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Digital Advertising: The Basics

Digital advertising is quickly spreading into more law practices. Why? Because it works. And it works well. It’s efficient, cost-effective, flexible, and easily changed. Did I mention that it works? As with all marketing efforts, digital advertising alone is not likely to be successful. All marketing efforts should work together. But let’s take a quick look at some of the many different types of digital advertising.

Search Engine Marketing

Search engine marketing (SEM) generally refers to ads that appear on search results. These look like search results but appear at the top or bottom of actual search results and are noted as advertisements.

Their appearance is triggered by the terms included within the search. Sound simple? It isn’t. There is an auction that happens within milliseconds of someone entering a search, by “Googling,” for example. Just because you want to appear in those places does not mean that you will. Part of the calculus on your ad’s appearance is how much you are willing to pay, and the score assigned to your ad which considers the quality of the landing page to which it leads. You pay every time someone clicks your ad. When the competition is great for a keyword, the cost goes up.

Display Ads

Display or banner ads are the ads that appear on a website along the side, across the top or the bottom.

The size, location, and frequency of the ads vary. Some are pay-per-click ads where you pay each time someone clicks through to your landing page or your website. You may also pay for appearances or impressions regardless of how many times someone clicks on your ad.


Display ads can be purchased on specific websites, or a third party can place these ads on the sites your target audience is likely to visit, either because you’ve specified the sites, or they use tools to suggest them.

The amount of data that is collected from users when they visit websites is scary. It is that data that the ad placers use. You can describe your target audience demographics to your advertiser or even give them an email list and they can place the ads on sites that those individuals have historically visited.

Social Media

You can also buy ads on social media. These may be in the form of boosted posts or created like digital ads.

You can define your target audience for participants. Generally, you pay for the boosts. The more you pay the more often it appears. Some platforms or providers may also allow you to pay per click to your website, landing, or social media homepage.

As you can see or perhaps have already experienced, digital advertising is no area for amateurs. There is real value in having a digital advertising specialist to help you with your campaigns. The problem is that there are lots of people who are simply in the business of selling ads, who don’t care whether they are effective. And unfortunately, given the long learning curve and constant changes in this space, it is ripe for taking advantage of the unwary. You must be able to trust who is handling your digital advertising and you must ensure that it fits into your overall marketing efforts. Therefore, we have a team member dedicated to digital advertising.

Meet Blakeney Hossa, Digital Marketing & Advertising

Over 15 years ago, Blakeney began her career in the fast-paced field of media advertising and marketing. Seeing the need for comprehensive online digital marketing services beyond a website, she began her agency five years ago. In addition to her work with lawyers and law firms, Blakeney has worked with physicians, various retail establishments, higher education, global logistics, and commercial real estate.

Blakeney specializes in consumer lifestyle marketing, social media, and digital marketing and advertising.


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