As of last year, there were more than 1.2 million lawyers in the United States—and that number only continues to climb. While that’s great for consumers and businesses looking for legal representation, it makes competing tough as nails for individual attorneys as well as law firms.
That’s why so many legal professionals use PPC (pay-per-click) advertising as a way to stand out online. Thanks to the intense competition for clients, PPC for lawyers is truly a different channel than PPC for those in less competitive industries. In fact, keywords related to lawyers are some of the most expensive per click.
So how can lawyers use PPC to stand out without their finances going belly-up in the process? The key is to have a niche focus for each campaign, and to watch the conversions like a hawk.
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The reality of PPC for lawyers
If you’re a lawyer and you’re going to delve into the world of PPC, there’s absolutely no halfway. You’re either fully committed or you’re not, and you have to be willing to spend a few thousand dollars each month if you want to see serious ROI.
With that kind of investment on the line, you need to be highly specific with the keywords you choose. For example, it isn’t wise to go after searchers looking for “divorce attorneys.” With that campaign, you’d spend tens of thousands of dollars, only to realize that 90% of your clicks came from people on the other side of the country who are not at all interested in hiring you.
Instead, you need to target specific, long-tail keywords, like “divorce attorneys in Atlanta GA”, “divorce attorneys for men in Atlanta GA,” or “divorce attorney child custody expert Atlanta GA.” Being as targeted as possible means that you’ll only attract (and pay for) clicks from people who are likely to convert.
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PPC for lawyers: How to choose keywords
Sound complicated? It is. However, with keyword research and competitor analysis, you can make informed decisions about which keywords to target. Chances are good that if your competitors are using the keywords, you should use them, too. And while we’d never recommending plagiarizing ads, it’s wise to know what you’re up against.
Of course, this is only half the battle. As you amass your keywords, you have to begin to logically look at how much you are willing to spend per day on your PPC campaigns. For instance, let’s say that you decide you want to budget $500 per day, and you don’t want to spend more than $25 per click. The highest number of clicks you can get per day is 20. Great, right?
But wait—now you have to start looking at conversion rates. You probably have a good idea of how many people fill out a contact form or make another conversion once they land on your site. Let’s say the conversion rate is about two percent (and that’s a generous estimate). This means that every five days of running your PPC campaign, you’re probably going to get about two leads:
20 clicks/day x 5 days = 100 clicks x 2% conversion rate = 2 leads
At the same time, you spent $2500 to acquire those two leads:
$500/day for PPC campaign x 5 days = $2,500
This means that each lead you acquired cost about $1,250:
$2,500 spent on PPC / 2 leads = ~$1,250
Now, your leads have to be worth at least $1,250 to break even, without factoring in other costs associated with the PPC campaign. That’s certainly a possibility, and would make PPC a viable option.
Let’s say that every client you can convert is worth at least $3,000 to your law firm. If you’re getting two clients every five days with a $500/day PPC budget, you might want to increase that budget over time. As long as you can financially handle the uptick, and you have the staff to service clientele, it just makes sense.
That being said, it’s easy to see how bad PPC management could cost your firm. If you make the mistake of targeting broad keywords, and paying $25/click for 0 conversions, you’re out $2,500 in a week with nothing to show for it. That means you need to actively monitor your campaigns, and end or revise any that aren’t working.
At this point, you might be ready to launch your PPC campaign, but there are a few considerations to keep in mind.
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Other variables affecting PPC for lawyers
Remember how competitive law firms and their PPC campaigns are? As you start to get business, your competitors will notice. They might just decide to outbid you, forcing you to increase your PPC rates again and again.
Aggressive bidding happens quite frequently with terms related to law, because firms that use PPC know how valuable each click can be. It’s up to you to monitor the cost per click of your keywords and make a decision about how much you’re willing to spend.
Additionally, you have to make sure that their PPC ads are compelling. In other words, think like your prospects. By offering a phone number, link to a targeted landing page, and a strong call to action, you improve your likelihood of attracting clicks from qualified leads.
If you have any doubt of this, try typing law-related queries into any search engine. Then, read the PPC ads in the sidebar. They’re all pretty similar in nature, because the formula of making an “assertive” or “aggressive” sell, followed by an explicit call-to-action works.
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If you’re interested in using PPC ads for your law firm, but don’t have the time to monitor them on your own, don’t hesitate to contact us! Our team of Internet marketing experts has years of experience managing PPC campaigns across many platforms, and can help you create ads that will generate clients and revenue.