Google Ads for psychologists checklist

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Checklist to increase Psychologist/ Therapist/ Counsellor private practice bookings via Google Ads.

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Google Ads for Therapists checklist 


1. Campaign Settings

Campaign Goal: Leads

Bid Strategy: Maximize Conversions or Target CPA, eg. with $30 Target Cost per Action

Networks: Google Search Network, Search Partners (not the Display Network!)

Devices: Don’t apply bid adjustments and don’t opt out of Mobile, Tablet or Desktop initially.

2. Ad Schedule

Don’t use an Ad Schedule initially. Try running 24/7 as you never know when someone is researching. But if you’re on a tight budget and phone calls are your primary call-to-action then restrict to showing ads only during office hours.

3. Landing Pages

The landing page is the webpage the user sees after clicking on your ads. This page needs to be clear and to mirror the focus of the ad. You need a strong correlation between the user’s search term, ad copy and landing page.

A custom designed landing page for ads can “convert” 5x or more users than a regular website. That’s directly equivalent to increasing your ad spend by 5x.

4. Call-To-Action

There must be a strong, clear call-to-action on the landing page which reflects any call-to-action in the ad copy, eg. “Call Now” or “Contact Us to Learn More”.

5. Keywords- Brand & Non-Brand

Brand keywords: this is the name of your organisation, your brand. It’s a must to run bids on your brand if your competitors’ ads are showing for your brand searches. It’s almost always a good idea to bid on brand terms regardless.

Non-Brand keywords: “psychologist”, “counsellor”, “therapist”, “anger management”, “depression help”, “adhd therapy” etc. You use these along with Negative Keywords to show your ads to people who want to find your services now.

6. Keyword Match Type

Use Modified Broad Match keywords initially. Don’t use the standard Broad Match type.

7. Ads

Create (at least) 2 Expanded Text Ads + 1 Responsive Search Ad for each ad group

8. Location Geo Targeting

Radius around your office location. Use a larger radius for Brand keywords and smaller radius for Non-Brand keywords.

9. Remarketing

Don’t use Remarketing- it’s against Google Ads Personalized Advertising Policies on Healthcare.

10. Ad Groups of Related Keywords

Create tightly-themed ad groups of keywords, such as:

  • Psychologist
  • Psychologist Near Me
  • Psychologist Sydney
  • Counsellor
  • Therapist
  • Couples Counselling
  • Marriage Counselling
  • Relationship Counselling

11. Negative Keywords #1- Generic

Set up Negative Keywords to avoid wasting money. Example negatives:

  • “free”
  • “bulk bill”
  • “24 hour”, “after hours”
  • “saturday”, “sunday”
  • “vietnamese”, “indian”, “spanish”, “cantonese”, “mandarin”, “arabic”, “persian” etc
  • “job”
  • “volunteer”
  • “career”
  • “massage”
  • “christian”
  • “alcohol”, “drugs”
  • “courses”
  • “home visit”

12. Negative Keywords #2- Competitors

Set up Negative Keywords to avoid wasteful costly clicks. Example negatives

  • “ABC Psychology”, “Sydney’s Best Psychologists” etc- these are company names of your competitors
  • “Jane Doe”, “John Psych” etc- these are the actual names of psychologists who do not work for you

13. Ad Extensions

It’s important to really maximise your opportunity to impress and connect with clients via Ad Extensions. You should set these up fully.

Sitelink Extensions: add Sitelinks for all your most important and relevant webpages, such as Our Expert Psychologists, Psychologists Services, Book Telehealth Appt, Services & Fees, Couples Counselling, Depression Management, Anger Management, Anxiety Treatment

Call Extension: Setup Call Extensions for your office numbers; be sure to use Call Reporting to track the phone calls

Location Extensions: Connect with Google My Business to use your office locations in your Ads

Structured Snippets Extensions: Service Catalog, Neighbourhoods, etc for listing all the services you offer: Marriage Counselling, Anxiety, Depression, Anger ManagementADHD, AutismDiet Issues, LGBTI Counselling, etc

Callout Extensions: promote your unique features & benefits: Open Saturdays, Appts by Phone, Video Appts25 Psychologists, Since 2011, Kids & Adults, etc

14. Bid Strategy

Use an Automated Bid Strategy such as Maximize Conversions or Target CPA. If you know exactly how much you are willing to spend on an enquiry/ booking then use Target CPA, eg. with $25 Target Cost per Action.

15. Connect Google Analytics

Link your Google Analytics account so as to import Goals and metrics.

16. Connect Google Search Console

Link your Google Search Console account so you can compare and gain inspiration from your Organic Search data.

17. Setup Conversion Tracking

It’s vital to setup your Conversion Tracking properly for Phone Calls & Form Submissions. You can also track Video views, site engagement etc. 

Proper Conversion Tracking enables you to track your Cost per Lead.

18. Phone Call Tracking

Setup Phone Call Tracking and link it to your Google Analytics and Google Ads. This lets you calculate your cost per lead more accurately. 

19. Report/ Dashboard

Create a Report or Dashboard you can use with live data focused on your Key Performance Metrics: Cost, Clicks, Phone Calls, Form Submissions. Ultimately you want to know your Cost per Lead. 

Google Ads Client Reviews

Some of our Google Ads clients

Google Ads For Therapists Case Study #1

Psychologist Google Ads Cost per Lead Dropping Over Multi-Year Client Engagement:

Psychologist Google Ads Case Study

Google Ads Case Study #2

EnergyIQ Jumped Straight to Position 1 on Google on Day 1:

Google Ads Case Study #3

This client saw great results with increased Conversions and reduced Cost per Conversion over a matter of weeks as our efforts were rewarded:

Optimising a Google Ads Campaign for Success

Google Ads Case Study #4

This client sells very high ticket items so at $100 per high quality lead the ROI is enormous:

Google Ads Case Study #3

Google Ads Sydney management

We’ve operated as a Sydney Google Ads agency locally and further afield for more than 10 years.

Find Out How We Can Help You

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Google Partners since 2015

We are long term Google Partners with an allocated Google Rep we can consult when needed.

Google Ads for Psychologists FAQS

SEO for Psychologists

SEO for Psychologists is very important for increasing free highly-qualified search traffic to your website. The key elements of a SEO strategy for Psychologists are:

  • Choosing the right keywords used by your clients: “psychologist”, “therapist”, “counsellor”, “couples counselling”, “marriage counselling”, “anger management help”, “help with depression” etc
  • Considering the location where your offices are and where they serve, and incorporating these search terms into your website content
  • Creating enough high-quality content to thoroughly represent all the services and locations you offer
  • Employs the keywords in the page titles, headers & meta descriptions
  • Uses interesting, appropriate images
  • Has strong call-to-actions such as prominent phone numbers, forms etc
  • Checking your site has no technical errors or SEO technical issues such as redirect chains, broken pages, insecure pages etc
  • Avoiding Duplicate Content
  • Checking your site is fast
  • Checking your site is Mobile Friendly
  • Contains video if possible
  • Claiming and correctly-completing your Google My Business page and keeping it updated and adding regular fresh posts
  • Has backlinks from appropriate relevant industry, local and directory websites
  • Installing Google Analytics & Google Tag Manager (for event tracking)
  • Installing and monitoring Google Search Console

What’s the Cost per Lead?

The Cost per Lead varies enormously and depends on the industry, competition and especially your product or service offering and quality of your website.

The Cost per Lead is typically between $20-$100 but depends on the above factors.

If your Cost per Lead is too high there are things we can do to reduce it. Even when everything is well-tuned we can still reduce the Cost per Lead while reducing the number of leads.

What are “Google Leads”?

“Google Leads” are leads generated through Google Ads.

Google Ads Agency or Google Ads Consultant?

Both Google Ads Agencies & Google Ads Consultants can be great.

But a Google Ads agency has more resources to really dig deep and get the results you want. For example we have team members who are experts in different topics such as: Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Landing Page design, SEO, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Data Analysis & Reporting etc. That’s hard to match with a single Google Ads Consultant.

Whichever you choose you will need Google Ads Experts who know the tool in detail and control spend while maximising the results you are seeking (leads, sales etc).

Google AdWords Agency or Google Ads Agency?

They are the same thing. Google AdWords was renamed to Google Ads in 2018.

Lots of people still refer to us as a Google AdWords Agency.

We’ve worked on Google AdWords Sydney advertising for over 10 years.

What’s Search Marketing?

Search Marketing means showing your ads on the Google Search results when someone searches for keywords highly relevant to your business. People searching on Google for your products or services have a very high intent and propensity to convert (give you money).

What’s the difference between Google Ads and SEO?

Google Ads is where you pay Google to appear above the search results on Google search or on millions of other websites on the Display Network as well as YouTube, Gmail, Maps etc.

Google Ads enables you to start almost immediately and quickly learn what keywords works for your business. Once your ROI is optimised you can ramp up your spend and retire on the beach.

SEO is the process of optimising your website through technical changes and website content creation to drive Organic “free” traffic from Google Search results (below the paid ads).

Improving your SEO rankings takes time whereas Google Ads is very fast to get started and make changes.

We are a Google Ads-focused marketing agency that can help you with Google Ads as well as SEO.

Why use a Google Ads Agency?

If you are prepared to put the time in and learn about Google Ads in depth then you can do it yourself in-house. But you’ll probably lose a lot of money in the process and your results will be less than stellar.

Google Ads is very competitive in most industries so getting a positive ROI requires experience, effort and deep pockets to fund your learning process.

You should have Google Ads experts setup & manage your ad account for the best results faster and without wasting money.

How is Google Ads different to Facebook Ads

Google Ads and Facebook Ads are very different but they share some commonalities.

Google Ads (Search Network) is unique in that your ads are displayed when users search for specific keywords. This results in very high intent to purchase and high conversion rates. It’s a great way to advertise and explains why Google has so much money.

Whereas social media ads, such as Facebook Ads appear in the user’s Feed so cost per clicks tend to be lower as do the conversion rates. It’s still possible to construct very effective funnels in Facebook Ads.

Both Google & Facebook Ads require extreme attention to Conversions when you are ROI focused (who isn’t?). The Google Display Network & YouTube Ads, Gmail, Maps etc are more similar to Facebook Ads in that your ads are interrupting users when they are engaged in browsing other sites.

Does Google Ads Work?

Yes Google Ads is very effective.

The Google Ads Search Network is generally the fastest way to generate leads, bookings, enquiries and sales. For each client we tend to run multiple Google Ads campaigns, such as a Search Network campaign for immediate results, a Display Network campaign for building brand awareness and trust and a Remarketing campaign to convert users who didn’t purchase or signup immediately.

We feed the results of the Google Ads into the SEO campaigns for an integrated approach with the same conversions underpinned by Google Analytics and Data Studio for reporting.

How much does Google Ads cost?

Google Ads is an auction system so the cost depends, mostly on your industry and competition.

If you setup and manage Google Ads badly the main result will be a debit on your credit card. You need to compete well and maintain a high quality account in order to get the best results.

For strategic decision making you need a solid data layer underneath your website: consistent business-objective focused conversion tracking setup consistently across Google Ads + Facebook Ads. This data feeds the Ad machines so they generate the traffic that performs best for your business and website.

Ideally we setup your Ads account so it is generating a positive ROI, then you scale up the spend while we maintain that positive ROI so you make more money. The key is to track, measure and optimise the ROI. Once this machine is built and running well you don’t worry about the spend because you know every dollar spent is rewarded with a greater increase in sales and enquiries.

Find Out How We Can Help You

Call 02 8003 3026 or