Google's Adwords ad platform can be an effective medium through which to advertise legal services. But it can also be a huge waste of time and money. It all depends upon the type of practice you're trying to build, the types of clients you want and your ability to effectively create, manage, analyze and optimize your campaigns.
Before we dive into the nuts and bolts of Google Ads, we need to make sure we understand the anatomy of a Google search result page.
Adwords Account Structure
One of the most commonly overlooked aspects to getting started on Google Adwords is planning and organizing your account structure. Properly organizing the structure of your account is critical to creating campaigns and ad groups that speak specifically to what prospective clients are looking for. A properly organized account structure matches specific keywords to corresponding ad messaging. This will help increase both click-through, as well as, ad conversion rates.
Account structuring also makes it easier to make changes to specific ads without globally impacting your account. This means that you can modify specific campaigns, ad groups and ads without jeopardizing your account's entire performance. While properly organizing your Adwords account might take some time up-front, in the long-run it is likely to save you a lot of management time.
Choosing the Right Keywords for your law firm
Keywords are really the building blocks for creating successful campaigns. Choosing the keywords that are most likely to generate conversions is an ongoing process that requires regular analysis and adjustment. In order for Adwords to generate new business for your firm, you have to deliver the right ads, to the right people, at the right time. And it all starts with keywords.
As a general guideline, you should select keywords that are very closely related to the legal services that you provide. The more relevant the keywords are to your practice, the better the results that you're likely to achieve. On the other hand, choosing more general keywords that aren't as specifically relevant to your practice are likely to attract unwanted clicks and inquiries that won't translate into new clients.
You should also focus on shorter phrases that are 2-3 words in length. Selecting excessively long keywords is likely to limit your access to impression share. In other words, you'll miss out on delivering your ads where people are searching.
Further, using paid search keyword data as part of your organic SEO strategy is also very useful.
Writing Attention-Grabbing Lawyer Ads
Equally important to keyword selection is writing compelling ad copy. Your Ad Title should be narrowly tailored to specifically reflect your potential client's search. Ideally, the Ad Title includes exactly what they were searching for.
The next part of your ad is Descriptive line 1. This is the part of your ad that should be designed to give your prospective clients details about your services including value propositions and features of your practice that distinguish you from your competitors. Next comes Descriptive line 2. This part of your ad is what will drive visitors to your site by motivating them to click on your ad. It's important to include a strong call to action here.
The final components to your ad are your Display URL and Destination URL. Your display URL is what will appear immediately below your ad. Your destination URL is where a visitor will be directed after they have clicked on your ad. Hopefully, this is a specific section or landing page that specifically relates to their search.
Creating Compelling Legal Landing Pages
After a potential client performs a search, sees your ad and clicks on it, they'll be directed to your landing page. And the question will become whether your landing page will motivate them to contact you. An effective attorney landing page will showcase your services and provide an easy path for the potential client to engage your practice. Your landing page is the key to turning clicks into inquiries.
Tracking Potential Client Inquiries
In order to measure the effectiveness of your Google ads, you need to track how many potential client inquiries turned into actual paying clients. While this can be accomplished by hand, you'll probably find that you need a more advanced CRM or practice management tool to connect the dots from inquiries to open files.
The best tracking systems will allow you to connect clicks to revenue. That way, you can get a very clear picture of whether or not your advertising is generating a return on investment. After all, all advertising should eventually be measured by its ability to generate new business for your firm.
Adwords isn't right for all lawyers. But it most certainly can work for some.
Of course, in addition to executing effective Google ads, you should be sure to develop ethical Google Ads. As you know, each state has its own rules regulating permissible attorney advertising. These rules apply with equal force to television, billboards and Google Ads.