Pay-per-click or PPC is a type of online advertising where, basically, you pay a fee each time your ads are clicked. With no long-term contracts, PPC can be a great marketing tool for lawyers.
Seventy-eight percent of prospective clients look for lawyers online. And over 75% of people doing online searches never get past the first page.
Let those numbers sink in.
If your practice doesn’t appear at or near the top of a search, you’re left at the mercy of people who occasionally refer business to you. And with small budgets and a lack of experience in marketing or advertising most solo and small law firms face significant challenges in reaching these potential new clients.
How Can You Compete?
It’s easy — and cheaper than you might think — with a high-performance pay-per-click (PPC) campaign. PPC ads can get you to the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) and put you in front of prospective clients almost immediately.
PPC for Lawyers: 10 Tips for Successful Ad Campaigns
While you might have heard horror stories or lost money with previous PPC campaigns, these 10 strategies will help you understand how to succeed and quickly get started:
1. Focus on the ROI, not the cost
Most law firm owners are primarily concerned with the costs of a PPC campaign rather than what it creates. A successful campaign should generate a return of $4-7 for every dollar invested. For example, a $10,000/month campaign should generate $40,000-70,000 in cases. It may take some time as your team optimizes its performance, but happen it should. If it doesn’t, don’t give up on the method. Replace the marketers.
2. Know it’s all about the WHERE and the WHEN
A successful PPC strategy starts with being WHERE your prospective clients are WHEN they are looking for your services. You read the statistics above. Most people who search for lawyers online use Google. Be there when they are searching and be at the top of the search to attract those new clients.
3. Research and identity power keywords
Keywords are the foundation of any successful PPC campaign and, once determined, should be included not only in your ads but on your website, content, metadata, tags, and even URLs. You must select a set of keywords most relevant to your practice area. Stay away from vague copy such as “multidisciplinary law firm since 1983″ and drill down into niches like “car accident law firm” or “motorcycle accident lawyer.” For lawyers, the more specific, the more effective a campaign will be. Taking the time to identify and prioritize power keywords provides many benefits, including increased clicks and traffic. Additionally, researching your competition’s targeted keywords can be beneficial, too. Don’t be afraid to mimic their strategies or introduce alternate keywords they may have overlooked.
4. Create compelling ads
Your ads should be clear, concise and direct, with the relevant keywords you identified. Ads must also include a call to action, like “schedule a consultation” or “get a free case evaluation.” This prompt is necessary for potential clients to feel compelled to take action and easily know the next steps, what you can do for them and how they can reach you. (Tip: Make sure your website’s content also includes these keywords and phrases.)
5. Budget correctly
As mentioned earlier, you must focus on the ROI, not the cost. And proper budgeting is the foundation for projecting ROI. If your average case value (ACV) is $10,000 and you want to increase your case flow by 10 per month, or 120 per year, your target is to increase revenue by $100,000 monthly. Considering that a target ROI is 4X to 7X on the PPC, you need to budget 15 to 25% of your target growth or $15 to $25k per month. Many times, once I’ve explained the math, law firm partners instantly understand why they got poor results in the past.
Often, it just came down to needing an adequate budget.
6. Concentrate on the local
Google looks at the vast majority of law firms as local service providers. And potential clients, when beginning their search, are likely to seek out services close to them, such as “personal injury lawyers near me.” By creating copy for your city or region, you can show potential customers that you understand their local needs. Not only do Google Local Service Ads (LSAs) allow you to pinpoint a specific area, but they also have another benefit — a huge one. You only pay when people contact you. If nothing sticks and no one clicks, you’re out no money.
7. Send prospects to custom landing pages
Make sure your ads link to landing pages that match their search — not your home page or a generic service page. This is very important: If the information on the page doesn’t directly connect with what they searched for, they will leave without taking any action, and you’ll end up losing opportunities you’ve paid to attract.
Landing pages should include elements that establish credibility and trust in your services, including attorney biographies, testimonials, reviews and awards. Most importantly, they should have a simple call to action, such as scheduling an appointment. Always make the journey from ad to conversion as simple and straightforward as possible.
8. But don’t forget about your firm’s website
Outdated websites can turn off potential clients and push them toward your competitors. Before starting any campaign, ensure your website loads quickly and is user-friendly, with no broken links, redirects, missing pages, and other errors.
9. Optimize everything for mobile
We live on our phones, and most people today use them to search for services, so make sure all facets of your PPC campaign — ad, landing page and your website — are optimized for mobile. This includes using templates that automatically adjust to fit a device’s screen size, with clear and concise copy and calls to action.
9. Measure PPC campaign results continuously
Always track every marketing campaign’s impact, measuring metrics such as click-through rates, cost per click, conversion rates and impression share. One of the most significant advantages of PPC for lawyers is that these statistics are available the minute a campaign goes live, allowing you to fine-tune and adjust almost immediately.
With PPC, It May Be Easier Than You Think to Outdo the Competition
According to the American Bar Association 2022 Technology Survey Report, only 57% of respondents said their firm had an annual marketing budget. None of the solo practitioners surveyed had a budget, and neither did 71% of small firms with 2-9 lawyers. For such a competitive industry, these numbers are quite surprising. It also means that by investing in pay-per-click ads, you’re already ahead of 43% your competition.
With no long-term contracts, PPC is a great marketing tool for lawyers, especially those specializing in personal injury, criminal law, divorce, DWI/OWI, bankruptcy, wills and estates, and real estate. It’s flexible, highly targetable and measurable. But most importantly, it can produce results within weeks, bringing your firm more traffic, more leads, and ultimately, more clients.
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