SEO, SEM, PPC—with all the initialisms, it’s no wonder that attorneys can feel lost in the internet marketing world. But pay-per-click (PPC) marketing and other paid search strategies aren’t just for the most experienced legal marketers out there; even smaller law firms with little experience in online attorney marketing can take advantage of these strategies to drive more traffic to their website.
This article breaks down exactly what PPC marketing involves, how it can benefit your law firm when done the right way, and how to get started.
What is PPC?
Pay-per-click marketing is one type of paid search advertising, whose purpose is to basically buy website visits in order to potentially increase client conversions. One way to do this is through search engine marketing, where law firms bid on keywords related to their practice so they can appear in the advertisement space at the top of a search engine results page.
For example, a personal injury firm might bid on “personal injury attorney San Francisco” so that their ad might appear in the top four Google results like in the image below.
The idea is simple: search engine users won’t scroll much before clicking to a website, especially since Google pushes the best, most relevant pages toward the top. The higher your law firm’s website lands on a search engine results page, the greater your chance of receiving more traffic.
Is PPC marketing effective?
That’s the million-dollar question. Yes, in addition to other attorney marketing strategies like content marketing and SEO, PPC marketing can be a cost-effective and worthwhile investment for law firms. Think about it—you may spend $2 per click to your website, but if one of those clicks becomes a client that brings in $10,000 to your firm, you’ve spent peanuts in exchange for a hefty profit.
However, like many other forms of attorney marketing, PPC marketing should be considered an investment. Law firms must first spend time understanding how to build powerful PPC ads before they will see a steady payoff. Luckily, the information below can get you started on the right path.
My law firm is new to PPC marketing. Where can we start?
When delving into PPC marketing as part of your attorney marketing arsenal, Google AdWords is a great place to start. It’s the most expansive and popular platform, particularly because the worldwide population completes 3.5 billion Google searches every day (according to Internet Live Statistics).
Google AdWords operates like an auction, where users establish a budget, bid on keywords, and write advertisements to potentially see their ad in the cherished ad space at the top of the results page. Users only pay when their ad is clicked, and the good news is that the highest bidders don’t automatically land a place in the ad space; Google bases its decision on multiple factors above and beyond bid such as:
- Expected clickthrough rate: an estimate of how often your advertisement might be clicked
- Landing page experience: how relevant and user-friendly your landing page (the page that visitors see once they click on your ad) is, based on factors like original content, layout, and the way in which your website interacts with a visitor’s computer
- Ad relevance: the kind of language you use in your ad and how well it answers the internet user’s query
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How can my firm be more competitive in the PPC market?
There are several things that your law firm can do today that can increase your odds of earning a spot in the coveted ad space at the top of results pages.
- Revisit your website design
A well-designed website is a cornerstone of all effective online attorney marketing strategies, including PPC marketing. The more organized, relevant, helpful, and user-friendly your website is, the greater your chances of being ranked higher by Google and landing in an ad spot. Revisit your website and ask:
- Do I regularly produce original content (e.g., blog articles) for my website?
- Is the layout user-friendly and easy to navigate?
- Is my website secure?
- Are my landing pages optimized for conversions (e.g., do they contain information relevant to the advertisement? Are calls to action present to push visitors to consult your firm? Do you have a landing page associated with each type of online ad, so you can route visitors to the most appropriate page for their situation?)?
If your law firm’s website is lacking in any of these areas, reach out to an experienced legal website designer for help.
- Write each ad to answer a specific query
Because one of Google’s ranking factors is ad relevance, it is important to craft an advertisement that specifically answers potential visitors’ queries. For instance, a Google user searching for “personal injury attorney Salt Lake City” is looking for something a bit different than a user scouring Google with the query “Is my boss responsible if I’m injured on the job?”
Nail down the type of client or business you’re looking for as well as the various queries that this audience would search, and keep these elements in mind when writing multiple ads.
- Find the keywords that are relevant (and affordable) for your law firm
When it comes to creating the keyword list for your online attorney marketing, bidding on long-tail keywords can be less expensive and more effective at sending the right kind of business your way than the most popular phrases.
For instance, instead of “personal injury attorney,” which has a lot of competition, consider bidding on a keyword phrase like “workers’ compensation law firm for construction workers Austin.” You will receive less traffic but the visitors you do see may fit your ideal client profile much better, and therefore convert at a higher rate—all at less cost to you, since you’re bidding on keywords with far less competition.
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