Per Per Click or PPC advertising, using such services as Google Ads, refers to the text ads which show up at the top and bottom of a search results page. Here’s a sample of a Pay Per Click ad:

Notice that there are several lines in a typical PPC ad: The Headline in blue; the three lines of ad which are the body of the ad; an address and/or phone number, and in green, a website URL address.

Advertisers set their own budget and also can choose any keywords they want to be associated with their ad. When someone in your local area searches for any of your selected keywords, your ad shows up on the screen on the right column. But unlike traditional advertising media such as the Yellow Pages, where you pay a flat rate per month regardless of how many calls you get, with PPC, you only pay the search engines when someone clicks on your ad. (The analogy to print advertising would be if you only paid when someone called your office). When someone clicks on your ad, they are taken to a specific page on your web site where they learn about your services.

Indeed, PPC is a wonderful tool for private practitioners who have an online presence, because it enables you to show up on the first page of the search engine results, often in just one day. Contrast this with the enormous difficulty of Search Engine Optimization, of getting on the first page of the main free organic search results, where other ads and large directories like Psychology Today dominate the first page.

How Well Does this Work? Here’s feedback from Victor Goldman, LCSW from New York:

I want to thank you for of your efforts over the past two years in helping me to build a great internet presence. The pay per click campaigns you developed for me have been generating 6-8 new calls a week for the past three months. Although i have been in practice for over 40 years and have an excellent reputation as a marriage counselor, your programs have helped me to continue my “fee for service only practice” and keep a steady flow of new clients who would not have heard of me.

Your patience, availability and knowledge of what works for mental health professionals along with your staff’s follow through are the factors upon which i base my recommendation of your services to anyone interested in generating more referrals from the internet.

The fees were the best advertising dollars i have ever spent on my practice.

Here’s a sample of a typical search – look at how little room there is for therapist websites to show up on the first page of search results:

The solution? Pay to get in the top center position of the first page of search results.

There are numerous skills necessary for a successful PPC ad campaign, including:

  • Creating a great headline
  • Creating the right ad copy
  • Deciding which page to send the reader to (called the ‘Landing Page’)
  • Designing the Landing Page using advertising methods to create the greatest likelihood of the reader contacting you for an appointment
  • Configuring the Campaign settings
  • Configure the correct Ad Extensions
  • Select the correct Keywords and Negative Keywords
  • Configuring the Optimal Keyword Matching Options for your Practice
Joe has presented at 12 national conferences on Internet Marketing, including the American Psychological Association; the California Psychological Association; the Massachusetts Psychological Association; and Psychotherapy Networker.