If you run a law firm and want top-quality leads (without having to separate the wheat from the chaff), Google Ads is a great choice! However, there are some principles you should be aware of before you dive in.
With 15+ years of Google Ads experience, I’m here to share the ins and outs so you can get started with higher ROI.
Ready? Let’s dive in!
How Does the Google Ads Platform Work?
Google Ads uses a pay-per-click (PPC) model, meaning you only pay when someone clicks on your ad.
Google Ads offers various ad formats, including text ads, display ads, video ads, and more. For law firms, I typically recommend text ads as the most effective format since these ads appear at the top of Google search results closely related to your target keyword.
In addition to ad formats, Google Ads provides various targeting options to ensure your ads are shown to the right audience. You can target by location, demographics, interests, and even specific keywords.
And, at the end of the day, Google Ads allow you to intercept profitable leads when they’re actively searching for law firms like yours, increasing your chances of conversion more than any other advertising or marketing channel.
How to Set up a Google Ads Campaign for a Law Firm
In addition to adhering to Google Ads’ standards for legal advertising, familiarise yourself with the best practices for campaign setup.
Step 1: Choose the Right Campaign Type for Your Law Firm
Google Ads offers various campaign types, including Search, Display, Video, Shopping, and Performance Max. For law firms, I typically recommend Search Network campaigns, as we’ll be able to evaluate the keyword journey to map the keywords to stages of the funnel.
A note on Performance Max campaigns: Since pMax spans different channels, you might be tempted to get started with that powerhouse of a campaign type. However, I don’t recommend using it without a Google Ads expert, as you need to know how your conversions work for different channels first. Otherwise, you risk wasting your budget.
Step 2: Define Your Google Ads Law Firm Campaign Settings
In this step, you’ll need to define your campaign settings, including the geographic locations you want to target, your daily budget, and your bidding strategy.
Another vital setting to take note of is the timing. Do you want to run your ad 24/7 or only when there’s someone at your office to take phone calls? If you have lead gen forms, stick with continuous delivery, but if you’re short on budget or prefer to qualify leads over the phone, run them 8-4 pm.
In the beginning, you can bid on all keywords equally. Then, as your campaign completes the learning period, you’ll discover which keywords are the most profitable so that you can increase your bids for them.
As a Google Ads consultant who frequently works with law firms and other businesses, I recommend setting up your conversion tracking early. That way, you’ll be able to monitor online and offline conversions and properly evaluate your Cost Per Conversion, adjusting your campaigns to get even more bang for your advertising buck.
Step 3: Conduct Keyword (Journey) Research for a Successful Law Firm Google Ads Campaign
You can create targeted and relevant ads when you identify the keywords that potential clients use when searching for legal services. I recommend using tools like SpyFu because it will also show you which keywords your competitors target so that you can uncover hidden gems they’re not seeing (but your leads are using).
However, the most important thing is your leads’ keyword journey. Understand which keywords they use when they become aware of their problem, which keywords they use when looking for solutions, and which queries they type in when comparing the best options.
This will give you a detailed insight into your law firm’s sales funnel translated into Google Ads keyword targeting.
You’ll bypass generic queries like “What does personal injury mean?” and instead focus on profitable keywords used by leads ready to schedule a consultation, such as: “The best personal injury lawyer in [area]” or “Average personal injury settlement in [area].”
As part of your keyword research, identify negative keywords – keywords that you want to exclude from your campaign because they are not relevant to your law firm’s practice areas. For example, if you specialise in personal injury law, you might want to exclude keywords like “criminal defence lawyer” or “divorce attorney.”
Step 4: Polish Your Law Firm’s Google Ads Ad Groups
Ad groups are a way to organise your ads based on specific themes or practice areas. Within each ad group, you can create multiple ads that target different keywords or variations of your ad copy. When creating your ads, write compelling and persuasive ad copy that entices potential clients to click on your ad.
In some Google Ads consulting cases, I recommend SKAGs: single-keyword ad groups. However, with the new keyword match types, these aren’t as popular. Still, separate your practice areas into different ads.
For example, if you offer workplace injury and maritime personal injury compensation services, create two dedicated ads. This way, each ad will be more relevant to distinct audiences, increasing your Quality Score (and decreasing your Cost Per Click).
Step 5: Optimise Your Ad Copy and Landing Pages
Use strong and action-oriented language to entice potential clients to click on your ad.
For example, instead of saying, “Contact us for a free consultation”, you could say, “Get a free consultation with our experienced team of lawyers,” or reference social proof like testimonials, awards won, or the number of cases and settlements won.
The content on your landing page should be highly relevant to your ad copy. If your ad promises a free consultation, make sure that the landing page provides information about how potential clients can schedule a consultation.
Consider using ChatGPT to create a settlement calculator or a similar interactive tool to increase engagement (and conversions).
Similarly, be crystal clear about the types of services you provide, especially when targeting a broader practice area like personal injury law. For example, do you help with maritime injury?
Step 6: Monitor Conversions and Optimise
Even if you’re in a hurry to get more qualified leads, take the time to set up your conversion tracking. Mainly, you’ll install a Google Pixel to keep track of online prospects who fill out your lead gen forms.
However, you can also set up offline conversion tracking to monitor phone calls and CRM data so you know which leads end up converting the best.
Once your law firm’s Google Ads campaign is out of the learning period, you’ll be able to test and optimise different aspects, from keywords to landing page copy.
Take Your Law Firm to the Next Level!
Google Ads are one of the most cost-effective ways to attract, filter, and win over profitable clients who need your help right now. And while there is a learning curve to it, I strongly recommend starting with your insider knowledge of your customers: when do they need you most, and which words do they use to explain their needs?
From there, research the keywords, create compelling ads, and you’ll be well on your way to expanding your book of business!
If you plan to set up the Google Ads campaign yourself, I recommend taking a look at my best-selling Google Ads book that shows you how to do just that – in 7 rapid steps!
And if you need personalised assistance, contact me and my team for a thorough Google Ads strategy that grows with you!