Law Firm PPC Guide

Law Firm PPC Guide
Article by Bisera Stankovska
Last Updated: December 17, 2023

According to a recent Statista survey, the top three methods used by consumers to find a lawyer in the United States are referrals from family members or friends, online search engines and direct visits to law firm websites. 

We’re going to focus on one out of these three: online search engines. 

Pay-per-click (PPC) ads can help increase your firm’s visibility online, build brand awareness and attract new clients. We’ll share everything you need to know about law firm PPC, from the benefits and the most common ad types to the best practices that will help you find new clients. 

What Is Law Firm PPC? 

Law firm pay-per-click is an advertising strategy that allows your law firm to show up when users search for specific legal services. 

When consumers enter relevant search inquiries, your ad will appear in the top positions on search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing, or social media platforms such as Facebook, Tik Tok and Instagram. 

Whether your ad is displayed thousands of times and is seen by hundreds of people, you pay for this advertising only when someone clicks on your ad. 

Agency description goes here
Agency description goes here
Agency description goes here

How Does PPC For Law Firms Work? 

So, how exactly does PPC advertising for law firms work? Let’s break it down: 

  • You select and bid on a keyword or phrase that is relevant to your audience. For example, “criminal defense attorney” or “immigration lawyer in NYC.” 
  • When a user searches for these keywords in a search engine, your ad will show up. 
  • If a user clicks on your ad, they will be taken to your landing page to view more details about your brand and services, and you will be charged for the click. 

Unlike traditional advertising where you pay a flat fee to appear on TV, a billboard or in print media, PPC has a cost-effective structure that allows you to scale your campaign with a fixed budget amount. 

Popular platforms for this type of PPC include both Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising. If you opt for a social media platform instead, your ad will appear on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram under “sponsored posts.” 

PPC For Lawyers: Best Practices 

Ready to launch your new PPC campaign for a law firm? Here are some tips from professional PPC agencies: 

  • Write value-driven ad copy that resonates with your potential clients. Explain how you can solve their problems and why your legal services are better than those of other law firms. Prepare several versions of your ad and run them over different periods to check their performance and users’ reaction. Then allocate your budget to the ones performing the best. 
  • Include your keywords in the headline and the body of your copy. Focus on long-tail keywords to target more specific audiences and to reap the benefit of these keywords' affordability due to fewer people bidding on them. 
  • Use the Google Ads keyword planner to find the right words for your law firm's PPC campaigns. The planner will help you find relevant keywords, see the search estimates per month and identify your PPC campaign budget. 
  • Narrow the scope of your PPC campaigns to the geographic area where you practice 
  • Research during what time of the day your clients are most likely to search for legal services and run your ads during these specific hours. This will increase the chance for your ads to be seen and clicked on. 
  • Use Google Ad extensions to include location information, call buttons or links to different sections of your website. This will make you stand out when clients search for legal services and will increase our click-through rate. 
  • Set your ads up for mobile devices. According to Statista, 50% of the searches are conducted through mobile devices, this will generate mobile website visits and reach your clients on the go. 
  • Optimize your firm’s website since your PPC campaign will bring substantial traffic to it. Make sure your website contains high-quality imagery and user-centered copy optimized for the same or similar keywords you have used in your PPC campaign. 
  • Audit and analyze your PPC campaign results to make sure you stay within the budget and your campaign meets the set goals. Use Google Analytics metrics (click-through rate, conversion rate, quality score, cost per conversion and wasted spend) to further optimize some of your campaigns that underperform. 

Types Of PPC Ads For Lawyers 

There are several types of PPC advertising that can benefit your business. 

1. Search Ads

Located at the top and bottom of the search engine results page, search ads differ from organic search results only by the small “Ad” icon. Search ads are effective because they answer your users’ search intent with your brand and services. For example, when a user might search for “a personal injury lawyer in Miami,” or “motor vehicle accident attorney near me.” 

2. Dynamic Search Ads

Dynamic search ads allow you to match the content of your website and the users’ search queries. This is done through Google bots crawling your website and creating a Google dynamic ad by matching search terms to your content. 

3. Display Ads

Display ads show up on the advertising network of websites and services such as YouTube and Gmail or legal directory networks such as the FindLaw Lawyer Directory. Use them to build brand awareness for your law firm or to give your users the chance to compare your services to other law firms. 

4. Video Ads

You can use video ads on YouTube to target people by geographic location, demographics and interests. Include customer testimonials to explain how your attorneys can help people resolve a difficult life situation to encourage potential clients to contact you. 

5. Social Media Ads

Social media ads are used on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. Once you define your target audience and figure out where they spend their time online, you can choose to display your ads on the platform(s) that will be the most valuable for attracting leads. 

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Why Is PPC Important for Lawyers? 

Law or legal firm PPC allows you to drive intent-based leads almost immediately if done properly. 

You could wait for months to rank in an organic search result for a competitive word like “motor vehicle accident lawyer.” To get visible positions at the top and bottom of the search engine results pages (SERPs), you can opt for PPC advertising. 

PPC advertising for lawyers helps you: 

Find New Clients 

Pay-per-click campaigns allow you to craft advertising that is specific and relevant to your legal expertise, based on a broad range of keywords. Showing your firm in the ad positions helps more potential clients notice you while they’re searching for a lawyer. 

Advertise Your Business Locally or Globally 

You can set up your PPC campaigns to target clients near your law office or in specific regions, counties or cities. Known as geotargeting, this approach allows you to specify the geographic location where you want to show your ad. For example, if your practice is in New York, you can only limit your ad appearance to the city or state. 

Boost Visibility and Brand Awareness 

Search ads can increase your brand awareness by as much as 80%, according to a report by Google. 

Staying in visible positions on search engine results pages and putting your name and brand in front of the audiences that seek your services help your potential clients remember your brand name and check your services later, even if they decide not to click on your ad immediately. 

Stay Competitive 

With multiple PPC ads above and below organic listings, and millions of users clicking on them, having your company noticed will give you a competitive edge over the law firms not using PPC. 

PPC can be valuable specifically for new firms, firms that are in the early stage of growth or those that are in the process of expanding their areas of expertise. 

In addition to your PPC campaign results, you can see which keywords perform well and apply them to your Search Engine Optimization strategy using them in your titles, website content, calls to action, meta descriptions and more. 

This specialized PPC can help you attract new legal clients and advertise your firm in specific geographic locations 

PPC for Law Firms
Law firm PPC can help you attract new legal clients and advertise your firm in specific geographic locations

How To Get Started for PPC for Your Law Firm? 

A successful pay-per-click ad for law firms is based on thorough research of your potential clients and their behavior. Here’s how to get started with your PPC campaigns: 

1. Identify Your Target Audience

Knowing your target audience will help you tailor your PPC ad to their needs and expectations. 

  • Focus on answering the following questions: 
  • Who are your clients in terms of gender, age, job, income, and marital status? 
  • Where are your clients located? 
  • What are the legal services you provide that your clients may need, such as criminal defense, immigration services or divorce consultations? 
  • When are they searching for legal services in terms of time/weekday, etc? 
  • Are they searching through a desktop or a mobile device? 

2. Research Your Competitors

Knowing what your competition is doing is always a good idea because you can think of how exactly to plan and position your campaign to appear as a preferred legal partner that provides more value to clients. Competitor research can help your PPC optimization so that your ad receives more clicks. 

To check the law firms you will be competing with within Google search results, use the Google AdWords competitor research tool. Enter the keyword you are planning to use along with the zip code and the type of mobile device of the areas you plan to show your ad. 

This will give you knowledge of what ads appear on users’ desktop or mobile devices and can help you plan your own visuals and copy. 

Other tools you can use to check on what keywords your competitors are bidding on include SEMrush and SpyFu. 

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3. Choose the Keywords for Your PPC Campaigns

What are the steps you can take to explore the keywords that may work for your PPC ad? 

  • Use Google Ads Keyword Planner to type in the general keywords, you are planning to use. 
  • Be specific. Check different variations of the keyword phrase you intend to use such as “immigration lawyer,” “immigration attorney,” “citizenship attorney” and more. 
  • Use various keyword match types to target multiple audiences, such as: 
  • Exact match: Google will base the search results on your keyword exact matches. 
  • Broad march: Google will show your ad to users based on semantic variations of your keyword. 
  • Phrase match: Google will display your ad to users who search for your keyword adding words before or after your keyword. For example, if you are using “criminal lawyer in New York,” your PPC ad will show when users search for “the best criminal lawyer in New York” or “criminal lawyer in New York reviews.” 
  • Broad match modifier: Using the “+” sign, you can include additional words to cover multiple search possibilities. For example, you can use your keyword “immigration lawyer” and add +price or +rate to cover the cost searches as well. 
  • Include your geographic location to narrow down the search results. For example, “immigration attorney near me” or “immigration attorney in New York.” 
  • Check the top of the page bid section in Google Ads Keyword Planner. It will give you information about the estimated cost-per-click amount you need to pay so that your ad appears for a given keyword search. Since many law firms can bid for the same keywords, this makes some keywords highly competitive and expensive. 
  • Select relevant keywords with a low Cost Per Click (CPC). 

4. Focus on Your Copy and Visuals

Remember, you have only seconds to grab a potential client’s attention when they click on your ad. Make sure your ad is value-packed in terms of both copy and visuals. 

  • Think of your target audience’s goals 
  • Be as specific as possible 
  • Choose high-quality imagery that corresponds to your keywords 
  • Add statistics and numbers to your headline to boost credibility 
  • Include a clear CTA such as “Book an appointment” or “Make a call” 

5. Create A Landing Page

Create a custom landing page for each keyword group you are using. For example, “medical malpractice attorney.” Your PPC ad will direct your users to this landing page. What to consider? 

Create a landing service page for each keyword group you are targeting. Best practices include: 

  • Make sure the landing page is relevant to both your target audiences and your keywords 
  • Match your PPC ad text with a compelling landing page headline 
  • Explain how clients can benefit from your legal services 
  • Include materials that support your ad such as a video with testimonials 
  • Include a clickable phone number so that people can reach you quickly 
  • Include a contact form for those who would like to ask for additional information about your services 

Prepare for your legal firm PPC campaigns by researching your clients and competition, selecting the right keywords and optimizing your landing pages 

PPC for lawyers
Prepare for your law firm PPC campaign by researching your clients and competition, selecting the right keywords and optimizing your landing pages

Why Hire a PPC Agency for Your Law Firm

Though it is not impossible to run a PPC campaign on your own, partnering with expert PPC agencies that have a proven track record can help you with your local PPC management for lawyers so you plan and execute a campaign that converts. 

Whether they have worked on legal firm PPC, eCommerce PPC or hospitality PPC, professional PPC agencies have the right tools to research your business, competitors and market landscape and explore the keywords that will form the basis of your PPC campaign. 

PPC agencies can create a value-driven copy that generates interest, measure its performance and tweak your PPC so that it meets the search intent of your clients. 

Google Ads for Lawyers: How They Help Law Firms

If you are wondering whether Google ads for lawyers work, the answer is yes, they do if you apply the right strategies and create highly focused and optimized campaigns. Some of the ways you can leverage the benefits of PPC for lawyers with Google ads are explained here: 

1. Build Your Brand  

Don't let your competitors steal away potential clients - secure your brand name using Google Ads keywords. Brandjacking may be "fair game," but investing in branded searches is the ultimate way to ensure that a person searching for you finds precisely what they're looking for.

Not only are these types of searches highly affordable, but because they indicate high buyer intent from individuals already interested in what you have to offer, it's even more essential to take advantage of this opportunity. 

2. Benefit From Niche Keywords 

If you want to lower the cost of your Google Ads campaigns and gain high-quality traffic, focusing on specific keyword phrases related to your niche is essential.

For example, an injury lawyer specializing in dog bites/attacks would be better off using a more exact phrase like "dog bite lawyer New Jersey" rather than something general such as "injury lawyer" - this way, they get quality leads with a much cheaper CPC. 

3. Reach Relevant Audiences

An expert, Google Ads manager can ensure you get the most out of your legal services advertising budget by only focusing on those audiences who are likely to be interested in what you have to offer.

By carefully excluding those who won't engage with your service, no valuable dollars will be wasted. 

4. Track Your Performance 

Knowing how your advertising budget is allocated, who's engaging with your ads, and which lawyer keywords are performing will give you the insight necessary to optimize campaigns for maximum ROI. Failing to track data can lead to wasted advertising money by targeting an irrelevant audience - so keep on top of it. 

5. Control Your Advertising Budget  

Through strategic planning and monitoring, Google Ads offers unparalleled control over your budget, allowing you to customize a plan tailored for achieving the most important goals. Whether it's increasing local traffic or targeting paying clients, fine-tuned customization of marketing strategies helps maximize returns on every penny spent. 

6. Direct Your Budget to Popular Devices 

As the world moves ever closer toward a mobile-first future, law firms must capitalize on this shift by optimizing their Google Ads. By using device bid adjustments, you can ensure that your ads are not only shown more frequently on smartphones but also tailor them so that they don't appear on other devices - essential when targeting today's tech-savvy legal clients. 

7. Get Better Exposure at Reduced Costs 

Creating optimally relevant ads to your keywords and landing pages will help you achieve a higher Quality Score, which can unlock multiple benefits. It increases the chance of appearing in high-ranking positions on search results and lowers the Cost Per Click - allowing for more clicks at an economical rate. It's all about creating engaging experiences for searchers, so they get exactly what they need when clicking on your ad. 

Expert Insights on Law Firm PPC

We asked agency experts: "How do law firm PPC campaigns differ from all others?"

Connor O'Hanlon, Director Of PPC At SmartSites:

"Law Firm Marketing is unique as it's typically one of the most regulated, competitive and expensive on Google Ads. The regulations are a bit more specific about what you can and cannot say in the ad copy, so standing out from your competition is a challenge. This makes great branding, aggressive bidding and a well performing landing page crucially important for any law firm to compete."

Mauricio Luiz Siriguti, Marketing Director and Business Partner of Webegin:

"All the content needs to be proofread and carefully reviewed. We always advise the client to check before launching. This is also the reason why landing pages are more complex for Law Firms as we can't use some terminologies because even synonymous can bring problems."

Wrapping Up on Law Firm PPC 

Lawyer PPC allows you to reach clients at the exact time when they are looking for legal services. 

A PPC campaign can help you: 

  • Find new clients 
  • Advertise your law firm locally and globally, including online advertising 
  • Boost your brand awareness 
  • Stay competitive 

To prepare your successful PPC ad: 

  • Identify Your Clients 
  • Research Your Competitors 
  • Select the right keywords for your legal firm PPC 
  • Create a client-centered copy 
  • Optimize your landing pages 
  • Set a PPC Budget 

Working with a professional PPC agency will help you plan, execute and measure your PPC for a law firm to achieve the results you desire and optimize your spending. 

Get connected with the right PPC agency for your project.
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