Before the Internet, law firms and lawyers would purchase large, expensive ads in the Yellow Pages to attract customers.
Now hardly anyone flips through these huge directories. It is simply impractical and inconvenient when you could easily find local legal help in literally seconds with search. Simply type in a query into Google (or other search engine) and you get the most relevant results, instantaneously. Consumers heavily rely on search for everything from product reviews to the latest news. Not surprisingly, many are finally turning to the web to find and research local lawyers as well, according to a study from FindLaw. The Internet makes it easy for anyone to quickly find legal advice and browse law firms in their area.
Search represents a major opportunity for law firms to bring in more clients.
One of the most effective ways to establish an online presence is with Google AdWords for law firms otherwise known as paid ads or PPC.
Google AdWords For Law Firms: How it Works
An individual has been wronged by their employer and is seeking compensation.
So that same individual goes to Google, types in “employment lawyer in Austin”, and sees the following:
Unbeknownst to the searcher, the top four results are actually ads paid by law firms competing for those terms.
Any company can bid on and create highly targeted ads that only trigger for certain keywords. The advantage here is that you can start driving targeted traffic to your landing pages almost immediately whereas other marketing strategies such as SEO can take months (or even longer) to start ranking.
Setting up an AdWords account is relatively straightforward. But managing an account from researching keywords to bid on creating ads and measuring the results can be challenging even for veteran marketers. Not to mention that competition is particularly fierce in the legal industry.
So how can you manage a successful AdWords campaign for your practice?
Here are AdWords management tips that provide more insight on creating profitable campaigns.
1. Calculate Your Budget and ROI Potential
One of the biggest challenges is managing a budget.
When keywords such as “lawyers” and “attorneys” can average $40, $50 or more per click, it can be easy to quickly burn through your marketing funds. But to be competitive and rank for legal terms in your geographic area, a substantial budget is often necessary.
So the first step is to consider whether AdWords makes sense from a business standpoint.
Let’s assume a daily budget of $500 and an average cost of $40 per click for your keywords. This means that your campaign would bring in a measly 12 clicks a day. The number sounds rather pathetic until you realize that a single client can potentially bring in tens of thousands of dollars in revenue. Even with a limited budget, advertising on AdWords could very be well justified
Is the cost worth it?
If you manage to convert one click into a new client each day and that conversion is worth thousands of dollars, then continuing with the campaign makes sense. But if the average per conversion is significantly less, the campaign would be generating a negative return on investment.
This is why it is important to really look at the numbers first to decide whether to advertise on AdWords.
2. Target Long Tail Keywords
The absolute worst thing you could do is bid on terms such as “lawyer” or “attorney”.
Because those keywords are simply too broad and not specific enough.
You have no idea what the intention is behind those keywords. The searcher could be looking for a lawyer to work with on a personal case or searching for law schools. So a better approach is to target long tail keywords which typically consist of three or more keywords.
These types of phrases are much specific and are actually responsible for a large majority of searches.
Some examples include:
- Family lawyers in Austin
- Child support attorney in West Lake Hills
- Employment lawyers Central Austin
Longer phrases are not only much more targeted, they also tend to be less expensive.
Bidding less therefore means driving even more traffic to your landing pages.
3. Focus on Improving Relevance
Quality Score is a variable assigned to your campaigns to assess the relevance of your ads. It has a major impact on everything from how much you pay per click to where your ad are positions and even access to certain ad extensions. With a highly targeted campaign, you could actually rank higher than your competitors while paying less.
Factors that affect Quality Scores include:
- Click through rates
- Relevance of keywords in an ad group
- Landing page quality
- Account performance
Click through rates is one of the most important components. If Google sees that more visitors are clicking through to your landing page, that is a good indication that your ads are highly relevant and targeted to your market.
So how do you increase Quality Scores?
By focusing on relevance.
This involves constantly refining your campaigns and splitting keywords into tight groups. For example, if your law practice offers different services you would group those keywords together and create separate ads for each. Optimizing your landing pages can also help to improve Quality Scores as a high bounce rate is an indication that visitors are not finding what they are looking for.
The relevant your campaign the better your rankings.
AdWords is one of the most effective channels to start bringing in immediate traffic to your pages. Whether your firm specializes in family law, personal injury or other branch of the law, advertising on AdWords can bring in more clients and spread the word about your practice.