PPC for lawyers: A Guide to Run Successful Google Ads Campaign

PPC for lawyers

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, when done right, can potentially be an extremely effective part of your law firm’s advertising campaigns. But sadly, most law firms tend to be misinformed about the benefits of pay-per-click advertising. Hence, PPC continues to be an underutilized component of a social marketing strategy. Keeping this in mind, this article will act as a detailed guide to the world of PPC for lawyers.

What exactly is PPC advertising?

 Pay-per-click advertising refers to a stream of social marketing where a business like yours pays for every click on the advertisement. So, each time a prospective client clicks on the ad, the host receives a specific amount of money. The advantage of this form of advertising is it doesn’t require the businesses to pay unless the client clicks on the ad.

While there is a wide range of platforms that offers PPC advertising campaign options, Google Ads continues to be the most popular choice. This should come as no surprise. Google enjoys a very large share of consumer interest in the form of online searches. In fact, more than 90% of all online searches can be sourced back to the tech behemoth.

 PPC advertising ensures that your law firm’s ads pop up in all the right places. The intention is to place these ads in target search interests to drive traffic towards your site. The next crucial step is to ensure that these clients end up being a part of your marketing funnel. Also, artificial intelligence bursting onto the scene and predictions are getting better. Hence, PPC adverts play a large role in finding you the right clients at the right point in time.

Why is PPC for lawyers getting more and more popular?

The reasons behind a number of law firms partnering with social marketing agencies that specialize in PPC advertising can be broadly categorized into three major factors. They include:

1) Intentional targeting

 The biggest advantage of opting for PPC for lawyers is that it gives your firm exposure to the right form of clients. By directing ads towards a specific part of the population, you’re ensuring that the customers you want your business to be noticed by gets noticed. More importantly, it also cuts down on costs. How? Because only a small percentage of users online are actually seeing the ad. 

2) Immediate results

 A large reason why firms prefer PPC advertising over organic SEO campaigns is that it gives immediate results. There’s no waiting around to be done, which is extremely important for a business that’s only been recently launched.

3) Measurability

 The real-time data collected can also help your firm make the right decision regarding digital advertising. It gives you the luxury of being able to rectify them along the way to be able to service the needs of the clients better. Learning about how customers engage with your ads is an important learning curve for any business, more so for a highly competitive field like law.

PPC for lawyers: Common issues encountered 

PPC advertising can work wonders for your business. But the catch is. it needs to be done in the right way. The whole process requires a certain understanding of how digital marketing works. So, what are some of the commonest issues associated with PPC for lawyers? 

1) Lawyers fail to understand the basics of PPC advertising

The success formula behind a winning PPC marketing campaign sounds simple. Use well-researched keywords and combine them with an effective landing page and a website. 

A) Keywords 

The use of keywords can make or break a PPC advertising campaign. A well-researched targeted key phrase can make a significant impact on the conversion rate of interested parties to actual paying clients. 

Google Ad, the premier pay-per-click engine, ranks ads according to their relevance to the search term entered. The more relevant the ad is and the more the keywords resemble the actual search term, the better the chances of your firm scoring a client. The scoring pattern picks up on these terms, and they more or less determine the order of its placement on the search engine results page. 

PPC adverting campaigns tend to offer a wealth of data regarding impressions and conversions. It can be effectively used to modify the ads according to the needs of the client. Google ends up auctioning the top 3 positions on the search engine results page using keywords. Since the space is very limited, it tends to get extremely competitive. So, it’s all the more important that your ads are well-thought-out and realized. 

It can be extremely detrimental to a growing business to invest a large chunk of their funds in advertising when their first priority is securing the infrastructure required. The cost of launching a full-fledged PPC marketing campaign can be very expensive, especially in the legal industry. So, if your ads aren’t specific, you’d have spent a large sum of money for nothing. Your ads can now end up incurring extra costs on a per-click basis owing to the high bounce rate. 

B) Landing page

You could have the best advertisement brimming with targeted key phrases, but all of that is meaningless without a targeted landing page. Most advertising agencies forget about this crucial aspect, and as a result, their bounce rate goes through the roof. So, you’ll now need to spend more money on a per-click basis than you originally did. 

What is a landing page? It’s essentially any web page that a consumer lands on when they click on an ad. While landing pages can simply be the homepage of your website. However, they’re usually standalone pages that exist as a distinct entity. Experts recommend a separate landing page since there are higher chances of conversion as opposed to the homepage. This is attributed to the fact that a homepage contains a lot of information which can be disorienting to the customer looking for a specific service on your site.   

Depending on their purpose, landing pages can be of different types. Lead generation page, click-through landing page, squeeze page, sales page, infomercial, splash page, viral landing page, and a microsite, to name a few. But the basic functionality is the same of all of them. Convert a prospective client into a paying customer by making them a part of your marketing funnel.

C) Website 

This is an absolute no-brainer. An online business ceases to exist without a high-performing website. What differentiates a good from a great website is its ability to push prospective clients to take action. This necessitates the presence of at least one call to action button on every web page. The desired call to action, in this case, would be for your customers looking for legal advice to add to their contact details.

Let’s use an example to understand this point better. So, let’s assume that your website has a conversion factor of 2.8%. This means that out of a total of 10,000 people that happen to be on the website, 280 clicks on the ad. Now, out of that 280 people, even if we assume that 2% may end up contacting you, that’s still a miserly 6 leads.

 Now, let’s factor in the difference that a high-performing website would do to your business. With at least one call to action button on every web page, the conversion factor rises up dramatically to 10-15%. This effectively means that you almost quadruple your leads with just a few minor changes to your website. 

In today’s day and age, where smartphones are becoming more and more omnipresent, it’s critical that your firm has a website that can be viewed on mobile phones. In a report in 2020, Google came up with a report saying that more than half the searches on their search engine can be traced back to mobile phones. While the process of creating ads specifically for phones was taught to be technically demanding, all that sets to change with the introduction of Google’s Enhanced Campaigns.

2) Attorneys fail to get the clicks from the right audience 

While we’ve extensively covered the importance of keywords in the previous section. We feel it’d be remiss of us to reiterate the same. A digital advertisement fails to serve its purpose without the use of well-researched keywords. 

Buyer personas need to be comprehensively studied before going ahead with the conceptualization of the actual digital marketing campaign. A buyer persona is essentially a fictionalized representation of the ideal client. Visualizations like this help your company get valuable insights into the demographics of the audience and their inner psyche. Armed with this data, you can pick the strategy that makes the most sense to you.

A large percentage of law firms fail to research their clientele prior to creating advertisements. As a result, they don’t get the clicks they need to sustain their business. Which ultimately lands them in a world of trouble. This consequently leads to a high bounce rate, manifesting as increased cost per click in their subsequent campaigns.

3) Prospects end up clicking on rival ads

The world is opening up, thanks to the Internet! But that means you’re not just competing with the law firm across the street. The competition now is with all global agencies. Everyone’s at the top of their marketing game here, so you’ll need to pull up your socks or run the risk of becoming irrelevant.

Naturally, customers will gravitate to your rival company if their digital marketing is able to get the point across better than yours. So, it’s always a smart idea to look into what your competitors are doing. Take a look at their advertisements and social media accounts and identify how effectively they’ve managed to organically integrate keywords. But remember that the intention is not to imitate your rival, but to understand the process behind it.

A diversified approach

The next big idea with respect to PPC for lawyers is a diversified approach that makes use of all the available platforms to boost the value of the brand. A diverse ad approach generally makes use of a combination of the following to cultivate a sense of trust and loyalty among paying clients.

  • Search and display advertisements– by making use of the Ad Words service, which allows companies to pay for ads based on the terms entered in the search box by thousands of users
  • Premium social media advertisements– options include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, among others  
  • Sponsored advertisements via Gmail– these ads usually appear in the Promotions and Social tabs but may now get absorbed into the bigger category of search ads
  • Video ads– either before or after a video stream or simply as a part of online multimedia content, video ads are on their way to becoming the dominant force in the marketing space
  • Shopping advertisements– created using data attributes, they contain a ton of information regarding the services offered or the product on display
  • Telemarketing advertisements– the oldest trick in the book that involves the marketing of services directly to customers through traditional avenues like telephoning and fax

4) Lawyers are successful in getting the leads but fail to convert them into clients

 If you’re getting leads, that implies that your marketing tactics are working rather efficiently. The issue here with the next step, probably the most decisive of them all, converting the interested leads to paying clients.

So, where does the fault lie then? It could be either that the leads you’re getting aren’t qualified or because your sales team isn’t adept at doing their work. While a law firm doesn’t have a dedicated sales team as such, it’s still expected that your employees understand what goes into keeping the lead warm. Maybe, try talking to them and making up a sales pitch for them to practice with, or see if you can invest in a call tracking system to track calls and initiate the appropriate action. Think about what the sales pitch needs to communicate to your clients and if it reflects the values that you and your business stand by.

5) Attorneys lack the technical know-how to analyze hard data

 Advertising has long been associated with creativity, but the reality is that it relies a lot on statistics and data. So, analyzing the data is a crucial step in understanding the true impact of your ad campaign and in modifying it over time to achieve better results. This requires a deep understanding of the mechanics of PPC analytics. You’ll need to familiarize yourselves with terms like click-through rate, cost per conversion, and conversion rate. An average lawyer does not have the time or resources to do this. 

Fortunately, this is where marketing agencies come to the rescue. It’s much easier for someone who specializes in that field to identify the gaps in the social media campaigns and address them. Outsourcing PPC to a marketing agency that specifically focuses on all things law is an idea worth considering since you don’t have to do the brunt work. 

How to create a successful PPC-based advertising campaign?

Now that we’ve more or less understood where firms go wrong when it comes to PPC for lawyers, let’s put that knowledge to good use and create the perfect strategy for your business. But, before we get there, there’s one important prerequisite that needs to be addressed.

Are PPC campaigns for lawyers the right option for your firm? 

There’s no denying that PPC comes with a ton of benefits. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right choice for your business. In some cases, other E-Marketing strategies like SEO might turn out to be a better option. So, how do you know if PPC is the way to go?

You can start by identifying if your agency can afford it and if the supposed benefits outweigh the risk. Collect demographic data to select the right audience for your business. Once you’ve done that, calculate the conversion factor by assuming a predetermined cost-per-acquisition. If the numbers add up, then go ahead with PPC by all means. But, if they don’t, you might have to look at alternate methods.  

Now, that the prerequisite is out of the way, the critical steps in creating a PPC based digital marketing campaign include:

1) Set realistic goals

The first obvious step to any marketing campaign is to set definite goals. This, in most cases, would be to acquire more clients. So, try to have a reasonable idea of the number of clients you’re looking to add to your marketing funnel vis-a-vis the money you spend. A popular approach to setting goals is the SMART approach. The SMART approach stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Here’s a short rundown of what they mean.

  • Specific- Be specific about the goal you’re trying to achieve; this could be acquiring 10 new clients within a month or increasing your brand awareness by getting to 1,000 impressions and so on 
  • Measurable- Make use of Google Analytics to provide the stats for your conversions 
  • Achievable- Is the goal that you’ve ascertained for yourself actually doable in the given time frame? Are you being too ambitious or too conservative with the expected outcomes? Try to find the right balance between them both 
  • Realistic- Do your goals align with the resources you have with you? 
  • Timely- Set a specific time frame for your campaign, which could be a month, year, etc

2) Research your target audience

 Once you’ve set realistic goals for your advertising campaign, the next step is to research your clientele and understand their needs and demands. Taking the time to know your customers better now will go a long way in achieving your ultimate goal of acquiring more paying customers. We’ve already discussed buyer personas, so use it to your advantage to gain that decisive edge over your rivals. 

3) Choose the platform you wish to advertise on

While agencies would love to advertise across all the existing platforms, it might not simply be possible due to budgetary constraints. So, it’s important that you pick the right platform to advertise your law firm. While we’ve already talked about the different forms of ads, search ads and display ads continue to be the most popular options. Since Google gets the most web traffic, Google Ads might be a decent place to start. A diversified approach might be worth a try as well.

4) Create landing pages

 Like we’d discussed before, most advertising agencies compromise on the quality of the landing page in order to create what they think is the perfect display or search ad. But, without a landing page in place, there are very few chances of you converting prospects into real leads. So, always create a separate landing page for every ad you create and ensure that a call-to-action button is in place. 

5) Integrate keywords organically

 Pick your keywords carefully and find a way to fit them into all your advertisements. There are multiple web tools that allow you to find the most popular key phrases in and around the place of your business. One of them happens to be The Google Ad Keyword planner. It can help you discover newer keywords that are relevant to the services offered by your law firm. The algorithm is designed to suggest more keywords as you keep looking for more, some of which might be used by your competitors. Moreover, it helps you estimate the cost of each keyword so that you can start budgeting accordingly.

So, make effective use of platforms like these to give you a boost in terms of exposure. Look into what your competitors are doing as well to give you an idea of what seems to be working and what isn’t. But, it’s important to remember that these are simply predictions based on historical data. There’s obviously a chance that the actual data may turn out to be very different from your forecasts. So, don’t hedge your bets on these predictions alone.

Useful tips for using keywords in your ads

  • Add the keywords in both the headline and the actual content of the ad– While the rule more the merrier applies here; you need to be really smart about using them. Try to avoid using the keyword at the beginning or end of the paragraph. It just seems more organic if it’s hidden somewhere in the middle of the paragraph
  • Go for long-tail keywords– There’s effectively nobody that’s competing for these keywords, so you snatch them up for significantly lesser prices
  • Remember to use dynamic keyword insertion– This refers to the practice of using keywords that matches the exact terms that were entered in the search box

6) Set a reasonable budget

Bidding on the right keywords, creating specific forms of content using that keyword in mind, and designing ads will need some significant amount of money. So, factor them all in before deciding on a cap. After seeing how your ads are performing, you can choose to increase or decrease your spending.

A useful tool when it comes to budgeting and PPC for lawyers, in general, is the Google Keyword Planner Forecasts. It helps you estimate web traffic. Hence, giving you an idea of the money, you’d need on a weekly, monthly, or yearly basis. Some of the metrics that you’ll need to have a close look at are:

  • Clicks– The term is self-explanatory; you’ll essentially keep track of the number of clicks your ads seem to be getting based on the keyword 
  • Cost– The estimated average cost per keyword
  • Impressions– This metric tracks the number of times your ad shows up on a web page
  • Average cost-per-click– This is the biggie; it factors in the average amount you’re required to pay every time a user clicks on it

7) Tracking the performance of your ads

Your job doesn’t end with just creating advertisements; you’ll still need to evaluate how well they’re doing. It’ll take a while for you to see the actual impact, but make sure to quantify it when you do. You can now use this data to identify the gaps that exist in your current campaign so that you can rectify them for the subsequent ones. The metrics that are used to grade the effectiveness of your ads comprises of the following:

  • Quality score– This is the score that Google assigns your ads based on a number of factors like click-through-rate, the number of keywords, the relevance of the ad to the terms entered in the search box, and the quality of your landing page
  • Click-through rate– This is one of the more important factors that determine your Quality Score. It serves as an indicator of the relevance of your ad to the search query. A low click-through rate means that you’ll need to rethink your marketing strategy
  • Conversion rate– This metric measures the percentage of people who completed the call to action on your landing page versus the total number of people that clicked on the ad. The conversion rate is generally recommended to be around 10 to 15%
  • Wasted Spend- This factor takes into consideration the amount of money that was wasted on the clicks that did not convert into leads. One effective way to cut down on this metric is by avoiding the use of negative keywords. It should be pretty obvious that the ultimate objective is to bring the wastes to spend number to the bare minimum

With the evaluations also now complete, the cycle begins again, and you go back to setting a new goal and working towards it.

Conclusion

There are innumerable benefits to PPC for lawyers, but this was just the bare fundamentals. There’s a lot more that needs to be learned and understood before one can go ahead and start off with creating ads. This will take large amounts of money and time. If you cannot spare so much time and attention, it’s always better to opt for an advertising agency that specializes in all things law. Owing to their experience, they’d be able to understand your needs and demands better.

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