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Paid Search Advertising for Law Firms: Part 6 Good2bSocial Academy

The eight modules of Good2bSocial’s Digital Academy provide legal marketers with critical components of an effective digital marketing program adapted for the unique needs of the professional services industry. Good2bSocial’s Digital Academy fills the need for legal marketers to demonstrate that they have a baseline of digital marketing concepts, and also provides law firm CMOs an objective way to assess team members' or potential hires’ legal marketing knowledge. Last week, we covered Good2bSocial’s Digital Academy’s course on search engine optimization (SEO) strategy for law firms, providing the components of an effective SEO strategy for lawyers, stressing steady and exponential website visitor growth over time which increases both search visibility and law firm credibility.

Module 6 helps legal marketers learn effective ad bidding strategies and outlines best practices to create effective advertisements on Google Ads and other platforms. Good2bSocial’s program helps legal marketers navigate the Google Ads interface through real-life examples, providing actionable tactics to improve click-through rate, lower advertising spend and maximize performance.

Per Kevin Vermeulen Good2bSocial’s COO:

Google Ads and Bing Ads are a highly effective way to deliver quality traffic and leads to your law firm’s website.  But there needs to be thorough keyword targeting so Google displays your ads only to those searching for your legal services. Google’s global audience and the audience data they provide is unrivaled in the industry and it is critical to know how to properly set up new campaigns and how to optimize existing ad campaigns to assure that your law firm receives the maximum return on investment (ROI).

Pay Per Click Basics for Law Firms: An Overview.

As the name indicates, with pay-per-click  (PPC) advertising, your firm only pays when someone clicks on your ad. PPC ads strategies include purchasing ads on search engine results pages, social media advertising as discussed in Good2bSocial’s Academy Module 4 and purchasing ads on partnering websites.  Guidance is given on how to compete with others who want the same key words you are targeting in an auction to determine who wins the ad spot. Ad spot bidding is impacted by the key word’s relevance, the query made by the person doing the search, and your law firm’s landing page.

Get Your Law Firm’s Message at the Top and Most Viewed Parts of Search Pages.

Pay-per-click advertising on search engine results pages places your firm’s message in a prominent spot right at the top, bottom or side of the search page. PPC ads that appear at the top of the search page are more likely to be clicked on than the top-ranking search result.

Other Types of PPC Ads that Provide Value for Law Firms

Vendors like Google Display Network and Microsoft Advertising, previously known as Bing Ads, display ads on partnering websites such as the National Law Review. Google Display Network includes more than 2 million partnering websites and the ability to reach more than 90 percent of those online. The Bing Ad Network audience includes 60 million desktop searchers not reached on Google.  There are many networks out there and other niche options for law firms. For example, Quora, where people come to ask questions and to read and share answers, is particularly suited to reach customers at the point they are evaluating and researching a product or service. Good2bSocial’s Academy PPC module provides a great deal of analysis of the various pay-per-click options for law firms in addition to explaining remarketing or retargeting campaigns that show your PPC ads to those who have visited your website in the past.

Critical Points to Consider for Google Ads Campaigns Setup and Maintenance include:

How to Choose and Manage your Law Firm’s Advertising Keywords?

When using pay-per-click advertising, you have the freedom to customize your keywords, allowing for extra targeting focusing your spend on keywords that are more likely to indicate an urgent need for a lawyer. Additionally, your firm wants to make sure your keywords are unique so that you don’t end up competing with yourself.

The checklists in Good2bSocial’s Academy PPC module provide useful information on:

  • How to organize similar keywords into groups helping you keep things organized and streamlining your targeting efforts.

  • How to silo lower performing keywords into a campaign to determine if they should be dropped or can be improved.

  • How to prune underperforming keywords and how to improve the lower performing keywords through adding negative keywords to your lists.

  • How to look for new keywords and phrases.

  • How to do split testing.

  • And how to tweak landing pages and ad copy for optimal performance for high performing keywords.

What are Best Practices for Law Firm Ad Campaign Set Up and how to Avoid Costly Missteps?

Because of the high cost of PPC advertising for attorneys, law firms should research to ensure your firm chooses highly targeted keywords that will deliver an impressive ROI. Key words in the legal field are highly competitive. According to Good2BSocial, the average click costs $54.86 for keywords related to legal services and lawyers.

Good2bSocial’s Academy Provides Useful PPC Organization and Execution Advice Including:

  • How to consolidate PPC campaigns by performance.

  • Why your firm should check landing pages and URLs and making sure the landing page works as intended.

  • How to download your ads and look at them in Excel or Word to organize them and assure simple things like the spelling is correct, as misspellings can have a negative effect on click through rates (CTR).

  • How to include your keywords in your law firm’s ad copy and your landing pages’ URL and setting page paths.

  • And how to make the most of your clicks by enhancing your ads with things like ad extensions and going into detail on how Sitelinks, Review, and Call extensions can be useful for law firms.

How to Set Budgets and Choose Location and Language Targeting for your Law Firm’s Ad Campaigns.

According to Good2bSocial, certain geographic locations and more specialized key words may require higher suggested PPC bids, with some firms setting a monthly budget for PPC ads of $30,000 or more. If a law firm is going to enter into and thrive in the PPC marketplace, Good2bSocial’s checklists, real life examples and detailed explanations provide an invaluable roadmap, including:

  • How to define your CPC bids to ensure you don’t bid too high on cost per click amd how attorneys can use Google’s keyword planner to get an idea of the PPC range your firm should be aiming for.

  • How to set your PPC budget.

  • How to set location and language targets.  Not all legal consumers in the U.S. are browsing in English, so setting proper language targeting and then assuring that prospects are taken to a landing page in the language they are using to browse.

  • How to choose ad rotation and delivery method.

  • How to set “Search Network Only.”  Google will set your campaigns to search with display by default. And because display ads show up on websites other than Google search engine result pages, inadvertently including display ads outside of search results can cost your firm significantly more money.

  • How to set ad scheduling. If you want to schedule ads so they only show while your office is open and how to set target devices if you’re running a campaign specifically designed for mobile/ desktop/ or tablet only.

  • How to exclude your own IP address(es) to avoid skewing your tracking results and how to use  Google’s ad preview tool to check to see where or how your ads are showing up.

  • And how to set up conversion tracking. To monitor your ads and selected campaign attributes to assure they met your law firm’s PPC campaign goals.

Key Takeaways for Law Firms Paid Search Advertising

Per Vermeulen:

Google ads and other PPC outlets are highly effective for the law firm market at producing rapid lead generation results.  But it’s not as simple as “setting and forgetting” a law firm’s PPC campaigns.  However, while the extensive configurability of the Google platform, in particular, makes it extremely powerful, it also makes it easy to forget a step somewhere and cause problems with your firm’s campaigns.  To prevent wasting time and money, checklists, forethought, monitoring and routine recalibration checks are needed when launching and evaluating existing PPC advertising campaigns.

To Read Part 1 Good2bSocial Digital Academy for Law Firms - Inbound Marketing and Client Journey Mapping, click here. 

To read Part 2 Good2bSocial Digital Academy Content Marketing Strategy for Law Firms Click Here.

To read Part 3 Good2bSocial Digital Academy -- Developing a Successful Social Media Strategy for Law Firms, click here

To read Part 4 Good2bSocial Digital Academy -- Paid Social Media Advertising Campaigns for Law Firms, click here

To read Part 5 Good2bSocial Digital Academy -- Search Engine Optimization for Law Firms, click here.

To read Part 7  Good2bSocial Digital Academy -- Email Marketing for Law Firms, click here

To read Part 8  Good2bSocial Digital Academy -- Legal Marketing Campaign Measurement and Analytics:, click here


Stay tuned for more details on the topics and key takeaways included in the other modules of the Good2bSocial Academy.

Copyright ©2023 National Law Forum, LLCNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 92

About this Author

Jennifer Schaller Law Firm SEO and Legal Thought Leadership
Managing Director

Jennifer Schaller, Esq. is the Managing Director and co-founder of the National Law Review on-line edition.  Prior to the National Law Review, Jennifer most recently served as in-house counsel/director at CNA Surety. She also served in various marketing and business development roles as a vice president of Aon Services Group.  Jennifer started her legal career as an associate attorney with Smith Amundsen, LLC .

Jennifer was the Chair of the Chicago City group of the Legal  Marketing Association (LMA) in 2019,  and in  2016-18, was the Vice Chairman Managing Programming in Chicago...