May 24, 2019

5 Ways to Get Results with PPC for Law Firms


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PPC for law firms can be a bit of a double-edged sword.

Wield it correctly, and you can carve out a juicy chunk of market share for your legal practice. Falter, and it can cut a hole into your pocket!

That’s the risk. At an average of $6.75 per click, ‘legal’ clicks are the most expensive among all industries advertising on Google Ads. High CPC also means that the legal industry is one of the most competitive industries.

If you search on Google for law firm nj (or a similar key phrase), you’ll see that ads by law firms occupy the entire screen—on desktop as well as on mobile.

Research says that 64.6% of all users searching with intent to buy legal services are likely to click on one of these ads. That’s a lot of clicks, but don’t be surprised if your ad receives none of them.

Why Your Click-Through Rate is Down

As you can see from the screenshots above, there are a total of four ad positions above and three ad positions below the organic search results. Around 99% of the clicks go to the top four positions. Ads at position-five and below receive only 1% of the total clicks.

If your ads fail to appear among the top four positions, you’ll receive very little traffic from those ads. It can happen because of three reasons.

  1. Your bids are below par
  2. Your keyword selection needs revision
  3. You have a low Google Ads Quality Score

A low CTR can further deteriorate your Quality Score, pushing your ads further down and causing the CPC bids to rise.

Why Your Clicks Don’t Convert

You have a bigger problem if too few of the clicks convert into active client leads. If the overwhelming majority of your PPC visitors bounce off your landing page go to competitors.

The depressed conversion rate can be the result of bad keyword selection, irrelevant ad copy, and lack of conversion optimization. It can waste a lot of money AND affect the Quality Score, making your PPC efforts fruitless.

Luckily, Google Ads has the features a law firm may need to run highly targeted campaigns that generate an adequate number of high-converting leads at a surprisingly low CPC.

At JoshMeah.com, we have helped law firms double their CTR and reduce their CPC to around half of what other law firms are paying.

We have achieved these results by applying the following tactics. Go ahead and use them to optimize your PPC campaigns and generate a healthy flow of highly profitable leads.

PPC for Law Firms Tactic #1: Use Google Ads Bid Adjustments

This is one of the most important AdWords tactics that lawyers often ignore. Google Ads Bid Adjustments allow you to vary your bids based on locations, income groups, age, gender, and parental status.

You can use the bid adjustments to make your campaigns precisely targeted. For example, a divorce lawyer knows most of her prospective clients are men and women in their 30s. She can increase the bid on that age group and lower it for other groups that are of less interest to her. This would show her ad  to more people in the target age group and eliminate a lot of irrelevant clicks that are unlikely to convert into clients.

Similarly, you can use the other demographic bid adjustments to target different ads toward different genders, income groups, parental status, and locations.

If, for example, you want to show your ad to more people near your office locations, you can increase the bids for searches happening in your service area and lower the bids gradually as the searches move away. This would drive more leads from areas near you, people who are more likely to call and visit your office.

PPC for Law Firms Tactic #2: Use Google Ads Call and Location Extensions

The Google Ads Extensions allow you to pack more information into your ads so that more people are likely to click on them.

There are no less than 17 different ad extensions that Google offers. While you can try all of them that sound relevant, the Call Extension and Location Extension are the most suitable for law firms.

The Call Extension, when enabled, displays a clickable call button with your ads. People can click on that button and call your office right off the search-engine results page (SERP). Since most searches are done on mobile devices, the call extension is convenient for your audience.

The Location Extension displays your street address, phone number, and a ‘find directions’ button. People can find you on Google Maps using the directions button and navigate to your office.

Using these extensions can make a huge difference to the number of visits and calls, as the viewers don’t need to go to your website. In other words, you are generating leads from the SERP.

To enable extensions in the new Google Ads experience, select the campaign or Ad Group and click on the “Ads & Extensions” tab in the left-hand sidebar. Click on “Extensions” in the top menu and click on the big “+” sign to create a new ad extension.

PPC for Law Firms Tactic #3: Capture Mobile Leads with Call-Only Campaigns

Most of the people now use mobile instead of the desktop to browse the web. Mobile users are often in a rush and don’t want to waste time finding the info they need. This type of user behavior makes the new Call-only Ads a powerful lead generation tool for law firms.

In the traditional model of a lead generation funnel, the user clicks on your ads and visits your website before deciding to call or email you. This can be a problem if your website isn’t all that presentable or not optimized for conversions.

Call-only ads solve this problem. They don’t link to a website and give users just one option—to call your office. This greatly simplifies mobile lead generation as the user is just one tap away from making a phone call to your office. All you need to do is to answer the phone.

PPC for Law Firms Tactic #4: Mind the Google Ads Keyword Match Type

The other day I was searching using the key phrase buy house in new jersey and a law firm’s ad popped up. This can happen when you don’t select a keyword match type or select the default broad match for all keywords.

So, if your target key phrase is law firm in new jersey, your ad might show up for all search terms containing the keyword new jersey. If you don’t want your ad to show for such broadly irrelevant searches, it’s critical that you select the correct keyword match type.

Google Ads gives you four keyword match type options as shown in the following infographic:

The broad match and broad match modifier have the maximum reach, but they can show your ad to people who are not in buying legal services at all. For example, if your target key phrase is buy legal services nj, don’t be surprised to see your ad when you search for buy cleaning services nj.

If you want to receive relevant exposures and clicks, you should select the phrase match or exact match for most of the keywords that you’re targeting.

PPC for Law Firms Tactic #5: Set Up Google Ads Scheduling to Run Ads at Best Times

Most of the legal leads come in through phone. Unless you’re working 24/7, you don’t want to receive phone calls in the middle of the night. You also don’t want to show your ads when few members of your audience are likely to be online searching for legal services -- for example, on Saturday nights.

Ads shown at the wrong times generate irrelevant clicks. The answer is to schedule your ads. Click on Ad Schedule in the left menu and click the pencil icon to create a schedule for a particular campaign.

The ad scheduling feature is very helpful if calls are your number one lead generator. You can schedule the ads to show only during work hours when your people are there to answer the phone.

As your account gathers more data, you can discover the days and times that generate the most impressions and clicks and use bid adjustments to show your ads to more people on those days.


The average AdWords CTR for the legal sector is 4.45%. Even if you strike that average, you can get some good traffic from your PPC ads. The problem is it’s not easy to strike that average. If you’re stuck at, say 2%, you’re losing customers, and your Quality Score is nose-diving.

But, the more important question is: What percentage of traffic do you convert to leads and customers?  The average CPC for PPC for law firms is 6.75%, so clicks that don’t convert are like holes in your pocket. In that sense, PPC advertising and conversion optimization are two sides of the same coin.

Hey! I’m Josh Meah, marketing perfectionist and PPC rainmaker.

Feel free to give me a buzz at (973) 240-8948 and discuss anything marketing.

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