AdWords for Lawyers and Law Firms

Google AdWords for lawyers

AdWords for Law Firms is a tricky business and also a hot topic for discussion as it works very differently than other industries. In 2013, statistics show 34% of people in need of an attorney relied on a recommendation from a friend or colleague. However, in 2016, 3 out of 4 customers looked for an attorney online at some point in the process to find the right legal representative. So, well-structured PPC ads can be just the ticket a firm needs to capture high-value leads and convince them that their services are better than the rest.

Yet, knowing the power of digital marketing, attorneys face enormous competition online, especially when it comes to AdWords for law firms. In fact, legal-related terms regularly top the highest-cost PPC bids.

Is Investing in AdWords a good choice for Law Firms

I often hear contradicting statements from different law firms stating that- for some people, AdWords is a major source for business and for others it doesn’t work at all. In my opinion, AdWords isn’t right for every practice area in the law industry. Some lawyers would immediately agree to my statement and think this article confirms their suspicions. Please don’t immediately run to conclusions. Let’s dive in more.

To clarify my proposition, when I say that AdWords is not right for every practice area- I am referring to all those practice areas within law firms which generally get their business from referrals and friends. Below are a few examples:

  • Securities law
  • Election law
  • International law
  • White collar defense
  • Complex corporate bankruptcy
  • Antitrust law

I’m talking about the niche practice areas that work with the type of clients who will ask their general counsel for a recommended attorney rather than browsing google to find an attorney. For that kind of fields, you may not see much of organic search traffic because these clients are using more conventional ways to search for an attorney. In such cases, once they have attorney’s name they only go online to do some due diligence.

If you’re not practicing in one of these specific niche practice areas, then pay-per-click Internet marketing may be a viable way to bring traffic to your law firm. Specifically, if you practice:

  • Immigration law
  • Trusts and Estates
  • Bankruptcy
  • Personal Injury
  • Criminal defence
  • DUI
  • Family Law

If you practice any of above law type, you are likely to do good from PPC marketing. These practice areas are huge in online search. If you fall under this category and still haven’t been able to achieve success, it may be because your ads or landing page is not optimized.

Some Facts about AdWords for Law firms

  • Law firms “can easily spend $50,000 to $100,000 per month on PPC,” according to legal marketing specialist, Robert Ramirez.
  • Here’s a legal sector breakdown of the top most expensive terms in the US:-

  • most expensive law keywords in adwords

Researchers at SEMrush provided a large chunk of google AdWords data last year, to discover the most expensive sector-specific keywords in the US. According to the research, legal PPC search terms account for 9 out of the top 10 most expensive words closing in on truly incredible PPC.

Once you are sure AdWords is right for you. Now is the time when we move from zero to one in AdWords. Below are some key practices which can help you stand apart from your competitors.

Right PPC Keywords for Law Firms

Choosing right keywords for your AdWords campaign can be an intimidating task. It comes with confusing questions like, should you go for long tail keywords for more visibility? or more mainstream keywords with high competition?

The key here is to strike a balance between the two. You should target both as a combination, it will help you get the most out of your campaign. There are 4 major practices for lawyers to keep in mind:

  • Use Keywords which are relevant to your Business offerings. For Example, your company specialization is “Family law” in California. Then the kind of keywords you should use are:
    • Family Law
    • Family Lawyer
    • Family law attorney
    • Divorce Lawyer
    • Divorce Attorney
    • Legal Separation
    • Child custody lawyer
    • Note: Avoid using one-word keywords which are highly searched, but these search terms are least informative about your prospect.

      For example, if you use ‘lawyer’ as a keyword for ‘family law firm’. It can trigger your ad for search terms like, “Criminal lawyer”, “personal injury lawyer”, “Best schools for lawyer”, etc. which are not even close to what you want to target for. Therefore choosing these keywords carefully is very important.

  • Though you must be tempted by the high search volume with a minimalistic effort by common keywords, do not underestimate the power of long tail keywords. Irrespective of the fact that they have small search volume and too tedious to work with when creating a campaign, they offer higher conversion at a lower cost as compared to Common keywords. They are like low hanging fruits which can offer an easy win with low cost and least competition. For example, considering the above cases, long tail key terms for a ‘family lawyer’ are as follows:
    • Family lawyer California
    • Family lawyer near me
    • Divorce attorney in California
    • Custody lawyer California free consultation
    • Above are a few examples of long tail keywords. As I mentioned, it can be tiresome to work with long tail keywords as it takes a long time to research and accumulate such data for your campaign. However, AdNabu can help you automatically create all the relevant long tails keywords using the basic keywords we defined earlier within minutes.

  • Another thing to keep in mind is that which keyword match type are you targeting for the keyword.
  • Statistics tell us that “exact match” type gives us maximum conversion at minimum cost, but it has the least coverage of all. Hence each and every match type has its own benefits. Using all the match types while structuring your campaign is considered a wise choice as it clearly indicates that your campaign optimization is highly detailed.

AdNabu takes care of this from the very beginning itself. It creates the structure of the campaign such that each keyword type has 3 different AdGroup (one for each match type) ensuring that you target the right keyword for the right search term.

  • Advantage of using “Broad Match Modifier” over “Broad match”
  • “Broad match modifier” (a.k.a BMM) is a variation of “Broad match”. As Broad match triggers ads for all searches around the keyword, keyword idea, synonyms, grammatical forms as well as related words, etc. BMM gives you much more control over the search terms for which your ads will be a trigger. It excludes ‘synonyms’ but allows ‘variations’ For Example, If you target ‘Broad’ match-type for keyword “family law”, it might trigger for search term like ‘lawyer ’ which is not relevant for you. Instead, BMM will ensure that the word ‘family’ and ‘law’ are present in the search. AdNabu automatically creates campaigns which use BMM instead of Broad match.

  • One of the mistakes very often committed by marketers is that when they use location specific keywords only. They end up losing a lot of relevant searches.For example, if you are a family law firm based out of California and targeting for keyword “family lawyer California”, you will miss out on potential clients searching for term “Family lawyer”, “best family lawyer”, etc. It is hence highly recommended to use main keywords like “family lawyer” in your campaigns. You can add location specific keywords to your campaign but they should not be the only one.
  • For example, if you are a family law firm based out of California and targeting for keyword “family lawyer California”, you will miss out on potential clients searching for term “Family lawyer”, “best family lawyer”, etc. It is hence highly recommended to use main keywords like “family lawyer” in your campaigns. You can add location specific keywords to your campaign but they should not be the only one.

Best Negative Keywords for Law firms

The importance of negative keywords cannot be ignored, especially for a segment like Law where each click costs a fortune. Though accumulating Negative Keyword is a forever ongoing process, but to begin with, below are a  few points to consider.  
  • Negate all the services which you do not offer.
    • For example, if your firm specializes in “Family Law”, put all other specialization like ‘Personal Injury’, ‘criminal defense’, etc in the negative list.
    • Also, if under your specialization, if you only take cases for ‘Divorce’ and ‘child custody’, then add other sub-specializations like ‘Domestic violence’, ‘adoption’ and others under the negative list
  • Negate all the keywords which are not giving you conversions or has the cost per conversion too high to be profitable for a long time. You have to keep an eye on such keywords during reporting and assessment or you can use AdNabu which automatically recommends you to pause such ineffective keywords

What is a good landing page for you?

A landing page uses various elements like trust badges, result-oriented headlines, explainer videos, testimonials, etc. Such landing web pages focus on driving action, As we saw, Incase of Law firms that each click can cost you a fortune, hence there’s no room for error.

Do’s

  • Use headlines with words of authority like “award-winning” to inspire trust in the potential customer
  • In your headline, add the location you are catering to. It will immediately add to the confidence of the prospect that they are at the right place.
  • A headline focused on customer rather that lawyer is more likely to achieve better conversion
  • For law firms, ‘click to call’  button on the top makes reaching the firm easy
  • Use of words like “Free advice” or “Free consultation” or “free case evaluation” allure the visitors to try your service and helps calm their anxiety
  • Have very limited field to fill on the form (not more than five), this makes it hassle free for the customer.
  • Have your call-to-action button at the bottom of the form Tailored to the offer and with a pop out color to grab attention(for example, see the image below)

  • lawyer landing page best practices
  • Since the cases received are very sensitive sometimes, a “Disclaimer” for confidentiality(as in the image above) can really boost the likelihood of them trusting you
  • For content, have 2-3 bullet points- showcase your award achievements, etc
  • Add an informative video educating the prospect about what are they entitled to and what are the best steps to follow in that particular scenario(lawsuit type)

Dont’s

  • Avoid using Logo with a clickable link to move to home page easily
  • Do not design 'Disappearing label' for field name (for example, see the image below) instead simply name the fields

  • lawyer landing page pitfalls to avoid
  • Do not have text heavy landing pages. It is very unlikely that it would be read
  • Avoid numerous outbound links or multiple CTA on the same page as it can distract the customers.

Structuring Ads for a legal firm

Ad copy is very important as it is the first touchpoint where the content of the ad compels the customer to click on our ad instead of other competing Ads. Below are the few pointers you should keep in mind:
  • Your ad contains 4 sections. Firstly the Headline 1 (character limit 30),  you should make sure that your headline is tailored as per the prospect’s search. Ideally, the ad Title should include exactly what they were searching for For example, “Looking for a family lawyer?” or “Top Divorce Lawyer in L.A.”, etc
  • The next part of the ad is Headline 2 (character limit 30). It is separated with headline 1 by a hyphen(-), the best way to utilize this section is by encouraging the prospect to click on the Ad. a clear call to action should be included here For example,  “Get Free Advice for Divorce”‎, “Speak with a lawyer 4 free”, "Find a lawyer in California", etc
  • Followed by the two headlines is the Display URL which is automatically fetched by Google, which then gives you an option to customize it with 2 Path fields - Path1 and Path2(Up to 15 characters each). Make sure the subdomain of the URL is relatable to the type of lawsuit the prospect is seeking for. For example, “www.LawFirmUrl.com/family/lawyer”, “www.LawFirmUrl.com/family_law/Divorce”, etc
  • The final field is Description(Character limit 80). It gives you immense space for your ads messaging. Here, clearly define the value proposition and specialty of your practice that distinguishes you from others in the market. For example, “Review Profiles and Cost. Present Your Case Now for free! Types: Adoptions, Guardianships, Child Custody And Visitation, Paternity..”
  • Finally, Final URL is the first page the prospect reaches after clicking on the Ad. Instead of using home page as a final URL, ensure that the prospect lands on the specific lawsuit section that relates to his initial search
  • An effective sample ad:

  • sample google adwords ad for lawyers

Suggested ‘Budget’ and ‘cost-per-click’ for Law

Budget and CPC varies within Law industry as well. Considering an example for ‘Family law firm’ in ‘San Francisco, CA’, approx. budget to consider is $2k and average CPC can be anywhere near $4 per click. To know Budget and CPC for your domain use AdNabu. It automatically suggests you budget and CPC in real time, considering multiple parameters.   

What ad extension to use for a law firm?

Google ad extensions add life to your ads and make it more professional looking and trustworthy. When used the right way, they can make you easily approachable and hence lead to better visibility for your potential customers. Ad extensions work differently for different Industries. Some deliver a better result than others. For the law, best working extensions are:

Location extension:

Location extension enables lawyers to add a physical location besides their ads. This helps you in numerous ways:
  • Having a physical address adds to the authenticity of the firm and reassures your customers against fraudulent
  • Encourages customers who live closer to your location to contact you
  • Also making it easier for people to navigate their way easily to your office
  • For example

  • sample google adwords location extension for lawyers

Sitelink extension:

The Sitelink extension enables lawyers to add extra links to share achievements or additional sub-categories of services(In case targeting for a generic keyword).
  • This makes easy for the customer to relate their problem and highly likely for them to click on your ad.
  • Without further ado, it helps the customer to land directly to the most relevant page that encourages them to take a step further
  • For example:

  • sample google adwords sitelink extension for lawyers

Callout extension:

Callout extension gives lawyers and additional 25 characters of space to add beyond the basic description of the add. It is suggested to use this space to encourage the prospect to take action.
  • Some examples for law firms are “free consultation”, “Best lawyers in SF”, “24x7 legal advice ”, “anonymous consultation”, “20+ years of experience”, “You pay, when you win!” etc.

  • sample google adwords callout extension for lawyers

Call extension:

Call extension allows lawyers to add a contact number to their Ads. It works much effectively for mobile devices as google adds a clickable call button to the ad. This allows the customer to call you instantly. For law firms, it is considered to be very effective because usually clients have personalized follow-up questions which encourage them to call. For example:

sample google adwords call extension for lawyers

Structured snippet extension:

Structured snippets allow advertisers to describe brief and specific features of the product or offering. It provides viewers with direct access to information about the nature and variety of business service. In legal cases, structured snippets can show potential clients the specific information such as neighborhoods where the lawyer do his service, amenities he offers, past clients, service catalogs, insurance coverage or even call-out offers.

sample google adwords structured snippet extension for lawyers

Conversion Tracking for law Firms

Now that the campaign is ready to work its wonders, conversion tracking is the last thing to set up and also one of the most important things as it will help you analyze your performance and optimize later. Depending on the business type, different conversion types are tracked. For the lawyer, it mainly works in two ways:

Conversion Pixel

It helps track which keyword resulted in a lead, that can later help you optimize your campaigns. Setting up conversion pixel required some amount of technical effort (You would need the person handling your lead page). Having said that, benefits of results from it overpowers the hassle. Here is a guide to help you setup conversion pixel.

Call conversion Tracking

This will help if you are allowing customers to make a business call directly from their phone. Calls are extremely beneficial for a law firm and luckily Google makes tracking calls even from a website easy. Check out how to setup call conversion tracking here.   

Conclusion:

Here was your short guide to begin your AdWords campaign with all the best practices for Law firms. But with an aggressive market like Law Firms, you cannot sit back and relax, rather you have to keep learning from your mistakes and optimizing to every last advantage you can take over competitors. "Think while it's still legal Ads, I will argue don’t work by emotional inception"- Kevin Simler If you are still not sure how to begin or to take your AdWords campaign to next level, sign up with AdNabu & automate campaign creation and optimize within minutes.