaluating three distinct aspects of campaign design — targeting, click cost, and on-page conversion — we were able to more effectively diagnose sticking points, assess performance, and manage costs down as the project progressed.



An unfortunate truth in digital marketing is that wasted clicks are an inevitability in any campaign — and while they’re never good, they’re a lot worse when each one costs fifteen dollars instead of fifteen cents.

As a result, our first priority was to minimize wasted clicks by using the demographic profile of Dr. Rangchi’s existing patients to create as specific of an audience as possible, serving ad impressions only to individuals most likely to become patients.

We also created a second audience modeled after the patients most likely to be interested in cosmetic dentistry. Since these services were the practice’s most profitable, we wanted the ability to isolate this audience and bid higher on their clicks, further improving campaign ROI.

The targeting filters we used for each audience included:

–          Income

–          Age

–          Gender

–          Location

–          Parental Status

–          Retargeting



Simply outbidding all of your competitors is one way to achieve the highest-ranked ad placements for a given search, but it’s not always a sustainable or effective approach — especially when cost-per-clicks bids are already high to start with, as is the case for many dentistry-focused search keywords.

Fortunately, bid amount isn’t the only factor taken into consideration when ads are being ranked on the search results page. Another metric, quality score, is also used to determine ad rank.

Quality score is the second largest component of Google’s ad rank algorithm, so while it’s not as influential as bid amount, it can still move the needle considerably when it comes to where your ad is positioned relative to others on the search results page.

We maximized the quality score of the campaign’s ads by optimizing around:

–          Landing page experience

–          Advertisement relevance

–          Click-through rate



While minimizing wasted clicks with audience targeting and maximizing ad spend efficiency with quality score both serve to dramatically improve overall campaign performance, neither represent what our clients actually care about: conversions. After all, even in an ideal scenario involving zero wasted clicks and extremely low bids, none of it would matter if it didn’t result in new patients for the practice.

To ensure that our campaign resulted in as many new patient acquisitions as possible, the entire website underwent sixteen iterations of A/B tested revisions, meticulously adjusting everything from site copy and button colors to photo selection and contact form placement.

After the final round of revisions, site visitors began converting at rates 18% higher than before.