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.

Interactive Flash Ads Made Easy

Work Media was recently hired to build a widget for a chain of movie theaters. No, not exactly legal-related work, but interesting work nonetheless. I (Jerry) have a pretty extensive background in programming, and this is generally the kind of project that I will say “yes” to because, for one thing, it’s different from what we typically do day-in and day-out, and second, I pretty much assume that I can figure most things out given enough time.

As I started researching technologies for building this, I discovered Flex. And I love it!

Flex is really nothing more than a platform that turns XML files into Flash movies. The XML file defines the objects contained in the movie and contains script that specifies what those objects can do. You’ve seen those Flash banner ads that let the user interact with the ad itself, rather than just clicking the ad to visit the web site? Those things are created in Flex.

If you do much paid search advertising, this is definitely a technology you should investigate. How about an ad that allows the user to select options that describe how they have been injured in an accident that then sends the person to a page on a law firm web site specifically dealing with that kind of injury? That’s not a very exciting example, but my point is that with Flex, you can create ads that interact and get information from (or supply information to) the reader before he even visits your web site. This technology has a ton of potential for firms to create highly engaging ads. Can you imagine if your law firm TV commercials could respond directly to the people watching them? This isn’t quite that advanced, but it’s a step in that direction.

If you’d like to try this out, give Work Media a call at 888-299-4834 or email info@workmedia.net.