Don’t Write Off Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Remember when Barbie dolls infamously started complaining “Math class is tough?”*

Well, that’s probably most law firms’ unspoken default for why they’ve abandoned, or not even tried, pay-per-click advertising. While keyword marketing can be maddeningly complex, unpredictable and time-consuming, it can also generate better marketing ROI than other online tactics.

A story in yesterday’s New York Times detailed how the Rosen Law Firm in Raleigh, N.C., used crowdsourcing techniques to make its $6,000/month pay-per-click program involving 80-100 keywords more productive:

“…[Firm president Lee] Rosen heard a podcast by Niel Robertson, chief executive of Trada, a crowdsourcing firm based in Boulder that specializes in pay-per-click advertising. Trada’s more than 500 pay-per-click experts compete for their advertising clients’ business and take home the difference between what the advertisers are willing to pay for a click and what the experts actually spend to generate it.

In consultation with Trada executives, Mr. Rosen broke his $6,000 monthly budget into a daily amount and determined a maximum rate he would spend on each click and where he wanted to advertise. Trada then posted the campaign to its crowd of experts, who set about creating ads and a list of keywords. If the campaigns come in under budget, the experts pocket the difference.”

Unlike polls and surveys that collect opinions, true crowdsourcing is structured to solve specific business challenges, and frequently incorporates a financial incentives for participants. In Rosen’s case, the firm’s pay-per-click spend is the same, but with better results and lower demands on staff.

So if you’re daunted by paid SEO campaigns, don’t be quick to write it off as too difficult. There’s wisdom in crowds, and letting them do the work for you could more than pay for itself.

* Although the resulting cultural meme is “Math is hard,” the voice recording actually said “Math class is tough.”


  1. I’d have more sympathy for Barbie is she were doing more than adding and subtracting. Trig class WAS hard.

    Anyway, I work at Trada and wanted to say thanks for the shout out. Let me know if you have any questions about Trada!

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