Search Engine Marketing ads are insanely expensive

It used to be a small business could advertise using Google Adwords, but now, are you kidding me? The average cost for a Google pay-per-click ad for a lawyer in Los Angeles is $40. Let that sink it. If you run a semi-aggressive campaign and get five clicks a day, that’s $6,000 a month. And these are click-through ads. There’s no guarantee they will turn into new business. I used to run an Adwords campaign for an L.A. lawyer however we stopped several years ago when clicks got to $6.

Another client is a violin teacher in Santa Monica. Adwords is now $15 a click for targeted ads for her, which is way out of her price range.

Top positions in Adwords are often hogged by what I call aggregators. They offer to find you a lawyer or music teacher or some other service. Which they can do, after taking a cut. However their real money probably comes from re-selling personal information given by those responding to the ads. Worse, they provide no actual service at all, instead they just step between a business and a potential customer and charge a fee. Parasites, basically.

Bing ads are nearly as expensive and Yelp ads are also expensive. I’m thinking the most cost-effective way for local businesses to get customers is to get an Enhanced Yelp listing which does not have competitor ads on it. It’s $75 a month. Also, make sure your Google Business listing is current, as Google Search and Google Maps uses it.

For $9 a month, Moz Local will keep multiple online listings for your business current and you can manage them from one place.

Let me know if you need help for any of this.

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