“If my website is already ranking well on Google, do I really need to pay for ads?” During my five years at Yodle helping thousands of attorneys with marketing and lead generation, this question has come up frequently – and I can understand why. If your website is already on page one of Google’s search results organically, why spend any money on PPC or paid search advertising? Besides, no one really clicks on the paid ads, right?
Unfortunately, the Internet has never been that simple, especially within the saturated search platform of 2016 where powerful tools like Google AdWords can give you a serious edge on your competitors. What I tell the hundreds of attorneys that I work with each month is that targeted paid search plus a strong organic ranking is an extremely powerful approach.
A recent Google research report confirms the crucial importance of using paid advertising on top of your organic ranking. The study reports that even with a #1 organic ranking, paid ads provide 50% incremental clicks. As your organic placement drops further down the front page of Google, paid ads can provide anywhere from 82% to 96% additional traffic.
Paid Search & Organic Listings: A Match Made in Heaven The study, which set out to research the interaction between organic results and paid search ads, reveals that even law firms with a #1 organic ranking can benefit from an accompanying ad. Here’s why: when advertisers show up in the top organic search result position, the extra 50% of clicks they get on ads are not replaced by clicks on organic search results when the ads don’t appear.
In fact, the study found that 82% of ad clicks are incremental when the associated organic result is ranked between 2nd and 4th on the front page, and 96% of clicks are incremental when the brand’s organic result was 5th or below. Ultimately, this means more opportunities for the attorneys I work with to sign new clients.
Who’s Really Looking at Ads Contrary to popular belief, people click on Google’s paid ads more than organic results by nearly a 2:1 margin for keywords with high commercial intent (i.e., people looking to buy). In fact, when people are searching to hire local businesses like law firms online, 64.6% of them will click on Google Ads, and only 35.4% will click on the organic, unpaid results. That’s a huge missed opportunity for attorneys who don’t play the paid ads game. Moreover, the top 3 spots of sponsored ads take over 41% of the clicks on that page, while the top organic listings only take 8.9%.*
Here at Yodle, I’ve seen law firms go from average organic rankings to the top of the Google SERPs after incorporating paid ads into their marketing mix. It’s difficult to imagine that attorneys with a dominant organic position could benefit from an uptick of 50% to 96% incremental traffic with an accompanying paid ad, but organic and paid search together are truly a powerhouse.
Yodle connects consumers to local businesses simply and cost-effectively through its online marketing platform. Yodle currently serves more than 45,000 small business customers. This blog is used as a forum to provide key company updates and milestones, and to discuss important industry and business trends. Learn more.