Tuesday, March 3, 2009

SEM Trickiness: Buy Broad Match and Get The Wrong Client

I encountered this situation yesterday when I was searching for a lawyer:
  • I typed in "immigraton lawyer los angeles" because I was looking for an immigration lawyer in Los Angeles. Google's sandbox tells me that this is a very expensive term, going for about $6.39-8.39 per click in the top spots.
  • I clicked on ad for an attorney in Los Angeles. I visited his web site. His website had a section on immigration law and what he could do for me.
  • I called him and asked him if he could help me, because I was looking for an immigration lawyer in Los Angeles and all indicators (his advertising purchase and his website)suggested he was interested in servicing clients of that type in that area.
  • When I spoke to him, he told me that he doesn't really practice immigration law anymore . . . that his website is out of date.

Hmm. Well, let's ignore the website out of date thing. I guess I can understand that a bit . . . I mean if he built his website a few years ago, he probably has some "web guy" (or worse yet a "web firm") that is charging him an arm and leg to update his site. Yes, it is wrong and silly to allow an out of date website to continue to represent your firm. But, we can all understand how those "tech guys" can hold you and your pocketbook hostage.

But, paying $5-6 for a visitor to your out-of-date website . . . a highly qualified visitor . . . and you spent money for something that you don't even practice???? How can that happen? Was this attorney so filthy rich that he liked burning money (pretty sure that's a no since he didn't want to pay for the 60 or so case leads/month that I had fo him)?

The answer: broad match. What is broad match? Here is Google's answer. Basically what happened is that this attorney purchased "lawyer los angeles" with broad match on. Which meant that his bid was considered for all keywords that include that phrase - such as "immigration lawyer los angeles" (which he clearly didn't want).

The result? This attorney is wasting his money. A lot of it. The attorney was managing the campaign on his own and he clearly did not have the time to understnad all of the ins and outs (and broad match is pretty elementary as far as search buying goes).

What's the lesson? Paid search is not as easy as you think.

See also:

SEM: Why Google Works for Lawyers

Effective SEM Requires Landing Page Optimization

1 comment:

  1. I can see that you are an expert at your field! I am launching a website soon, and your information will be very useful for me.. Thanks for all your help and wishing you all the success.