From my experience creating and managing PPC campaigns, being ranked #1 for your search terms will be far more pleasing to your ego than it will be to your bottom line. Generally, the higher the advertiser bids on a keyword, the higher in the rankings the ad appears, and the more likely it is that web searchers will see the ad. Trying to rank #1 for keywords in highly competitive categories with high CPC costs can be, quite frankly, pretty pointless. As many lawyers know, keywords in this industry can cost as high as 30 dollars a click.
Ranking #1 for trophy terms is the best way to attract those tire kickers who are just looking around, doing some research, but aren’t really interested in buying your services or anyone else’s for that matter. This can be especially true for very broad keywords such as Bankruptcy or Personal Injury. But the potential clients who are ready to hire an attorney right now are usually doing much more detailed research. They tend to be more willing to check multiple links to find exactly what they are looking for.
It’s usually a better idea to lower your CPC and instead of being, for example, #1 for $6.50 a click, you could average position #2.5 for only $2.50 a click. This could help to stretch your precious advertising dollars a lot further. The real key however, is to determine your conversion rate at the different positions and how much you’re paying per lead which comes from both emails, phone calls and possibly web form submissions. It takes some tweaking and experimenting with different strategies, but the goal is to drive as much focused and qualified traffic to your site at the cheapest cost per lead. This takes a lot of detailed attention and patience but it is very well worth it to increase you return on investment.
From my experience, the best converting ad positions in Google are #2 through #4 which will cost you substantially less than position #1, but will convert much better because potential clients that are looking to move forward immediately will continue to search through relevant ads. So, check your ego at the door and focus on keeping your costs down and your conversions up. Leave the top spots for those who are willing to waste the money on these pointless positions.
To your PPC Success!