Google Adwords vs Facebook Ads – What Dental Specialists Need To Know For New Patient Marketing

google adwords vs facebook ads

More and more dental specialists are researching different ways to boost their new patient numbers as they continue to see their dental referrals decline. One of the most frequently asked questions I get is about using the web for help. Specifically regarding the use of google adwords vs facebook ads. We have been using both Google and Facebook to boost our internet presence with regards to dental implants. Here’s what we’ve found…

Marketing Expert

One of the best Google and Facebook marketers is Perry Marshall. He gives a great analogy of the “mindset” of someone searching in Google vs using Facebook. Here’s an example that pertains to us…

Consider someone searching Google for terms such as:

  • cost of dental implants
  • implants vs bridge
  • best implant dentist

That particular person is in a very different state of mind than someone who is using Facebook. Perry Marshall uses this analogy by comparing Facebook to the big house in the corner of town square. This house is sitting in a spot where several other roads intersect which take people to church, the local tavern and popular market place. This is what he considers is Facebook. Got it?

This is a big, friendly place where neighbors can pass by and wave to grandma and grandpa rocking on the porch drinking iced tea. Ahhhhh, the good ole days.

google adwords vs facebook ads

He explains that what most people do on Facebook when they advertise, would be no different than that person sitting in their rocking chair, yelling at the people who walk by in town, “Hey, do you want to buy something?” This isn’t the type of conversation that you should have on Facebook without warming the person up first, right?


Let’s now consider the consumer who’s using Facebook versus one that’s on Google. These two should paint a very different psychographic set of criteria on what it is you’re trying to achieve with whom. And so now, if we think about who might actually interact with something on Facebook in that state of mind they’re in, which is usually reading news, perusing their friend’s updates, or maybe interacting with a couple of brands they like. If it’s a mom, maybe that’s a cosmetic company she likes, or a food or exercise brand she uses. But the rest really is all about mindless thumbing through:

  • photos
  • videos
  • updates from friends

No different than walking through town & waving to people on the porch.

Realize this when developing your marketing ideas. You’ve got to give that person a REASON to come up to the white picket fence and talk for a minute. If they do that, then maybe, as in Perry’s example, they realize that there’s some nice looking pottery on the porch. Then that person comes to realize the owner of the house not only makes but also sells the pottery. And they’re NOT yelling from the porch, “Come over and buy our pottery!” Make sense?

The Principle

The principle this boils down to is the people on Google versus the ones on Facebook are in a totally different state of mind. If someone is scrolling through their newsfeed in Facebook or Instagram, they might stop and look at a local restaurant and say, “Now that’s really cool. Maybe we’ll go there for drinks & appetizers tonight.”

But, the person who’s searching for, “Chinese food near me” is in a totally different position. They’re getting ready to go out and sit down or call and get a reservation at a restaurant versus someone going through the newsfeeds only.

What’s In It For Me?

What’s in it for me (WIIFM) is the new phrase. Another words, “it’s all about the patient.” The more we test our online marketing, the more we realize that things need to be constantly updated. For instance, in the past, giving someone a free downloadable report on Facebook such as, “10 Things You Need To Know About Your Implant Dentist” would get downloaded like crazy. It still works well on your website and Google because they are ACTIVELY searching for this particular information. Not so on Facebook.

Facebook’s recent trouble caused many advertisers to flee. By doing so, we’ve noticed the cost to advertise on their platform has dropped considerably.

Bottom line, it’s NEVER going to be any cheaper to acquire patients on Facebook than today.

CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, recently waged war against YouTube. He stated that he wants to be THE go to video platform. Facebook wants more video content. So you’ve got to make sure you have videos on your page now more than ever.


Consumers these days LOVE to be told things about themselves. Why do you think so many of them post crap on Facebook? They want a response. They want attention. They want others to tell them things about themselves. Consider creating items for them to download that gives them more “what’s in it for them” info.

The SmileDirectClub is having great success offering a free Smile Assessment – See if you qualify for at-home aligners on their Facebook page. What type of assessment could you create regarding dental implants? Knowing this information BEFORE you hire a marketing company will give you better results + provide more dollars in your pocket.


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