Resource for learning more about AdWords
October 13, 2016 11:43 AM   Subscribe

My wife has a medium-sized law practice in a specialized practice area. I'm a techie, but more of a developer and pointy haired boss than anyone with super appropriate skills in AdWords. Looking for a good resource to either learn enough to do some basic tweaking of her campaigns or a way to find appropriate professional help.

We have a list of very well-targeted keywords that describe her practice area and crush the local competitors on native search results and always are the first listing on Google Local for her niche. However, we don't always appear on the first page for AdWords on those platforms -- initially we were mostly losing to big directory ads or lawyers with poorly targeted ads in other practice areas, which really doesn't affect our business. Unfortunately, lately we've seen some of our competitors showing up ahead of us on targeted ads and I'd like to get up to speed on how to compete. Her business is very successful and she gets a lot of clients from internet searches, but I don't want to get complacent.

Our Google-provided "consultant" is not very helpful and given that our spend is relatively low (around 6k/year currently), the local firm we reached out to didn't seem too interested. Can anyone recommend a good book or other online resource to get smarter for me to DIY or suggest how to find a professional to handle this for us at a reasonable cost?
posted by Lame_username to Computers & Internet (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You could do it yourself by getting into adwords and getting price for search strings within local areas. That is what consultants will do and them charge you a markup as high as 55% for the privilege of their sage advice. You can do month to month surveys and try to time outreach with what is happening in the news locally our to compete with a firm in the same market who are coming up as ads in your searches of your own company or companies regionally using a basic search like industry county.
Work to identify keywords with her. If she is very successful on $6,000 search spending, she needs to review how much more she will need to spend every year to keep up with rivals in real terms. Google is going to push you to a mid range priced solution around 1,200-1,800 a month. It may be time to look at other content / niches to add to build and maintain the customer base and costing for that supplementary to the search spend.
posted by parmanparman at 5:06 PM on October 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

Your wife should consider using those legal directory services (NOLO, FindLaw, etc.) Each firm's mileage will vary but in general they are quite effective, and the discounts they get from Google and Bing on their ad words can be so steep that you can get more hits even net of their markup than you would bying on their own.

To get someone who actually works at Google to be helpful a law firm's budget needs to be more like $600,000 a year ... so don't be surprised they won't help you very much ... but there are a TON of specialized legal advertising / lead generation firms. They are very competitive with each other and a $6,000 ad budget is not too small for many of them to want to engage with you. Look at the sponsors for major conferences like Mass Torts Made Perfect, Personal Injury Marketing & Management Association, American Association for Justice, AVVO Lawyernomics, etc.

Finally, do NOT be complacent about your organic search results. SEO in the law firm world is a no-holds-barred fight and your wife's competitors and their marketing firms are, as we speak, all scheming to knock her off the first page, to say the least of the top result on the first page. Google naturally reacts to the high level of SEO activity by constantly tweaking the PageRank formula for law firms and lawyers. A SIZEABLE chunk of your marketing effort ought to be devoted to a white-hat SEO consultant and to doing the things he recommends to keep where you are.
posted by MattD at 3:48 AM on October 15, 2016

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