The key to optimizing paid search ads comes down to three letters: PPC.
PPC stands for “pay-per-click,” an internet advertising model where advertisers pay a set amount each time one of their ads is clicked. PPC ads appear at the top of Google searches above the “organic” results (or, the results that appear naturally in the search query based on Google’s algorithm and relevant keywords).
For instance, an individual might type ‘car accident lawyer near me’ into their mobile phone at the scene of an accident. Without a PPC campaign in place, they’ll see the top organic search results (which are typically the oldest and largest law firms in the area). But with a PPC campaign in place, your firm can be the first-viewed result. When your potential clients need immediate legal services, they’re likely to click on the first promising solution.
The value of PPC campaigns can’t be overstated. Google Ads can put your law firm right in front of warm leads and send a predictable flow of clients straight to your landing pages. The trick is setting up your campaign the right way to get the most favorable results as cost-effectively as possible to grow your business. Start by incorporating these five steps into your PPC campaign strategies:
1. Identify Your Perfect Client
Every law firm has a different ideal target market, depending on areas of practice. If you have enough data to create a customer persona, you can build a detailed profile of how your potential customers use technology, what their needs are and what factors they’re likely to consider when choosing a law firm. Know what your target market wants, when they’re likely to need you, and how they’ll input their search queries. All of this information can help you:
- Put your PPC ads on the right search engines and websites
- Identify the keywords clients are likely to search with
- Test messaging and determine the most effective call-to-action
2. Find Keywords That Attract Leads
Keywords are words or phrases that you choose to determine when and where your ad will be displayed in search engine results. If your ideal user types “where is a good personal injury lawyer,” then a potential keyword is “personal injury lawyer.”
Create a list of keywords you think are a good fit for your business to start your search. No one knows your business better than you and your team, so you can use that knowledge to brainstorm keywords that both you and your clients use to describe your services. Once you have that foundation, turn to readily available keyword tools that can tell you the monthly search volumes, competitiveness of the keywords and related alternatives. Some of the most common tools are Google’s Keyword Planner, Spyfu and Moz. They can help you determine:
- Branded keywords that are likely to perform well
- Popular service or product-specific keywords
- Feature-specific keywords and more
Also, look out for keywords that attract the wrong leads. This can include location-specific keywords outside of your area and keywords for services you don’t actually offer. You can set up your PPC campaigns to exclude those searches so you aren’t paying for mismatched clicks that won’t lead to new business.
3. Differentiate Yourself From Your Competitors
PPC campaigns are based around keywords—the more specific, the better. There are four major reasons why you want to focus on specific keywords:
- Reduce your competition: Multiple law firms in your area might offer representation for car accidents. That’s going to drive up the cost per click (the amount of money spent each time someone clicks your ad) to the point where PPC might not be a cost-effective strategy. For instance, a single click on an ad using the keyword “personal injury lawyer” costs around $63. There will be less competition for ‘drunk driving lawyer’ (around $27).
- Be exactly what your customers are looking for: Whether your target market is likely to search for your services in an emergency, like after a car accident, or at a slower pace, like when writing their wills, you want your ads to match their needs exactly. Many individuals will be overwhelmed at this stage in their search—if you’re already using the same words they are, that’s more comforting (and more persuasive).
- Highlight your unique value: Emphasize your unique value propositions that help clients choose you over your competitors, such as 24/7 availability, decades of experience in a key specialization and other useful differentiators.
- You can test your campaigns: With specific multi-term keywords, you can test slight variations and different types of ads to see what works best for your audience. Being too broad doesn’t give you room for precise insights.
4. Use Geo-Targeting for Law Firm PPC
Geo-targeting practices (advertising to individuals based on their location) come in two main variations: actual keyword geo-tagging and specific parameters for your ads. In the first type, you can build your campaign around location-specific keywords: ‘car accident lawyer in Denver.’ In the second, you can actually set your campaign to only make your ads visible when the search originates within your geographic area.
This type of location targeting is essential for any law firm, whether you serve a small region or have a national brand. By highlighting areas where you want your ads to populate and excluding areas where you don’t, you can finetune your campaign to reach your core target market. Without advanced geo-targeting, you’ll end up paying for clicks from searchers who aren’t in your service area.
5. Create Relevant Ads
So far, we’ve discussed backend strategizing. But the actual content of your ad messages matters, too. Include your keyword in the headline and main text of your ad so your offer is clear. Also include unique value propositions and a clear call-to-action in your ad—while still maintaining a natural tone—to get more clicks and more conversions.
Optimizing PPC for Lawyers Is An Ongoing Process
PPC ads get your brand in front of people who need legal services. Just be sure your ads only go to your target market in the regions that you serve. By optimizing your campaigns, you can get more quality leads with less wasted ad spend. Then, once the leads reach your website, make sure your intake processes are optimized to capture each incoming lead. Not sure if your intake process is optimized to capture the right leads?
Use our intake scorecard to make sure you’re not missing out on the targeted leads that click your ads.