Should Law Firm Marketing Include Google AdWords?
Recently a law firm marketer posed the question to our legal marketing community, “Does anyone have experience with Google AdWords. Do you recommend it?”
Well, you could push an ocean between the question and the answer, the gap is so wide. But the question of online marketing for law firms and professional services firms does, in fact, have some foundation on which to build. At minimum a campaign must be able to monetize the value of a visit to the website. Here’s where I would begin:
Is Yours a Google World?
Google AdWords reaches about 2/3 of the search audience. Bing & Yahoo reach the other 1/3. Formulating the initiative in terms of one specific paid advertising platform, Google in this case, is premature. The answer may be none of the above. Other online paid marketing may be more suited for your target market. I’m thinking LinkedIn, for example.
Active Management Essential
Paid ad campaigns a/k/a pay per click, cost per click or pay/cost per impression, are built on keywords, ad copy, ad headlines, positioning, geography, timing, demographics. No campaign starts out perfectly targeted. Optimization and tuning is essential. And even when your results improve the target seems to drift. Consequently, a paid campaign must be actively managed. Launch and leave it is for losers.
Plan to Buy Your Experience
And while someone can do this active management in-house, unless the campaign manager has experience in this medium, a good part of the budget will be consumed by the learning curve – or the fail to learn curve. This might be a good opportunity to have an outside third party audit the campaign configuration and performance.
It’s All About Your Call to Action
But the real burden of the campaign’s success is on your website or wherever you direct traffic. Attracting visitors is relatively easy. Having a visitor “convert” into a meaningful action of engagement with your firm is more challenging.
How Will You Spell S-U-C-C-E-S-S?
The campaign should be built with absolutely clear goals in mind. If you don’t have goals (newsletter signup, white paper download, calls to a unique phone number, etc.) create them. If your goal is a site visitor simply converts into a client, you may be disappointed. OK, you WILL be disappointed.
Your analytics are compelling and actionable. If you don’t keep score, you might as well just take your money and send it to me. At least I’ll send you thank you notes.