[SPOILER ALERT/ ADWORDS LOCATION TIP:  Sometimes it is a good idea to run Google ads in distant cities. Really.]

First,  let’s look at your location options in AdWords..

Log in to AdWords

Pick An AdWords  Search Campaign

Go To Settings

Click On The Blue “Additional Settings” Option (those sneaky Google guys have sort of hidden these settings!)

You will see the following options…


Option A: People in, or who show interest in, your targeted locations (recommended)

Option B: People in your targeted locations

Option C: People searching for your targeted locations

Many dentists or (not so great dentist AdWords managers) might think option B is the best option for a dental practice. We think dentist practices should go with Google’s recommendation of Option A.  We’ll explain more soon.

Dentists Should Target Local Patients in AdWords (Duh!) 

Google AdWords is an awesome tool to help dentists increase patient volume for their dental practice.  Part of the reason AdWords is so awesome is that the PPC system allows dentists to target prospective dental patients in a very specific area.   A dentist knows a brand new patient is unlikely to drive a long distance for dental help if there is a dental practice that is closer and can help with same dental procedures. So, it is just common sense that dentists should focus on dental patients who are nearby.

Dentists Can Target Cities & Neighborhoods With AdWords

AdWords allows a dental practice to target specific cities and even allows a dental practice to target a radius around a location.    Both AdWords strategies are great for bidding on generic keywords like dentist, dental implants or teeth whitening.  Only want to advertise to the good people of Akron, Ohio? Your dental practice should target the specific city of Akron.  Only want to run Google ads in specific neighborhoods in Akron? Your dental practice should target a specific radius.  You can learn more about targetting specific locations directly from Google. Target Ads To Geographic Locations 

How About A Non-Local IP Address From A Local Searcher?

Often times, a very local wifi connection might be corporate run and provide an IP address that is far from your dental practice.  Next time you are in Starbucks, Panarea or some other place with free wifi scroll down to the bottom of your browser and check to see where Google thinks you are located.  Now, check to see if your local ads are running in this local establishment. (cell phone connections also often provide an IP address location that is not accurate)

How About Location Specific Searches From Out Of Town? 

Searchers are becoming much savvier and will often provide Google with clues in their search terms so they can get more refined search results.  For instance, a Google searcher might search for “Dental Implants, Akron OH” or “Dental Implants 44223”.  In either case, you might want to show your Google ad even if the search is coming from a far off place like a beach in Florida.   That person searching might be on vacation and might be simply using some free time to finally find a dentist for when they are back home in sunny Akron.

How To Set Up ‘Out Of Town’ AdWords Ads

By selecting Option A (above) “People in, or who show interest in, your targeted locations (recommended)” – you will be able to ensure people with “out of town” IP addresses still see your ads under the right circumstances.  As long you are closely watching and optimizing conversions, this is should be a good idea for your dental practice.  You will be able to show your ad to people who show interest in your location.  Example: Person works in Boston and searches for ‘Boston dentist’ from their home in Concord, MA. Bingo, your dentist ad shows.

Keep An Eye On Where Searches Are Originating

Of course, there are a whole bunch of other weird reasons why someone who is not a prospective patient might be searching for a dentist in Akron. Maybe a dental SEO company or some other vendor looking for your business is searching for Akron dentists? You would not want those particular Google ad clicks obviously.

So, you need to be careful and test to see what is working. You need to test to see what is actually get you conversions. (new dental patients, form fills, phone calls) If using AdWords “out of your area” works, keep improving and do more.

Uncompetitive AdWords Dental Searches

The beautiful thing about advertising “out of your local area” is your competitors might not be advertising there.  This means you can get lower AdWords bid prices and better ad placement for clicks and dental patients.  You can find clicks (patients) your competitors won’t find.

Sick of AdWords for dentists?  Want to grow your dental practice with Dental SEO.  Check out our free eBook.  Dental SEO Tips – Free Instant eBook

ConversionSmiles is a dental PPC company. 

Learn More About AdWords Location Setting In This Video From Google…