This is a fairly common question and a good one. Your aesthetic practice has worked hard to achieve organic rankings in the top 3, or maybe even #1, for one of your most important procedures. Or, maybe you haven’t worked too hard and have “randomly” wound up with a high organic ranking. Either way, congrats!
Does this mean your practice should avoid running Google ads for this keyword? Absolutely not. In theory, you use Google ads to supplement organic rankings and slowly divest or stop investing in ads once you’ve achieved top rankings. This sounds nice. Who wouldn’t want to only drive free traffic?
However, it’s not that simple. There are a few things to keep in mind when evaluating this particular situation…
1) Organic rankings can change
If your practice ever looked at an SEO report that tracks rankings daily then you’ve seen the ups and downs organic rakings go through. Just because you hold the top ranking today doesn’t mean you will tomorrow. You could even shift all the way from being the top organic ranking to #5, for example, but subsequently, see your Google My Business map listing starts to appear #1 in maps. Or better yet, it shows as the only map location. Bottom line, there are ebbs and flows to organic rankings.
I’ve seen it all and one thing is for sure: even without any kind of penalty there’s volatility and nothing is guaranteed. I’m never one to obsess over rankings (and your practice shouldn’t either) because it’s possible for you to drop several positions for one of your top keywords but still drive more traffic and leads because you’ve obtained multiple other organic rankings for newly-written content. That’s the beauty of content marketing and the challenge with being too narrow-sighted with tracking the rankings of only a select group of keywords.
2) Having multiple listings “above the fold” increases your click-through rates
Google announced back in 2013 that their algorithm was shifting to limit a website from appearing multiple times in organic search results. The idea is to limit “clusters” of the same domain name to promote diversity. This doesn’t mean the same domain cannot appear multiple times – that entirely depends on how well those pages answer the searcher’s query – but as the competition increases it becomes much more difficult to show up multiple times organically…
…which is why it makes sense to also include an ad so that you increase the number of times your website appears near the top of page 1, and thus, increase the odds of a prospective patient clicking to your website. That’s well worth the $2-5 you’d pay if they clicked your ad.
3) Google ads come with enhanced calls to action
While you have some ability to make your organic listing stand out, with structured data to highlight reviews, this pales in comparison to what you can do with Google ads. You can see in the screenshot above (3rd box), the structured data markup allows the client’s reviews to show in this particular organic search result. That’s cool, but even better is the featured snippet showing above it organically (2nd box). This isn’t easy to achieve and typically you’ll only see it triggered for aesthetic practices for topics pertaining to cost or price.
Whether you can see the reviews showing in organic search results or you appear in a featured snippet organically, as I pointed out earlier, nothing is guaranteed and you could see both of those features disappear tomorrow. If you’re running ads, however, you have more consistency with when you show up. It’s simple: if you have a high quality score and bid more than others you’ll always show up at the top of the ads.
You can see in the screenshot above that there are many “enhancements” you get with your ad that extend beyond the simple headline and description. You see:
- callout extension: short unique selling points
- location extensions: address with map link
- structured snippet extension: neighborhoods you serve
- call extension: trackable phone number
Your practice may not see the same extensions show every time your ad runs, but if you utilize as many of them as you can you will assuredly some of them running every time your ad appears in search results. This helps your listing stand out, driving more clicks, and ultimately, conversions (assuming your have website optimized for conversions).
Take the next step
Are you running an aesthetic practice, whether it be plastic surgery center, medical spa, or cosmetic dermatology clinic, and considering running Google ads or looking to improve your SEO? Maybe both? TRBO can help! Simply fill out the form here or call us directly at 877-673-7096 x2.