Dark Side of PPC

February 9th, 2019 by GLM Team   |   Posted in SEM / SEO / PPC

Pay-per-click is a fabulous tool. It allows for extreme customization when it comes to targeting.

  • Geography
  • Device (Desktop vs. Mobile)
  • Landing Page (You get complete control over what page the prospect sees.)
  • Budget
  • Demographics (Like income.)

To top it all off, PPC starts to produce immediate results because it catapults your firm to the top of the search engine results. So, what could potentially be bad about PPC?

The Bell Curve

With marketing, you can’t spend a little and get a little. If you don’t have the money to get over the bell curve, then it isn’t worth pursuing.

This is particularly true for more volatile practice areas. A practice area is going to be highly volatile if the difference between the lowest possible value of a case is extremely different from the maximum possible value of a case.

Car accidents are a good example. When someone Googles ‘Car Accident Lawyer,’ do they have a $5,000 case or a $500,000 case? No one knows. It is a roll of the dice. If each case is going to cost your firm $1,000 in PPC expenditure, then it isn’t too big of a deal because you are going to make money either way. But what if it costs $10,000? How many cases are you willing to lose money on to get that $500,000 case?

If you run out of money before you get that $500,000 case, then you are on the wrong side of the bell curve.

You Have A Terrible Website

Would you put gas in a car that has a hole in its gas tank? No, you wouldn’t. PPC is the gas that gets your website to work. If your website isn’t designed to convert, it makes zero cents to pay to get people to visit it.

First impressions are made online when it comes to advertising. Here is another analogy I like to use…Would you show up to court wearing jean shorts, a tank top, and flip flops? Hopefully not, that isn’t the image that most attorneys want to portray. Many websites unfortunately give that impression.

If your website…

  • isn’t mobile friendly…
    • then it doesn’t work and people aren’t even going to give you a chance.
  • looks substantially worse than your competition…
    • then you come across as out of touch and won’t instill confidence.
  • has sparse content that offers no solutions…
    • then you won’t build up any trust.
  • doesn’t say who you are…
    • then you don’t build any sort of emotional connection which is required to compel people to contact you.

Low/High Involvement Decisions

How involved is someone when deciding on an attorney? Does that change depending on whether they have a good case?

Those are important questions. A person that is unwilling to invest any of their own time in finding the right attorney will most likely click on the first result in the search engine. This happens to be a PPC ad. If the person isn’t willing to put in the effort of finding the best attorney for them, then what is the likelihood they have a good case? Not great. So PPC ads tend to generate more poor quality inquires.

That begs the question, do people with good cases click on PPC ads? Yes, but they are more likely to click on multiple ads and/or organic listings. People that are more involved in the decision making process will consider multiple attorneys and this results in comparative shopping. If you find that you get a ton of bad calls and no good calls, re-read the section above about having a bad website. You are probably losing those comparative comparisons.

Trust Issues

Some people just don’t trust advertisements and there is nothing you can do to change that. This is a strong selling point for utilizing both a PPC and SEO strategy.

There are dozens of factors that you must consider when crafting your marketing strategy. For most firms, PPC has a place. You need to take the time to understand what that place is.