Focus on search queries
For running effective PPC ads in the legal sector, I would advise lawyers to really focus on the search intent of the keywords that they are bidding on. Search intent is the reason why a person completes a search query on Google. The searcher could be looking for information, directions, or for commercial information to complete a transaction.
If a lawyer wants to focus on winning clients, they should focus on search queries with commercial and transactional intent. For example, the search term “Solicitors” is a very broad search term. The searcher is seeking information. The query is so broad that it may or may not be relevant to the law firm that is bidding for this keyword.
The search term “Employment Law Solicitors” is a more focused search term. However, it is still quite broad, and most likely an informational search query. It could simply be a job hunter researching potential employers.
The search term “Hire Employment Law Solicitor in Dublin” is a focused search term with commercial intent. The searcher is looking to actually hire a legal firm in a particular location that specializes in a particular type of law. They are effectively looking to make a purchase, so clicks from a search term like this would hold a much higher value to the law firm that is advertising.
Keyword and geographic targeting
PPC (“Pay-per-click”) advertising is one of the most immediate ways for attorneys to market their services. PPC campaigns are easy and quick to set up, inexpensive to maintain, and very, very effective. Paying only for the actual people who click on your ad (instead of paying for impressions), PPC is a true bargain. While management of a campaign can be economical, lawyers often spend astronomical sums on a per-click basis for highly competitive keywords.
Sadly, too many lawyers have gone into PPC campaigns without doing their homework first, spending tens of thousands of dollars before learning that they did not set up their campaigns correctly or didn’t meet Google’s requirements.
We advise lawyers to get as granular as possible on keyword and geographic targeting. If you are a personal injury attorney in Oregon, then only target IP addresses and searches happening in your local area with the terms you know will convert.
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Specific ad groups and tracking conversions
If you are a lawyer or law office about to engage in PPC marketing like Google Ads for the first time, you want to think about ads in terms of search intent. Search intent is what the user has in mind when they perform a search. Search intent is specific, so everything you do in your ad campaigns needs to be specific.
Start with breaking down the services you offer into specific groups (ad groups). You want to have an ad group that matches each search intent, or each service. For example, if you provide personal injury law, there are many specific search intents that a user may have like car accidents, slip and falls, or motorcycle accidents. You want to set up an ad group for the specific types of services and search intents. Then, create ads that highlight these specific services, and include the keywords in those ad groups that are specific to that. Finally, target these ads to a specific landing page about that specific service. The goal is to have ad groups, keywords, ads, and landing pages that are highly specific and relevant. This helps your ads better match the search intent of the user, and get them to a landing page that is specific to their needs.
When your ads are structured this way, you tend to have higher quality scores and better click-through rates because the keywords match the ads, which match the landing pages, which matches the search intent of the user. A common mistake is to have ads that are too broad that cover too many keywords, or ads that just go to your home page. This can cause quality scores to be lower, and drive up the costs per click. You also want to make sure you have conversion tracking in place to track phone calls and form submissions.
If you have good conversion tracking in place, you’ll be able to see the leads that are coming in from PPC ads to know what your cost per action is (or cost per conversion). Getting your campaigns set up with specific ad groups and tracking conversions are two of the important things you want to make sure you have in place when you start PPC advertising.
Negative keyword list
The best piece of advice that I could offer is to make sure that you build out a negative keyword list before you start to run your campaign. In doing this, you’ll be able to cut out keywords that you don’t want to bid on.
The negative keyword list is a really simple feature that makes marketing through PPC a much better experience. Whether you’re using Google Ads, Facebook, or even Bing Ads, you’ll be able to create a negative keyword list and apply it to your campaigns. If you’re using Google Ads, this should be one of the main parts of your processes throughout the duration of your campaigns too. A negative keyword list is a list of words, phrases, and search terms that you don’t want to bid on or show up for. For example, if you might want to bid on “property lawyer” but you might want to add “lawyer costume” to your negative keywords.
By fleshing out your negative keyword list, you’ll be able to effectively use your budget and save money so that your campaigns can target the right audiences.
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