Yep you read the headline right. Over the past few years I have spent a whopping £100,000 or at today’s exchange rate $131,000 on Google ads. That is one hell of a huge number! Even I was shocked how large the figure was when I looked in my account the other day. But here is the thing, in just about every month that I have advertised I brought in revenue which not only paid for my therapy marketing on Adwords but brought me in a significant extra income as well.
Now hell yes of course I would rather that £100,000 was in my pocket rather than Google’s but with most of the major search engines if you want to get found you often have to pay. Google is now like a greedy manager taking their cut of my profits but the deal isn’t so bad because my I come out winning as well. Depending on the campaign, keywords or location I am advertising I am typically seeing a return of three or four times my ad spend. As a whole it is estimated that most advertisers using the system correctly will make $2 for every dollar they spend. That is like printing money provided you know what you are doing.
So what have I learned from my years advertising on the platform?
A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing
I have worked with a large number of therapists over the years who have tried their hand at Google Adwords and got it badly wrong. This is because the system is a totally complicated beast which changes every five minutes. In fact even my account managers at Google have got it wrong at times. When I look at their accounts and the way that they have been set up I want to weep because invariably they are burning their cash. I have seen issues such as:
- Local therapists advertising to the wrong area
- Therapists not using the right keywords
- Usage of bad match types
- Ignorance of negative keywords
- Incorrect bidding strategies
- Ignorance of half the system features
- Not understanding the success metrics of their campaigns
- General total lack of understanding of how the system works
These are the therapists who will turn around and say to me that Google Adwords doesn’t work for therapy marketing. In fact that isn’t the case it is the therapists who have rushed in set up ads without getting to understand the system first.
Even the Big SEO Agencies Get it Wrong
I’m currently working with a marketing student who turned over their Adwords account to a big SEO agency to run. Surely people with huge expertise in running websites and pay per click advertising would get him some clients? Err nope because the agency may have been great at SEO and PPC but they didn’t understand the therapy market. My client had told them he wanted to specialise in online sessions and was happy to see clients who were based anywhere in the UK. So the ad agency set up a load of keywords and then tumbleweed.
Just one of the myriad of mistakes they made was using the keyword hypnotherapy to advertise. Yes it may have been partly relevant to my clients job but here’s the thing people may look for this keyword as follows:
- “free hypnotherapy”
- “Paul McKenna hypnotherapy”
- ” hypnotherapy to control girls”
- “hypnotherapy definition”
I could go on. Hopefully you can see the big problem here. None of those keywords are going to earn my client any cash. In addition there are about 18,000 searches in the UK for this term alone in the UK at an average cost of £2.50 per click. Even on a generous budget per day for advertising you would lose a ton of cash and get no clients which was exactly what happened to my student. This agency did not have specialist knowledge of the therapy niche and this was one of many mistakes they made so naturally their campaign for my client was a disaster.
You Have to Spend to Accumulate
I know therapists love the idea of Facebook ads because you can have such a small budget per day that it feels very manageable. The only problem is that most therapists don’t understand Facebook ads very well either. They are cheap because the people being shown your ad have no intention to buy at that moment. This means to really make advertising on the platform work you need to build a funnel, remarket and cultivate the clients. With Adwords the people typing in specific search queries are looking to hire someone now which means the cost of advertising to that person is higher but you chance of getting a sale is bigger.
The trouble is that as well as therapists setting up their ads incorrectly they also start to panic when they have spend £50 and have had no calls so they close the account down. When you use pay per click advertising especially systems like Adwords you have to think strategically. For example there is no point in spending £50 on advertising for clients who are only going to come and see you for one session. It is great for big ticket programs but very difficult to make pay if you are selling something cheaply because the clicks will cost more than the revenue. Plan your campaigns carefully so you don’t fall into this trap.
PPC Advertising on Google Has a Low Bounce Rate
So what do I mean when I talk about bounce rate? Bounce rate is when a visitor comes across your website and visits one single page and immediately decides your site is boring, irrelevant or slow and heads off immediately elsewhere. Having a low bounce rate shows Google that you are attracting the right visitors to your site meaning it should in theory move it up the rankings for certain keywords.
Traffic to a website tends to be classed in five categories:
- Paid Search
- Organic Search
- Direct Traffic
- Referral Traffic
The traffic with the lowest bounce rates tends to be referral or organic views but in my case my next best traffic is Google Adwords with a relatively low bounce rate. That means people who are seeing my ads are coming on to my website and staying because my campaigns have been set up to show them highly relevant website pages. My worst form of traffic is one from social media. It is relatively obvious why. People on social media are using it to engage with friends and family not to really view my website. So if they do head on over to it from an ad on Facebook or from seeing one of my posts they are less targeted customers. This is another reason why Google Adwords traffic can be superior to Facebook ads.
Diversify and Avoid Using One Marketing Method Alone
As I have mentioned before Adwords, Facebook and SEO are changing every five minutes. One minute you are sitting pretty at the top of Google and the next you are down on page three. Or perhaps you were spending £2 a click and getting customers but suddenly your local competition gets fiercer and now your costs have doubled. Or even worse Google or Facebook have decided that your website isn’t up to scratch and is making outrageous claims and suddenly won’t allow you to advertise at all.
Whatever you do in your marketing you must never rely on one channel too heavily because one day something will change and those leads will disappear. It is essential that you try and build up a therapy marketing strategy that gets clients in from every direction you can.
- SEO and Organic Rankings
- Therapy Directories
- Joint Ventures
- Email Marketing
Using Google Adwords at the moment is a great way to get in clients in your door but it should not be your only strategy just part of a diversified plan to get revenue in every way possible.
Want to Learn How to Set up a Therapy Marketing Campaign in Google Adwords?
As I’ve mentioned before Adwords is changing all the time and last year the whole platform got a totally new design. So I thought it was time to refresh my online course to reflect these new changes. At the beginning of the year I filmed a new series of videos to guide you through setting up campaigns that will convert. This video course is designed to:
- Get you regular client leads who are looking to buy your services.
- Target only clients who are looking for your particular niche expertise.
- Help you to get to number one on Google.
- Build search campaigns that are localised.
- Teach you how to use pay per click advertising to make money.
- Allow you advertising flexibility so you can respond to customer need instantly.
- How to get clients even when you are starting off in practice.
Until the end of March you can claim a 20% discount on the course before the course reverts back to its normal price by using the code ppc2019. This is the system that has made me a considerable return on investment over the years and after spending £100,000 on ads I believe I am one of the most qualified hypnotherapists on the platform in the UK. Just click the link below if you want to give this amazing marketing channel a try.