PPC allows promotion to a targeted audience through search engines and other advertising platforms, with ads appearing based on relevant keywords. Unsurprisingly, over 58% of traffic to legal groups comes from paid searches, making law firm PPC campaigns a no-brainer.

The best part about PPC is that it allows law firms to target specific types of clients looking for specific legal services. This sharpens online marketing efforts and improves client acquisition. For example, a personal injury law firm can use pay-per-click advertising to target people searching for a “personal injury lawyer” in their area.

Throughout this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about PPC for lawyers, from its definition to its types, how to create and manage a PPC campaign and the benefits of PPC advertising.

What Is PPC for Lawyers?

Pay-per-click (PPC) is an online advertising method in which promoted links appear above or beside typical organic search results.

You only pay when someone clicks on the link. This model allows law firms to bid on relevant keywords and display ads on the search engine results page (SERP) at the top of search results.

Focused targeting potential of PPC services for lawyers makes it uniquely powerful. It allows you to reach consumers precisely when they’re actively searching for legal representation or services related to your practice areas. From personal injury to real estate law, PPC is a direct pipeline to qualified potential clients at their moment of need.

How PPC for lawyers works
This graph demonstrates how PPC works

Does PPC Work for Lawyers?

Yes, PPC can deliver clients to law firms. Many law firms rely on PPC advertising to reach potential clients. For instance, 61% of law firms using Google Ads have seen an average click-to-call conversion rate of 43%.

There’s plenty of evidence to show that PPC can help attract new clients to law firms. With the right strategy, PPC campaigns can deliver immediate results, helping firms increase their online visibility.

For example, legal Barr & Douds Attorneys saw a 651% increase in client inquiries, while Stracci Law Group experienced a 547% increase in organic traffic. After optimizing their campaigns, Brooks & Radchenko’s conversion rate average grew by 13%.

Immediate PPC profit results
Using Google Ads, you can see how effectively your PPC campaign works

With a Google ad campaign, law firms can expect an average 400% ROI and quick results. Law firms can’t afford to ignore PPC as a potential goldmine for generating leads. Sixth City Marketing found that 11.1% of law firms saw more leads when investing in Google Local Service Ads. 

However, it’s not just about throwing money at PPC to guarantee success. Firms need to ensure their campaigns are well-planned and reach the target audience.

Continuous monitoring and optimization are crucial to remaining effective and maximizing ROI.

Why Choose Grow Law Firm for Your Lawyer PPC Campaign

Grow Law Firm is the top choice for legal PPC campaigns because of our expertise and proven results. With over 15 years of experience exclusively serving the legal industry, we have refined targeted strategies and key understandings that maximize success.

Working with us alleviates the challenges of developing, optimizing, and managing campaigns in-house. Our team is dedicated to constantly monitoring performance, conducting tests, and implementing refinements to continuously improve ROI.

Unlike generic DIY initiatives, we tailor every campaign to each practice area, family law, SSDI, or personal injury.

The table below gives a brief insight into what we are talking about: 

GLF DIY
1. Time Our dedicated team can manage your PPC needs while you focus on running your law firm. Our team can manage your campaigns so as not to hinder your productivity
2. Expertise We have the skills and experience to create and optimize effective campaigns Requires technical skills to set up and optimize campaigns
3. Access to resources We have access to all the necessary resources and tools required for a winning PPC campaign You may need to invest in resources and tools to effectively manage your campaign
4. Risk Our experience over the years helps to reduce the chances of errors and maximize your budget PPC campaigns require careful management and mistakes can be costly
5. Adaptability to change We closely monitor trends and updates and implement them fast to ensure your campaigns remain effective Since the market evolves quickly, changes may be slow to adapt

Types of Lawyer PPC Ads

When it comes to online advertising for law firms, there’s no shortage of options to choose from. But with so many choices, it can be difficult to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to the different types of lawyer PPC (pay-per-click) ads available to you.

— Google Ads

An example of search ads
Search ads appear at the top of the SERP

Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords or Google Search Ads) are an effective way to reach potential clients. These PPC ads appear on Google’s search engine results pages and other websites within the Google Ads network. Lawyers can use Google Ads to target specific keywords, demographic groups, and geographic locations.

Google Ads offers visual, audio, and textual formats, including search and video ads. Search ads are text-based and appear alongside organic search results. They are triggered by keywords and appear to users searching for those terms. Video ads, on the other hand, can be used to reach potential clients on YouTube.

Google Ads campaign is valuable for connecting prospective clients and can quickly generate results. When keyword strategies, ad copy, and landing pages are optimized, they can lead to a high return on investment.

— Display Ads

An example of display ads
Your display ads reflect your personality. It should be appealing and correlate with your practice area

Display ads are advertisements that appear on websites. They are visually appealing and help brand law firms, ensuring visitors remember them. Display ads are best used for brand awareness and remarketing to previous website visitors. They can be highly targeted and are a powerful form of online billboard advertising.

— Local Service Ads

An example of LSA
Google Local Services Ads target people searching for specific attorneys

Local Service Ads (LSAs) are a relatively new form of advertising available to law firms. They appear at the top of Google search results when users search for specific local services. Local services ads are pay-per-lead ads, so firms only pay for valid leads. They include details such as the firm’s headshot, review rating, work hours, and years in business, which help build trust with potential clients. LSAs are ideal for law firms targeting local clients and competing with larger firms.

How to Create and Manage a PPC Campaign

So, you’ve decided to try PPC advertising for your law firm. That’s great! But now what? Creating and managing a successful PPC campaign can be quite challenging, especially for those who are new to the world of digital advertising and decide not to use PPC management services. Below, we will discuss some of the ways to create ads and how to manage them.

Watch law firm growth expert talking about PPC for lawyers

1. Define Clear Objectives

The foundation of successful PPC campaigns involves establishing goals to provide strategic direction. Lawyers must define what “success” means concretely, such as garnering 5 quality consultations per week from personal injury ads. Quantifying desired results prevents ambiguous interpretations and helps measure progress.

An example of a client persona profile
An example of a client persona profile

For law firms, common PPC goals include:

  • Lead generation: Driving a specific number of leads or conversions (e.g., phone calls, form submissions) from your PPC campaign
  • Brand awareness: Increasing visibility and recognition for your law firm’s brand
  • Conversion rate optimization: Improving the percentage of users who complete a desired action (e.g., filling out a contact form) after clicking on your ad
  • Cost per acquisition (CPA): Reducing the cost of acquiring a new client or lead

When defining your objectives, consider the following:

  • Make sure your objectives are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART)
  • Determine what metrics you’ll use to measure success (e.g., conversion rate, cost per conversion)
  • Prioritize your objectives: Focus on the most important goals and allocate your PPC budget accordingly
  • Regularly review and adjust your objectives: As your campaign evolves, your objectives may change, and it’s essential to adapt to these changes

2. Conduct Thorough Keyword Research

Keyword research involves identifying relevant keywords that potential clients are searching for and using those keywords to create targeted ads.

To conduct keyword research, you can use tools like Google Keyword Planner. This tool allows you to enter a seed keyword and generate a list of related keywords, along with their search volume and competition level.

It’s important to consider keywords indicating informational intent as well as commercial intent. Researchers should explore variations, misspellings, and related long-tail keywords to expand their reach.

Perform keyword research before creating a lawyer PPC campaign
In such popular keyword analysis tools as Ahrefs and SEMRush, you should also pay attention to specific metrics

Use Negative Keywords

Negative keywords are keywords that you don’t want your ad to appear for.

For example, suppose you’re a personal injury attorney. In that case, you might want to add “free” as a negative keyword so that your ad doesn’t appear for people searching for “free personal injury lawyers” or “free legal advice” since they don’t typically lead to paid work. 

Negative keywords help lawyers only pay to reach customers genuinely in need of their paid services. You should test negative keywords and adjust as needed to continuously refine targeting. This tactic plays a key role in law firm PPC ad campaigns by focusing ads on commercially viable keywords.

3. Create Compelling Ad Copy

Ad copy acts as a mini-billboard and defines whether prospects engage, so lawyers must craft carefully targeted appeals. Your ad copy should be clear and concise, conveying the value proposition of your law firm and what sets you apart from competitors. That is the best way to attract clicks and convert leads.

Ad copy with an engaging meta title
Ad copy should quickly communicate what your firm can offer clients and how you can help solve their legal problems

Here are some tips and best practices to help you craft effective PPC ad copy:

  • Mirror the user’s objective. Understand the user’s goal and write ad copy that directly address their needs and desires. 
  • Use numbers and statistics. Include numbers, percentages, or exact figures in your headlines and body copy to make your law firm PPC ads stand out and add credibility. 
  • Appeal to the user’s sense of entitlement. Address the user’s core problem or desire by tapping into their sense of entitlement or selfishness. 
  • Incorporate emotional triggers. Evoke emotions in your ad copy to create a powerful response. Play on negative emotions like anger or fear and positive emotions like hope or relief. 
  • Create unique, keyword-rich display URLs. Optimize your display URL by including relevant keywords and making it more appealing. 
  • Prioritize your best copy. Ensure your most important copy appears at the beginning of your ad to capture attention, especially on smaller devices. Front-load your ad with the most compelling messages to make the most of limited space.
  • Use strong, creative calls to action (CTAs): Opt for creative CTAs that go beyond generic phrases. For instance, “Schedule a free consultation today” or “Join the thousands of happy customers.”
  • Use a clear, concise headline: Keep your headline simple, concise, and attention-grabbing. 
  • A/B test your ad copy: Regularly test different versions of your ad copy to find what works best. Experiment with headlines, body copy, and CTAs to optimize your ad’s performance.
Local keywords in meta title
Boost your PPC ads with local keywords for better targeting and higher visibility

4. Design Eye-Catching Visuals

Visuals play a huge role in compelling clicks from PPC ads. Consistent branding develops trust, so any visual you use should reinforce your law firm’s professional image. The visuals should be high-quality and sharply focused images. Well-designed visuals are proven to boost click-through rates over plain-text listings. Take time fine-tuning images that attract clicks by conveying expertise and benefits. 

For websites, select images that demonstrate your specialty in a visually interesting way. For example, a family law firm may use photos of happy clients, or a real estate attorney could showcase an attractive property. Avoid vague stock images—get client testimonials or photograph staff.

In PPC ads, incorporate graphics related to targeted keywords. For example, a car accident lawyer may use images of crashed vehicles or maps of local hospitals. Always ensure pictures match the ad text. Videos also stand out, so compile short, legal-focused clips that educate prospective clients.

5. Optimize Landing Pages

Landing pages determine whether online ad clicks translate into further engagement, so optimization is key to campaign success. Elements like compelling headlines summarizing ad topics, clear calls-to-action guiding visitors to the next step, and self-explanatory intake forms streamline initial experiences.

An example of appealing landing page
An example of an appealing landing page

Furthermore, ensure the landing page loads fast to reduce the bounce rate since most clients will exit a page if they have to wait long. The page should also be responsive on various screens, such as smartphones, tablets, or desktops. 

To strengthen your brand, you need to ensure consistent messaging across ads. Implement structured data to inform search intent and match appropriate landing pages, further personalizing the online experience. 

6. Set a Realistic Budget

If you have a profitability goal, engineer your ideal budget by considering your average order value, gross margin, and cost per acquisition. For instance, if you want to make $5,000 of profit in the first month of your law firm PPC campaign, and your service’s average value is $450 with a 55% gross margin, you’ll need to budget around $7,375 for click fees.

Remember, your PPC budget will depend on several factors, including the cost of keywords in your industry and the lifetime value of your customers. You can estimate your budget using different methods, including analyzing past performance and identifying keywords by intent.

A graph of projected PPC results

Let’s say you want to run a two-month campaign. After identifying your keywords, you’ll need to determine the potential number of impressions, clicks, and associated costs. You might use a tool like Google Ads keyword planner to estimate the cost per click for those keywords.

Suppose the potential cost is workable for you. In that case, you might set your budget accordingly, bearing in mind that you’ll need to allocate different amounts to different campaigns, depending on their value to your business. Or you could use a budget calculator to help you decide.

Daily and monthly budgets are standard in the world of PPC marketing. While you might set your budget at a daily rate, it’s an average and not a maximum. There will be days when your budget is exceeded and others when it’s not met. Google and other search engines will balance this out over the campaign period so you don’t exceed your specified daily budget times the average number of days in a month, around 30.4.

7. Monitor and Analyze Campaign Performance

Once your PPC campaign is live, the work doesn’t stop there! You’ll need to monitor and analyze its performance to ensure it’s delivering the desired results.

Regular monitoring is crucial, as it allows you to identify issues and opportunities, optimize your campaign, and make data-driven decisions. AI tools can help save time and energy on this ongoing task.

How retargeting works
Despite the fact that retargeting is a long-term strategy, it improves your law firm’s visibility on other websites

When examining your PPC campaign performance, focus on relevant key metrics, such as:

  • Impressions: The number of times your ads are shown to potential clients.
  • Clicks: The number of clicks your ads receive.
  • Click-through rate (CTR): This is calculated as the number of clicks divided by impressions. It indicates how well your ads are performing.
  • Cost per click (CPC): The average amount you pay for each click.
  • Conversions: The number of direct actions taken from your ads, such as form submissions or phone calls.
  • Conversion rate: The percentage of clicks that result in a conversion.

Dashboards and reports are crucial tools for analyzing performance. Google Ads, for example, has a range of reporting tools you can use to track your progress. Ensure you choose metrics relevant to your goals, as cluttering reports with unnecessary information can be confusing.

Implement Conversion Tracking

These metrics can be monitored in Google Ads

Conversion tracking records desired client outcomes like free consultations or retainer agreements to link ad spend directly to business impact. It confirms whether ads effectively guide prospects through the desired “customer journey.”  You can set up conversion tracking through Google Ads or Bing Ads by adding a snippet of code to your website. This lets you track your visitors’ actions after clicking on your ad. Google Tag Manager is another useful tool for better PPC tracking. It saves time by allowing you to deploy tracking codes without editing the law firm’s website code.

8. A/B Test Ad Variations

A/B testing, also called split testing, can help you maximize the potential of your ads.

It involves creating two variants—let’s call them A and B—of your ad and testing them against each other to find the one that performs better. You can test various elements, from the headline and body text to the display URL and call to action. The key is to change one element at a time so you know exactly what’s affecting the performance.

For instance, you might have two different headlines for the same ad. Run them both for a few days and see which one performs better. Small changes can have a big impact! It’s a good idea to continue testing and changing the elements to optimize your ad.

A/B Test Ad Variations

Ensure you run your A/B tests simultaneously and for long enough to gather meaningful data. A few days is usually not enough; try running them for closer to a week or even a couple of weeks. You’ll need thousands of impressions to get accurate results. And remember, the results will not always be clear-cut, so don’t be afraid to run additional tests to fine-tune your variations.

There are plenty of tools available to help you analyze and set up A/B tests. Google Ads, for example, has a feature that lets you create drafts of your experiments and compare them to the original. You can also use third-party tools like Hotjar, Unbounce, or Google Optimize.

9. Adjust Bids and Budgets Regularly

Bidding and budget optimization can help you reduce PPC ad spend and maximize the return on your investment. Before diving into bidding and budget optimization, understand your campaign goals. Are you aiming for increased website traffic, lead generation, or sales? Having a clear idea of what you want to achieve will help you determine your bidding and budgeting strategies.

You can bid manually or let the platform automate the process. If you’re manually bidding, you’ll need to decide how much you’re willing to pay for each click or impression. This is a great option for PPC newbies, as it gives you full control over your bids. Monitor the results and make adjustments based on the data you gather.

Adjust Bids and Budgets Regularly

Automated bidding, on the other hand, uses machine learning algorithms to adjust bids in real time. Experiment with different automated strategies to see what works best for your campaign. Google Ads, for example, has automated bidding solutions that adjust bids based on factors like CPA (Cost per acquisition), ROAS (Return on ad spend), or CPA targets. Using automated bidding can take the stress out of managing your PPC, but it’s best to start with manual bidding first.

Bid adjustments allow you to modify your bids based on your targeting criteria. You can increase bids for high-performing keywords, locations, or devices and decrease them for the opposite. Bid adjustments offer flexibility and help you maximize your budget. They can be applied at various levels of a campaign and range from -90% to +900%.

10. Stay Updated with PPC Trends and Best Practices

Continuous learning ensures your PPC campaigns remain effective. Online sources are abundant and many PPC management agencies share their expertise on their websites and blogs. Industry publications, eBooks, social media, newsletters, and industry events are great resources.

The emergence of AI is another major PPC trend you should be aware of. Automation is the way forward, enabling you to pass some of the workload to machines. Smart Bidding, for example, uses machine learning to optimize conversions and conversion values in auctions.

Reports and analytics are key to understanding your PPC campaigns’ success or lack thereof. Regular reviews of your key metrics will help you identify areas for improvement and ensure your efforts are aligned with your goals. Don’t forget to explore new features launched by the ad platforms, such as Google’s Performance Max Campaigns, which serve across all of Google’s ad inventory.

Benefits of PPC Advertising for Law Firms

Lawyer PPC advantages

Paid ads through a law firm’s PPC campaign hold several advantages over other strategies. A well-planned PPC campaign can deliver many benefits, including:

  • Immediate results: PPC ads can quickly boost your online visibility, instantly putting you at the top of search engine results. This is especially beneficial for new law firms or those looking for a quick boost in client acquisition.
  • Cost-effectiveness: PPC is a cost-efficient marketing strategy, as you only pay for each click your ad receives. You can also set daily or monthly budgets to control spending. Keywords vary in cost, so you can tailor your campaign to suit your budget.
  • Targeted marketing: PPC allows you to target specific audiences based on demographic information, search intent, location, and more. You can even target users on specific platforms like Google or Facebook.
  • Flexibility and scalability: PPC campaigns are flexible and can be easily adapted to suit your changing needs. You can adjust your budget, targeting criteria, keywords, or ad copy anytime. This agility allows you to respond to real-time changes in your campaign performance.

Work with a Lawyer PPC Expert

A successful PPC campaign requires ongoing optimization, which ensures data-driven decisions. We have covered the basics and nuances of PPC. Growing the campaign takes time and testing to uncover the most effective structure, messaging, and targeting for your unique practice area and market. Ongoing adaptation is also needed to leverage changing algorithms and industry dynamics. For best results, seeking the assistance of an experienced legal PPC agency is highly recommended.

At Grow Law Firm, our dedicated team of attorneys and digital marketers have years of applied experience crafting customized PPC services according to each law firm’s goals, budget, and audience. We develop granular targeting strategies, write compelling ad copy, and ensure your campaigns are constantly refined based on real-time analytics. 

Contact us now to schedule your complimentary consultation and analysis.

FAQ

  • What Are Some PPC Terms to Know?

    Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising comes with its own glossary of terms. Knowing these terms can help you navigate the PPC landscape and understand the intricacies of managing successful PPC advertising campaigns. Here are some essential PPC terms explained in simple language:

    • CPC (Cost-Per-Click): This is the amount you pay each time someone clicks your ad. It is also known as the “pricing structure” used in PPC.
    • CPM: Cost per mille, or the amount you pay per 1,000 impressions of your ad.
    • Impressions: The number of times your ad appears on search results pages.
    • Hits: The number of times your webpage is viewed, even by the same user.
    • Ad Campaign: A group of ads targeting specific keywords and bids. You can have one or multiple ad campaigns running simultaneously.
    • Ad Group: A set of keywords, ads, and bids that are grouped together, usually based on themes. Each PPC ad campaign contains one or more ad groups.
    • Ad Extensions: Extra information that can be included in your ad, such as links, addresses, phone numbers, and reviews. This feature makes your ad more interactive.
    • Keyword: The words or phrases people type into search engines that trigger your ad to appear.
    • CTR (Click-Through Rate): The percentage of people who see your ad and then click on it.
    • Quality Score: A measure of the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages. It’s a crucial factor in determining your ad’s success.
  • Is PPC Better than SEO for Law Firms?

    PPC and SEO (search engine optimization) both have advantages and can be powerful tools for boosting your law firm’s online presence. Integrating the two can create a cohesive digital marketing strategy.
    PPC is ideal if you want immediate results and leads. It’s also cost-effective; you only pay when someone clicks your ad. You can target specific audiences too, making it a highly focused strategy. However, law firm’s PPC campaigns require constant keyword updates to stay relevant.
    SEO, on the other hand, is a more steady approach. It aims to increase your visibility organically. High-quality content will remain relevant over time, unlike PPC ads, which need constant payment to maintain their position. SEO is a long-term strategy that helps your law firm build brand awareness over months and years.