Is your law firm hooked on PPC? Here’s why you may want to reconsider.

by | May 26, 2016 | Marketing | 0 comments

Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) can serve a purpose as an interim measure as you build ranking and traffic for your law firm’s website through quality, organic content. However, we don’t recommend that attorneys depend on PPC for some very good reasons.

Attorneys should avoid dependence on disposable advertising in general. Disposable advertising means you’re paying for someone to come to your website. Will they contact your firm? Will they simply click and leave? Who’s clicking on your ads? It’s hard to know the answers to any of these questions, and one way or another, that money is gone.

PPC can be an acceptable bridge, but…

At LawLytics, we always want to guide our attorneys to get the best ROI — not just in the short term, but over the long haul. We want our attorneys to be able to build their websites to generate revenue instead of spending money on methods that may not produce results.

Here’s the problem with PPC dependence: It’s where PPC vendors want you to be. It’s a good revenue stream for them, they don’t have to work too hard, and there’s not much variability: Your law firm website will get clicks, yet, whether those clicks transform into clients is a different story. Typically, when PPC marketers measure their own effectiveness, they’ll measure it in clicks.

Did those clicks become new clients for you? That’s your problem to solve.

PPC can cause a false sense of security for your law firm.

Getting a flow of traffic to your website using disposable ads can give you a false sense of security. It can make you think you’re getting more value than you actually are out of your web marketing.

Worse yet, if you focus on PPC to start out with and see some success with it early on, that success can distract you easily from the urgent need to establish yourself as an online thought leader. We’ve talked about thought leadership in our webinars, but the bottom line is that if you have to pay for people to come to your website, you’re not a thought leader.

If people come to you based on what you’ve written, based on blogs and other things other people are sharing, based on search engine rankings, then you’ve established yourself as a thought leader or you’re on your way to becoming one.

PPC: It’s a perpetual arms race for law firms

The problem with today’s PPC dependence can be understood by thinking about the popularity of Yellow Page ads in the mid to late 1990s. At that time, typically the firm that relied on marketing was willing to spend the biggest amount of money with Yellow Pages to buy the double-page, the back cover, the spine, the magnet — you name it. The problem becomes that it’s not a sustainable system. When the only factor in your marketing that differentiates you from another law firm is how much you’re willing or able to spend, someone can always outspend you.

If you’ve been paying attention to PPC in the past few years, you’ll notice that prices have experienced a meteoric rise, especially for legal marketing services. We’re living in a time in which attorneys aren’t only competing with each other, but they’re now competing with non-legal entities selling legal services.

Can you afford $700 per click?

Consider the cost of acquiring a new client. How much money do you have to spend on PPC to get enough visitors to go to your site to turn at least one of them into a client? With prices increasing, we’ve seen the cost of a single click be as high as $700 for some personal injury phrases. You can spend tens of thousands of dollars a month with nothing to show for it if it’s not done right.

PPC may attract new clients. It may also attract your competitors.

Let’s say you’re doing PPC the right way. Your competitors see you’re succeeding. They see your ads. Here’s what can happen: not only are your competitors going to click on those ads to cost you money, but they understand — and so do the marketers that are trying to get their business — that all they need to do to compete with you or dethrone you is to bid slightly more than you and be willing to spend slightly more money.

There are other factors involved, but it comes down to how much you’re willing to spend on your advertising. There’s a lot of waste that goes on with PPC, whether it’s a wasted click from an advertiser or marketer trying to sell you additional services, whether it’s a click from your competition, or whether it’s one of your firm members or relatives who sees the ad (and doesn’t understand it costs you money every time it gets clicked).

We look at the data from attorneys who have traffic from PPC and from organic sources. The traffic that comes from organic sources shows an interesting trend: those people tend to stay on the website longer and engage with the material more. It makes perfect sense:  Organic traffic is earned traffic. Those potential clients ended up at your website because you provided them with something of value that was returned in SERPs. They clicked on it for a good reason. There was a reason for that potential client to be there. If they appreciate the content there, they may go on to share it with others.

Conversely, PPC fails to build anything of value. Once the dollar’s spent, it’s spent. Money can and should be invested elsewhere for the long term. Content is the better investment to make.

LawLytics helps small law firms succeed without wasting time or money.

LawLytics stops attorneys from depending on disposable advertising and helps them grow their web presence to become a dominant force in their market.

Unlike expensive legal marketing companies, we give law firm owners the right tools to predictably grow their business. With LawLytics, attorneys avoid spending money on things they don’t work and don’t waste time wondering how to get more clients online.

Our innovative, award-winning system is built exclusively for lawyers. It requires no tech experience, so small law firm owners don’t struggle with technology or miss opportunities to thrive online.

If you’re ready to improve your law firm’s marketing, we’re ready to help. Contact LawLytics to schedule our call.

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