PPC Tips For Lawyers & Law Firms – Google & Bing Ads - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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PPC Tips For Lawyers & Law Firms – Google & Bing Ads


The legal industry will always be one of the most competitive, high-stakes industries in the paid search game. As PPC evolves, it’s important to evolve with it. At PPC Assist, that’s exactly what we’re helping law firms do. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Date added: 28 January 2024
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Title: PPC Tips For Lawyers & Law Firms – Google & Bing Ads

GOOGLE G BING ADS The legal industry will
always be one of the most competitive,
high-stakes industries in the paid search
game. As PPC evolves, its important to
evolve with it. At PPC Assist, thats exactly
what were helping law firms do.
Its no secret that legal industry keywords are
some of the most competitive and expensive
keywords in all of Google Ads. There are many
marketing companies that focus exclusively on the
legal niche because of how valuable the search
market is. With traditional pricing models being
based on the percentage of spend, that makes for
a pretty sweet deal for PPC agencies who land
large law firms. Today, well go through some of
the most important tactics when it comes to paid
search advertising for law firms, as well as how
they can operate as efficiently as possible. CPCs
for lawyers depend largely upon their practice
area. A local attorney doing estates and wills
wont have to pay nearly as much for a click as a
national firm targeting mesothelioma lawyer
keywords. The higher the CPC, the higher the
stakes, and the more important it is that
campaigns are operating as tightly as possible.
Here are 10 ways to make sure youre running your
Google and Bing Ads campaigns effectively. These
are all things we do during our PPC setups and
takeovers to put accounts in strong positions to
drive effective traffic and optimize. 1.
Structure Campaigns Based on Intent We recommend
striking a balance between the old-school SKAG
(single keyword ad group) structures and Googles
recommendation of just dumping all your keywords
into one ad group. Were all about the AI-driven
bidding, but that doesnt mean you shouldnt be
smart about your account structures. If nothing
else, it allows you to customize ad copy for
specific search intents. For attorneys, we
recommend structuring campaigns and ad groups
into a few different ideas
Branded Searches for the name of your firm or
individual attorneys in the firm. Competitors
Searches for competitor firms or attorneys at
those firms (though whether or not to target
competitors at all is debatable). service
lawyers/attorneys/law firms These are the
highest quality non-branded searches, as users
are showing intent on finding an attorney. For
example, wills and trusts attorney or divorce
lawyer. service Searches for specific
services that attorneys perform, but the user
isnt searching specifically for an attorney.
These are lower quality than the attorney
searches above, but higher quality than the
reasons searches below. For example, create a
will or file for divorce. reasons someone
would need a lawyer The idea behind these is
that they are
lower intent then someone specifically searching
for a service, or they may not even realize they
need at attorney. Differentiating between these
and the service keywords can be a bit of a grey
area, but the idea here is to try to identify
where the user is in the funnel. For example,
how do I pass on assets to my children? or
divorce process in state.
Whether you want to target some or all of these
steps depends on strategies, budgets, assets
(mostly landing pages), and the nature of your
law firm. After deciding on the general strategy,
its important to break things out a bit as
outlined above so you can cater ad copy based on
the intent, stay legally compliant when using
dynamic ad text, and most importantly understand
the value each idea is driving to your firm. 2.
Extensive Negative Keyword Lists The importance
of extensive negative keyword lists has moved way
up the list of importance over the past few
years. As Google and Bing have gotten more and
more liberal with their keyword-matching
definitions, unintended targeting of certain
keywords has become rampant. The only real way to
combat that at the moment is with extensive
negative keyword lists.
At PPC Assist, whenever we onboard a client, our
negative keyword lists are immediately applied to
current campaigns. This often results in
immediate savings that more than cover our costs.
Especially in the legal industry when clicks can
cost 10s (if not 100s) of dollars, eliminating
a few wasted clicks can have a dramatic impact on
performance. Negative keyword lists should
include competitors (if desired),
states/cities/countries you dont practice in,
(too) high-funnel informational searches,
keywords ancillary to but not targeting your
services, words that would disqualify someone,
cheap/free/pro- bono, pdfs and other documents,
and the list goes on. You may also want to have
specific negative keyword lists for your tier 1
campaigns that youre paying super high CPCs on,
such as the service attorney near me searches
and the
like. You can apply a negative list of more
informational searches to this campaign, and have
a second campaign that does allow for these
higher funnel searches, but at a much lower
CPC. 3. Dont Stress About Match Types As an
old-school PPC manager whos been at this for 15
years, it pains me to say this, because I used to
love my detailed exact and phrase-match-type
structures. And while Id go back to it if I
could, the way Google has evolved over the past
few years makes managing campaigns in this way
less and less feasible. This evolution is one of
the reasons why PPC Assist exists and is
embracing Googles philosophy. Paddling with the
current, if you will. Dont stress about match
types because they dont matter that much anymore.
Exact doesnt mean exact, phrase doesnt mean
phrase, so agonizing over match type structures
is just a guessing game of what keywords youll
actually qualify for. Rather than worry about
that, embrace the AI-focused bidding and give
Google and Bing the opportunity to drive cost-
effective results for you. This is feasible as
long as negative keyword lists are done
effectively. With extensive and useful negative
keyword lists, you can loosen your grip on match
types and allow for more targeting freedom,
knowing that youre restricting the AI from
spreading too much given your extensive
exclusions. For new accounts, we still recommend
starting with exact and phrase keywords. As an
account matures and the negative keyword list
lengthens, you can introduce or switch to broad
targeting to expand your reach without
introducing lots of poor quality.
  • Landing Page Optimization
  • In highly competitive verticals, maximizing
    conversion rates are integral to being successful
    in paid search. We see a lot of companies driving
    expensive traffic to outdated websites that dont
    communicate effectively and often arent
    optimized for mobile devices (which may receive
    most of your traffic).
  • Increasing conversion rates from 6 vs 10 when
    the stakes are this high is invaluable.
  • Its important to understand that if youre
    investing tens or hundreds of thousands of
    dollars in traffic acquisition, its worth the
    investment to actively test and try to improve
    conversion rates.
  • Conversion Tracking
  • At PPC Assist, our management philosophy relies
    heavily on effective conversion tracking to
    operate successfully. Utilizing big data

AI-driven ideas relies on the algorithm being
able to differentiate between a good click and a
bad one. Tracking contacts is vital, and its the
bare minimum you should be doing in such a high-
stakes, high CPC industry like legal services. So
click-to-calls, calls from ads, contact form
fills, landing page form fills, etc. If youre
investing a lot into paid media, you should be
taking it a step further. This often means
scoring leads and feeding those values back into
Google and Bing so they know the quality of the
leads that came through. You could also use a
Lead vs. MQL vs. SQL model instead and eventually
optimize for qualified leads rather than just
contacts. Optimizing for qualified leads rather
than simple contacts or form fills helps
campaigns optimize for the right users, which
gives you an advantage over advertisers who are
optimizing for any contact.
  • Write Unique Ad Copy
  • Best practice is to match headlines and ad copy
    to search terms, which you should absolutely do.
    You need the lines that say Personal Injury
    Attorney or Wills Estates in City, for
    example. That said, differentiating a bit is also
    important. You dont need to have a catchphrase
    like attorneys that advertise heavily on local TV
    and radio, but saying something unique or
    memorable that differentiates your firm from the
    rest of the listings can help cut through the
  • Theres more flexibility in descriptions for this
    than there is in headlines. Maybe 1 headline can
    have differentiating copy that can grab someones
    attention, and then once you have that, you can
    draw them in with the description lines and
    extensions. Which leads us to
  • Make Full Use of Ad Extensions

Ad Extensions allow for a little creativity
(mainly with Callouts), but the main theory here
is to take up as much real estate on the SERP as
Google will allow. Forgetting to use these just
ends up with smaller, less compelling ads with
lower quality scores, decreasing CTRs and
increasing CPCs. Not good. Location Extensions
Your GMB listing is important, and it should be
integrated into your account as an extension. Map
listings can be powerful, so make sure this is
optimized and added to your account.
Call Extensions Skip the website if you can!
Get users to call you immediately, especially for
personal injury and other practice areas where
people want assistance now. Make sure to schedule
these only for times someone can answer the
phone. Callout Extensions These allow for some
creativity and allow you to differentiate from
competitors a bit. Popular callouts could be
awards/accolades, big cases won, number of
attorneys / firm size, promotions, benefits, and
more. If you can be specific with callouts on the
campaign or ad group level, do it. Sitelink
Extensions The more content you have on your
website, the more options youll have here. This
allows you to be specific with Sitelink
Extensions, using not just service pages and
contact pages, but also relevant resources,
subservices, or even testimonial pages.
Structured Snippets Attorneys will typically
use these to display their practice areas or
services using the Service Catalog snippet.
Types can also be used in many cases
(e.g. Divorce, Mediation, Amicable Divorce, etc).
As the rule goes, just use as many of them as you
can, and make them as relevant as possible. Image
Extensions Pictures draw attention to the ad
and should be used in all cases. If an attorney
at your firm, or the firm in general, runs media
advertising that makes you recognizable to users
in the area, these can be especially powerful.
They can reinforce previous marketing messages
and improve CTRs more than usual. Video
Extensions While these dont get much attention
for search campaigns, it doesnt hurt to add them
if you have some effective videos uploaded to
YouTube. Who knows how Google will promote these
in the
future. As video continues to grow, utilizing
your video assets will be important in getting
the attention of your target audience. For all
extensions, its important to be as targeted as
possible with them. That often means ad group or
campaign-level extensions (depending on your
structure) rather than account-level extensions.
The more you can speak directly to the needs of
the user and differentiate yourself from the
general attorney ads on the SERPs, the more
likely youll get those clicks and
conversions. 8. Location Targeting Dont make
this mistake! Google and Bing seem to have a very
loose idea of interested in when it comes to
geographic locations. Sometimes it seems that if
I show interest in thin crust pizza, Google will
decide Ive shown interest in NYC and show me ads
While thats a bit hyperbolic, the Presence or
interest at a minimum basically sets a very
generous radius around your location. If you want
to use the Presence or interest setting to be
more liberal with your targeting, you can. In
these cases, I recommend using negative location
exclusions aggressively for these campaigns
(which you should be doing anyways). For example,
if your firm is located in Chicago, consider
adding negatives for surrounding states, which
would effectively just extend your reach to more
rural Illinois to people who might be willing to
travel to Chicago.
You can (and should) also use negative keywords
to exclude people searching for services in a
different city. Note that this is more relevant
for local attorneys that have a tight service
radius. If people from out-of-town frequently
search for and employ legal services away from
their home, its a better idea to find a way to
target them. Real estate attorneys would be a
good example here. 9. Retargeting The
effectiveness of retargeting advertising largely
depends on the length of the decision making
process for potential clients. For car accidents
and slip-and-fall attorneys, its often difficult
to build large enough retargeting lists to target
users in the narrow timeframe necessary to get
them signed.
On the other hand, family law attorneys and real
estate can have longer shelf lives, so running
retargeting campaigns can be more
productive. That said, we typically recommend
retargeting for all attorneys with enough traffic
to qualify for lists (100 user minimum). Making a
visual impact and continuing to influence users
during the decision making process are a great
reason for remarketing. However, from an
efficiency perspective, it makes the decision
even more attractive. When youre paying so much
for the initial click, retargeting allows you to
continue to reach that user at a small fraction
of the cost of your initial click. Thats an
opportunity you shouldnt pass up on. 10. Test
Bidding Strategies Quite frankly, the maximize
bidding models that Google recommends these days
get pretty scary when multiple large firms are
trying to maximize lead volume on 100 CPC
keywords. There isnt much keeping CPCs from
spiraling upward into the stars. For that reason,
it can be a good idea to maintain a bit more
control on bidding and test alternative (capped)
bidding strategies. Even the maximize bidding
models allow for targeting CPAs or restricting
clicks from going over a certain amount. If click
costs are getting out of control, setting a limit
here to see if clicks can continue without
restricting performance may be a worthwhile
test. You could also consider going a bit more
old- school with Manual CPC for a bit to test the
elasticity of the bidding market. If there are
only 1-3 aggressive bidders in the market, taking
bids down could have a significant, positive
impact on CPCs and results. If its a
competitive market, however, its likely others
will just fill in the space and youll lose all
your exposure. Thats why its something to test,
not to set and forget. Summary The legal
industry will always be one of the most
competitive, high-stakes industries in the paid
search game. As PPC evolves, its important to
evolve with it. At PPC Assist, thats exactly
what were helping law firms do. We actually
created PPC Assist with high- competition
verticals like attorneys in mind. Many agencies
charge a percentage of spend for PPC management,
which just doesnt make a lot of sense when
clicks cost 100/each. And with the increased
effectiveness of AI- optimized tools and bidding,
it makes more and more sense for lawyers to use a
model like this rather than active management.
Regardless of what ongoing costs your law firm
pays for management of your Google Ads account,
an effective setup is absolutely crucial in all
cases for the success of the effort. The tips
above focus on putting you in a good place,
structuring the account well and reducing
wasteful spend as your account runs. There are
certainly benefits for ongoing help, and
attorneys will likely employ periodic ongoing
help at greater rates than many other industries,
but that doesnt mean you should be paying a PPC
manager 25/click to watch over a campaign. If
youre interested in learning more about PPC
Assist, check out our PPC for attorneys page, or
view our pricing to see how much you can save on
management. You can also request a free review of
your account! Human-Directed, AI-Driven PPC
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