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Adwords Premium Partner vs. Go-it-alone

I'm doing well with organic search rankings for my practice areas, but want to see what some PPC marketing can do for me. Does anyone have any good or bad things to say about Google Adwords Premium partners (in general), or have specific experiences with them?

I'm in preliminary discussions with YP, and though I am awaiting the details, the way it is presented seems attractive (that is, managed campaigns and costs based on lead generation, not clicks).

Does anyone have any thoughts or experiences with Google's premium partners? I'm not a total newbie to SEO and PPC, so I know all the usual caveats.

Comments

  • HoldenthePageHoldenthePage Saint Paul, MN
    edited May 2016

    Hey Jason,

    I assume you are talking about Google AdWords Premier SMB Partners. Specifically, this program: https://www.google.com/ads/premiersmbpartner/

    In general, these companies are chosen by Google because they have a robust salesforce and customer service support. They also meet certain metrics concerning ad spend, client churn rate, quality scores, and bringing in new small businesses. Google often gives these special partners priority support and a dedicated account manager that represents them within Google. In general, Premier SMB partners are recognized at being pretty good at what they do.

    That said, even though these companies have a "special relationship" with Google, that does not guarantee results. I have worked for a Premier SMB partner, and I've met quite a few people who have also worked with YP specifically, and I haven't heard the greatest things about their service. Their contracts can be confusing and the way they handle ad spend and manage your account is opaque. You should also know that almost all of these companies hire a salesforce that is paid mainly through commission. So if the salespeople you talk to feels pushy, that's because they are. (Fun fact: Google requires that a pretty robust salesforce—usually a glorified call center—be in place to be a part of the SMB Premier Partner program. Google has basically outsourced the hard work of selling their own product to agencies. It's kind of a genius move from a business perspective.)

    Concerning attorney's specifically, you should expect your ad spend to be very expensive per click. Your pay-per-click can get a little insane cost-wise depending on the market you operate in. This makes the room for error pretty small. If you are thinking about going with YP, or really any other agency (including ones outside of the Premier program, which is totally fine!), ask them specifically to give you data on how they perform with campaigns involving selling attorney services.

    They should be able to give you at least a case study. Now, a smart agency won't guarantee results on day one of your campaign (and you should run away from a company that says they can do that), but they can demonstrate to you that they have a proven record in improving Attorney ad campaigns through Google AdWords or other PPC platforms like Bing.

    If they can't show you that info, or they just send you a case study that looks good but is unrelated to advertising attorney services, it'd be best to move on. The investment a lawyer needs to make to be effective in the PPC market is not cheap, so you should go into it with some confidence. That's not to dissuade you from doing PPC. In general, if you have the money for it, I think you should do it. It does get results if done correctly. You just need to go into this eyes wide open.

    I hope this helps.

  • DavidPhillipsDavidPhillips Winston Salem, NC

    Good advice in the post above.

    The answer is that it depends widely. In my opinion, Adwords is one of the toughest places to play by yourself. If you don't spend a pretty decent amount of time optimizing or investing in additional software to help, it can be tough to win. I define win as putting $1 in Google and making at a minimum $2-3. We work with a lot of divorce law practices and since their lifetime transactions is basically 1, we want to minimize the cost per sale.

    As a rule, as an entrepreneur, I tend to RUN away from cookie cutter - I've got something to sell you (I'm looking at you YP) - companies that basically set up a few campaigns and pump them out to multiple markets. On the flip side, there are lot of "experts" out there that don't know anything.

    One thing that has helped us has been specializing in divorce law and understanding the buyer more deeply, thus helping us convert them for our clients.

    So, you pretty much have 2 choices:

    1. Find someone to pretty much do it for you
    2. Learn how to do it and put the time in each week/month to optimize it to keep the cost per click down.

    I'm not sure what type of law you practice, but Adwords is probably the place to find qualified leads since the intent is higher than a Facebook or Twitter ad.

    Also, sounds like you're having some success on Google organically, how do you look on Google Maps? If you're in the top 3, that is good, if not you can optimize and soon, you'll be able to buy a spot on that map.

    PS - Make sure you are looking up your rankings in an Incognito browser or use a free checker like http://www.whatsmyserp.com/serpcheck.php

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