Optimizing Pay-per-click

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 throughs, you don't have to pay to list.

List your website by selecting keywords referring to your practice area. You set your budget and the higher you bid, the higher you will appear in 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.

The perception many have is that PPC search engines are a great way to drive targeted traffic to your site because you only pay for actual clicks to your site, and that it is risk free and a cheaper alternative to hiring a search engine optimization firm to gain top placements with the bigger search engines.

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

Bid prices … (cost per click), increase as firms believe in this method to increase Internet business. You can see below, there are examples of the bid cost per click to be in that top position of a major PPC engine.

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 … You may notice that ad click traffic is on the rise, but do you notice that at the same time fewer and fewer visitors are actually creating more business. In fact, clicks are increasing and conversion percentages are decreasing.

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.

Sure the major PPC engines have technology in-place to detect this type of fraud, or so they say. But recently, there have been Internet ads for recruiting people to surf the Web and click on ads, using their own computer and an Internet connection. With different IP addresses and a network of such scammers, it would be impossible to distinguish legitimate click-troughs from the rip-off ones.

CONVERSION RATES … To convert into a just one new client it takes a considerable amount of click-throughs. With the above trend in scam click-throughs and the cost efficiency, it seems to these PPC search engines are not the best alternative after all.

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


Visit San Diego's top lawyers directory:

San Diego lawyer attorney legal directory