PPC marketing for lawyers

January 10, 2023


I've created this guide to PPC marketing for lawyers based on over 10 years of creating, managing and improving PPC campaigns in the legal industry.

At face value, PPC for law firms seem simplistic and maybe even easy.

You choose a channel like Google ads, pick some targeting (the people you want turn into clients), create an ad and then off you go.

What is PPC marketing for lawyers?

An important part of your marketing strategy and a great way of reaching potential clients in a short time scale. Google ads and social media such as Facebook LinkedIn and Instagram are all great places to launch PPC campaigns. You pay every time someone clicks on one of your ADS and have full control over your budget.

Why choose PPC?

The alternatives to PPC across both search engines and social media channels are organic reach.

SEO for solicitors is a great strategy for increasing invisibility website traffic and enquiries. However, the process of creating great contents getting authoritative links back to your website and insuring that you you have everything in place to allow Google to successfully crawl your site can take months before you see the real benefits of the time invested.

Equally building the social media audience and posting organic content to them can also be a worthwhile process however like SEO it is time-consuming and can be months before you see real results.

So if you have a budget and less patience, PPC may just be the channel for you.

It can also be an important part of your strategy.

Generating awareness across, the Google search network, Youtube, Google display, Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin are all worthwhile tactics, depending on what legal services you are trying to sell.

There is loads of data to be gleaned from any Google ads campaign. For example by taking a look at detailed search term data, you may get ideas for website content that can aid your SEO, social media and email marketing strategies. 

You may also be looking for a way to complement your other marketing channels. For example, on average in 2021 so far, PPC has accounted for 40.6% of all enquiries for law firms we work with. 

That means that on average, law firms would be looking at 40% fewer enquiries without having PPC in their marketing mix. 

Most importantly, with PPC, you get a great level of control that you don't often get with other marketing channels. 

For example you're in complete control of your budgets and can adjust it daily or even hourly depending on what is working. You can also do the same with any creative and audience targeting you decide to use.

Law firm PPC Case Study

Wilson Nesbitt solicitors wanted to connect with more clients looking for legal advice on Family law, residential property and civil litigation. 

Our strategy was (and still is) to create Google ad campaigns that generated more enquiries as quickly as possible, at as low a cost as possible. 

Here’s how we did it:

Research to find keywords that people were entering into Google, that suggested they needed legal advice sometime soon.

For example, take the following two search terms:

“Conveyancing solicitors costs”

“What is a conveyancing solicitor”

The first search term “conveyancing solicitors costs” suggests that somebody is aware of the need for a conveyancing solicitor, because they understand what they are looking for. 

They're at a stage where they are looking to understand more about fees and most likely making comparisons between different firms.

We can therefore create and serve Google ads for when people in the local area enter that search term into Google. 

Example of a PPC ad in Google

*The mobile view of search engine results page in Google.

Our ad addresses the fact that money may be a concern and highlights some of the other reasons people should choose us. It includes:

  • benefit driven headline that is relevant to the search term
  • a description that supports the headline
  • “sitelinks” that direct you to useful content such as a quote calculator
  • clickable phone number (why get them to visit the website if they can make an enquiry directly from the Google search results?

The PPC campaign doesn’t stop there

What if people who search, don’t go on to enquire?

We know that people who are searching for information on conveyancing fees are likely to be in the market for a conveyancing solicitor. 

They're going through the decision-making process and probably either comparing us with other firms or likely to come back to the process in the coming weeks or months. 

It is therefore worthwhile investing a bit more time persuading them if they happened to click on one of our ads, but don't end up making an enquiry or getting a quote.

This is when remarketing comes in (you know those ads that seem to follow you around?)

We can capture cookie information from visitors to certain pages on our website, in this case conveyancing, and then serve them additional ads when they are next browsing certain websites across the internet or on social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram.

Example of a Google display ad for law firms

In this case, because we know that people are in the market for conveyancing services, we can show them ads that reinforce how we can help them. 

These ads can appear on any website that is opted into the Google display network, as well as YouTube and various partner sites.

We’ve already told them that we can help, in these ads we can:

  • remind them that we are here and can help
  • go into more detail on the things that set us apart from competitors (in this case it’s case tracking and full postal service)
  • clear ways for them to contact us

For Wilson Nesbitt, PPC campaigns account for almost 40% of all online enquiries via telephone calls.

A further 15% of all enquiries include PPC at some point in the user journey. For example after a user clicked on an ad, they may not take action, but a week later they may remember the law firm and enter the website address directly into their browser to go on and make an enquiry.

Sound simple? Well there are few other things to be aware of when launching PPC ad campaigns for your law firm.

How PPC works for law firms

We’ve worked on PPC marketing campaigns for law firms across sectors ranging from family law and will writing, to commercial property and business laws, in the UK and throughout Europe.

In all cases, the goal of the PPC campaign was to generate more enquiries, whether direct contact requests or lead generation via quotes and downloads of free guides.

In each case it works something like this:

1. Decide on a goal

Your law firm may want lots of enquiries, but it's important to drill down into the type of enquiries you want.

Is there a type of enquiry that actually ends up not being profitable for you?

What's the best type of enquiry for example you may not want to be inundated with telephone calls and may prefer forms being filled in so you can quickly assess the quality of inbound enquiries.

2. Decide on the platform

Do some research into who you want to target. When considering which platform to advertise your services on it's worth considering the following:

Audience size - is it even worth the effort if the audience is too small?

Competition - who else is targeting the same audience in the same locations as you?

Cost - what is your budget and how do the two factors above affect this?

You may also not limit yourself to just one platform. Many law firms launch multi-channel campaigns.

3. Decide on your budget

How much can you afford to spend on your PPC campaigns?

Top tip: Start small and build out as you find things are working. The beauty of digital advertising campaigns is that you aren't required to make an upfront payment. You could invest a fiver or a tenner per day and see how it works. Increase or decrease as required.

4. Decide what a successful campaign looks like

How does an enquiry from a PPC campaign compare to other channels? What is the ideal cost per enquiry?

If you only make £150 from writing a simple will then it needs to cost you significantly less than that in order to get a paying client.

On average how many enquiries do you turn into paying clients? These calculations allow you to to work backwards and understand how much you can invest in your PPC campaigns. 

5. Understand the rules for every platform 

Be aware of rules e.g. personal injury ads can sometimes be deemed to be referring to health and may be disapproved on Google Ads. 

You may also struggle to do remarketing ads for sensitive issues such as family law.

It’s important to understand the rules from the off as you may invest time and even money in setting up campaigns and creating ads, only to hit the publish button and for your ads and campaigns to be disapproved.

6. Make sure your landing page is relevant, trustworthy and valuable

The best ads campaign in the world with wonderful and precise targeting and budgets to die for however you're going to struggle if your website is not fit for purpose.

With each add you be sending visitors to a landing page on your website. The landing page needs to be: 

  • mobile optimised
  • fast loading
  • relevant to the ad messaging
  • honest
  • conversion optimised - what do you want visitors to do when they land?

What you need to get started

When we talk about PPC for lawyers the most effective channel in our experience is Google ads. The simple reason for this is that over 90% of all search engine searches happen in Google. 

So to advertise on Google you’ll need to create a Google ads account using a Google profile. 

From here you can set campaigns up to appear on the Google Search network, display and YouTube,  as well as any partner sites.

From your Google ads account you can do things like adding payment details, add additional users and ensure that all of your data is secure.

Where can your law firm ads appear?

Networks that we use for pay per click advertising for law firms:

Google Search network

This is possibly the simplest yet most effective.

How does it work?

A user enters a search term such as “family law solicitors near me”, you tell Google that this is a search term that you want to bid on and your ad can appear in front of people in the search results, depending on a number of factors such as; 

  • your maximum bid

  • level of competition

  • how relevant your ad is to your landing page and to the search term

  • how well your account has been run historically

You create a campaign where you decide what your overall budget will be B&B the the location that you are targeting.

Within each campaign you then create ad groups that are closely related to a specific service. the reason for this is that every AD group then has ads which need to have the same destination URL I take users to the same website page.

So within a contain about family law you might then also have ad groups for divorce child access legal separation etc. 

Add you then need to think about the additional things that take up more space on the search engine results page and encourage users to visit your website or take action. These include things like:

  • Clickable phone number

  • Site links to relevant pages

  • Call-out extensions where you can highlight benefits

  • Catalogue extension where you can list the services that you have

What management is required?

Need to find the sweet spot between how much you're prepared to bid on a search term and the results it gets you. for example you could find yourself paying upwards of £60 for one click when it comes to competitive services such as personal injury lawyers.

This could mean that your monthly budget is taken up buy a handful of clicks from one campaign. and you may not have had any enquiries from this in which case you may feel your budget has been wasted.

You need to regularly review which search terms are working and which aren't across various devices mobile desktop tablet as well as local regions for example you may find the people from slightly outside of your catchment area are less likely to make an enquiry than those within a 5 or 10 mile radius. in which case you need to tell Google to tighten your campaign.

You'll also need to look at creatives regulated make sure your ADS are being as effective as possible when it comes to the rates of people clicking. 

You have the right number of keywords in your account for example are they that you are missing that could be profitable. Example of this is going back to the conveyancing campaign we found out that people describe things differently to the way that we do in the business.

Example that all of the searches for people who search for mortgage solicitors and mean conveyancing solicitors therefore it's worth as creating an ad group for mortgage solicitors with irrelevant ad.

Google Display Network

These are visual aids and video that appears across various websites on the internet that I popped into the Google display network. This is comprised of over 20 million websites.

Great place to attract passive clients who want necessarily searching for one of your services. for example if you know that your clients are likely to be interested in property you could place ads on websites that are specific to property searches. this helps reinforce your brand message and put you in their minds.

The cost per click on the Google display network is usually slightly lower than that on the Google Search network. As such often doesn't generate as many enquiries but is a great way of generating awareness or remarketing to clients who previously visited your website.

On the Google display network you can also set your campaigns 2 cost per thousand impressions (CPM) Which is another great way of generating awareness as opposed to paying per click on an ad.

How does it work?

At work you have a number of options including:

  • Affinity audiences where you can reach people based on what their habits and interests are

  • Why you can create an audience based on website behaviour particularly if they interact with your website previously

  • In market audiences for example have they been actively searching for things to do with commercial property or commercial law?

  • Placements you can also tell Google which websites you would like your ADS to appear on.

Create visual ads which have headlines descriptions and links like search ads but also I supported by images and logos or even videos.

You then pay every time someone clicks on one of your ADS or all sees it if you are using CPM bidding.

What management is required?

Regularly review The placements they are ads are appearing on to make sure that they aren't appearing on either

  1. Irrelevant sites that aren’t leading to any enquiries

  2. Sites that are just eating up money and not leading to any enquiries.

You'll also need to make sure that your ads are effective.  The rules of great copywriting still apply.

Youtube ads

You can create videos of various lengths and these can appear as ads before or in the middle or even at the end of videos the people watch on YouTube.

How does it work?

Targeting for YouTube and works in much the same way that the Google display network works. You can also show video to people you've already visited your website to reinforce your Brand and the services you offer as well as how you can help them.

An additional benefit of YouTube targeting is that you can plug in all of the search terms that you are bidding on and then if people are on YouTube there's a chance they'll see your ad because they previously searched for one of those terms.

This can be a great way of reaching people for competitive services.

For example instead of bidding £60 for one click on the search term “Injury lawyers near me”, We can tell YouTube that you want to show videos to people who search for this term when they are looking at content relating to injury recovery. 

How to measure success

If you make more money from your PPC campaigns from paying clients than you invest, then your campaigns have been a success. 

Important measurements to consider the two big ones are: 

  • number of conversions - how many leads have you had

  • Cost per conversion - how much did every call or form enquiry cost you on average?

The things you want to keep an eye on and compare to competitors include:

  • Number of impressions

  • Number of clicks

  • Cost per click

  • Click through rate

Part of a campaign is running less efficiently than others for example a particular keyword that has a high cost per click. you want to pause this and focus on the search terms that are profitable. 

PPC mistakes law firms make

Setting up a PPC campaign it's easy to “set and forget”. Doing this you are not Allowing your campaigns to run as efficiently as they could. for example you want a mending things with a working and not working whether it be in efficient keyword bidding or ads that simply on performing.

You may also find that you need to adjust bids and audience targeting based on the level of competition on any given day week or month.

A big mistake is not sending visitors to a conversion optimised landing page.

How much do law firms spend on PPC?

Every law firm has different budgets and slightly different objectives. the amount law firm spend depends on the services they are providing. for example personal injury and civil litigation can be among the most competitive a services to bid on in Google Search. however slightly less profitable services such as will writing or conveyancing can be a little bit less competitive in terms of costs. We recommend starting with a budget of at least £500 and then you can scale it up and down depending on the results. When you see that you are getting more enquiries at a reasonable cost you can scale your budgets up. Was clients we work with end up spending more on Google ads because it works. 

What is the best form of advertisement for a lawyer?

For law firms give you greater control over budgets and how much you spend. You don't make any payments upfront and only pay when someone clicks on one of your ads. So if you create a great user journey from a search term to an ad to your website landing page, there's a great chance that you will start generating more enquiries for your law firm. 

PPC ads also allow you to be very specific with your targeting. you can only bid on search terms that you know I likely to lead to an enquiry based on the intent of the search.

How much do law firms spend on SEO?

Is a longer term strategy than PPC for law firms. Lawyers can spend anywhere between  £500-£5000 each month depending on how competitive the services they are trying to promote are. When paying for SEO you are paying for longer form content by way of blogs and videos as well as technical expertise to ensure that search engines can crawl your site The most time-consuming of all SEO strategies is link building from other quality websites.

How do you market a law firm online?

Sing for law firm this is just one channel in your overall marketing strategy. It's worth taking a long-term view and deciding which channel is going to get you the most results in the long run. the most famous that we work with the most profitable channels are PPC and online advertising as well as SEO and website optimisation.

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