There are two main types of pay-per-click systems on the web: ad networks and search engine ads. While they both work on the same basic principles, there are some important key differences between the two. Here we will go over the pros and cons of each.

Ad Networks

Ad networks operate by creating a network of content publishers, in a specific niche, willing to place advertisements on their website, and then selling the ad space to businesses offering products or services relevant to the niche. The content publishers are then paid by the network every time an advertisement is clicked on their website, the network then takes a cut as well for facilitating the connection between publisher and advertiser.


  • Niche specific
  • Targeting is mostly done for you
  • More customizable ads


  • Passive
  • Less targeted
  • Requires more upfront research

Ad Networks are generally a more set and forget kind of deal. You make the ad, choice the sites to put it on, and go. They are great for passively marketing to people browsing websites with content related to a business or product, however most people in need of an attorney are not passively searching for one, they are actively searching for one.

So unless your goal is to simply create awareness of your firm by getting your name out there, don’t expect much direct ROI from an Ad Network campaign.

Search Engine Ads

Instead of displaying ads on the websites of content publishers, ads are displayed in the search engines search results pages based on the keywords being searched. A search engine ad campaign is therefore, necessarily, much more complex to setup. Something we happen to specialize in.


  • Active
  • Highly targeted
  • Keyword Planner


  • Less customizable ads
  • Requires more work

While Search Engine Ads are less customizable, and thus less visually attention grabbing, they are highly, highly targeted in comparison. Instead of paying to have your ads appear on multiple websites at random intervals, you pay for your ads to appear when people search for specific keywords and phrases in the major search engines.

This kind of advertising is much more effective at driving traffic to your website because your ads are getting in front of people who are actively searching for an attorney.

If you would like to learn more about pay-per-click or discuss an opportunity to work with us, give us a call at (301) 200-4762 or fill out our contact form . Wed love to hear from you!