Lawyers have many options for putting their brand out there with ads. PPC advertising is a powerful tool for lawyers. Getting the most out of it requires following a few important principles.
PPC stands for "pay per click." You place an ad on a platform and pay each time someone clicks that ad. There are a few models out there for PPC, with the most popular being Google and Facebook.
Deciding if PPC fits into your marketing strategy is key. Many lawyers invest in PPC without realizing how it truly works, the potential cost, or how to optimize their campaigns.
Does PPC Work for Lawyers?
When done correctly, PPC has several benefits for lawyers. Before committing to PPC, consider whether it fits your overall lawyer marketing strategy. This ensures it aligns with your needs and goals.
Some of the biggest benefits of PPC include:
- Quick results
- Narrow targeting, especially on Facebook
- It's easy to control your budget
- Many analytics and monitoring tools work for tweaking campaigns
When looking specifically at Google PPC, the ads take up a lot of real estate on the search engine results page. This is one reason why so many lawyers use these campaigns.
Take this example in San Diego. Someone has to scroll through the sponsored pages before getting to the organic search engine results.
When there's heavy competition in your local area for organic search results, you can use this to your advantage. Bidding on the right ads could position your firm above others. This could get more eyes on your business.
PPC vs. SEO
Both PPC and search engine optimization can work for law firms trying to reach more new clients. They're not an either/or since both can work better together. Understanding the pros and cons of each is the key to deciding how to mix them into your marketing plan.
SEO has a stronger potential for long-term results but can be slower to start. You won't get the fast results that may come from PPC.
PPC delivers faster near-term results, which may work better for a new law firm. But it can be expensive to maintain over time.
PPC systems require ongoing investment to get results, limiting your outcomes. Meanwhile, SEO work may snowball as you work to rank for multiple keywords.
With social media ads, it can be harder to target your ideal client.
Consider how things might look for a family lawyer.
You can't use Facebook to target "people who are in debt." But on Google, you can bid on terms like when to declare bankruptcy.
A query like that could indicate a potential law firm client who's at the bottom of the funnel. This could be someone who's interested in hiring a bankruptcy lawyer soon. You can't target those same audience members on Facebook as easily.
Look for ways to balance SEO and PPC marketing tactics. You may start heavier with PPC, ramp up your SEO output, and then cut back on your PPC spend. With those considerations out of the way, here are 11 tips to get the most out of your PPC.
1. Define Your Goals
As with any initiative in your law firm, start with a plan. Goals and planning are crucial for you to define what winning looks like.
Setting the right goals will help you align your budget and tweak your advertising campaigns in the future if needed.
Your law firm's PPC marketing goals may include metrics like:
- Number of leads per month
- Conversions per month
- Generating demand or awareness through social ads (such as contact form completions)
Track this information from early on in your PPC campaign so you can monitor progress later.
2. Know Your Target Audience
Knowing your audience will help you determine what types of ads to create and which platforms to use.
Use the following concepts to craft your target audience for any PPC ads:
- Search intent (for Google PPC only)
- Demographics such as gender
- The places they spend the most time online to choose your ad platform
Putting a lot of effort into this part of the process will pay off later. Your copy and images should also speak directly to your ideal clients to meet their needs. You may want to test a few variations for PPC ads to see what works best.
3. Set Your Advertising Budget
To advertise, you need to set your budget in advance. Develop an overall budget in your attorney marketing plan first. From there, you might have a specific portion set aside for PPC ads. You may adjust your spending over the course of the year in line with your budget as needed.
Numerous factors influence the cost of online advertising. These include your location, your existing marketing presence, and your practice areas.
If other lawyers actively advertise with PPC in your region, this can drive the cost up. And if you’re in a highly-competitive practice area, the cost of Google Ads keywords may be too high to consider. Personal injury lawyer PPC, for example, is one of the costliest ads markets of all industries
4. Choose Your Advertising Platform
There are a few different platforms available to lawyers who want to use PPC advertising. The primary options are Google and Facebook. Other niche options might work for your practice areas, too.
On Google PPC, you'll find hot and warm traffic. This is great for targeting people at the middle or bottom of the law firm PPC funnel. These are leads looking for more information to solve their problem or to hire a lawyer immediately.
Your ads should link to informative and action-driven landing pages. These will help convince visitors that you're the right fit to solve their problem.
On Facebook PPC, you'll find a mix of cold and warm traffic. Reach these people with educational, informative content. This can make top of funnel audience members more aware of the problem and your solution. That way, they're ready to seek you out when they move further down your law firm marketing funnel.
Demand gen advertising is best for law firm Facebook PPC. This involves getting your brand out there to keep it top of mind with potential future clients.
Depending on your practice area, other PPC avenues may be available to you. For example, business lawyers may reach new clients through LinkedIn ads. Intellectual property lawyers for online creators might use TikTok ads.
If you're not sure which channels to use, consider hiring a marketing expert to help you.
This Facebook PPC ad runs for people who live in the geographic region of a recent toxic spill. Targeting is not always easy on Facebook, but you can narrow it down by things like location, age, and interests.
5. Conduct Keyword Research for Search Ads
If you’re going to do Google PPC, you must do keyword research. Keyword research tells you what your potential clients search for online. This allows you to select the phrases you'll bid on in your campaigns.
Picking relevant keywords for law firm PPC starts with Google Keyword Planner. Enter general phrases you suspect may work for your firm there and click "get started."
From there, you can see what keywords competitors bid on. You determine which ones are relevant to your legal services. You can also look for terms that have high search volume but low competition.
Ideally, select phrases that meet all three criteria.
You can also exclude certain keywords and build a negative keywords list. That way, you can block irrelevant searches that could waste your ad spend.
6. Create Compelling Ad Copy and Visuals
People will gloss over boring ads in their busy social media feeds. And they're also unlikely to convert on Google. Great ads should capture someone's attention and draw someone in to click on them.
On Google, this requires some copywriting basics. Write a great title and a description that matches the searcher's intent for the query.
On social media, copy counts, but factor in the visuals as well. Look to make content that creates viewer interest in the services you provide.
When creating bottom of funnel ads, use a strong call-to-action. These urge clients to click and contact your firm.
Note this is only necessary for bottom of funnel ads when someone is really ready to hire you. When you target people further up the funnel, educational or entertaining ads work best.
This Google PPC ad is targeted, concise, and clear. You have limited space to make an impact, so craft your copy carefully.
7. Optimize Your Landing Pages
Once someone clicks on your PPC ad, they’re directed to a landing page. Having a great landing page for your search ads can be the determining factor for someone deciding to contact you.
Landing pages should be:
- Relevant to the searcher’s intent for the keyword or to the social ad copy
- Concise and to the point
- Make it easy for potential clients to contact you with a phone number, a form, or other convenient options
It's wise to create a few different design or copy options for a landing page to see what performs best. You can always optimize it over time to maximize your conversion rates.
8. Experiment with Different Ad Formats
Creating PPC ads is not a one-and-done process. Trying different types of ads helps determine what performs best for your audience. This is particularly true on social media,
A/B testing involves evaluating at least two options to see what tracks better with your potential clients. You can create multiple variations by testing things like:
- Video ads
- Image Ads
- Carousel ads
Run your A/B tests for a long enough period to get informative metrics. You may learn some lessons about which types of ads and copy really resonate with your followers.
9. Use Remarketing to Target Previous Visitors
When you connect with someone over a PPC ad, it's vital to make a strong first impression. You may continue to put your message in front of that person using remarketing.
If someone visited your site but didn't follow through to contact you, you can position your marketing for them again.
Up to 45% of law firms invest time and money in remarketing to follow up with potential clients. It may be easier to convert someone who's already expressed some interest in working with you.
Remarketing performs most successfully with bottom of the funnel potential clients. These are people who are clearly interested in hiring a lawyer.
These include potential clients such as:
- Someone who called you, but you were unable to answer
- Someone who opened a chat on your site but didn't finish the conversation
- Someone who visits your site but didn’t complete a contact form.
You could also retarget cold audience members using ads that showcase your brand's unique value proposition. But it's less effective than targeting hot audiences.
10. Monitor and Adjust Your Campaigns
After you launch your campaigns, stay on top of performance. You'll have a better sense of what adjustments to make for the best results.
Your ad campaigns should each have KPIs that you measure against, like:
- Click-through rates
- Conversion rates
- Cost per acquisition
- CPM (cost per thousand people who see the ad)
Use the data you collect to make informed decisions and adjust your campaigns to improve performance and maximize ROI.
There are plenty of analytics tools you can use to view performance. The hard part is understanding how to interpret the data these tools give you.
If you work with a marketing expert, you can get a more accurate picture of your performance. These professionals understand what analytics data points to pay attention to. They can adjust your campaigns as needed to maximize your budgets and outcome.
11. Work with a PPC Expert
A lot goes into creating a great PPC campaign. You'll get more out of your campaigns if you work with an expert. You'll also waste less time that’s better spent on other areas of your firm.
There are numerous benefits to outsourcing to a law firm PPC expert:
- Review the competition and best strategies
- Create and optimize your campaigns
- Monitor performance
- Make data-driven decisions for better results
The right PPC expert will help you bring in new clients due to their knowledge in your practice area.
Fitting PPC Into a Law Firm Marketing Strategy
PPC is just one option for lawyers to reach ideal clients, but it's not the only one. PPC works well in conjunction with an law firm SEO plan, for example. You can ultimately rely more on organic results and put less ad spend towards PPC.
Finding the right marketing partner is essential. They can help outline your goals, set your budget, and track your outcomes. The best part is you get to focus on what you do best: winning cases for your clients.
Rankings.io can help lawyers get the most out of PPC advertising. Our expertise and understanding of the legal marketing landscape put our clients in a winning position.
Contact us today to see how you can get the most out of your PPC campaign.