Many lawyers understand the value of developing pay-per-click (PPC) strategies and utilizing Google Ads to drive leads and bring in new cases. Despite this understanding, many law firms struggle to see the same results as their competitors. As the Paid Media Manager at Hennessey Digital, I will unlock the secrets to successful PPC strategies and campaigns for law firms by exploring common mistakes and missed opportunities that prevent achieving optimal results with their Google Ads campaigns.
So let’s dive into strategies you can implement this year to improve the ROI of law firm PPC campaigns on Google Ads.
Understanding how pay-per-click works
When running PPC digital advertising, also known as paid search, you are charged a fee each time someone clicks on your advertisement. Instead of relying on organic methods to attract clients, PPC allows you to “purchase” website traffic. This is particularly useful when you want to target competitive keywords, such as “personal injury lawyer,” and your organic ranking may not be high enough to appear on the first search engine results page (SERP). By bidding on the keyword and paying a certain amount if clicked, your ad will be displayed.
SEO and paid search strategies are effective when run together, as they boost your visibility on the SERP, and seeing listings in both places is known to boost trust in the credibility of a page or link when someone clicks. Developing a PPC campaign strategy for law firms takes careful execution owing to regulations and optimizing campaign performance, but it’s important to advertise there since potential clients turn to search engines and often engage with paid ads when looking for legal advice. PPC marketing can sometimes be expensive and competitive, too, but it can also yield a high return on investment with the right strategies and focused campaigns.
Never bid on broad single-word keywords
It’s important to not focus solely on broad single-word keywords such as “lawyer” or “attorney.” These can be costly to bid on and can lead to campaign inefficiency and wasted budget. Instead, think about targeting long-tail or multiple-word keywords that are more specific, less expensive, and provide more opportunities to capitalize on than the highly-competitive, broadhead keywords. By doing so, you can choose more specific, niche keywords that take into account the buyer intent and the practice areas that generate the most revenue for your law firm. This strategy may seem subtle, but it can have a significant impact on the effectiveness of your ads campaign and is a great PPC strategy to implement for your law firm.
Use negative keywords in your campaign
It might seem counter-intuitive to use negative keywords in your paid search campaigns, but it is a proven PPC strategy. Negative keywords are terms that you explicitly exclude from your PPC campaign so that your ad will not show up when a specific term is searched for. This strategy helps increase the chances of reaching your target audience.
It’s common to use multiple negative keyword lists, around seven to ten, so when thinking of what you want to include in your list of negative keywords, consider terms that are unlikely to result in a qualified sales lead, such as ‘legal aid,’ ‘games,’ and ‘apps.’ You should consider adding terms associated with education and careers to your negative keyword list as well as other low-quality, sales lead terms like ‘cheap,’ ‘free,’ and ‘inexpensive.’ You may also want to include cities and states that are outside of your target region. Being aggressive with keyword exclusions will help you avoid spending money on undesirable search terms, boost your conversion rate by reducing unnecessary clicks, and result in more qualified customers visiting your website or landing page.
Implement an effective keyword bidding approach
An effective keyword bidding strategy is crucial for a successful Google Ads campaign. This involves determining the right keywords to bid on and setting the appropriate bid amount for each keyword. To use automated bid strategies, Google Ads provides several strategies that can help optimize your campaigns for different goals, such as maximizing conversions, maximizing clicks, and targeting CPA (cost per acquisition). It’s important to regularly monitor and adjust your bids as needed to help ensure that you’re getting the best results for your investment. Keep in mind that the most effective keyword bidding strategy will vary depending on your firm’s unique goals and circumstances.
Protect your brand
Even if your law firm already ranks well in search engine results for your branded terms (ie: company name), it’s important to consider advertising for these keywords. If not, a competitor may use your firm’s name in their ad campaign and potentially divert customers away from your business. This tactic is known as “brand-jacking.” Even if your organic search ranking is high, a competitor could still appear above you in the paid advertising section for your brand name. To avoid this, bid on your branded terms to increase your digital real estate and maintain control over how your firm is represented in the paid advertising section.
A/B test with compelling ad copy
One of the fundamental rules of a winning PPC strategy is to test everything. Nowhere is this more important than in your paid ad copy. This is the copy that will either convince a potential client to click or not, resulting in them completing an online lead form, calling your firm, or looking at a competitor. Messaging is key and the ad has to speak to the needs and concerns of your target audience. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that you know what people want in your ads rather than what the data tells you. You can write the best ad in the world, but if it’s not performing by boosting click-through rates and leading to conversions, it means it isn’t working.
Google has a good built-in tool to test and measure different versions of your ad copy to determine what resonates most with your target audience and generates the best results in terms of click-through rate and conversions.
Although it may seem overwhelming to develop an organic search and paid media strategy that sets your law firm up for success in search results, understanding the ins and outs of law firm SEO is crucial for your PPC strategies to continually acquire new clients. A strong online presence and a constant flow of qualified leads are essential for the growth of your practice, and one way to achieve this is by working with an experienced PPC team that can manage and optimize your campaigns daily.
Looking to acquire more cases while keeping costs low, or want to improve your marketing strategies and establish a stronger online presence for your law firm? Trust our PPC experts here at Hennessey Digital to drive results for your law firm. Fill out the form below to learn how we can help you achieve your goals!