Adwords Express for Local Law Firms


In charge of advertising and marketing for a local law firm? Consider Google’s AdWords Express. It might be a great way for you to advertise your practice to local potential clients especially if you have a more limited budget or might otherwise not be right for classic AdWords.

The program provides a very effective advertising option for local consumer-facing law firms wanting to advertise locally on Google and Google Maps (even firms without a website).

The major features of the program are its simplified campaign set-up and minimal management. If paid search engine marketing isn’t yiour primary focus, it can be a smart, cost-effective way to increase exposure in your local area and help potential clients who need the legal services that you provide.

Parts of your Law Firm’s Adwords Express Ad

AdWords Express ads consist of the following parts:

Ad headline: Your firm name will be the ad headline. This is the blue text at the top of the ad. When potential clients click the headline, they will be taken to the landing page that you’ve specified for your firm.

Contact info: The address and phone number of your firm as specified in your Google Places account.

Business description: Google generates a description based on your Google Places listing, which you can edit in the ad.

Map pin: The blue AdWords Express pin will appear in the ad. When a prospective client clicks the blue pin, she’ll be taken to the business location on Google Maps.

Stars and reviews: Stars and reviews will appear in the ad if the business has more than 2 reviews and a rating higher than 4 stars.

AdWords Express, provides you with control over what you spend by setting a monthly budget for your ad.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when setting your budget:

Multiple practice areas: If you decide to run ads for your clients in multiple categories, each category has its own budget. Together, this adds up to the total advertising budget.

For example, Larry owns a local multiple practice area law firm and decides he wants to advertise the practice areas of personal injury and worker’s compensation. He creates ads for each category, with a $1,000 budget for injury ads and a $1,000 budget for worker’s compensation ads. Assuming the monthly budget doesn’t change, the total spend for the calendar month will be up to $2,000 — $1,000 for the injury ad, and $1,000 for the worker’s compensation ad.

Multiple office locations: If you are advertising multiple business locations, you’ll set a monthly budget for each location.

For example, Sarah has three office locations in and around Tahoe. You set a $1,000 budget for each office. Assuming her monthly budget doesn’t change, your total spend for the calendar month would be up to $3,000.

AdWords Express ads are eligible to appear in the following places: AdWords Express ads are eligible to appear above or next to search results.

Google Maps: AdWords Express ads are eligible to appear above Google Maps search results in the left hand panel. An organic Places listing can also appear in search results. An AdWords Express Ad will not affect your ranking in Google Maps.

AdWords Express and organic listings

As mentioned above, AdWords Express does not affect the ranking of free, organic business listings in any way. This includes websites as well as Google Place Pages.

When an advertiser buys an AdWords Express ad, the AdWords Express ad is entered in the auction for the advertising spots either above or to the right of the organic listings. AdWords Express ads appear only in the sponsored ads section, so they do not affect how many or which businesses appear in the organic listings.

Compare Adwords, Adwords Express, Google+ Local Page

  AdWords Express AdWords Local Google+ pages
Free No No Yes
Available for businesses without a website Yes No Yes
Pay only for clicks Yes Yes N/A
Monthly budget control Yes Yes N/A
Daily budget control No Yes N/A
Ads on Google search and Maps Yes Yes N/A
Ads on Google mobile search and mobile Maps Yes Yes N/A
Ads on Google Search Partner sites No Yes N/A
Ads on partner sites and Google properties
(Google Display Network)
No Yes
(contextual and placement targeting)
Other advanced ad formats (e.g. video) No Yes N/A
Ability to target ads geographically Local Anywhere N/A

Is Adwords Express Right for My Law Firm?

Deciding whether Adwords Express will be a “good” advertising program for your firm depends on a number of factors. Here are a couple of key considerations:

  • Local? – Does your firm provide services to the local community? If not, Adwords Express probably isn’t the right advertising solution for you.
  • Consumer-Facing? – Do your potential clients use the internet to research legal issues and legal services providers? Adwords Express is best at attracting potential clients for firms that provide consumer legal services (injury, criminal defense, bankruptcy, etc.)
  • Branded Searches – Are people already searching for you and your firm by name? With Adwords Express, you don’t have control over which terms your ads appear. Therefore, you may end up paying for clicks for branded search terms (i.e. your name). This isn’t “bad” per se, but if you’re not interested in paying for branded search traffic, then you probably want to use classic Adwords.
  • Reviews on Google Places – Has your firm received a number of positive reviews on Google Places (Google+ Local)? If so, Adwords Express can highlight those reviews in ads on Google. However, if you’ve received negative or low-quality reviews, you might not want to highlight your local page in your ads.

If you’d like to learn more about whether Adwords Express might be a good option for your law firm, feel free to contact us. We’re happy to help you understand your options.