This is the first post in a series which will discuss what I consider to the “truth” about PPC for lawyers and law firms. I feel its really, really, really…(really) necessary to write on this topic because, to be blunt, I think attorneys get fed a lot of misinformation from companies who want to manage pay-per-click campaigns on their behalf. As a result, many firms wind up hiring a marketing company/website provider who’s about as reliable as the typical used car salesman. By understanding how PPC works, and what it does to a law firm’s bottom line, you can take steps towards making sure that the money your earn goes into your pocket and that you look more like this guy:

man keeping money

Your competitors, who don’t take the time to understand the subject, will keep forking over money to PPC managers, just like this guy is doing:

lawyer handing over money

I’m assuming you’d rather be the former and not the latter.

I’ll be looking at a few topics over the course of this rant discussion. Topics which I’ll look at include:

  • Why those who manage PPC for law firms often have a conflict of interest and provide little value to attorneys
  • Questions to ask your current website provider
  • Ways to quickly increase business while cutting or eliminating your pay-per-click costs

One point I can’t stress enough is that your marketing should be a vehicle for you to make more money. It should not be a vehicle by which a marketing company pads their own bottom line. The facts show that this not the result that many “attorney marketing companies” attain for their customers. First, when you adjust for inflation, the average solo lawyer earned $70,747 in 1988. By 2012 that solo’s earnings had fallen to $49,1301. Second, from 2012 to 2013 (just one year) the average law firm went from spending 2.3 percent of their revenue on marketing to 3.4 percent (a year over year spending increase of forty-eight percent)2. In other words, attorneys are spending more and more on marketing and they are actually earning less and less as a result. The moral of the story is that marketers are increasing what they make off of law firms while the lawyers themselves see their income going down. Relying on PPC management, in my opinion, also places you in this trap.

I’ve been asked many times why we don’t offer pay-per-click management as part of attorney website design and SEO services. The answer is simple – we don’t feel such services would add meaningful and lasting value to our clients. We’re proud of how our approach, which has attorneys investing in marketing assets that they will own outright, can result in higher revenue and lower overhead for law firms.

Why do you feel so many attorneys default to relying on pay-per-click? Please chime in through the comment form below.

References:

1 – The Fall And Rise Of Lawyers. May 23rd, 2015. Accessed at: http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/22/opinions/barton-rise-and-fall-of-lawyers/

2 – Law Firms Now Spending 3.4 Percent on Marketing. December 31st, 2014. Accessed at: http://www.lawpracticeadvisor.com/law-firm-marketing-spending/