Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Google Adwords v. Facebook Ads

So, I've been doing some online advertising.

I've started advertising with two of the biggest online advertisers--Facebook and Google.

A warning first--anytime you click on an ad, regardless of whether it's Facebook or Google, the advertiser is charged for the click.

Despite the cost, however, the advertiser does want customers to go to their website, and if it has to be charged for it, so be it. Also, I get the distinct feeling (based on personal experience) that Facebook and Google stop putting up ads that aren't bringing in money, so some clicks are necessary.

Facebook's advertising options are actually pretty good. My Facebook ads are limited to just two zip codes, including a potential reach of just 5,900. They've appeared on the page of 4,700 individuals, meaning that the vast majority of Facebook users in the surrounding area have had my ad on their Facebook page. I get charged around $1 for each click. Not only does that bring increased traffic to my website, but it means most of the 18-40 crowd in the area get regular exposure to my ads. I got 10 clicks just yesterday, and I probably would've gotten more if my daily budget had been greater. We'll still have to wait and see how effective the ads are in getting business, but they've certainly helped my website's prominence on search pages.

Google's approach is different--the focus is on searches. Unfortunately, I can't really target specific zip codes like I can with Facebook--I have to target all of Eastern Idaho. And that gets expensive.

Of course I can advertise for "Shelley Attorney" or "Shelley Lawyer" within all of Eastern Idaho, and since those search words aren't too common the advertising's not too pricey. But Google needs to allow for advertising aimed at specific zip codes. They'd make a lot more money off me if they did.

Meanwhile, my website is doing pretty well. Since searches for "Shelley Attorney" put me at the top of a Google search, my "Shelley Attorney" ad has become redundant, and it's time to take it down already.

Any other recommendations for online advertising? What search engines do you use?


Jenni said...

I almost always search with google.

It's my understanding that you can embed words into the code of your website (ie, a list of tag words, not visible to visitors) and they will catch searches. I don't know how to do that, but I'm sure you can find someone who does. That is what I would do to attract more google searches (put in names of nearby towns, types of lawyerly things you're doing, etc). It's my guess that some people will search "lawyer in [Town]" but more will search "make will" or "real estate law" or "divorce lawyer" or things like that...so I'd work on making sure that you get listed for all those searches.

By the way, what sort of law ARE you doing? Have you narrowed into a specialty?

Tim said...

I think I'm doing pretty well on google. I know most people use it, but I think quite a few people use other search engines, and I'm not doing nearly as well elsewhere.

I'm doing Wills/Estate Planning, Family Law, and Personal Injury. I'm also trying to get some business law from the local businesses here.

As a small town lawyer, I can't specialize too much. But there are a lot of areas I'm not going to get involved in, too.