Legal PPC Blog Series: Post 2 of 3
In last week’s blog post, we answered the question: “What is pay-per-click advertising?” We also talked about how this form of digital advertising can give your law firm greater visibility in search engines.
While PPC advertising (also known as paid search) is a valuable way to get your firm found by more potential clients, it only produces worthwhile results if it’s done correctly. Unfortunately, there are many law firms out there that spend a lot of money on PPC only to sabotage their efforts by mismanaging their campaigns. Don’t be one of those firms! In this post, we explore some of the most common mistakes that prevent law firms from getting the maximum click-through rates, leads, and return on investment from their ad spend.
Is Your Law Firm Making Any of These PPC Mistakes?
Bidding on the Wrong Keywords – Not getting enough clicks on your PPC ads? It might be because the keywords you’re targeting don’t match up well enough with the keywords your prospective clients are actually typing into the search box. Or, perhaps you are targeting keywords that are simply too competitive. Here’s what we recommend to get on the right path for your keyword strategy:
- Do keyword research to see which terms are getting the most traction for your practice area. You can use tools such as AdWords Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and SEOBook for keyword analysis, including competitor analysis.
- Experiment with different keywords to see which ones are the best performers.
- Consider using long-tail keywords for less competitive terms that have a lower cost per click.
As we discussed in one of our recent blog posts, legal keywords are some of the most competitive and expensive keywords out there. If you aren’t using the right keyword strategy, you are wasting a valuable investment!
Failing to Use Geo-Targeting – Studies have shown that people are more likely to call your firm when you are local. This gives a higher value to clicks in your own backyard compared to in the next county over. This is why careful targeting and bidding on your keywords based on where that keyword is being served will improve your PPC performance.
What good is it to show your ads to people in New York when you only practice law in California? Or what about showing ads in one county when you only handle cases in a county on the other side of the state? Geo-targeting allows you to only show your ads to users in specific geographic locations. You can target your ad campaigns by zip code, city, county, designated market area (DMA), state, and radius. Remember, you pay by the click, so you will want every click to count. If you don’t set up your geo-targeting, you could end up wasting money on clicks by online users who are outside of your service area and therefore not eligible to become a future client.
Forgetting About the User Experience – Do your ad copy and landing page appeal directly to your targeted audience, or do they feel like they were written with a one-size-fits-all approach?
Someone searching for a criminal defense lawyer should get a different experience than someone searching for a DUI defense lawyer. If the user feels the ad or landing page does not meet his or her specific needs, he or she probably won’t click on your ad or contact your firm. To give your ad viewers the best user experience (and drive more conversions), make sure your ad copy and landing pages are custom-tailored to the types of users you are trying to attract!
Think of your ad copy as your pitch to get the online user to click on your ad and visit your website. You have just a few seconds to catch the user’s interest before he or she moves on to another ad or to the organic (unpaid) results. If you have weak ad copy, it may be because it:
- Is boring and doesn’t inspire the user to take action
- Tip: Use buzzwords that your target audience can identify with (targeting their specific needs and desires) and use clear calls to action, such as “Call Today!”
- Doesn’t clearly state what service you are offering or what area you serve
- Tip: Incorporate your keywords and the geographic areas you are targeting into your ad text.
- Doesn’t show the user how your law firm is different than all the others
- Tip: Highlight the selling points that make your law firm unique (“Board-certified Specialist,” “You Don’t Pay Until We Win!”, “Experience Handling Thousands of DUI Cases,” etc.)
Not Optimizing Your Campaigns through Ad Extensions – Ad extensions are additional links or copy that appear with your regular ad text. “Sitelinks” are hyperlinks to additional subpages on your website, which helps the user go straight to the information that is most relevant to him or her (such as “DUI FAQ,” “Case Results,” or “Free Consultation”). There are also callout extensions, which highlight specific details about your firm (“24/7 Availability”); call extensions, which include your law firm’s phone number and call button on mobile phones; and many others.
Google continues to grow the extensions available to advertisers. So much so, that you can be selective about which ones to show. It’s also a great way to take a general search, such as “criminal defense lawyer,” and include extensions that speak to the most popular practice areas. Doing this increases your chances of making your ad resonate with the user and delivering a great experience on your website.
Failing to Track Performance – Paid advertising is essentially a giant math problem. If you understand the relationship between the costs associated with advertising, what costs best turn into leads, and what leads turn into clients, you can analyze the problem, invest wisely, and produce more profitable results (more clicks that turn into new clients).
One of the worst things you can do to set yourself up for PPC failure is to not track the performance of your campaigns. If you aren’t closely tracking your PPC metrics, you won’t know which ads and campaigns need to be improved for better results. You also won’t know when you need to shift your ad spend from weak-performing campaigns to the most profitable ones.
Fortunately, Scorpion has an online marketing platform that clearly lays out all the data you need to set up more targeted PPC campaigns, track your data, and calculate your ROI. Our system won the 2016 Google Platform Innovator of the Year Award. We also have legal online advertising specialists who can monitor your campaigns and make adjustments as needed. Call Scorpion to ask about our PPC for attorneys!
Check back soon for Part 3 of our Legal PPC series – a Q&A with one of our Scorpion PPC experts. We’ll discuss legal PPC challenges, advice, and our role as a Google Premier Partner.