PPC for Law Firms Guide
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can be a powerful part of your law firm’s marketing strategy. When it’s done right, PPC advertising can ensure that your law firm’s ads pop up in front of the right target audience and at the right time. In this article, we will provide a complete guide to PPC for lawyers—what it is, how it works, how you can benefit from it, and even how to determine if PPC advertising is the right strategy for your law firm.
What is PPC Advertising?
Think of marketing as a tree. Each branch on the tree represents a different type of marketing or channel. So, one branch might be print advertising, another might be social media. Pay-per-click or PPC advertising is one branch on the tree.
Digital ads can be displayed in numerous places on the web, such as in search results, affiliate websites, and even social media. Each time a visitor or prospect clicks an ad, the law firm pays for that click. That amount depends on which keyword the user typed into a search bar that populated your ad. Some keywords are more expensive to use than others.
For example, the two most popular—and expensive—keywords in legal marketing are “lawyer” and “attorney.” So, if your law firm wants to use “divorce lawyer” or “family law attorney” in your ads, you can end up paying up to $100 per click on some ads platforms! Now consider the number of searches the keyword “family law attorney” generates per month. We’ll let you do the math, but the point is PPC advertising can be really expensive.
Why PPC is Valuable to the Audience
The technology used to power PPC advertising platforms has come a long way in the last decade. There are a number of PPC platforms available today, including Google Ads, Facebook ads, and Bing ads. With the help of tools, technologies, and other capabilities, including artificial intelligence, ad platforms are becoming more accurate and precise with their targeting methods.
PPC advertising can be beneficial to audiences as well as advertisers. Ads that are well-designed, well-written, and relevant to the right audience at the exact moment they are searching the web for a lawyer provides searchers with what they are looking for.
How Does PPC Advertising Work?
Consider a basic example. Let’s say that your law firm wants to promote its personal injury practice near Chicago, Illinois. Your target audience criteria might be adults between the ages of 30 and 50 years old, living within 20 to 30 miles from Chicago. Some search terms that you might want to target might include “personal injury attorney Chicago,” “personal injury lawyer Chicago,” or even “car accident attorney in Chicago, IL.”
When setting up your ads, you can select any and all relevant demographic criteria for the audience that you want to target as well as some relevant search terms.
The key here is knowing exactly who your audience is, their needs, and what they are searching for. If you aren’t sure who your ideal customer is, then your ads might miss the mark, which means wasting time and money.
Why Use PPC Advertising?
If PPC advertising can be challenging, competitive, and potentially expensive, why use it? Again, when ads are set up correctly, PPC is a tried-and-true way to build brand awareness, fill your lead pipeline, increase phone calls and conversions, and generate sales—fast.
Here are the primary benefits of using PPC advertising:
- Build brand awareness
- Get your law firm’s ads in front of the right audience at the right time
- Control your advertising budget
- Test different ad options and methods
- Receive a detailed analysis of how your ads are performing versus how much you are spending
How to Create and Manage PPC
Now that you have a better understanding of what PPC advertising is and how it works, the next step is to start building your own campaign.
Here are the steps to creating and managing a solid PPC campaign for your law firm:
1. Set Your Goals.
Of course, the goal of any marketing plan is to get more clients, but let’s get a bit more specific. For example, some specific and solid goals for a law firm might be “generate 20 more leads per month”, “close 10 new clients by the end of Q2”, or “generate $50,000 in new cases by the end of 2020.” Setting clear and specific goals will set up your campaign and your firm for success.
2. Research Your Target Audience.
As we mentioned above, you can’t very well set up a successful PPC advertising campaign if you don’t know who to target. Taking the time to research who your clients are, where they live, how much money they make, their pain points and challenges, and even their interests is key to creating the right ads, setting up the right target criteria, and building a successful PPC advertising campaign.
If you aren’t sure how to figure out who your target audience is, there are several ways to do this:
- Gather client data through surveys or research. This data can include average age, location and time zone, language, average annual income, marital status, interests, challenges, and so on.
- Social media. Which social channels do they use? What types of content do they react to and engage with most?
- Analyze your competitors. Who are your competitors targeting, and how?
3. Choose an Advertising Method.
Once you have a solid understanding of who your audience is, where they spend their time on the Internet, and what your competition is up to, you will feel more confident about choosing the right advertising method.
Law firms tend to see the best results from using search ads and display ads through Google Ads. So, this is likely the best place to start.
4. Create Landing Pages
One of the most important keys to a successful PPC campaign is the landing page connected to your ad. When prospective clients click on your ad, you have another opportunity to encourage them to engage with you on the landing page.
Instead of sending them to your home page or an existing practice area page, link your ad to a streamlined, focused page that’s designed to take full advantage of the interest your prospect has already shown. Learn more with these tips to creating the best lawyer PPC landing pages.
5. Select Relevant Keywords.
Again, as we mentioned above, before choosing keywords for your ads, think about your target audience and their location. Since law firms typically target personas in their local areas, it’s a good idea to select keywords that use a specific location.
Let’s go back to the example above with the law firm in Chicago. Think about which keywords prospects might be searching for in your location and start bidding on those.
6. Set Your Budget.
After selecting and bidding on keywords based on your target location, now you can set a daily or monthly ad spend budget. This step allows you to control your ad spend. If you are trying PPC advertising for the first time, then start small and see how your ads perform after the first 30 days. If they are performing well, you can always increase your ad budget to expand your reach. If they aren’t performing as well as you’d like, you may have to adjust your target audience criteria slightly or try different keywords.
7. Monitor Performance.
After your PPC campaign goes live, try to be patient. You likely won’t see a full lead pipeline overnight. It can take some time for the ads to populate and for users to see and click on them. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t start monitoring them. Developing a regular reporting cycle or sequence is important.
Believe it or not, 57 percent of marketers don’t measure marketing ROI. Don’t be one of them. Monitoring campaign performance on a regular, consistent basis will not only help you to better understand which ads are working and which aren’t, but it will also help you to further optimize the ads that are performing well. This means you can also maximize your ad spend budget even further, which helps keep PPC costs low over the long term.
A note about automation: If you’re concerned about the time it will take to properly build PPC campaigns for your law firm, there are several tools available that can make it easier. Choosing the right PPC management software for law firms can simplify many of the steps involved, from keyword analysis to performance tracking.
Is PPC Right For Your Law Firm?
Although PPC advertising certainly has its benefits, this doesn’t mean that it is the right strategy for every law firm. For example, you might find that an SEO strategy is a better fit for your marketing needs and budget.
The first step in the process is to determine whether your law firm can profit from a paid display campaign. Depending on the legal services that you want to advertise, this will determine the demographic data used to attract specific audiences.
Using legal industry data, you can estimate your conversion rate. Then, by comparing the estimated cost-per-acquisition (CPA) and your average profit, you can determine whether or not PPC makes sense for your firm.
How is PPC Different from SEO?
If you don’t think PPC is the best fit for your firm, you may opt to stick with an SEO or social media strategy. But how exactly are the two different? PPC advertising obviously requires paying for clicks, setting up and running ads, and selecting keywords, and so on.
On the other hand, SEO and social media require a similar investment, but the steps are different. With an SEO strategy, you can perform the same keyword research, develop content or optimize the existing content on your website and social media with those keywords to organically attract leads.
PPC vs. Social Media
Let’s break down some of the advantages of PPC and social media:
- Builds an audience
- Builds brand awareness
- Improves SEO
- Connects and engages with followers
- Better ROI
- PPC can be automated
- Drives sales faster
- Easier to measure and optimize
Although social media is a great way to connect with potential leads and customers, build brand awareness, and generate a loyal following, PPC tends to work better.
However, although PPC can provide results faster than social media or an SEO strategy, this doesn’t mean an SEO strategy won’t work. In fact, PPC and SEO can work very well together. And with the right PPC tools, you can leverage both effectively.
As we mentioned above, some of the most popular PPC tools include the following:
- Google Ads (formerly known as Google Adwords)
- Bing Ads
- Facebook Ads
- and more…
PPC tools are easier to use and are better for researching keywords than social media platforms. Most PPC tools use a combination of factors to help users find the best keywords to use in their campaigns. This is because most PPC tools are designed with algorithms that analyze historical data. Therefore, using a PPC tool can help you to find the most relevant, top-performing, and cost-effective keywords.
How to Find a PPC Provider or Agency
If you have read this and are still overwhelmed, you always have the option to work with a PPC provider or agency. Just make sure you choose the right PPC provider or agency, because they’ll know how to craft a custom strategy and ensure you don’t waste money.
Here are some factors to consider and questions to ask when looking for a PPC provider or agency:
How will we communicate and how often? Communication is important in any relationship. It ensures both parties are on the same page, reducing the risks of miscommunications or misinterpreting goals or project requirements, and sets everyone up for success. Therefore, it’s important to understand which communication methods or channels will be used and how often you will communicate with your PPC provider or agency.
Furthermore, reputable PPC providers and agencies should be able to effectively communicate and explain various metrics that will be used to determine how well your PPC campaign is performing, what adjustments need to be made (if any), and the next steps for the upcoming month. If a PPC provider or agency seems vague about how they will communicate with you, then this is likely a red flag that you shouldn’t ignore.
Who works directly on your account? Many small PPC agencies are managed by the same people you speak to during your initial engagement, others are not. Many agencies outsource their services to third-party or offshore providers. If this is a concern for you, then be sure to ask who specifically will work on your account.
How do you handle negative keywords? Researching and selecting the right keywords is just as important as excluding the ones that won’t work. Excluding negative keywords will prevent you from paying for clicks that aren’t relevant, which can keep costs low and ensure that you are only spending money on clicks that have a high chance of converting. The most reputable PPC providers and agencies understand this and will include this step in their process.
Will I have ownership of my Google Ads account and data? When working with any PPC provider or agency, transparency should be at the top of the priority list. This is an important question to ask any PPC provider or agency. Having a clear understanding of account ownership and the terms before working with any PPC provider or agency is a step you don’t want to overlook.
What campaign performance reports does a PPC provider or agency provide? One reason why PPC campaigns have the potential of performing well is because they are based on hard data. A PPC provider or agency should be providing you with monthly reports that detail click-through-rates (CTR), conversion rates, the number of leads generated from clicks, the total number of impressions, and more.
Although reporting can be a time-consuming task for any PPC provider or agency, it’s still an important piece of the PPC pie that tells law firms how and where their money is being spent, what is working, and what isn’t.
Is the PPC company or agency a Google Partner? If a PPC provider or agency isn’t an official Google Partner, this doesn’t mean they can’t help you or can’t guarantee their work. However, PPC providers or agencies that have the official Google Partner or Premier Partner badge mean that they have effectively demonstrated their knowledge and effectiveness at increasing revenue growth for their clients.
Of course, these are just some examples of questions, criteria, and factors you should consider or ask a potential PPC provider or agency. If you are still unsure if PPC advertising is the right move or strategy for your law firm, you can start by reaching out to a PPC provider or agency to conduct an audit of your law firm’s current marketing metrics or campaign to determine if PPC is right for you.
How DAGMAR Marketing Can Help
DAGMAR Marketing has years of experience helping law firms with a full range of digital marketing services, including PPC advertising campaigns, retargeting strategies, SEO, content marketing, and more.. If you would like to learn more about how we can help your law firm, contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your specific sales and marketing needs and to determine if PPC advertising is a good fit for your firm.