Google’s New Policy for Drug-related AdWords Ads

We have a client for whom we created a custom landing page with its own domain name to go along with a new AdWords campaign related to a particular drug. We have successfully used this strategy a number of times in the past, but this time we noticed that Google was not displaying our ads. After inquiring as to the problem, we discovered that Google has a new policy regarding campaigns for drug lawsuits.

AdWords campaigns for drugs must now have ads that only point directly to the law firm’s web site, or a standalone site that does not link or redirect to another site. In this particular legal marketing campaign, our landing page had links to the main firm’s site. If we understand the rules correctly, the site would be acceptable if it did not link to our client’s main site. We will let you know more about this rule when we figure out exactly what the deal is. But in the meantime, if you are running paid search ads for drug cases, they should probably link to your main site.

Using Paid Search to Promote Your Law Firm? Watch Your Capital P’s & Q’s

There are many things about the Google AdWords platform that I just don’t understand – things that seem to make it harder for the advertiser to maximize the performance of his campaigns. One example of this is the way the AdWords program treats keywords with capital letters. The same keyword can be considered distinct if it is typed with different capitalization. Here is an example:

law firm marketing

Law Firm Marketing

These two words would be considered different keywords. This may not seem all that significant, but we have found that Google seems to favor keywords that are all lower case by awarding them with higher quality scores. So if you have two versions of the same keyword, you may be charged a higher click cost because of a lower quality score. Can I guarantee this will happen? Nope. But why take chances? Especially when you are dealing with an expensive advertising category like legal services.

Another problem with having multiple versions of the same keywords in your ad groups is that your AdWords account can become needlessly unmanageable. Accounts that are fine-tuned to the best (and smallest) set of keywords are much easier to manage.

This is just one example of how something that seems very insignificant can have an impact on your overall paid search account performance. It is important to pay attention to the details. The difference between a quality score of 5 and a quality score of 10 can represent a significant amount of money that could be used to acquire more leads for your law firm.

Got questions? Feel free to contact Work Media at 888-299-4837 or email Info@WorkMedia.net.

A Keyword Lesson: Eggs in One Basket Can Be a Good Thing

For many paid search advertisers, including law firms, 2009 was somewhat of a difficult year due to increased competition for paid search traffic and poor economic conditions; i.e., more advertisers chasing fewer customers.

There is one client of ours with whom we have taken a fairly radical approach. And that is that we are now only bidding on four keywords. I’m really not a big fan of bidding on so few keyword, but looking backward, I can see that if we had concentrated our client’s budget in 2009 on that very small set of keywords, our performance would have been substantially better.

Should we go down to a single keyword? In theory, if you place all of your budget on the number one performing keyword, then all else equal, you will maximize the performance of your paid search account, up to the point where you run out of traffic. So there’s one problem with this strategy. It is best employed in a limited budget situation.

If you have $10 thousand to spend, but bidding on a single or very few keywords only soaks up $1 thousand of your budget, there are likely many more opportunities you could be exploiting by spreading your budget around. But if you only have $1 thousand to start with, then spending the entire $1 thousand on a single keyword makes sense if it provides the best return on your investment.

Another problem is that if you’re all in on a single keyword and conditions change such that the keyword’s performance declines, your overall account performance will decline right along with it. So in our case, I don’t see us dropping to a single keyword. We will stick with the four keyword basket, but you better believe if we start to see a trend of declining performance, we will open up some other keywords.

I guess the core lesson here is the importance of allocating your budget so that more of your budget is consumed by keywords that provide the best return for your advertising dollars. The only way to do that is by carefully examining your historical keyword performance. One caveat is that keyword performance can be affected by where your ads are positioned, so your analysis will be most accurate if your ad positioning is relatively steady across keywords.

Paid search management sometimes requires some imagination, and it definitely requires a watchful eye. Work Media has a lot of experience in the field of search engine marketing, and we’re pretty dang good at it. We would welcome the opportunity to work with you. Contact us at 888-299-4837 or email info@workmedia.net.

The Law Firm Internet Marketing Book

Our BRAND NEW book, The Law Firm Internet Marketing Book, is now available for purchase on the following page:

http://law-firm-internet-marketing.net/the-law-firm-internet-marketing-book.asp

This book is written specifically for people who promote and market law firms. It compresses everything we know into a tight, cohesive law firm Internet marketing plan that incorporates MANY different elements: SEO, PPC, social networking, blogging, etc.

Currently, it is only for sale via digital download in PDF format, but in a couple of weeks it will be for sale on Amazon.com for those of you who prefer a hard copy.

Some of the topics covered by the book include:

  • Keyword research to identify the keywords that people are using to search for the legal services you offer.

  • On-page optimization to rank highly for your target keywords.
  • How to use blogs and the SEO content cycle to create huge amounts of content to link to your site.
  • Using social networking sites like Squidoo and StumbleUpon to promote your web site.
  • Using social bookmarking sites to improve search rankings.
  • Creating your own informational site to guide the search engines to links you want them to find.
  • How to create XML sitemaps to make sure the search engines find all of your web pages.
  • How to perform keyword research specifically for pay per click.
  • How to manage your pay per click accounts to generate the maximum number of leads for your marketing dollars.
  • How to write pay per click ads and landing pages that get results.
  • Specific pay per click strategies for Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, and Microsoft adCenter.
  • How all the pieces of search engine marketing fit together.

This is a book based on real-world strategies that Work Media uses to promote our clients.

Using Pay per Click to Split-Test Web Site Designs

If you’ve read many of our blog posts or articles, you know one of our principle tenets is that it is impossible to predict user behavior, so the only way to know what web site design will generate the most leads for your firm is to test them. Paid search makes this process easy.

Using pay per click ads, you can send an equal amount of traffic to two different landing pages, each with a different design, to measure the performance of each one. For this to work, each landing page needs its own form or other conversion event in order to be able to generate a conversion rate with which to compare the two pages.

For example, let’s say you do this and generate the following data:

Landing Page 1Conversion Rate: 1.45%
Landing Page 2Conversion Rate: .63%

In this case, landing page 1 has a much better conversion rate, so it has the more effective design. You could continue this process, testing this page against other designs, or just go ahead and declare the design a winner and use it for your entire site. This is invaluable information that will greatly improve the performance of your online marketing.

Google Automatic Matching for Law Firms

Google just released a new feature for AdWords that is in beta trials called automatic matching. This could be useful for your the promotion of your law firm’s web site if you are not maxing out your budget every month.

The feature is intended to help you capture traffic that you may have missed because you didn’t have certain keywords in your account. It works by analyzing your account and displaying your ads for keywords that Google deems relevant, even if you have not specified to show ads for those keywords.

The amount of traffic your existing keywords receive is not supposed to be affected. So if you already spend all of your budget, then the feature probably won’t have any affect on your account. However, the pay per click market for legal terms is very expensive, so this might be a good way to get some additional traffic by letting Google automatically manage any budget that may be left over.

Google wants you to spend every dollar of your budget, so this is certainly helpful for Google because it helps the company maximize its revenue.

But is it good for law firm advertisers?

It depends. I would certainly not recommend increasing your budget just to let Google manage some of it for you. If the economics of your account are working in your favor, then it probably won’t make much difference. But if you are in a very expensive market (as most legal markets tend to be), then it might be a way to generate some additional targeted traffic.

The following links contain more information about pay per click placement:

http://hubpages.com/hub/placing-ppc-ads

http://placing-ppc-ads.tumblr.com/