Continuing our series on marketing for law firms, we turn our attention to Google Ads (PPC) for lawyers. We'll discuss paid search in particular, then move into different ways to generate business for law firms using Google Ads.
Paid search ads are one of the most powerful tools in digital marketing today, and have been for several years. What makes Google PPC a potent marketing tool? We will explore the use of PPC ads for law firms, how to best utilize them, and compare them to other advertising tools for attorneys.
What Are PPC Ads?
First, let's discuss what we are talking about when it comes to PPC ads. PPC is an acronym that means pay-per-click. This refers to the way these ads are billed to the advertiser. So there is no cost to run the ads, only when a user clicks on the link in the ad.
The strict definition of pay-per-click essentially means all digital advertising is PPC. However, the standard accepted form of PPC ads are paid search ads. Paid search ads are sponsored text ads that appear on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). You have seen these ads whenever you search for a product or service on Google, Bing, or Yahoo.
These ads have the benefit of displaying at the top of search engine results, above the organic search results. The benefits of running paid search ads for a law firm will be discussed below.
Both paid search ads and SEO are activities under the umbrella of Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Whether you are investing in SEO for your law firm or paid search ads, you are performing search engine marketing.
How Do PPC Ads For Law Firms Work?
The process of setting up paid search ads for law firms, or any business, starts with understanding how search engines work. When a potential client is looking for legal services online, they will almost invariably go to Google or Bing and type in a question into the search engine. From there, the search engine displays a list of results that most accurately reflect what the user is looking for.
These results are influenced by signals, which the search algorithm is trained to understand over time. Some of the signals that a search engine algorithm can utilize to display the best results for any query include: location (based on the searcher's location), time of day, and keywords.
PPC ads allow advertisers to utilize these signals (and even more data) to program their ads to appear when the searcher enters various keywords. For example, a Michigan divorce attorney would want to have their ad appear when someone in Michigan searches for "get a divorce." So the divorce attorney would put that term in their keyword list to target. You can further refine your list by understanding the different keyword match types.
Law firms can geotarget their ads to appear only when someone in a specific state or even zip code searches. This is helpful if you only handle cases in specific counties or states. There are plenty of data options to help you further target your ads and refine who ends up seeing them. We'll cover that a bit later.
From the list of keywords and targeting, you can then build your responsive search ads. You'll be able to add headlines, descriptions and ad extensions. Google will alternate these based on signals and choose the best performing headlines and descriptions. You can learn more about responsive search ads in a previous blog.
Different Conversion Objectives In PPC Ads For Law Firms
Now that you understand how PPC ads work generally, it is important to know what types of conversions you can expect from different ads. There are 3 main conversion actions in paid search ads that we will cover below. All three are beneficial to a law firm, and the only real difference is what you determine is most valuable to your business.
Driving Web Form Completions With PPC Ads for Law Firms
One objective you can achieve with paid search ads is web form completions. Simply set your conversion action as a form completion. From there, those that click on your ads will be directed to a landing page with the form. One interesting fact about PPC ads is that as more conversions are completed successfully, the ads learn what signals are most likely to produce a conversion on your website.
Get Potential Clients To Call You With A Phone Call Objective
Google Ads allows you to choose phone calls as a source of leads, and this objective is a very powerful one. The ads only display on mobile devices and allow the consumer to simply click and call your firm directly. The cost per conversion on these ads is a bit higher on the average, but the conversion rate is much higher also.
Drive Foot Traffic To Your Firm
If you have a small firm, you might want to take advantage of the store visit objective. This objective is one that is now only available in Performance Max campaigns. By using local signals, Google can actually provide you with real visitors to your firm, which of course, converts at the highest rate of all of these three main objectives.
Google Ads can be a powerful marketing tool for your business. By using both SEO and paid search, search engine marketing can be a major growth driver for your law firm. Our third and final piece will be about PR and earned media.