PPC marketing for lawyers; 24 proven steps for success

May 22, 2024

By Jonny

PPC advertising is a fast way to connect you with potential clients who need your legal services.

You have full control over your ad messaging, targeting and budgets; which means that successful ppc advertising campaigns can be a vital part of your law firm's marketing strategy.

We help law firms get more relevant enquiries at less cost. Ask us anything here.

What is PPC marketing for lawyers?

Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is a crucial part of any law firm's marketing strategy. It enables lawyers to reach potential clients quickly and effectively by displaying ads on platforms like Google Ads, YouTube, Bing, and social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

PPC campaigns work by charging you each time someone clicks on your ad, offering full control over your budget—referred to as PPC ad spend. This model allows law firms to target individuals actively seeking legal services, ensuring their ads reach a highly relevant audience.

Why Law Firms should use PPC as a Marketing channel

Here's why PPC is an advantageous marketing channel for law firms:

Immediate visibility on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)

Law firm PPC campaigns allow your ads to appear at the top of search engine results pages almost instantly, ensuring immediate visibility to potential clients who are actively searching for legal services.

Targeted audience reach

Through keyword research and tools like Google Keyword Planner, you can identify targeted keywords that attract a highly relevant audience. This ensures your paid ads reach individuals who are specifically searching for the legal services you offer.

keyword search volume

Budget control and cost efficiency

With PPC ad campaigns, you have complete control over your ad spend. You pay only when someone clicks on your ad, making it a cost-effective way to attract new clients. Additionally, the use of negative keywords ensures your budget is spent only on relevant searches.

High ad relevance and customisation

Crafting compelling ad copy and using ad extensions can significantly enhance ad relevance and engagement.

These elements make your ads more informative and attractive to users, increasing the likelihood of clicks and conversions. You can change your ads monthly, weekly, even hourly!

Enhanced local targeting

PPC platforms like Google Search Ads and social media platforms allow for precise geographic targeting, making it easier to reach potential clients in specific locations.

Performance tacking and optimisation

Tools like Google Analytics provide detailed insights into your campaign performance. This enables continuous optimisation of your PPC campaigns, ensuring they remain effective and yield a high return on investment (ROI).

Increased traffic to your website

Successful PPC campaigns drive significant traffic to your law firm's website.

Well-optimized landing pages can convert this traffic into leads, increasing your chances of securing new clients.

Complementary to SEO Efforts

While search engine optimization (SEO) is a long-term strategy, PPC provides immediate results. Combining both can lead to a comprehensive and effective online presence.

Find out more about seo for solicitors

Versatility across platforms

PPC advertising isn't limited to just one platform. Law firms can run PPC campaigns across various PPC platforms including Google Ads, Bing, and social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. This allows for a broader reach and diverse audience engagement.

Adaptability and scalability

PPC campaigns can be easily scaled up or down based on performance and budget availability. This flexibility makes it suitable for law firms of all sizes.

Effectiveness of video ads

Using video ads within your PPC strategy can capture attention quickly and convey trust and authority, which is crucial in the legal industry.

The best places for a legal PPC campaign

The channels that we use for pay per click advertising for law firms are based on where clients are most likely to spend their time.

Google Search network

This is possibly the simplest yet most effective form of ppc marketing.

family law solicitors ppc ads

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 PPC 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 and the location that you are targeting.

What management is required?

You 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 by 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 including mobile, desktop and 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.

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. 

Google Display Network

These are visual ads and video that appears across various websites on the internet that. This is comprised of over 20 million websites.

personal injury google display ad

It's a great place to attract passive clients who were not 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, it often doesn't generate as many enquiries, but is a great way of generating awareness or remarketing to clients who previously visited your website.

The Google display network is not just about PPC, you can also set your campaigns to target 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?

You have a number of options including:

  • Affinity audiences where you can reach people based on what their habits and interests are
  • Create an audience based on website behaviour 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.

What management is required?

Regularly review the placements that 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, in the middle or even at the end of videos that people watch on YouTube. While this can also be a form of PPC, you can also pay per view.

How does it work?

Targeting for YouTube ads 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. 

The essential steps for a winning Google ads campaign

Here's out list of essential tips to getr the most from your law firm's PPC campaigns.

1. Decide on a goal

Before launching your Google ads campaign, set specific and measurable goals for your PPC ads. This helps in tracking and optimizing performance effectively.

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?
  • Bidding strategy - ppc is not the only bidding method, you may decide that impression bidding or pay per views is better.

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

3. What's your ad spend?

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 PPC 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. Understand what a successful PPC 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 PPC platform

Be aware of rules before you set up accounts and ppc marketing campaigns.

For example your Google ad campaign for personal injury may be deemed to be referring to health issues and may be disapproved on Google Ads. 

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

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. Conduct thorough keyword research

Identify targeted keywords with high search volume and low competition. This ensures your PPC campaigns attract potential clients actively seeking legal services.

A winning PPC campaign is one that starts with the targeting that is most likely to convert clicks into enquiries.

Use keyword research tools to find the most effective keywords that align with your legal services and target audience’s search behavior.

e.g. there is a difference between someone who searches"Find a conveyancing solicitor" and someone who searches "What does a conveyancing solicitor do?"The first search is actively looking for a service. The second search is someone who needs guidance and may not turn need the service any time soon.

7. Structure your a Google ad campaigns

The success of a law firm's ppc campaign is determined by the amount of visibility, engagement and enquiries generated, and how much it costs to acheive.

With Google ads, the cost for every click will be reduced if your campaign has a good "quality score".

In order to get a good quality score you need to make your targeting uber-relevant to your ad copy and website landing page.

You should there for structure your campaigns based on the service and then ad groups based on the keywords for that service.

8. Create compelling ad copy

Write ad copy that resonates with your target audience. Strong calls-to-action and clear messaging are crucial for a successful PPC ad campaign. Your ad copy should be:

  • Clear and concise
  • Highlight your unique selling points
  • Be benefit-driven (what problems can you solve for potential clients?)
  • Include the keywords that you are targeting
  • Have a clear call to action. What do you want people to do?

9. Use ad extensions

Enhance your Google ads with ad extensions like sitelinks, callouts, and structured snippets. These additions provide more information to searchers and improve the visibility of your ad.

For successful PPC marketing, clickthrough rate is vital and extensions can be a big win. 

10. Create relevant, trustworthy and valuable landing pages

Ensure your PPC landing pages are designed to convert visitors into clients. A seamless user experience on your landing page can significantly improve campaign performance.

With each ad you'll 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?

Top tip: Google gives a relevance score to each landing page. Make sure that you have a the following elements in place:

  • Keyword optimised heading
  • Intro sentence
  • Clear benefits
  • Relevant image / imagery
  • Clear call to action e.g. "make an enquiry" or a visible form
  • Keyword variations throughout the page

If you take notice of your quality score for each keyword and ad, your PPC marketing campaigns will become more cost effective.

11. Set up PPC conversion tracking

Use tools to track and analyze conversions. This data is vital for understanding the effectiveness of your PPC ads and making informed adjustments.

Regularly monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) to gauge the impact of your ad campaigns and refine strategies as needed.

You should measure important events like enquiry forms filled in and phone calls made from ads. Google an provide a tracked phone number to track calls from your ads.

12. Optimize bidding strategies

Implement smart bidding strategies to maximize ROI. Start with manual bidding to gain control and insights before transitioning to automated strategies like conversion focussed bidding.

If the focus of your PPC campaigns is to appear ahead of competitors, you can also do impression share bidding where Google will makes sure your ad appears x % of the time. 

13. Aim for lower CPC for your PPC ads

Optimize your PPC campaigns to achieve a lower cost-per-click (CPC) without compromising on ad quality or campaign performance.

This may involve reducing your bids, to appear slightly further down on the page, if it means your cost per enquiry is reduced.

14. Use location when targeting your audience

Leverage location targeting to reach users in specific geographic areas, making your PPC for lawyers more relevant and effective.

This will help you target clients including a location in there search e.g. "commercial solicitors in London"

15. Monitor competitor activity

Keep an eye on competitor campaigns to stay competitive and identify opportunities for your law firm’s PPC campaigns.

Google provides some great auction insight reports to see who else is bidding on the same terms as you and what % of the time they are appearing.

16. A/B Testing

Continuously test different elements of your PPC ads and landing pages to find the most effective combinations and optimize performance.

Experiment with various ad formats, headlines, and CTAs to determine what resonates best with your audience.

17. Adapt your audience targeting

Segment your audience based on demographics, interests, and behavior for more targeted and effective PPC advertising campaigns.

For example you can include audiences that have shown a previous interest in a legal service like yours.

18. Remarketing strategies

Retarget users who have previously interacted with your website or PPC ads to re-engage them and drive conversions.

This could be people who have visited the property section of your website. Next time they are on a Google partner site, they may then see an ad that reinforces how you can help them.

19. Optimise for mobile

Ensure your PPC campaigns are mobile-friendly, as a significant portion of users interact with ads on mobile devices.

This could be as simple as creating shorter headlines and providing a clear click to call option from mobile.

20. Regularly review and refine campaigns

Monitor performance metrics regularly and make adjustments to improve results, ensuring continuous optimization. Key results to watch our for include:

  • Cost per click - are there any keywords or audience targeting that is costing you money without getting any desired results?
  • Clicks - which ads and keywords get clicked on most
  • Impressions - which ads are being seen most
  • Impression share - how much more or less could your ads be shown dependent on your budget. What are competitors doing?
  • Cost per enquiry - how much is it costing you for a relevant enquiry?

21. Use Negative Keywords

Incorporate negative keywords in your PPC campaigns to exclude irrelevant traffic and improve the quality of your leads. For example if you are a family law firm, you want to appear for this search

"family law firm"

But not this one:

"family law firm jobs"

You would therefore exclude "jobs" to ensure your targeting is more relevant.

22. Ignore best practices

You should follow industry PPC best practices to ensure compliance, maintain quality, and achieve optimal campaign performance.

However Google will advise you to up your budgets so you reach more people, yet they may not be the rigth people.

You'll also see an "optimisation" score which is based on the number of Google's recommendations you have followed. While these are good to check, they may not always be relevant.

For example, a responsive PPC ad you create may only have 3 headlines, but it the click through rate for this ad is far superior to Google's suggestions, why would you change?

23. Stay updated with industry trends

Keep abreast of new features, trends, and updates in PPC advertising platforms to stay competitive and innovative.

Google often ads in addition ways to get your ads more clicks, such as adding images to text ads.

24. Use the data to inform your other marketing campaigns

Google provides a great "search term report" where you can see all of the searches that lead to your ad being shown. There should be data in there that you can use in your website landing pages and SEO campaigns.

For example there could be questions where the intent is not to use your services straight away "Why use a solicitor to write a will". This could be used as a blog title as part of your SEO strategy.

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.

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 PPC 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. 

*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.

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.

For help optimising or setting up a new PPC campaign, contact us here.

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