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.

Three Criteria for Judging Keywords for a Law Firm SEO Campaign

With regards to search engine marketing, targeting the correct keywords is vitally important. One mistake that many businesses, including law firms, make is that they pick an arbitrary keyword or two that they think they should rank for and concentrate their efforts (or the efforts of people they hire) in ranking for that keyword. Don’t make that mistake.

On the other end of the spectrum, some businesses or firms want their web site top-ranked for every possible relevant keyword. Don’t do that, either.

So just what do you do? Let research guide your decisions, and pick keywords that meet three specific criteria.

For any potential keyword, judge its effectiveness based on the following three criteria:

1. Relevance. Relevance refers to how closely the keyword is related to the subject of a web site and the content on a particular page of the site. You want to target keywords with a high degree of relevance.

As an example, if a law firm in Miami has a page on its web site about maritime accidents, then a good keyword for that page might be “Miami maritime accident lawyer.”

2. Search volume. The more search traffic there is for a particular keyword, the more potential traffic the keyword could drive to your web site.

3. Competition. Keywords that have fewer competing web sites offer the opportunity to get your site ranked quicker.

So the three major criteria for any keyword you are considering targeting is relevance, traffic and competition. You will have to use some judgment for the relevance component, but you know your business better than anyone – you know when something is not relevant. Google’s external AdWords keyword tool, found at https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal, is one of the best sources of finding competitive data. The competition criterion can be based on a couple of things: either the number of results of a Google search for the keyword surrounded by quotes; or the number of results of an “allintitle:” search for the keyword in Google.

So to begin creating your target keyword list, start by using the AdWords external keyword tool referenced above, eliminating the ones that are not relevant, and then ranking them by search volume. Then highlight the ones that are not overly competitive (less than 1,000 competing sites is good). Your highlighted keywords at this point are your best bet for generating targeted organic search engine traffic in a reasonable amount of time. Your chance of ranking for those keywords, and thus generating visits to your web site, is excellent.

Check back here often for more law firm internet marketing strategies. If you need some help today, contact Work Media at 888-299-4837 or email Info@WorkMedia.net.