PPC advertising is one of the best methods for quickly generating website traffic for your law firm. Here’s everything you need to know before starting your PPC journey.
When it comes to marketing, ROI should always be at the forefront of your mind. No matter how formidable your marketing budget is, you’re always looking to maximize its impact, stretching each dollar as far as you can. As such, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising can be overlooked in favor of other channels. The fact is, utilized well, PPC advertising can have an excellent ROI and form a cornerstone of a responsible and cost-effective digital marketing plan.
A law firm’s primary concern is brand recognition. The goal is to create an indelible impression in the minds of your client base so that, when they need your assistance, your firm is the first they think of. 57% of all lawyers are hired after a Google search, and PPC ads are the best way to place your firm high in the SERPs. With the advanced targeting options available with PPC, your ads will appear in front of the people most likely to click on them.
Even with the costs, PPC can be the precise tool you need. They provide immediate results, giving your marketing a shot in the arm when it most needs one. With advanced analytics and control over budget, you can drive your marketing in real time, making minute and precise adjustments as needed.
What Is PPC Advertising?
PPC Advertising is, along with SEO, one of the two main methods of generating traffic for your website. SEO is a gradual organic process of improving your search rankings. PPC means paying for your ads to show up in searches when a specific keyword or phrase is used. It’s important to understand that an effective marketing strategy includes investment in both. Used properly, each covers the weaknesses of the other, and gives you the best ROI for your advertising dollar.
PPC advertising can be the perfect way to start the ball rolling on a new marketing plan, or to advertise new services or specialties your firm caters to. With PPC’s ability to microtarget specific audiences, you can tailor the perfect message to a precise demographic.
Keywords are where PPC advertising gets its intimidating cost. This part is even worse for law firms, as the most highly sought-after keywords often have a price tag that destroys their ROI. The solution is a measured approach where you shy away from the most often used keywords and embrace the more specific long-tail keywords that enable you to more precisely target your client base anyway.
PPC has four core channels you can make use of in your marketing. The first is by far the most common, and that is Google. More than 90% of all searches are performed via Google, meaning that will be the most common introduction to your firm. When bidding on keywords, always start with Google Ads.
YouTube is also an excellent digital marketing channel. Aside from being an ideal host for video content, YouTube boasts an impressive and engaged user base. You can also use banner ads for a more unobtrusive ad experience.
Social media has some of the most potential as a channel since your client base spends time on their favorite platforms voluntarily. Social media places you on the same level as a friend, leveraging the platform’s built-in trust.
Types of PPC Ads
When people think of PPC ads, they are usually thinking of only one of four types, specifically Search Ads. These appear at the top of SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) when a user enters the relevant keywords. This is an effective way of not only driving traffic but of jump-starting your ad campaign.
Display Ads appear on sites within advertising networks such as the Google Display Network. A versatile addition to PPC advertising, they can include text, images, and rich media formats, and can reach potential clients on blogs, relevant sites, or even news portals.
Social Ads appear on social media platforms. Because your client base will already be spending much of their time on social networks, these ads can be highly effective. The most important aspect of social advertising is to engage with those who engage with your social media content. This is the perfect place to create and nurture a sense of trust and community.
Remarketing ads can be some of the most effective types of PPC ad. These targeted ads to users that have already engaged with your firm in some way. Remarketing provides excellent ROI, as it can give that final nudge that transforms a bounce into a client.
Target Your Client Base
The first step to a PPC ad campaign is keywords. This is how your clients will see and ultimately engage with your ads. The best way to start thinking of the right kinds of keywords to bid on is to consider what sorts of things your clients will type into search engines to arrive at your site. Avoid the simplest keywords, as these are likely to be prohibitively expensive and inaccurately targeted. Utilizing the strengths of PPC advertising, namely targeting and ROI, requires getting specific.
Google Ads Keyword Planner will give you an overview of not only the kinds of keywords you might like, but their cost. This can give you a bird’s eye view on the planning and budgeting stages of your PPC ad campaign.
Location will also help you narrow your keyword buy. Clients aren’t going to want to travel too far for a lawyer, and you’re not likely to be licensed to practice in all fifty states. As such, adding your general location, from city all the way to neighborhood, can be an excellent way to narrow your buy. Additionally, geotargeting can do some of the work for you, as many clients will Google some variation on “[specialty] lawyer near me.” Geotargeting will ensure users seeing your ads are in fact near you.
Create Compelling Ad Copy
An ad is as effective as its copy. Effective copywriting begins with headlines. You must draw your audience in with something simple that communicates the essence of your idea. Think about your client base and speak to their concerns. Test different headlines with the same ad and see which performs better. The more you write headlines, the better you will become.
As you move into the body of your ad, the copy can start dipping into the details of your offer. You’re looking for absolute clarity that is also inviting. Putting your best foot forward, so to speak, you want there to be zero doubt in your audience’s minds about what you are offering and that it is an excellent deal. Use bright, uplifting words and avoid anything with a negative connotation.
While your primary audience will be the client base reading and responding to your ads, you must also keep in mind the great silent audience that is the algorithm. Keywords can and should be seeded into ad copy and headlines. This must be done delicately, preserving the meaning of the ad. If the algorithm determines you’re oversaturating with keywords, you’ll be hit with penalties rather than reaping the benefits of savvy marketing.
Budgeting and Bidding
Precise numbers will vary according to your market and the realities of your competition. The rule of thumb is to spend 10% of your total marketing budget on PPC. Any less and you will be unable to leverage the power of PPC advertising.
To craft a good bidding strategy, you’ll need an explanation of some terms. CPC is Cost Per Click, the cost to you whenever someone clicks on your ad. The higher the bid on CPC, the better placement for your ad. Set your CPC to the maximum you’re willing to pay, while the actual cost to you is determined by this formula: (Competitor’s Ad Rank / Your Quality Score) + 0.01 = Real CPC.
Ad rank determines the position of an ad on SERPs, and you can find it with this formula: Maximum Bid + Quality Score = Ad Rank. Quality Score comes from Click Through Rate (CTR) as measured against the average of other CTRs for similarly placed ads. You set Maximum Bid, and it is appropriately the maximum bid you’re willing to pay for a user to click your ad.
Tracking and Analytics
While targeting is one of digital advertising’s great strengths, the other lies in tracking and analytics. It is difficult to impossible to accurately measure the ROI of traditional advertising, while digital marketing gives you the tools to track every dollar spent to the lead it generates.
Your first step is remembering that your site’s primary purpose is to convert visitors into leads. Implement conversion tracking, and you’ll have an accurate metric of how well your site is working. This is a baseline of data that will inform the rest of your efforts.
Your use of analytics will mean that none of your decisions will be based on unscientific gut feelings. You will have the hard data that can show you the path forward. Combined with A/B Testing, you’ll be able to assemble a blueprint for your marketing. A/B Testing involves creating two versions of an ad with only a single difference, then tracking which performs better. In this way, you can test every aspect of an ad, ensuring you’re always using the most effective.
Retargeting and Remarketing
There is no more efficient market than one that has already expressed interest. Remarketing specifically targets those individuals who have reached out in one form or another but have not, for whatever reason, converted.
The reasons a person might have failed to convert are numerous. The most common is simple distraction, with the realities of life intruding before they could submit a lead. Considering how stressful the events around needing an attorney are, it can be easy to see where a distraction might come from.
With retargeting and remarketing, you’re giving these users a second chance. They’ve already passed the most significant hurdles. They know who you are, have expressed some form of interest, and likely have a legal problem you could help solve.
Lead Science: Your PPC Partner
PPC ad campaigns jumpstart SEO campaigns, build brand awareness, and provide instant results. With precision targeting, you can speak directly to the clientele likely to submit leads.
Lead Science is the ideal partner with a strategy that goes far beyond traditional legal PPC. Our Digital Advertising program covers every PPC outlet, from social media to display ads, with precision-crafted advertisements. Our transparent practices mean you’ll never wonder where a single dollar of your marketing budget goes. We utilize up-to-the-minute market data, so your strategy will always be based on the latest realities of the moment.
Schedule your Lead Science Discovery Call today. We’re committed to delivering a marketing plan as unique as your firm.