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The Periodical

How Long Your Firm Should Run Google Ad Campaigns

Google Ads will boost your law firm’s search traffic, leads, and revenue, but how long does it take for them to run effectively?

Over 90% of your client base will begin their journey to finding you with an online search, and over 90% of them will use Google to do it. Thus, advertising on Google Ads is a necessary and lucrative component of a quality digital marketing plan.

One of the main questions users have upon starting their Google Ads journey is how long individual Google Ads campaigns should run. The question is rather more complex than it appears at first blush, as a Google Ad campaign goes through several distinct phases, each requiring a different set of actions from you.

Setting Up Google Ads

To start using Google Ads, you will need an account. These take between 1 and 2 business days to be approved, after which Google will take 7 days to learn about your firm, the topic of your ads, and your target audience. If you have not already set up your account, you should do so immediately.

After your account is created and approved, it’s time to create your first ad. Take a look at our Google Ads best practices and then start creating your first set of Google Ads.

When you submit your ad to Google Ads, it goes through a review process that usually lasts for a single business day, although this can vary with the ad’s complexity. Google Help recommends that if the process takes more than 2 days, contact support.

You can check the status of your outstanding ads at any time. A status of “under review” means they’re still in the review process, while “eligible” means they are approved and ready to go. “Disapproved” is exactly what it sounds like, though Google will give you their reasons it was disapproved and the opportunity to address those issues.

10 Google Ads Best Practices, shows examples of Google Ads for Lawyers on a laptop

Google Ads can bring your law firms new leads and revenue, but take time and a bit of experimentation to set up and run effectively.

The Snowball Effect

Google Ads don’t work at their maximum efficacy right out of the gate. They need time to build momentum. As soon as you activate an ad, it will start being seen and collecting data, but it’s not going to start bearing fruit for about 2-4 weeks.

During those critical weeks, avoid making changes to your account or ads. Any updates will interfere with the gathering of data, which is one of the primary benefits you’re accruing in this stage.

When you first start your account and/or your first campaign, Google Ads sets your status to “learning.” Lots of factors, including bid strategy, changes to conversion actions, big changes to budget or bid, and more, can all result in the learning status. Google isn’t talking about you learning, it’s referring to itself.

Google is using this time to determine a quality score for your campaign to see how it stacks up against others. Because its primary goal is learning, your CPC (Cost Per Click) will be up and your conversions will be down. Once Google has the lay of the land, you should see those numbers improve.

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Google Ads Maturation

By 2-3 months, a good campaign will start seeing ROI. This is forever in business terms – a full fiscal quarter! – so it’s helpful to think of Google Ads as an investment. You don’t expect to see an investment mature that rapidly, and Google Ads is no different. Rather, look at it this way: once that first month of data-gathering is over, your ad is going to start the maturation process.

This is also when you can start tinkering with your campaign. With a month of data in the bank, simple A/B tests can work wonders for your ad’s effectiveness. Alter your keywords or targeting and track the results. Keywords are the way your client base finds you, and homing in on their precise word choices can go a long way to having your ad put in front of a receptive audience. Changing your bid strategy can also help as you determine an ad’s profit ceiling and base your spend around that.

Think of this as your optimization stage. You have the campaign in place, and it’s time to make it as good as it can be. It’s imperative to track every change on its own. Altering too many things at once can produce confusing results as you don’t know what is driving an increase or decrease in performance.

At 3 months in, your ad has had time to accumulate a good library of data, perhaps across different ad variations. In any case, it’s begun to mature and you should start seeing a positive ROI. The good news is you’re not even at the sweet spot yet.

The Sweet Spot

4-12 months into the lifecycle of a Google Ad is where you see your strongest results. The key to achieving those results means engaging in each step. Most importantly, it means exercising patience. Google Ads will be one of your most reliable tools, but it needs time. First to learn how to use it, then to allow your campaigns to reach their potential.

The good news is that the more experience you have with Google Ads, the less time you will need to spend in the Month 2 optimization step. You should always feel empowered to experiment, as you never know when you will find a new way to optimize, but skill does come with benefits.

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Partner With Lead Science: The Google Ads Experts

When working on Google Ads, you should work with a digital marketing provider with experience. At Lead Science, we have over two decades of experience navigating not only Google Ads but many other Pay-Per-Click platforms. We know what it takes to maximize your investment in PPC campaigns and have a keen understanding of the optimization process.

Schedule your Lead Science Discovery Call today. We can walk you through Google Ad campaigns from beginning to end, and show you how you can leverage them for maximum returns.

Justin Robinson-Prickett
Justin Robinson-Prickett
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