With all the talk about the importance of keywords some businesses are driven to using paid keyword advertising to attract clients. With nearly 20,000 attorneys licensed in Arizona, there is fierce competition for the #1 spot in search. Such demand would naturally drive pricing and a recent Lawyerist article claims Attorney and Lawyer Are Two of Google’s Most Expensive Keywords. According to Lawyerist, of Google’s top 20 adwords (paid keywords) “attorney” is #4 at $47.07 per click and “lawyer” is #6 at $42.51 per click. In 2013, “mesothelioma lawyer” garnered a whopping $255.64 per click.

The Cost of Click-Fraud

Click-fraud, the practice of clicking on ads with no intention of buying or even seriously looking at the site, costs advertisers more than $100 million per year on Google alone according to Delegator.com. Complaints about competitors “taking down” an ad, i.e. clicking on it until the advertiser’s budget for the day is used up, led Google to respond by offering a paid service to adwords advertisers after it purchased Adometry, a company that specialized in click forensics. So the cost-per-click after figuring in the cost of the Adometry service goes even higher. As for clicks originating from China (probably not looking for an American lawyer) a mere 40% get classified as click-fraud.

The Cost of a Well-Designed Website

Whether you use adwords or another paid keyword source you may be wasting your money if your website is not designed to look professional, instill confidence and make the sale. Saving money utilizing a site you design yourself while paying for keyword clicks is money thrown away. Add to that the time it takes to update a site, keep up with changes in search, review analytics and implement security, your costs go up. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Start small and experiment until you find what works for you. That’s what everyone else is doing–experimenting–even Google.