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New Jersey lawyer webmaster article synopsis: Reflecting on the different perspectives of the Scorecard.

Pay-per-click – The facts from fiction

By Bob Schwartz, CRS, GRI ©2007 Promotions Unlimited  All rights reserved.

This material is subject to copyright and any unauthorized use, copying or mirroring is prohibited.  

When a firm's site is at the top of the search engine results, this is called a Pay Per Click search engine. Other times referred to as Pay Per Placement or Pay Per Position, these programs allow you to pay only when a web searcher clicks on your listing. Only paying for click through's, you don't have to pay to list.

You list your website by selecting keywords that refer to your practice area. For each keyword you determine how much you are willing to spend. The higher you bid, the higher you will appear in the search results.

To produce sufficient results, PPC search engines combine paid listings with unpaid listings. Such terms as: featured listings, sponsored listings, partners etc. are what PPC search engines call the listing to differentiate from the ‘real’ non-pay listings. Some smaller PPC engines have 100% results paid and therefore, do not have this differentiation.

Many people perceive PPC search engines to be a great way to drive targeted traffic to your site. After all you are only paying for actual clicks to your site, and it seems to be risk free and less expensive than a search engine optimization firm to boost your rankings.

But be careful . . . all may not be, as it seems!

As firms believe more and more that it is the 'magic bullet' to increased Internet business, the Bid prices … (cost per click) are going up and up. Some recent examples of how much it would cost per click to be in the top position are below.

Los Angeles criminal defense attorney - $15.14

Los Angeles DUI attorney - $42.25

Los Angeles accident attorney - $10.00

San Francisco accident attorney - $26.00

San Francisco personal injury attorney - $20.00

Houston personal injury attorney - $8.00

Houston accident attorney - $6.10

Las Vegas defense lawyer - $5.00

Rates like these and the typical click-through conversion rate could cost you a lot in new client acquisition costs.

CLICK TRAFFIC … With ad click traffic's growth increasing, it seems more visitors are just clicking through and not transacting business. Clicks are increasing, however conversion percentages are declining.

RIPOFFS … The consensus among knowledge webmasters is that the PPC affiliate programs are to blame for this: PPC search engines pay webmasters for hosting their paid ads and/or providing search results that link through their PPC network. It seems some affiliates may be artificially boosting their PPC hits in order to increase their share of the paid click-through revenue.

Supposedly the PPC engines have technology to detect this fraud, but Internet ads advertise recruiting people to surf the Web and click on ads using their own computer. Having all the different IP addresses and a network of such scammers, it is an impossible task to regulate the rip-off click-throughs.

CONVERSION RATES … It has always taken a large number of click-throughs to produce a new client and combined with the cost effectiveness, legal firms may want to rethink how beneficial the PPC model really is.

Copyright 2007 Promotions Unlimited. All rights reserved.


Bob Schwartz, is the founder of Promotions Unlimited, an Internet legal directory (CA, TX & Las Vegas ) publisher and search engine placement technology analyst.  You can contact Bob via e-mail at  bob@websitetrafficbuilders.com or visit his San Diego legal directory at: http://www.sandiegolawyerforyou.com/special.htm

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