Pay per click – nifty tricks and tips

by Five Fantastic Lawyers™ on March 28, 2013

Guest post from a tech-savvy lawyer in the UK.

Pay per click, especially via google adwords, tends to polarize those who are for or against it.

Some argue, with legitimacy, that ppc is not trusted as much as the organic results, and our own experience at Lloyd Green, when it comes to legal searches, does broadly tend to agree with that.

Others are against ppc because it is somewhat prone to game playing. It is a well known tactic in some competitive niches for competitors and their affiliates to deliberately click on competitors ads to drain their budget and waste the resource.

In other legal search results areas, ppc is incredibly competitive and expensive – believe it or not, for a significant number of the most competitive keywords for injury compensation, well over 100, to get into the top 3 ppc results on the google page may cost over £30.00 a click and often significantly more. That means you need a big budget and only a fool would not want to track and record the results of that kind of marketing. Things may change very quickly after the personal injury reforms kick in next month which will radically impact the lucrative personal injury market.

So, many would say that ppc is an expensive waste of time and money and resource better allocated to working on organic search engine optimisation.

But hang on, there are some uses which may not be obvious ?

There are some ways that ppc can be effective, even if you don’t think it works in the traditional way described above. Here are a few popular ones :-

  1. Bid on a lot of very cheap and (perhaps) obscure keywords – you may not be looking for clicks, you may only be looking to get impressions (that is to say your name seen in results). This kind of strategy can be useful for brand building and raising profile. The more your name is seen in google results the more it gets known and this can be a cheap way of doing it
  2. Bidding on your competitors name – where a competitor has good brand recognition, some people use their ppc account to put their firm’s name and advert in the ppc results above their competitors, again as a way of competing and raising profile. Branded ppc searches are often very cheap which is why this tactic is perhaps more widespread than you might think. However, note the ethical and legal issues surrounding this approach.
  3. Double bubble – if your firm comes up for an important keyword or search term high in the organic results, you may also want to be seen in the ppc results, both to shut out a competitor, and to re-emphasise that you are the go to webpage for that topic. The searcher may, subliminally, pick up that your firm’s name appears twice on the page, and even if your organic result is, say number 5, but your ppc ad is number 1, you may get the click instead of the results at 1-4 in the organic part.
  4. Adwords does not just include google, you can get very cheap ads on a number of other websites via an adwords account – carefully targeting your ads on sites which deal with topics you are looking to leverage can be relatively cheap and very effective.
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