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Google Ads for Therapists – Best Step By Step Marketing Guide

Google Ads is one of the best ways that therapists can gain new patients and grow their practice. When potential patients are searching for therapists, most often they are using Google. Utilizing Google Ads is a great opportunity for you to target and attract these potential customers. By creating and optimizing your Google Ads correctly you can increase your leads and lifelong patients.

Why Use Google Ads for Therapists?

Google Ads tips for therapists

Google Ads can prove to be a huge revenue funnel for therapists if implemented correctly. Google’s advertising platform enables businesses like yours the ability to advertise directly to potential clients. There are several different aspects of Google Ads that you can tailor based on your desired result.

For example, say your therapy practice is located in Irvine, California. Through utilizing Google Ads, you can showcase your specific ads to people who search the keyword “Irvine therapist” in Google. Your ad will be displayed at the top of the page and will take users to your landing page when they click it. These clicks will cost you a small fee however you can optimize your campaigns to control your spending and ensure you are making a profit.

According to a 2019 study, Google Ads delivered an 8:1 return on investment (ROI) or $8 for every $1 spent.

When you set up your Google Ads correctly, they can be extremely effective at showing your advertisements directly to your target clients. To ensure you set yourself up for success, follow our Ultimate Guide to Google Ads for Therapists below.

1. Google Ads Campaign Settings for your Therapy Clinic

Once you create a Google Ads account, the first step is to create your first campaign. When you click to create a new campaign, you will be asked what your campaign goal is. It is best to click “create a campaign without a goal’s guidance” to have the most control over your campaign setup. It is best to do this instead because the more control over your campaign you have, the better you can optimize it for success.

Google Ads Campaign Type

After clicking “create a campaign without a goal’s guidance” you will be asked which campaign type you would like to use. There are 7 different campaign types but we are going to select search as this is the most beneficial for your Therapy practice. Search ads will allow you to show your ads at the top of Google’s search results for a given keyword. Once you click next you will be taken to the Campaign settings page

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Search and Display

Google Search Ads for Therapists

Even though we chose Search, Google will check both search and display by default. You want to make sure to uncheck Display as we only want to run search ads. Display ads will show ads across various sites and videos which is what we don’t want


Next, it’s time to select which locations you would like to run your ads in. This is a very important step for therapists as you are going to want to run ads within your local area. Select Enter another location > Advanced search. You can either choose to target specific locations or a radius around your office.

Google Ads Location Targeting

I usually will recommend a radius of about 15 miles around where your therapy office is located. Most patients won’t drive more than 15 miles to an appointment so we recommend not going higher than 15. You can customize the size of your radius based on the size of the city your office is located in.

Google Ads Location Target

Once you hit save, the next step is to select “people in or regularly in your targeted locations”. This is crucial because you only want to target people who are normally in your location radius. This will exclude people who aren’t in your target location radius but are searching for your keywords. This setting will make your Google Ads more efficient and minimize wasted ad spending.

Audiences and Languages

If you provide therapy for people in multiple languages you should create separate campaigns for each language. This is so people who speak one language don’t see ads that are in another language. If you only provide therapy in one language you can skip this step.


Google Ads Budget

Now you are going to need to set a budget for your campaign. Google Ads budgets are per day so you want to choose the amount you want to spend per month and divide it by 30. We recommend starting at about $20 – $50 a day to receive enough data to be able to analyze how effective your ads are.

With a $20 budget, you should be able to target 1-2 keywords effectively. If you spread your budget too thin trying to target many different keywords you won’t be able to receive enough data to determine which ads and keywords are most optimal.

Bidding Strategy

There are several different Google Ads keyword bidding strategies for you to choose from. Each bidding strategy gives Google different levels of control over how your budget is spent. If you are newer to Google Ads it may be best to target maximize clicks. Then when you have gathered enough data on the effectiveness of your keywords and ads you should switch to Manual CPC.

Google Ads Manual CPC

I recommend using the manual bidding strategy when targeting cost per click because it will give you the most control over how well your ads perform. Manual bidding is for advertisers who want to understand which ads and keywords are performing the best for their business.

Before you can setup Manual CPC ads you need to know the revenue per click for the ads you are running. You can find this data under the conversion column in your Google Ads account. The metric you are looking for is the conversion value per click. This is your total conversion value divided by the number of single clicks. Now that you know where to find this metric you can calculate your max CPC using the formula below:

(Average Conversion Value/Desired ROAS) x (Conversion Rate) = Max CPC Bid

For example, let’s say the metrics for a Therapy appointment with your clinic are as follows:

Average Conversion value = $450

Desired ROAS = 250%

Conversion Rate = 5%

(450/250) x 5 = $9

By using these metrics in the formula, your max CPC bid would be $9.

Still having trouble with your Google Ads Strategy? Let the experts do the work! We are here to help!

Ad Extensions

Ad extensions give you the ability to provide more information on your advertisements. These extensions serve different functions that can improve the performance of your Google Ads. Ad extensions virtually guarantee an increase in click-through rate and quality score for your advertisements. Your ad will be more visible to the human eye the more extensions you use because your ad will take up more space in Google search results. It is also important to note that ad extensions appear below the headline, description, and URL of your ad.

There are several different ad extensions in Google Ads and we recommend using as many as possible in your ads. When using extensions keep in mind that not all extensions will appear with each other every time your ad is shown. Here is a list of the 5 main types of ad extensions we recommend therapy clinics use in their Google Ads:

  1. Site links: Gives users a one-click option to the potential answer of whatever the searcher is looking for. Each site link will have a headline and description. For example, if a user is searching for office equipment, you could have 4 site links below your ad for different types of products. Each site link would have the type of product in the headline and a short description of the features of each product below.
    Google Ads Sitelink extensions
  2. Location: Allows you to link your Google MyBusiness account to your Google Ads account and display a physical address under your ad. This is very ideal for local businesses such as therapy clinics and you should absolutely include this extension in your ads.
    Google Ads Location extensions
  3. Call: Displays your phone number in the actual text of the ad on desktop devices. On mobile devices, this extension adds a button that says “click to call” for users who see your ad. This extension is particularly useful for therapy clinics and will aid in driving new patients to your practice.
    Google Ads call extensions
  4. Message: Similar to call extensions, message extensions allow the user to contact you directly from your ad. Instead of calling you, the user can send you a message or email directly. This can be a good alternative to call extensions if you find that your patients are more likely to text than call.
    Google Ads Message extension
  5. Callout: Highlights certain key aspects of your company in your ad. This extension is great for emphasizing a sale, feature, or the quality of your products or service. This extension attracts more attention from searchers and is a great opportunity to highlight why consumers should choose your business.
    Google Ads callout extension


2. Choosing the Right Keywords

Google Ads keyword match types


After creating your first campaign, the next step is to choose which keywords you want to target for your ads. Keywords research is essential to understanding which keywords are going to be the most effective. I’m going to teach you the different keyword match types that will remove unwanted traffic and increase conversions for your ads. When conducting keyword research for your ads, it’s important to understand the keyword match types:

  1. Broad Match
  2. Broad Match Modified
  3. Exact Match
  4. Phrase Match
  5. Negative Broad Match

Broad Match Keywords

Broad match keywords are the default match group when you create a keyword in a Google Ads group. These types of keywords will generally attract the most clicks and impressions of all the match types. Broad match keywords are a great way to discover new keyword ideas but should be used with caution. If not utilized correctly, they can cause you to spend a lot of money very quickly on clicks that aren’t valuable.

Broad match keywords allow you to spend less time building keyword lists for your ads. This strategy is particularly useful with larger budgets and can be very powerful when used with extensive negative keyword lists. Broad match keywords showcase your ads on searches for terms that are similar to your keyword. For example, a broad match keyword of “therapy clinics” may show your ad for keywords such as local therapy clinics, best therapy clinics, therapy clinic reviews, etc.

These keywords will save you time when researching all variants of a specific keyword. Using these keywords will make your ads appear in a variety of variations depending on what your audience is searching for. If you have a larger budget, they can be a great way to find which keywords work the best and which ones you should use as negative keywords.

Broad Match Modified Keywords

Broad match modified keywords are a great way to discover new keyword ideas while having more control over totally irrelevant queries. These keywords are great for discovering new ideas and allow you to use the “+” symbol to cut out related terms and synonyms. Keep in mind that these keywords can still generate a lot of bad clicks for irrelevant keywords. Negative keywords are still essential to use with broad match modified keywords!

Broad match modified keywords will provide you an improved click-through rate compared to broad match keywords. They will also have a lower cost per click than exact match keywords. Here is an example of a broad match modified keyword:

Example: +Therapy +Clinic = “Therapeutic Clinics”

Exact Match Keywords

Exact Match keywords use brackets [] to ensure that your ad will only show for searches that contain your exact keyword. It will only show your ad for the exact keyword in brackets, not any additional words or phrases added or removed from it. Unlike broad match and broad match modified, exact match keywords do not need to have negative keywords associated with them.

Exact match keywords generally produce the highest click-through rate and cost per click of any keyword type. Keep in mind when using exact match keywords misspellings and singular/plural forms can show your ad.

Example: Exact Match Keyword: “Therapy Clinic”

Potential Searches:

  • Therapy Clinic = Would Show
  • Therapy Clinics = Would Show
  • Local Therapy Clinic = Would Not Show

Phrase Match Keywords

Phrase match keywords use quotation marks (“”) to show your ad only for searches containing your exact keyword, close variants, and additional words or phrases before or after your keyword. You should exercise caution when using these keywords as they can still generate a lot of bad clicks for search queries that are irrelevant to your ad. With phrase match keywords you gain more control over your search terms.

They are less unpredictable than broad match and broad match modified keywords. They are a great way for you to discover new keyword ideas without spending money as quickly as broad match keywords. Using these types of keywords will generally provide you better click-through rates than broad match modified keywords. They also generally have a lower cost per click than exact match keywords. Remember that you still need to use negative keywords with phrase keywords to use your ad spend efficiently.

Example: Phrase Match Keyword: “Local Therapy Clinics”

Potential Searches:

  • Local Therapy Clinics = Would Show
  • Local Therapy Clinic Consultation = Would Show
  • Schedule Therapy Clinic Consultation = Would Not Show

Negative Broad Match Keywords

Negative match keywords are essential in optimizing your ads for peak efficiency. They exclude your ads from showing for any irrelevant keywords that you choose. By putting a “-” symbol in front of the term you want to exclude, you can add it to the negative match list. It’s important to note that these keywords do not include close variants such as misspellings and plural forms.

Negative keywords are what allow broad match, broad match modified, and exact match keywords to be effective. You should absolutely use negative keywords in your ad groups to exclude keywords that don’t perform well or are irrelevant to your ad.

Example: Negative Match Keyword: “Local Therapeutic Program”

Potential Searches:

  • Local Therapeutic Program = Would Not Show
  • Therapeutic Program = Would Not Show
  • Therapy Program = Would Show
  • Therapeutic Clinic = Would Show


3. Creating Ad Groups

Google Ad groups

Once you have created lists of the keywords you want to target with your ads, the next step is creating ad groups. Ad groups are a great way for you to organize your ads by the different themes that they encompass. Creating ad groups for your campaign is an important aspect that controls keyword and ad association.

When creating ad groups for your campaign, we recommend a maximum 5-7 ad groups for each of your campaigns. It’s important to think about who your audience is and who you are trying to target. Having specific keywords for each ad group can help a lot with the overall organization of your campaign. We recommend setting a maximum of 20 keywords and creating around 2-3 ads for each group.

After deciding on what the name for your ad group will be, you have the option of setting a default bid. The default bid is the max CPC you are willing to spend for your ad group. If you separate your ad groups based on specific keywords, this would be how much you think the keyword is worth for you.

Google Ad Group Keywords

Next, you have the option of adding in your keyword lists at the ad group level. Any ads you create for this ad group will already be targeting the keywords that you insert here.


4. Creating Your Therapy Clinic Text Ads

Creating captivating ads is crucial if you want your Google Ads campaign to be successful. Efficient ad copy should compel the user to click your advertisement. I’m going to provide you with guidelines and examples that you can follow to create text ads that will drive more patients to your therapy clinic.

Structure of Google Text Ads

Google text ads appear in search results for users who are browsing your selected keywords. Below you can see the framework for a Google Text Ad and how it appears for a user who is searching Google.

Google Text Ad Structure

Headlines 1-3

Google Ads Headlines

When creating your headlines, keep in mind that there is a 30 character limit per headline.  There is also a symbol separating each one, as shown in the photo above. Understand that most consumers will decide if they click on your ad based on its headlines. When consumers are searching google and look at ads, they often skim over most of the results. This reason is why it is so important to have compelling headlines for your text ads.

When you are googling and come across an ad or search results, do you read every word that is presented in the ad? The answer is most likely not. Don’t wait to showcase your selling point until the description of your ad. Often consumers will click ads first and then learn more about you from your landing page. This is a more recent consumer trend where they prefer to learn information on the landing page instead of the ad’s description. You are paying for a temporary better SERP position, so don’t let your money go to waste with bad headlines!

In your headlines, you want to include relevant terms that viewers would search and click. Some examples of potential headlines for your therapy clinic ads could be “Best Therapy Clinic”, “Top Rated Therapy Specialists”, “Award Winning Therapy Clinic”

Display Path 1 & 2

The display paths on your Google Text ad are URLs that are simply for show. The display URLs are used to describe to the viewer, where the final URL will direct them after clicking your ad. You are allowed up to 15 characters for each display path that you use in your ad.

Google Ads Display Paths

The maximum display paths you can have per ad is 2. For the first path, you can describe the main page. For example, if you provide many different services you could write “services”. For the second path if your ad is to book an appointment for a service you could write “appointment”.

Description 1 & 2

Google Ads Descriptions

When writing your descriptions you are allowed up to 90 characters each. Keep in mind that when your ad is displayed in Google searches, usually only one description will appear at a time. There is a small chance that both descriptions can be shown at the same time however, this almost always doesn’t happen.

Each description should be viewed as it’s own miniature advertisement. With your description 1 appearing the majority of the time, it should feature your key selling point to patients. Description 1 should convince viewers why they should book an appointment with you today. You should save additional supporting information for description 2.

If you want to learn more, we recommend checking out our guide on How to Create Successful Google Text Ads.

Final URL

The final URL is where you want the viewers of your ad to go after they click on your ad. This URL should take viewers to the main landing page you create for your ad. It’s important that you set the final URL to your landing page as this is where they will hopefully sign up for an appointment with your therapy clinic. Make sure you set the correct URL link and that everything on your landing page is relevant to your advertisement.

Request a Manual Review of Your Ads

Once you have finished creating your ad, you need to get it approved by Google. I’m going to show you how you can expedite the process of getting your Google ads approved by requesting a manual review. After you have saved your new ad, start by going to the Google Ads Approval Request page.

Google Ads Manual Review

You are going to fill out a request form to expedite the approval process and have your ad manually reviewed. Start by filling out your name and email you would like to be contacted by Google. Then put in the account email and customer ID that is associated with your Google Ads account.

Google Ads Manual Approval

After entering your account info, answer a couple of questions about the ad you created. When writing the summary of the issue, say something along the lines of:

We put in some new ads for our therapy clinic that are important and very time-sensitive. We would really appreciate it if you get a chance to approve these ads at the top of your workload. Thank you so much.

After you submit, expect to be contacted by Google shortly after. By going through this manual review process, you will find that your ads will get approved much faster.


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