Why I Went Cold Turkey On Google Adwords

To turn off advertising is like trying to stop drinking alcohol. I know, a weird comparison, but it is true.

Since 2012 I have used Google Adwords to promote my divorce paralegal business in Santa Clarita.  While I write 1000’s of articles, record 100’s of videos and podcasts and do “all things marketing” I just felt that I needed to pay for local Google Adwords.

If you are not familiar with Adwords as a consumer, you are not alone. Most people don’t know the difference between a paid ad and a local search result or (SERP) Search Engine Results Page).

But I can tell the difference between someone who has found us by a paid Google search or by our “organic search” which is comprised of our blog, videos and podcast.

You see, when you use Google adwords, you can pay to play.  You can say, “show my business in this area when people search for these terms”.  But this game can be very expensive.  This is especially true when you are playing in the “divorce”. “Lawyer”, or “attorney” field.

Divorce attorneys, divorce lawyers and just the word divorce are highly competitive words and phrases. This means that as an advertiser you are going to pay more money for a highly competitive phrase, especially if you want to appear at the top of the search results when someone searches for a word you want to show up for.

To make a long story, short. To be in one of the top 3 results of a Google search for a phrase such as “Valencia Divorce” you are going to pay about $10.00 for appear there if someone clicks on that add.

The thing is, is that most people don’t know the difference between a paid add and an organic listing in the search they are conducting.

For the last 3 plus years, on top of all the organic search results I get from the blogs, videos and podcasts, I also pay about $30,000 per year in Google Adwords so I can show up at the top of the search.

My wife recently asked me what type of return I think I get from the paid search.  And I could not answer her with any type of certainty.

But I could tell you this.  We get a lot of phone calls.  And I can tell you that I can tell the difference between someone who found us through a paid search result and someone who found us through one of the articles, posts, videos or podcasts I have done.

Here is the difference between someone who has found us through paid search versus organic search.

Paid Search Inquiry:  What the caller asks on the phone:

  1.  Hi, I saw your business on google and wanted to know how much it is to get divorced?
  2. I was thinking of getting divorced, what does your business do?
  3. How does the divorce process work?
  4. How long does divorce take?

The list goes on and on, but to call me with questions about divorce that you can find on the internet shows me that you are not serious.  You can literally find all the answers to these questions on my blog.  So if someone actually spent a few minuets on our divorce661 website, they would find the answers to these FAQ’s on our blog, videos and podcast.

Organic Search Inquiry: This means that someone was looking for information about divorce and I happened to write an article or record a video or podcast and answered their questions on that medium.

  1. Hi, I read and article about “blank divorce” and then I watched a few of your divorce videos and listened to a few of your audio podcasts.  I think you are the person I want to help me with my divorce, and was thinking of doing the $899 package because I have property, but no kids.  I just had a few questions and then I think I am ready to move forward with your company to help me with my divorce.

Yeah, I think the second type of client is the one I want to deal with.  They have already done their due diligence.  They have already done their research about divorce. They have already looked us up on other social media resources and checked us out on review websites and made the decision that they wanted to work with us.

That is the benefit of organic search.

This is why I went cold turkey on shutting down Google Adwords.  Yes, I am afraid that we won’t get the call volume that we have gotten over the years, but we also won’t get the low quality calls about divorce that we have received either.

Let’s see how things go without the paid search.