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Creating an online brand and personal platform seems like a lot of work for most doctors I meet with.

At the same time, they mostly all agree that digital marketing, and focusing on the right keywords for Google searches is the most effective way to attract more patients.

One of the questions I’m regularly asked is, “Can’t I just buy the keywords I need with Google AdWords?”

While Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertisements can undoubtedly have their place, you don’t want to rely on it solely and skip the work of ranking organically for keywords.

Here are five reasons why you want to build an online platform for your practice, instead of only using Google Ads:

1). You Don’t Have Control Over the Google Ads Platform

google ads control

A consistent strategy I share is that you don’t want to “build your house on a rented lot.”

This is the same reason why I tell my clients not to rely on social media, but instead, use it to bring people back to your website (which you control).

The same thing is true for Google AdWords.

If you have a one-page site that you use Google AdWords to drive all of your traffic to, you are entirely at the mercy of whatever AdWords decides to do.

Should Google change its advertising policies, or 10x the costs, you have to go along with whatever they want to do.

Or worse yet, what happens if someone falsely flags one of your ads and inappropriate, and Google bans your site from AdWords?

2). Spending Money for Fake Clicks

bots cause fake clicks

CNBC has reported that advertisers lost over $12.5 billion due to fake clicks on ads (clicks made by bots instead of people).

So while you could end up with a lot of clicks to your ads, it could cost you a lot of money.

If you are ranking organically for those keywords, should your site be targeted by bots, it’s not going to cost you any more money.

3). Ad Blockers Are On The Rise

google ads blocker

Even Google, with its Chrome browser, is working on a significant ad blocking system.

While they’re not likely to cannibalize their own business, it does mean that specific AdWords strategies will be less effective.

4). People Often Scroll Past Ads

scroll past ads

On social media, 4 in 10 people simply scroll past ads. That number may be even higher with Google searches.

People are so trained now to see the green “ad” disclosure, that they often don’t trust it as much, and give more credibility to pages that show up organically.

5). It Can Be Extremely Expensive

expensive google ads doctors

Depending on your market and specialty, the Cost-Per-Click (CPC) can be extremely high.

Many times I’ve seen the CPC bid to be displayed be over $8 per click! Back to point #2, imagine if a bot registers 250 fake clicks on your ad in a month.

And don’t forget, you’re not just trying to rank for one keyword. You’ll have to create and run multiple ads for the various patient searches.


In conclusion, I’m certainly not saying that PPC should never be used. But it certainly should not be the primary strategy to attract patients to your website.