I blog about this a bit, and I talk about this in general for website marketing (beyond Google Adwords for therapists and marriage educators), but I can not state this clear enough:
Website traffic is ultimately about people seeking something online. That SOMETHING is crucial to where you put your marketing money.
Is the “something” simply looking for Dear Abby type advice? (A huge percentage of web traffic.)
Is the “something” people researching diagnosis or treatments for a label they’ve been given? This is important. If a therapist labels a client with a DSM diagnosis, the chances are really high the client will seek more information online even if the therapist does everything she can to explain what it is, how treatment works, etc. Let’s say you’re a therapist who also works with those types of clients with that diagnosis. You are paying about $1.50 per click for people seeking help with that diagnosis. Client goes off to find more information, sees your ad, and clicks on it to learn more. They are never going to sign up with you because they already have a therapist, and you just spent $1.50.
Obviously you can’t control every click spent, but the more closely to think through who you are trying to attract, the more you set up your Adwords in ways that prevent what we call “non-converting” words, the less wasted money you will spend. An example of this is when I was working on my husbands therapy account, he had words like:
advice (not as likely to convert as someone seeking actual therapy or counseling and using those words)
religious or gender terms that he doesn’t work with… (he had some womens relationship term and he doesn’t focus on female stuff nor would that female likely be seeking a male therapist for her issues!)
What you do is make those terms “negative” keywords, so when those types of searches are done, Google NEVER displays your ad. This will save you a lot of money!