In Part One of this 3 part series on mistakes some Lawyers make on running their PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns on Google AdWords that wastes thousands of dollars, I discussed the big mistake of a Lawyer I know who was using Geographic Keywords outside of the geographic area he serves. I'm still struggling to understand why this somewhat intelligent Lawyer would think that as a Miami Bankruptcy Attorney, there is some valid reason he would run keywords like "Houston Bankruptcy Attorney" or "Arkansas Bankruptcy Attorney" that would equate to good Google AdWords Management; in my opinion, it doesn't and he's wasting a lot of money doing this.
But before we get into Lawyer PPC mistake #2, let me explain what the point of all of this is for you as a Lawyer in charge of marketing your own law practice. In other words, a little perspective may be in order.
Why Run a PPC Google AdWords Campaign at All?
As a Lawyer running your own law practice, I am sure you realize the importance of marketing your practice to get clients and hence get business and hence, make money to support yourself and your loved ones. I practiced law for 21 years and saw and did it all in terms of marketing my practice, both before and after the Internet (yeah, I've been around that long): Direct Mail, Yellow Pages, Print Advertising, Classified Advertising, Networking, Public Speaking, etc. There are many things every Lawyer must do, both offline and online, to effectively market their law practice to compete in the ever growing, and some would say "overcrowded" legal service marketplace.
Let me say that another way: There are too many Lawyers! Period. That being said, all is not lost. To effectively market and survive, Lawyers must look to the possibilities of the Internet. There are a lot of options and all of these should be part of your Marketing Plan (you do have a plan don't you?) but PPC is the thing that can help you in many ways, across all of these internet based marketing strategies, which include SEO, Social Media, Blogging and other methods of attracting new clients online.
In the next installment of this blog series, I will explain in detail why this is true and why PPC is an important component of every Lawyer's marketing plan that can provide clues to many other facets of your lawyer marketing plan. But here is the next biggest PPC mistake I recently discovered, and this was by the same Attorney I mentioned in Part 1.
THE SECOND BIG ATTORNEY PPC MISTAKE I DISCOVERED IN MY RECENT CAMPAIGN RESEARCH:
Mistake #2 – Using Too Many Keywords and Never Trimming Your List
There is a lot of debate and speculation about how many keywords you should include when you run a Google AdWords campaign. In my recent client campaign research, I noticed many Lawyers including dozens, if not hundreds of keywords in their PPC campaigns. Because of tools I use, I could tell that many of these had been running a long time but had no clicks!
Now, maybe you're saying to yourself, "but LAWDOG, if nobody is clicking, then he's not paying for it, so what's the harm...right?" Well, there is a cost even when nobody is clicking on your other 200 low traffic poor quality keywords: Wasted Impressions!
You see, when you run a law firm marketing campaign using PPC on Google AdWords, Google places your Ad out there and those are called impressions. Google wants to see what is being searched to give their searchers the best possible match to whatever they are searching for. It learns as it goes, depending upon your campaign settings and other factors. If you never get any clicks on those low quality keywords, you are depriving your keywords that are getting clicks, more impressions they would otherwise receive. Many people do not realize this and waste a lot of money serving up impressions for keywords that do nothing, month after month after month!
I was actually on the phone yesterday to a Google AdWords employee and he verified this when we discussed it. By never eliminating keywords that are not getting clicks, you are starving out and limiting the exposure (impressions) available to the keywords you are bidding on that are actually getting you clicks on your Ad. So this cost is what economists call an "opportunity cost" and it is as real as a cost per click because it limits your impression reach of other keywords that may actually be working for you.
So How Many Keywords Should I Use?
Don't be too quick to trim your list. It's good to start out with a bigger list (that you put together after some quality research in the first place...right?) and then watch what happens. You should probably run your Ad for 3 to 4 weeks to see what is actually being searched and clicked. If you notice that after a month or so, many of your keywords got no clicks, yet you can see impressions are being served up by Google, that is a good indicator that it's time to trim the fat from the list.
I like to pause these ineffective keywords for a little longer just to see what happens when I hyper-focus my other keywords on that Ad Group. Then I usually form new Ad Groups with the shorter list and sometimes mix up the match (broad, modified broad, phrase or exact match) and go from there.
PPC campaigns require testing and in Part Three of this series, I will discuss why PPC is a shortcut to market testing unlike anything else that has ever existed in law firm marketing. I will also discuss in Part Three how Ad Copy plays into a good PPC campaign for any attorney marketing plan.
In the meantime, I encourage you to click over to my FREE MARKETING ANALYSIS PAGE and I will give you a customized and personal analysis of your attorney marketing plan and your website and some detailed information on your competitors. Until next time, WOOF WOOF!