The year 2008 has been a year of frequent and significant changes in Google advertising. Not every change introduced this year was a success and we saw Google phase out a few things that we liked, but several innovations directly and positively effect attorneys who are advertising in Google. Everyone currently advertising in Google, and in particular, Google’s Content Network (the network of thousands of Web sites with which Google partners to display ads), can take advantage of these new offerings. Here are the highlights:
In a study by the Columbus Bar Association it was found that while lawyers were often hired by men, the initial decision to hire a lawyer was most often made by women. Consequently, when the Columbus Bar advertises its lawyer referral program on television, it runs its ads on channels known to draw a large female audience. Likewise, in Google’s Content Network, you can now target your online advertising to certain demographic groups and exclude your ads from being viewed by others. For now the targeting is just by age and gender, but this presents the advertiser with interesting opportunities.
For example, attorneys can now keep their ads off trendy Web sites frequented by young people who are unlikely or unable to hire attorneys. Or if you practice estate planning or elder law, you can specifically target older demographic groups, as well as the middle-aged offspring who may need your help for an aging parent.
Advanced Placement Options
Google now allows advertisers to specifically state which Web sites in the Content Network, or which pages on these Web sites, can display the advertiser’s ads. When you select this option, Ad Groups without placements won’t run on the content network until you add Web sites or pages. Conversely, using Google’s Site and Category Exclusion tool, you can tell Google where you do not want your ads to appear.
Introduced this summer, you can now research traffic patterns and click prices for any of your search phrases, and get ideas for more search phrases. The data shows search traffic by Google users for the previous calendar month and is a great tool for attorneys with under-developed campaigns. By taking advantage of these new Google features, you can fine tune that account and improve your return on investment.