Law firm advertising isn’t easy. At one time a yellow pages ad or a television commercial would net you hundreds of new clients. Today, you must diversify your advertising techniques and include a healthy dose of digital marketing. With a dynamic set of tools, law firm marketing can be done successfully.
One of the most useful digital marketing tools for law firms is paid search. If you’re not using paid search techniques, your business will likely decrease over time. Although people still react to traditional marketing messages, things like pay per click (PPC) advertising are showing increasingly successful results.
Challenges Lawyers Face With PPC
Digital marketing can be challenging. Paid search, in particular, requires a significant amount of research and investment of time and energy. Even with experience, PPC can be difficult. You will be competing with thousands of other lawyers to climb search engine results pages (SERPs), and you will want to do it for the least amount of investment possible.
– Legal PPC keywords can be expensive
Legal keywords that include “lawyer” and “attorney” are some of the most expensive keywords across the board. On Bing, such keywords can easily cost over $100 per click. Terms like “personal injury attorney” and “DUI lawyer” are some of the most expensive. It’s likely that your highest priority practice areas correspond with expensive PPC keywords. In fact, many larger law firms spend as much as $100,000 per month on PPC campaigns. This is a formidable challenge.
– There is a lot of competition in PPC
The more expensive your keywords are, the more competition there is but also the potential ROI is greater too. Many lawyers are bidding on the same popular keywords, targeting keywords known to convert. As a result of this supply and demand, Google raises the price of competitive keywords. You’ll need to come up with a strategy that fits your budget and goals, ultimately resulting in a positive return on investment.
It can be a challenge to navigate through the thousands of other attorneys who are using PPC. Without PPC, it can be difficult to get visibility, but deciding how to use it can be challenging. The key is to balance the use of expensive popular keywords with the use of less competitive, but still frequently searched keywords. Take part in the competition, but also blaze your own path.
– It can be difficult to get qualified searchers
Because many attorneys only take certain types of cases in specific circumstances, it can be difficult to find qualified searchers who are relevant to the firm. Although law firms can use limited demographic targeting, many firms still utilize expensive PPC keywords that are often not entirely relevant to their practice or desired clients. It can be difficult to get searchers who will become clients. This is where it becomes important to carefully research keywords and make educated guesses about potential clients. Partnering with a marketing agency who primarily works in the legal field is ideal because they have the data and experience to be successful.
Competitively Research and Differentiate Your Law Firm
Because so many law firms are using PPC, you need to do something to make your firm stand out. You should start by reviewing what your biggest competitors are doing. Search keywords you’re interested in and see who shows up. It should be easy to find your top competitors. However, most lawyers tend to do the same things with little diversification. In order to set yourself apart, you can:
– Create dynamic calls to action.
This is a short statement about you and your firm, providing your contact information and prompting the reader to contact you.
– Utilize ad extensions to take up space on SERPs
Your competitors may possibly be using these as well, but you can make yours more complete and attractive. This includes locations, site links, call-outs, and more.
– Highlight your strong points
Instead of focusing on everything you do, point out the things that set you apart and make you a strong firm for your clients. This may be free consultations, 24 hour customer service, or extensive experience.
Check Your Geo-Targeting
You are in a position to target specific geographic areas with your PPC. However, many firms forget this step or fail to properly geo-target. If your practice is in a large city, you should not be targeting an entire state. Most clients will not travel farther than is necessary. Determine an exact radius that makes sense for attorneys and clients, then target that area.
If you have more than one office location, you may choose to geo-target more than one area. In this situation, you should have separate campaigns for each location so you can target them appropriately. Geo-targeting that is too expansive or not targeted appropriately will cost you time and money when people click ads and call you without using your services.
Create Ads for Specific Searchers
You want certain types of clients, so target them with your ads. You will want to find people with a specific intent and at a certain stage of their legal process. If you want to find clients who are at the beginning of their legal process, then you may target questions that such clients would ask. FAQ pages and questions about how to hire a lawyer may help. Similarly, if you want to find someone who has already done their research, you can target different types of keywords. Structure your account so that landing pages, keywords, and ads match the intent and stage of search of your desired client.
Take Calls Whenever Possible
You will likely be listing phone numbers on your ads, so you should make sure those phones are manned at all times. There are many services you can use to take messages for you if you’re unable to answer the phones. Don’t leave your potential clients to a recorded message. Instead, people who chat with or call your firm should speak with an actual person.
– Use call-only campaigns
These ads provide clickers with a phone number immediately and don’t require them to click through to a landing page.
– Use call extensions
These buttons allow people to click and call immediately, often showing up easily on SERPs.
– Use call tracking
You should use numbers that can easily be tracked. This will give you an idea of where callers are finding you, and thus, where to invest more time and money.
Use Videos and Other Dynamic Content on PPC Landing Pages
People who are searching for lawyers will likely see multiple ads and websites before they make a decision. You need to make your content easy to ingest and interesting. Videos, pictures, graphics, and other dynamic content can encourage people to pick up the phone.
Videos that include an attorney are particularly important, as they give potential clients an idea of who you are. They will feel like they can meet you before coming into the office. It will let potential clients know that you are approachable and willing to help.
Build a Memorable Brand
When engaging in marketing, you will want to build a brand that is memorable to the community and potential clients. With so much competition, this can be difficult. You want to utilize PPC and other marketing methods to infuse your brand message through the community.
Even PPC ads should include your memorable brand message. Although you want to use keywords, you will also want to include information about your brand in PPC. If you have a memorable phrase or description of your firm, you should use that often.
Use Tracking for Everything
In addition to tracking calls, you should be compiling information about PPC and any other marketing you are doing. All phone conversations should be tracked as well as chat and PPC ads. You will want to know which ads are being clicked frequently and invest additional money in those terms. Keywords that result in bouncing searchers should be eliminated.
Utilize Both Google and Bing
Although most people only utilize PPC on Google, you should also use Bing. As much as 20% of the search market uses Bing. Although that sounds low, it amounts for millions of people. In your geo-target area, you may reach thousands on Bing. Additionally, Bing is much cheaper than Google. You should invest in both Google and Bing.