google-adwordsFor many years I cautioned against using Google AdWords as a lead generation tool. Paying “per click” (PPC as it’s commonly referred to) seemed to really only “work” (with a solid cost-per-conversion rate) in smaller, more rural areas. My takeaway was that folks in larger metros, who are typically more tech savvy, were either clicking and quickly realizing they weren’t interested  or ignoring the search result ads altogether.

I don’t think I was wrong in my assumption, although I never ran in-depth testing to validate, mainly because the investment to do so would have come from our clients! Fast forward several years to 2016. As I test out Google AdWords more and more, even in large, tech-savvy metros, I’m finding that the investment is actually leading to solid results.

What’s a solid result? That really depends on how many leads result in new patient revenue, as well as what your profit margins are. Let’s use the following example for a breast augmentation campaign:

  • whiteboard-graphprocedure profit margin is $2,500
  • you spend $2,000 on a breast aug ad campaign in a month
  • you generate 12 leads (at a cost of $166/lead)
  • 7 of the 12 leads result in consultations
  • 4 of the 7 consultations result in new patients, leading to $10,000 in gross profit
  • net profit, after subtracting out ad expenses, is $8,000

$8,000 is a pretty solid ROI. Now, if I were merely calculating ROI based on revenue then this number would more than double. However, I’m trying to be as conservative as possible by working with procedure profit margins to show that you can make very solid returns off of AdWords.

So what’s changed with AdWords? The simplest answer is that your competition, and even advertisers in other niches, have gotten better creating more relevant ads and landing pages. In the past, when folks ignored the ads, or they clicked and quickly bounced, the ads weren’t very relevant and the landing pages were low-quality. People setting up AdWords campaigns often didn’t know what they were doing, which lead to poor results.

Google has probably played a role in helping to improve ad performance. After all, it’s in their best interest that the ads convert, so you come back to them and spend more money. I’ve seen Google’s role in setting up and managing ads improve dramatically over the past year or so. Their communication alone has been outstanding, so it’s only fair I give them some credit. However, where have they been for the past 5-6 years?!


Worth the investment? It baffles me that companies selling widgets for $5 will spend over $5 on just a click to get people to their landing page. That’s crazy! The beauty of aesthetics is that you’re highly compensated for your services, so spending $150, $200, or even $300+ for a lead isn’t bad. The key is converting these leads into consults, which takes immediate followup (we’re talking within 5 minutes of the lead coming in), and then converting these consults into patients.

My advise to those considering AdWords: don’t go in tepidly. Yes, you can work your way up to a higher budget after generating some results in the first month or so. However, you don’t want to miss opportunities. Make sure you’re promoting a procedure with a high profit margin and working with at least $1,500-2,000/month for the first few months. Also, most importantly, you need to have your ad campaign properly set up, with:

  • all ad extensions
  • correct keywords (and negative keywords)
  • unique ad groups and ads per ad group
  • unique landing pages
  • strong calls to action
  • opt-in forms
  • comprehensive lead tracking
  • and more…

More to come on how to properly set up a campaign. If you’d like to learn more about AdWords, tor to learn more about what we do, simply drop us a line here or call us directly at 877-673-7096 x2.


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