Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC) for Lawyers

Heavy smartphone use and Google’s ad design changes are steadily increasing clicks on paid lawyer listings. WHAT ARE YOUR PPC CAMPAIGN RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MY FIRM?

The surest, quickest, route to more leads

Rising use. 7 out of 10 searches for lawyers are performed on smartphones. Their small screens, combined with Google’s enlargement of ad space and near-elimination of distinguishing ad features, are driving more clicks to paid listings.

Qualified clicks. PPC ads and their landing pages target prospects who need a lawyer now, and avoid do-it-yourselfers and searchers seeking how-to and background information.

Traps for the unwary. It is easy for inexperienced legal advertisers to burn mounds of cash generating unsuitable leads. Knowledgeable campaign setup, A/B testing, source monitoring, and continual adjustments are necessary to obtain a solid ROI from your budget.

Sophisticated PPC advertising techniques

Years of managing $100,000 per-month campaigns for big-name consumer brands have honed our team’s PPC skills.

Add our years of experience handling online marketing and PPC campaigns for small law firms, and we offer a caliber of knowledge and implementation not delivered by many.

We focus on delivering a high ROI using:

Valued legal niches

Focusing on narrow, high-value niches

Accurate tracking

Quantitative data plus subjective feedback

Tight geo-targeting

Today’s consumers want nearby lawyers

A/B testing

Continuous improvement = long-term success

Calls over clicks

Smartphone users want instant connections

Pay-per-click FAQs

Why pay for clicks when traffic can be obtained for free?

It used to be the case that only law firms who wanted to rapidly and aggressively expand their lead flow needed to invest in pay-per-click advertising (PPC).

But two trends have converged to make PPC a critical element of marketing plans in far more law firms:

a. 7 out of 10 searches for lawyers are now performed on smartphones
The small screens of smartphones limit what is seen without scrolling. Pay-per-click ads appear at the top of searches – above both local results and organic listings.

The vast majority of searches for lawyers thus result in only paid listings initially appearing onscreen.

b. Paid ads have been redesigned to obtain more clicks

  • PPC ads used to appear on a yellow background that distinguished them from the free listings. That background has been removed and now over half of searchers do not discern between paid ads and free listings.
  • Ads now occupy more space. Three ads formerly were shown at the top of the listings. Four ads now regularly appear. And each PPC ad used to be smaller. The size of each ad has been increased.

The end result is that the volume of clicks from paid ads has been steadily increasing year-over-year while clicks from free listings have held steady.

Unless you believe smartphone use is going to decline, or that Google will stop driving searchers to its paid listings, you will want to weigh the potential ROI from pay-per-click advertising against that of your current marketing efforts.

Cost per lead, cost per new client, and quality of each are what really matter, not what channel delivered those leads and clients.

Which law firms are candidates for PPC ads?

Your firm needs two items in place to move forward with paid listings:

a. Effective client intake
If you are not successfully working your existing leads, there is little point in paying to get more … no matter how good they will be.

For example, we handle the marketing for one law firm which was using an answering service to receive all its leads. The problem occurred not due to that scenario, but in the handoff. The law firm was receiving its leads so tardily and returning the calls so slowly that when reached the prospects had already set appointments with other firms.

b. Sufficient marketing budget
If your total marketing spend is capped at $1,000/month, your firm is better off investing that sum in local SEO and online reviews. We recommend a minimum of $1,500/month for an effective PPC campaign.

How much does a typical PPC campaign cost?

$2,000/month. $1,500 is invested in ads and $500 in campaign management.

Larger firms can and will invest more, but $1,500 is a good budget to begin with. After lead flow increases and your client intake is effectively handling those leads, you can consider expanding further.

Does PPC work better for some specialties than others?

We recommend Google Adwords for most but not all consumer-oriented practices. Bankruptcy, criminal, drunk driving, estates, and injury yes. Family and Social Security disability should instead first invest in Facebook ads.

How long does it take to get a PPC campaign up and running?

2-3 weeks is typical. If a lawyer is prompt about providing approvals, the time can be shortened.

The initial time is spent learning what types of clients are desired, researching the competition’s ads and spending, writing ads, designing landing pages, and setting up ad tracking.

What work is done once a campaign is in place?

The main tasks are monitoring results, testing improvements, hearing from you about lead quality, providing guidance on client intake, and adjusting the campaign as needed.

We will talk to you every other week immediately after launch, and then monthly once the campaign is running smoothly.

What percent of law firms succeed with their PPC efforts?

Law firms with a strong client intake process nearly always succeed. Lower success rates occur with firms that don’t have their intake procedures fully dialed in.

If needed, we can provide guidance, scripts, content, and training to help improve your lead conversion results.

How much work will be required from me?

For campaign setup we will want you to review and approve the ad copy and landing page proof.

We ask that you defer to our expertise regarding mundane landing page matters like layout, colors and the like. The ultimate arbiter over time will be results from A/B tests, but due to our experience with campaigns for other law firms we have a good sense of what to begin with.

After the campaign is in place, we ask that you take a few minutes each month to review with us the results received.

We handle everything else.

When you audit an existing PPC campaign, what do you review?

To determine how and where results of your PPC spending can be improved, we review the following during our audit:

  • Account settings
  • Key performance indicators, determining the correct metrics for the account
  • Account structure: campaign names are clear and relevant, and ad groups are configured with the correct number of keywords and are properly focused
  • Keywords: match types, bids too high or low, negative keywords properly used
  • Ads: relevant to law practice, destination links pointed at the correct landing pages
  • Extensions: relevant to the practice and producing clicks
  • Networks: ads correctly distributed to relevant topics and categories
  • Analytics: properly attached, code installed correctly, goals set up and recording