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What’s Pay-Per-Click Advertising? Putting Your Law Firm's Web Presence into Power Drive

Man pointing at PPC text
Law Firms

Legal PPC Blog Series: Post 1 of 3

As an attorney who faces brutal competition both on and off the web, you can’t afford to settle for an Internet marketing strategy that only gets half the job done. You need to take your digital marketing full-force if you want to make a strong impression on online users and outshine your competitors. That’s where pay-per-click (PPC) advertising makes the difference.

In the past, it used to be enough just to have a website and a solid search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. Times have changed. The search engine results page (SERP) is no longer all about the organic (or unpaid) results. These natural results have been pushed further and further down to make room for paid search listings, which appear at both the top and bottom of the page.

PPC Ad on Search Engine Results Page

This means that even if you are doing a fantastic job on your SEO and you’re being listed as the No. 1 organic result on Page 1, online users still see 3-4 ads by other attorneys before they even get to your listing. The key to getting noticed in search engines today is to have a well-rounded search engine strategy that focuses on both organic and paid listings. In addition to your SEO, you should also be ramping up your search engine marketing, or SEM (another name for paid search advertising).

PPC ads appear when specific keywords (that you bid on) are are searched. You pay for these ads by the click rather than by how many times they are shown.

Here are a few ways your law firm can benefit from PPC ads:

Greater Visibility – The SERP includes up to 4 PPC ads right at the top of the page and up to 3 ads at the bottom. These prominent placements (especially the top positions on Page 1) can enhance your law firm’s visibility in the search results. Think of it this way: If your firm was not already ranking organically on Page 1, it still gets exposure through a PPC ad. Or, if it was already ranking organically on the first page, your firm now appears in multiple places on the page, which helps your firm stand out even more.

Having multiple listings on the search engine results page dramatically improves the odds of receiving traffic from a high-intent search (or searches where the user is closer to making a hiring decision). While it is not fully known what percentage of people use ads versus organic, we’ve seen some extremely high-intent searches take more than 50% of clicks in the advertising spots.

Instant Results – While SEO is a slower process (it can take a while to achieve high organic rankings), PPC advertising gets you instant visibility, which lasts for as long as your paid campaign is up and running. This serves as an especially valuable asset when you want to quickly boost your search engine presence, especially in response to timely events. For example, if you are a personal injury attorney who is seeking clients injured by a drug that was recently recalled, you can launch a PPC ad campaign focused on those drug cases for immediate exposure.

Advanced Targeting – With PPC advertising, you can use various forms of targeting to ensure that your ads are shown to the most relevant audience. Targeting is important because it helps you reach the online users who are most likely to become new clients, and it helps you avoid wasting money on irrelevant clicks (since you pay for each click).

You can target by:

  • Keyword (finding people who are looking for the types of services you offer)
  • Location (finding people in the geographic areas you serve)
  • Device (such as by targeting people on mobile devices)
  • Audience (finding people who have previously visited your website)
  • Time of day (running your ads at times you prefer to receive calls)
  • Use of negative keywords (excluding keywords you do not want your ads to appear for)

Simple Tracking – PPC advertising comes with extremely transparent reporting. With Google AdWords and Bing Ads, you can easily track your ad spend, cost per click, number of clicks, and number of conversions, which helps you to easily determine what you are getting out of your ad spend. Having this data allows you to see where improvements are needed so you can optimize your ad campaigns for the best performance possible.

At Scorpion, we have a PPC platform that clearly lays out all of your data for you. In addition to showing you general campaign metrics, it also allows you to track your calls and contact forms, and it tells you where your new clients are coming from so you can improve your paid search performance based on real results and return on investment (ROI). Our platform recently won the 2016 Google Platform Innovator of the Year Award because of its ability to help clients build more efficient and effective AdWords campaigns.

At Scorpion, we have seen our clients generate significant returns on investment in their PPC advertising, which tend to average from 4-12x ROI (with some clients reaching even better results). We would love to help your law firm achieve results like these as well!

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our Legal PPC blog series. Next week, we’ll be covering some of the most common PPC pitfalls that prevent law firms from getting the results they deserve.