In a competitive legal market, where well-established law firms are in abundance, local attorneys must utilize all the tools in their online marketing toolbox whenever possible. One of the best ways for an attorney or firm to get their name out there is to invest in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, like Google AdWords. Here are six helpful PPC tips to keep in mind when using search advertising to promote your practice:

1. PPC Campaign Structure Matters

With AdWords, you want to be as specific as possible – the more relevant to the search query, the higher the ad quality, the more likely you’ll reach top ad placement. Every business and campaign is different, but if you plan on trying to promote your legal services, lay out your campaign similarly to how you would lay out your website. 

Break each campaign out by practice area, and each AdGroup by the specific legal issues (common terms people will search by). The best campaigns will have landing pages for each AdGroup category. Sample AdWords structure:

Campaign AdGroups Ad Landing Pages
Wills & Estates Estate Planning
Estate Administration
Living Trust
Last Will & Testament

Laying out campaigns this way will allow you to get more organized in your marketing efforts, and also more organized in how you interpret the results from those efforts. Due to the specificity of this ad group structure, you will get to see the true demand for your services in your market area, hone in on client search terminology (as opposed to legal jargon) and provide more specific opportunities for improvement.  

In such a crowded legal market, you need to stay in front of your prospects as long and as frequently as possible. They have a lot of options and, to most of the market, the value propositions of law firms all look the same. Sometimes the only way to stand out is to stay in front of your prospect as long as possible as they make their decision. Remarketing, also called retargeting on other advertising platforms, is a great way to do just that!

Using a pixel or code added to a website, remarketing campaigns track and display ads to prospects that have already been to your website or mobile app. If a prospect leaves your website without converting, you can use remarketing audiences to reengage them. These audiences help to keep your brand (instead of your competitors) top of mind with the goal of bringing those prospects back to you or your website in the hopes of a sale.

Remarketing campaigns are simple to make, don’t require a lot of budget (a few hundred dollars per month is likely all you need) and the remarketing audience can even be added to your existing campaigns. It’s a great way to nurture your existing customer base, increase sales and maximize your current marketing efforts. 

3. Complete Your Campaign as Much as Possible! 

There is a pretty good “completion bonus” when setting up a legal PPC campaign. For those not familiar with the video gaming reference, what I mean is that you want to complete as many of the headlines, descriptions, images, videos and assets, also known as ad extensions, as possible.

While it may seem tedious at times, filling out every aspect of your campaign does give an advantage in your campaign performance. Search engines will actually give your campaign a boost. If you complete these items, you are much more likely to rank higher compared to similar-priced campaigns that are only 75% complete. 

Once more, completing all the variables in your legal PPC campaign will give you more real estate. In example one below, you can see the top ad has a lot more text than the ones below it so it takes up more space is stands out in comparison. 

Example One:

If you view example two, you will see a more thoroughly built-out ad with sitelink and image extensions. This is what you should strive for when building your legal advertising campaigns. 

Example Two:

4. Use Google’s Keyword Planner 

Google has a number of great tools that you can use to improve the performance of your legal advertising campaigns. We suggest taking full advantage of Google’s Keyword Planner to help build and optimize your ad groups. 

Google’s Keyword Planner allows you to put in a website and/or keywords that you want to bid for and then provides you with cost per click, historical search volume and even provides you with new keywords that you may have not been thinking about. It’s a great tool if you aren’t sure how to start your keyword research. 

5. CPC: Be Smart About Costs

Using a campaign structure like the example in our first tip can help keep your cost-per-click (CPC) costs down. For instance, “raleigh nc divorce attorneys” is estimated at $26.88 CPC. But the keyword for a more specific legal issue is much lower, like “separation attorney” estimated at only $6.84. This tactic will help get the most out of your marketing dollar and compete with the bigger guys who are bidding on the much more expensive keywords. Related: “How Much Does it Cost Law Firms to Run Google PPC Ads?”

6. Smart Ads Aren’t Always so Smart

If you don’t have much experience with search advertising and are attempting to get started, you may come across Smart Ad Campaigns. While these campaigns are very easy to set up with little to no experience, they don’t offer much control in terms of optimization. 

You are basically asking Google to understand your business and your specific clientele without ever speaking directly with you. While Google’s machine learning algorithm is quite advanced, it still can’t identify whether a prospect’s click actually has the intent to hire you for your specific legal services. You are more likely to have a somewhat inefficient campaign with a lot of wasted clicks. 

If you do decide to take on these smart campaigns, make sure that your keywords are very well-researched and your conversion goals are set up properly. Detailed keywords and conversions can help improve the effectiveness of fully automated advertising options like smart and performance max campaigns.  

Pro-Tip: PPC Is Not a ‘DIY’ Thing

In such a competitive space with other firms with much larger budgets also using AdWords to gain brand recognition and drive new business, there’s no room for error. This is where PPC professionals – like the digital marketing specialists at TheeDigital – can add tremendous value to your marketing strategy. 

We have a great deal of experience in many legal verticals and are excited to help you with your prospect cultivation and sales goals.