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Best Practices for Paid Advertising During the COVID-19 Crisis

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As many people nationwide live under safety measures meant to support citizen health and slow infection rates of COVID-19, the online world is experiencing an unprecedented change in behavior. For instance, overall internet traffic has risen by 31% since late February, making the management of your online presence more critical than ever to ensuring the continued vitality of your dental practice.

In particular, the implementation of a paid advertising campaign can yield significant returns, especially given that on average, cost-per-clicks have decreased by 6% since COVID-19 — so your investment goes further.  

A successful pay-per-click advertising strategy will allow you to boost your authority, find new patients and win the conversation. Follow these recommendations to ensure the success of your marketing initiatives:   

  • Target your audience with search and call-only campaigns focusing on virtual consultations as well as emergency dental care. With limited access to critical dental services, patients will be looking for you online.   
  • Enhance direct engagement and prioritize calls to your office with click-to-call ad extensions and callout ad extensions. Don’t forget to route incoming office calls to your remote personnel.  
  • Instill Trust and confidence in your services by bolstering your online reputation through management of your Google My Business page and clearly notifying patients of your additional safety measures and universal precautions.
  • Evaluate your process over time and adjust to changing audience behavior with insights from A/B testing. A/B testing refers to testing multiple versions of an ad, maybe with slightly different copy or visuals, at the same time to see which gets the best results. 
  • Refresh your negative keyword lists at both the account and campaign levels using trending search queries. Negative keywords let you exclude search terms from your campaigns and help you focus on only the keywords that matter to your patients.
  • Communicate what might be different when your office reopens. Have you changed check-in procedures, waiting room layout, availability of hand sanitization stations for patients, or other things that might be different for your patients? Setting expectations can help with a smooth transition back into practice.

While foot traffic is down, connecting with prospective patients through pay-per-click advertising is a powerful way to ensure you provide critical access to your communities and prepare for the return of patients as the crisis resolves.

Professional head shot for author Jay LevineMr. Levine is president of PBHS, the endorsed marketing services company for ADA members. For more information on PBHS dental website design and marketing, visit