Consumer Bankruptcy Journal Spring 2015 - Page 32

SHOULD I TRY MY HAND AT PPC? By Fred J. Cohen Founder and CEO, Amicus Creative Media www.amicuscreative.com/nacba H ow hard can it be? We often hear this from bankruptcy attorneys who, in an effort to save money, attempt to manage their own pay-perclick (PPC) campaigns. The result is often an ineffective and expensive campaign which can be a major drain on one’s time and marketing budget. Search Engine Marketing Pay-per-click is a form of search engine marketing (SEM). Unlike SEO that seeks to increase the visibility of a site by elevating it’s placement in the organic search results, PPC is a paid ad campaign. Ads, based on geographic location and keywords, are purchased through one of the major search engines and they generally appear on the top or side of the search engine result pages in a designated “sponsored results” section. Setting Up a Campaign Anyone can set up a Google Adwords or Bing Ads account for free. Once your account has been created, you can begin running ads. To get a campaign underway, you will need to identify appropriate keywords, understand your geographic target and how to reach it, and set your budget and cost per click. The cost of a click can vary greatly and largely depends on your geographic location and the keywords used (and of course just how competitive both are). In Miami, the keywords “bankruptcy attorney”, could cost a lawyer as much as $81 per click. In Washington D.C., the suggested bid is $35.00 (both examples were obtained from data provided by Google in December 2014). 32 CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY JOURNAL While there are a ton of websites, YouTube videos and tools that can give you a basic understanding of PPC management, there are so many nuances and “tricks” that can help to reduce cost and increase effectiveness that most attorneys are not familiar with that can lead to poorly designed campaigns. Consider the following: Quality Score A quality score measures the relevance of the ads and landing pages that are triggered by a set keyword. The score ranges from 1-10 and based on how high your number is, Google will actually discount (or hike) the cost per click (CPC). If you have a high quality score it means that Google believes the user will find relevant information once they click on the ad (given the proximity of subject matter to the search term) so your CPC will be lowered. The difference in CPC can be significant, and a low quality score can easily cost your firm hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars each month. Creating a higher quality score can prove to be challenging. SEM consultants, with experience in the legal industry, can work with you to create high-quality content and very niche ads to ensure you get more relevant traffic to your site and lower CPCs, giving you more bang for your SEM buck. Keyword Matching When setting up a campaign, you have the option to set how your keywords Spring 2015 will be matched to the user’s search phrase. If your matching strategy is not properly configured, you may be surprised to see your ad appears in searches that do not in any way pertain to your practice. For example, you may set your keywords to be: bankruptcy attorney NYC. Without limiting your ads to exact matching, you may show up in a search that was done by a reporter looking for “Donald Trump’s bankruptcy attorney in NYC.” In this case, you are likely to waste a great deal of money on leads that weren’t necessarily looking for your services. Getting Mixed Up in the Display Network By default all Adword campaigns are a part of the Google Display Network (GDN). This network consists of over a million websites, apps and videos where your ad can be displayed. While it may seem like a great advertising opportunity, it really isn’t well-suited for legal professionals. You don’t get control over where you ads will appear and these placements generally don’t result in much high-quality traffic for attorneys. You can opt out of GDN but you have to know exactly how to do it. Ad Groups Ad groups allow you place one or more ads that target a shared set of keywords into a single group. The groups can help you to better organize your ads and help you increase the relevancy of your ads to targeted keywords and get them in front of prospective clients who really need your assistance. If you’re new to PPC, ad groups can be rather National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys