5 Tips for Running Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ads for ABA Companies

Maximizing return on investment (ROI) for Google pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaigns is crucial for clinic growth and reaching as many potential clients as possible. Google PPC ads can be powerful tools acquire more patients. And unlike search engine optimization campaigns, the timeline for seeing results from strong PPC ads is much shorter.

Here are 6 strategies that you ABA clinic can implement to improve the ROI of your ad campaigns.

1. Leverage Google Ads Extensions for Enhanced Visibility

Google Ads extensions are the additional tidbits of information that appear in sponsored Google results. These extensions provide extra information, options, or interactive elements that help make your ads more engaging and informative for people who see them. The most useful extensions that may suit the purpose of an ABA company website will likely be sitelink extensions, call extensions, location extensions, and callout extensions.

a. Sitelink extensions – These allow you to include extra links within your ad that direct users to specific pages on your website. These links appear at the bottom of your PPC search result link. This helps guide users to relevant information more easily, increasing the chances that prospective families will visit your website and choose your clinic.

For ABA companies, the best links to provide should be resources on your website such as contact information, accepted insurance providers, locations, or your about page.

Here is an example of a simple sitelink extension for the company Catalyst Behavior Solutions in Dallas, TX. This PPC ad appears when searching for the keyword “ABA therapy Dallas.”

b. Call extensions – Call extensions display your company’s phone number within your ad, making it easier for potential customers to contact you directly from the search results page. This can lead to more inquiries and conversions.

For clinics with multiple locations and as a result multiple phone numbers. it is important to divide your campaigns into separate areas for each location you serve. For example, if you are a Texas-based company with a clinic in San Antonio and a clinic in Austin then you will need to create two sets of PPC campaigns. This will ensure that potential clients are contacting the clinic that matches their location.

c. Location extensions – Location extensions place your address and/or service area at the bottom of your ad. This extension can be useful in showing users that your services are local to them.

d. Callout extensions – Callout extensions appear as additional lines of text in your ad and can be used to provide more context about your clinic to potential clients. These extensions are meant to highlight unique selling points of your clinic. Callout extensions for an ABA clinic may be qualities such as “Spaces Available Now,” “Personalized Treatment Plans,” or “Flexible Scheduling.”

Here is an example of an ad using callout extensions. The “Free shipping”, “24-7 customer service”, and “Price matching” texts are callout extensions that clearly informs consumers of their selling points.

2. Optimize Ad Scheduling and Geo-Targeting

Ad scheduling helps ensure your ads appear during peak hours when your target audience is most active, while geo-targeting ensures your ads are displayed to users within your service area.

a. Ad scheduling: Determine the days and times when your target audience is most likely to search for ABA services and schedule your ads accordingly to increase their visibility during peak hours.

  • Identifying Peak Hours: Analyze historical data from Google Ads and Google Analytics to determine the days and times when your target audience is most likely to search for ABA services. Key metrics to consider include impressions, click-through rates (CTRs), and conversions.

  • Dayparting: Divide your ad scheduling into specific time periods, or dayparts, to target users during peak hours. For example, you may find that parents searching for ABA services are most active during weekday evenings and weekends. Adjust your ad schedule accordingly to maximize visibility during these periods.

b. Geo-targeting: Use Google Ads’ location targeting feature to display your ads to users in specific geographic areas where your services are available. This ensures your ads are reaching potential clients within your service area.

  • Determine the specific geographic locations where your ABA company provides services. This can include cities, zip codes, or even custom radius targeting around your business location. This information will help you set up accurate geo-targeting in Google Ads.

  • Location Targeting in Google Ads: Use the location targeting feature in Google Ads to display your ads to users within your defined service area. This ensures your ads reach potential clients who are searching for ABA services within the locations you serve.

  • Create ad copy that is tailored to specific locations, highlighting the availability of your ABA services in those areas. This can help your ads resonate better with potential clients and improve overall ad performance.

3. Utilize Responsive Search Ads (RSAs)

Responsive search ads (RSAs) are an effective tool for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) companies to maximize their return on ROI in your Google PPC campaigns. RSAs automatically combine multiple headlines and descriptions through machine learning to optimize ad performance by displaying the most relevant combinations to users. As of 2021, these are the default style of ads for PPC Google ads. Knowing how to utilize this will provide invaluable help for your marketing efforts.

Develop Compelling Headlines and Descriptions

  • Emotional Appeal: Craft headlines and descriptions that evoke emotions and address the concerns of parents or caregivers seeking ABA services. Highlight the positive impact of ABA therapy on a child’s life and how it can help them achieve their full potential.

  • Highlight Expertise: Showcase your ABA company’s credentials, experience, and success stories to build trust and credibility with your target audience.

  • Address Common Concerns: Address common concerns of parents or caregivers, such as affordability, availability, or treatment plans. This can help alleviate potential barriers to considering your services.

  • Include a Call-to-Action: Encourage users to take action by including a clear call-to-action (CTA) in your descriptions, such as “Schedule a Consultation” or “Learn More About Our Services.”

Utilize Dynamic Keyword Insertion

  • Research Relevant Keywords: Identify high-traffic, relevant keywords that your target audience is likely to use when searching for ABA services. Utilize tools like Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush to find keywords that are high in search traffic.

  • Implement DKI in Headlines: Implement dynamic keyword insertion (DKI) in your headlines to automatically include users’ search queries, making your ads more relevant and personalized.

4. Monitor and Optimize Quality Score

Google Ads uses a metric called Quality Score to evaluate the relevance and quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages. The best analogy that I’ve ran across for Google’s Quality Score is the comparison to your credit score. Just as your credit score influences your interest rates and loan amounts, your Google Quality Score will influence the cost of your PPC ads and how well they will perform. A higher Quality Score can lead to lower costs and better ad positioning. ABA companies should monitor and optimize their Quality Score by:

a. Emphasize Relevance – Relevance is one of the key attributes that Google uses to determine if your ads. Ensuring ad copy is relevant to the keywords being targeted and addresses the needs of potential clients searching for ABA services. Try to incorporate the main keywords within your ad headlines and descriptions to make it easier for potential families to identify the connection between the search query and your ad.

If you are targeting the keyword “ABA therapy Chicago”, then your ad headline and description should look similar to the following:

Headline: “Top ABA Therapy in Chicago – Transform Your Child’s Life”

Description: “Expert ABA therapists in Chicago helping children with autism thrive. Schedule a free consultation today!”

b. Optimize Your Landing Page – Sticking the landing is not just sound advice for gymnasts. In order for your PPC ads to payoff, your landing page should be well-developed to ensure that searchers stay on your page and ultimately sign-up for your services.

Simply put, a landing page is a standalone web page on your site that is designed to receive and engage visitors from specific marketing campaigns (in this case our PPC ad campaign), with a focus on encouraging visitors to take immediate action. A good landing page will provide the visitor with clear information and will pose a call-to-action such as “schedule a consultation” or “sign up for a free tour of our facility”. Well constructed landing pages can be one of the main driving forces in growing your clinic.

c. Test, Test, and Test Again – Launching PPC ad campaigns should be a very fluid process. You should navigate your ad campaigns based on the data that is being provided to you. If your ads are showing low Google Quality Scores, then you should change up your copywriting or try a different keyword. Or maybe your ads are performing well, but the CTR once visitors come to your site is paltry. In this case, you’d want to focus on testing out different landing pages.

That is the beauty of PPC marketing: the market provides us with real-time feedback that can be used to improve your ads.

5. Use Negative Keywords to Refine Ad Targeting

Negative keywords are a crucial component of Google Ads campaigns that help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your marketing efforts. They are specific words or phrases that you add to your campaign to prevent your ads from being displayed when users search for those terms. Negative keywords act as a filter to exclude irrelevant search queries stopping them from being viewed by searchers that would be disinterested in your site. Using these are important to reduce the cost of PPC ad campaigns and improve the relevance factor for your ads.

For example, let’s say you have recently started your clinic and you already have a full staff on deck. If your sole intent is patient acquisition, then you would not want your ads to be delivered to searchers looking for RBT or BCBA jobs. In this case, you might add “ABA jobs” as a negative keyword to prevent your ads from showing up when people search for those terms. This method will your ads to be more likely to reach users who are genuinely interested in your ABA services, leading to higher click-through rates and conversions.

Using negative keywords effectively helps you save on ad spend by preventing wasted clicks on irrelevant searches. It also improves your ad relevance, which can lead to better ad quality scores, lower costs per click, and ultimately, a higher return on investment (ROI) for your marketing campaigns.

Examples of Negative Keywords

  • “ABA Software” – If your ABA company focuses solely on providing therapy services and doesn’t offer any software or tools, including “ABA software” as a negative keyword would prevent your ads from appearing in searches related to ABA tools or software products. This ensures that your ads reach users who are specifically looking for therapy services.

  • “ABA Jobs” – People searching for “ABA jobs” are likely seeking employment opportunities in the ABA field, not the services you offer. By adding “ABA jobs” as a negative keyword, you ensure that your ads don’t appear for job seekers, saving your ad spend for more relevant searches.

Maximizing ROI for ABA companies through Google PPC ad campaigns requires a targeted approach that incorporates Google Ads extensions, ad scheduling and geo-targeting, smart bidding strategies, responsive search ads, quality score optimization, negative keywords, and performance tracking. By implementing these strategies, ABA companies can effectively connect with their target audience, drive conversions, and grow their business.


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