Law Firm PPC: How Attorneys Get Leads With Google Ads, Bing & More
When an important new decision, recall, or litigation trend hits the news, your law firm needs to seize the moment and capture attention while the subject is fresh. However, there’s a problem: depending on your site, organic search rankings can take weeks or longer to gain traction. By then, others have already jumped on the freshness of the opportunity using paid search and weeks worth of potential leads have passed with it. Why leave potential clients on the table?
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) can help give your firm a quick visibility boost. The concept is simple and can be turned on/off like a faucet. Here’s how the PPC model works:
- You bid money on keyword phrases which are relevant to the traffic you’re chasing.
- Websites and related search queries show your ad.
- You pay every time somebody clicks on the ad and visits your website.
Why is Pay-Per-Click so Complicated?
In a perfect world, it wouldn’t be. When used correctly, Pay-Per-Click can be a cost-effective means of expanding your target audience in a short amount of time. However, campaigns in the legal space can be complicated and keywords can be expensive. The margin for error is slim. To further complicate matters, there are many firms that so badly mishandle their campaigns that it runs up the cost-per-click for certain keywords and essentially ends in a scorched-earth scenario for the keywords involved. Those keywords simply become non-profitable to bid on and Google ends up being the real winner. And yet, we see firms everyday continuing to bid on those ultra-expensive keywords because they think they need to.
Firms need to take a strategic approach with PPC ad campaigns in order to achieve good results. For example, how do you know when it’s worth it to bid on the keywords you’re chasing? How do you strike that perfect balance between cost-per-click and profit? How do you even choose the right keywords to begin with?
Pay Per Click models can get complicated fast, and it’s all too easy to make the mistake of sinking precious limited funds into the wrong keywords at the wrong times – especially when you’re already busy running your firm. Fortunately, you don’t have to navigate the PPC world on your own. That’s where we come in.
We offer the following paid search services to law firms and attorneys across the United States:
Google Ads (formerly Adwords) for Lawyers
Adwords is Google’s paid advertising platform. The level of customization available within an Adwords campaign is only limited by how creative you can get in your research and execution. We work with firms to identify opportunities and set up campaigns that allow you to use things like dynamic keyword and landing page targeting to keep your cost-per-click as low as possible.
Paid Search Vs. Display Advertising for Lawyers
You’ve undoubtedly heard both of the above terms, but since Google Ads offers both paid search and display inventory, advertisers may get confused between the two.
Paid Search Advertising for Lawyers
Search advertisements appear on Google’s (or Bing, among others) search engine results pages (SERPs). When you type in a phrase, advertisers can bid on keywords that appear in your query; the winning advertisements get shown in the SERPs:
It’s a fairly straight-forward process: you set your geographic targeting, choose keywords you want to bid on (such as “personal injury lawyer near me”), and write your text ads. Obviously, there’s much more to it than that, but that is the jist. Here’s the rub — these clicks are shockingly expensive, often exceeding $150 for competitive terms in competitive geographic regions. However, by optimizing the campaign correctly, choosing the correct targeting and keyword phrases, and making sure your landing page experience is on point, you can still make these campaigns profitable.
Display Advertising for Attorneys
One way to mitigate the cost of expensive search clicks is to invest in a highly targeted display campaign on Google Ads. Display ads are the pieces of creative that you see on websites, web pages, and on social media platforms.
In the right hands, display campaigns can reach people who are interested in your practice area, have need for a lawyer, and who have recently been searching for terms like “lawyers in [city]”, “personal injury lawyer in [geo],” and “defense attorney near me.” Google’s display targeting gets better every year, and between Custom Intent Audience targeting and Custom Affinity Audience targeting, we can generate leads for your firm through display advertising.
Geo-Targeting using “Smart Campaigns” (Formerly Adwords Express)
Even in a digital world, a law firm’s physical location is a factor in how potential clients select an attorney. An optimized Google local presence sometimes isn’t enough to help you break into the localized market you’re pursuing. Trends, demographics, and user behavior can vary widely from one market to the next. This means that the way people search for attorneys and the ads they respond to is not the same for every market. Some markets are heavily reliant on mobile display, some desktop, and for still others, display network ads play an important role.
We can wade through the local opportunities to find the right mix for your advertising. The good news? If you are just trying to get your feet wet on Google Ads ppc advertising, you can start with a Smart Campaign. Simply go to ads.google.com, and follow Google’s prompts. They made the process seamless and easy, so even if you’ve never used Google Ads before, you can give it a try here.
Google will make recommendations on your account, allow you to schedule your ads by time of day/day of week, and show you how many calls and map actions came through your ad.
So, do we recommend that you use Smart Campaigns in Google Ads? Absolutely not. This is an interesting idea from Google, and in non-competitive niches (and geographic regions), it might be effective. But these clicks are still extremely expensive, and if you want to generate leads for your law firm, you will need a high-end, professionally managed campaign that can capitalize on all the features Google Ads has to offer.
Smartphone and tablet usage increases every year. As more and more of the country goes mobile, you need to follow suit or risk losing out on a huge chunk of your potential market. We make sure your website is mobile-friendly and easily accessible for all of your clients, no matter what sort of device they’re using to access your content.
A common form of ‘remarketing’ that you probably experience is when you look at a product on an eCommerce site and then start seeing that product and related products on other websites and within Google search results. Cost-per-clicks for remarketing ads are typically fractions of the cost in a traditional Adwords campaign, making remarketing a very powerful and inexpensive tool to help convert a higher percentage of the people who visit your site.
Social and Website Advertising
Another increasingly important component under the paid search umbrella is social and website advertising. However, not every website or social network makes sense for certain practices. What we often find at the start of a paid search campaign is that the cost-per-acquisition for some sites and practices are so high that it doesn’t make sense to advertise with that site versus allocating the budget to Google Ads or other forms of paid search. A good rule of thumb for legal practices is that if you are paying a higher cost-of-acquisition for a signed client through a site like Avvo or Yelp than you would in a traditional referral fee, you are paying far too much. We can help you evaluate your current advertising arrangements with sites like Avvo, Nolo, and Yelp, determine your cost-per-acquisition, and come up with a balanced campaign that is the most likely to give you the highest returns at the lowest CPA.
At Majux, we know that only one thing matters to our clients: results. We don’t pad our services with fluff, filler, or false promises. We take a focused, personalized approach with every client we work with to create aggressive, inexpensive, and effective ad campaigns through PPC for lawyers. Our PPC management fees are transparent and campaigns are set up in your name. This means that you are responsible for paying Google directly. We do not act as middlemen, try to hold anything hostage or implant ourselves in the process in such a way that you are forced to use us. Our goal is your success, not to force you into something that doesn’t make sense.
To get started using pay-per-click as part of your firm’s digital strategy, give us a call.
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