Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

Is Pay-Per-Click Advertising Worth the Money?

click hereGoogle rakes in $33 billion dollars in advertising revenue each year.

A good chunk of that comes from lawyers.

“Attorney” and “lawyer” are among the top twenty most expensive keywords available for purchase at Google Adwords. “Insurance,” “claims” and “loans” have high price tags as well.

The search engine giant gets 97 percent of its revenue from advertising. Much of that is in the form of Pay Per Clicks – or PPCs – where a business pays a fee only when its ad is clicked.

PPCs are used in online display advertisements, banner ads and video calls-to-action. The key to a lucrative PPC campaign is to use keyword phrases that will not only grab the attention of your target market but will also encourage them to use their index fingers to click on the ad. Getting results is essential because PPCs can be pricey.

“For instance, the keyword ‘bankruptcy attorney’ costs between $10 and $15 per click and if you add a geo-modifier (Los Angeles Bankruptcy Attorney for example) the cost per click goes up to $20 plus,” says the lead generation site LeadRival. “If you assume that one out of every five clicks results in a new lead (a very optimistic conversion rate) then you can expect to pay $50 -$100 per lead when you run search campaigns using the term ‘bankruptcy attorney.’ If your click to lead rate is eight to 1 or 10 to 1, then your cost per lead rises to $80 – $200 per lead.”

For the PPC neophyte, what all that means is that online advertising costs can skyrocket in no time. And though you might get lots of clicks, few of those might actually turn into paying clients – which means your return on investment is peanuts.

Google AdWord Top 20

Here are the 20 most expensive keywords in Google AdWords advertising (percentages are the number of keywords in the top 10,000 keywords for each category):

  1. Insurance $54.91 cost per click (24 percent)
  2. Loans $44.28 (12.8 percent)
  3. Mortgage $47.12 (9 percent)
  4. Attorney $47.07 (3.6 percent)
  5. Credit $36.06 (3.2 percent)
  6. Lawyer $32.51 (3 percent)
  7. Donate $42.02 (2.5 percent)
  8. Degree $40.61 (2.2 percent)
  9. Hosting $31.91 (2.2 percent)
  10. Claim $45.51 (1.4 percent)
  11. Conference call $42.05 (.9 percent)   
  12. Trading $33.19 (.8 percent)
  13. Software $35.29 (.8 percent)
  14. Recovery $42.03 (.7 percent)
  15. Transfer $29.87 (.6 percent)
  16. Gas/electricity $54.52 (.6 percent)
  17. Classes $35.04 (.5 percent)
  18. Rehab $33.59 (.5 percent)
  19. Treatment $37.18 (.2 percent)
  20. Cord blood $27.80 (.2 percent)

Before you shell out bucks for online advertising, do your homework. Talk to an internet marketing firm. Ask for a web-based business strategy.  Get a price quote 

And make sure you are taking advantage of the best way to get new business: word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied clients. That method is free and you don’t have to do any clicking at all.

Jay Reeves a/k/a The Risk Man is an attorney licensed in North Carolina and South Carolina. Formerly he was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. He wrote the short story “Nylon and Steel” that appears in the latest N.C. Bar Journal. Contact jay@lawyersmutualnc.com, phone 919-619-2441.

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About the Author

Jay Reeves

jay.reeves@ymail.com | 919-619-2441

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. Over the course of his 35-year career he was a solo practitioner, corporate lawyer, legal editor, Legal Aid staff attorney and insurance risk manager. Today he helps lawyers and firms put more mojo in their practice through marketing, work-life balance and reclaiming passion for what they do. He is available for consultations, retreats and presentations.

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