Want to make more money in your law practice? One of the biggest keys for doing so is avoiding the pay-per-click quicksand. By this I mean that pay-per-click is a trap that many attorneys get themselves caught in. Many don’t realize they’re in it and the ones that do realize they’re in the trap simply see Google’s Adwords program as a cost of doing business. What these lawyers don’t get is that they’re stuck in a hole and, the last time I checked, you don’t get out of a hole by continuing to dig. So if you want to make money, and be a happy chap, then avoid the paid click quicksand. On the other hand, maybe you’re happy looking like this guy:
Assuming you not willing to take your last few dollars down into the sand with you, let’s make sure you get on the right path so you can start looking like this guy:
Assuming you’d rather look like the latter, let’s get to it.
Pay-Per-Click advertising is a strategy which attorneys should avoid
I’ve written before on the issue of paid search advertising. These discussions included my
manifesto article on three ways for lawyers to decrease pay-per-click spending. The reason I’ve written on this topic is simple – paid search ads are a terrible idea for law firms. Let’s talk about why such ads are a bad idea and why people choose to make such a bad decision.
The problem with any paid advertising, including pay-per-click, is that you’re paying for a marketing asset that you don’t own and control. You’re simply renting ad space from someone else. Let’s use simple numbers. Say you spend $500 this month on Google Adwords and it results in five clients. You have an acquisition cost of $100 per client. Now let’s say, on average, those clients pay you $1,500 each. You brought in $7,500 in revenue ($1,500 x 5 clients) but, after the $500 in acquisition costs you really only brought in $7,000. This means that these cases aren’t as profitable as they could otherwise be. Now, at the end of the month when you pay all your overhead, you’re a little short because of those acquisition costs. The typical attorney solution for this? INCREASE THE AMOUNT OF PAID ADS TO GET MORE CASES AND INCREASE REVENUE! The result? Now you have even more cases which aren’t as profitable as they should be. Now, because you have an inflated number of unprofitable cases, you need to hire help to handle the increased workload. Then you have additional payroll. In order to meet that payroll you increase paid click spending again. And around-a-round you go. As you stay on this merry-go-round, the amount of money you make, per case handled, keeps decreasing.
This approach truly is a merry-go-round. The problem is that it’s nowhere near as much fun as this one:
Why do lawyers follow this flawed approach all too often? They do so for instant results. It’s much easier, after all, to set up an Adwords campaign and get a few clients right away. Once you start down that road, at all, good luck getting off of it. Now let’s look at another option.
Lawyers should invest in their own marketing assets rather than paying for Adwords
I’ve written many ‘a time on why lawyers need to invest in their practice as opposed to spending time and money. The idea of investing is simple. Instead of spending money to use the marketing assets of a third party (such as Adwords) you should be putting your money into something that you own and no one can take away from you. The best example of this is one’s blog. If you’re blogging correctly (I stress the “correctly” part) then your blog can drive a good deal of organic traffic. Say you spend two hours writing a quality blog post. Now say, over the next two years, it gets 500 clicks (see my discussion on whether attorneys should use AVVO for a real-world example of this). That’s 500 clicks for two hours worth of work. Assuming you spend $25 per click on a PPC campaign then that blog post will have generated traffic that you would have otherwise paid $12,500 for (500 clicks x $25 paid click cost). When’s the last time you received $12,500 worth of value for two hours worth of work? This math, alone, should send you running to the nearest computer so you can start blogging and so that PPC campaign can get shut off.
In spite of this math, interestingly, most lawyers will still continue to rely on pay-per-click. Why? Because blogging requires some work and effort. Do you want to be highly profitable? If the answer is “yes” then you need to understand that life is about choices. You can put in the effort required to run a quality law blog and you can reap the rewards. Of course, you can choose to use PPC instead. If so, then enjoy your swim in the quicksand.
Why do you feel so many attorneys choose to rely on pay-per-click instead of investing in their law blog? Chime in through the comment form below. If you have questions about our attorney web design and SEO packages then contact us online or by telephone.