How to Use Targeted Google Ads to Grow Your Small Law Firm - Martindale-Avvo

How to Use Targeted Google Ads to Grow Your Small Law Firm

Location. Location. Location. 

Getting your name in front of the right people is key to ongoing growth for your law firm. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising might not be on your radar at the moment but it is an effective marketing tool that can yield results quickly for a law firm of any size or target audience. Use these tips for more effective ads, keyword targeting, and geo-targeting for your small law firm.

How Google Ads Can Help Your Small Law Firm

There’s a reason that many large law firms dedicate a substantial part of their advertising budget to Google Ads; this platform is a powerhouse for outreach if you know how to use it. Firms that make full use of the massive amount of data provided by Google Ads are able to tweak ads quickly to improve results and spend money where it yields returns.

Google Ads makes it easy to target groups you truly want as a client. Add negative keywords to your campaigns — terms that prevent your ads from being seen by those outside your area of expertise or those who are more interested in information than in representation — to further target who sees your ads.

Challenges You Might Face With Google Ads

Any marketing option with the opportunity to drive increased traffic comes with its share of risks. For Google Ads, there are three key issues: 


Cost comprises the primary challenge for small law. According to Wordstream, the terms “lawyer” and “attorney” are the most expensive terms on Bing, costing over $100 per click. These terms will be just as competitive through Google. As a small firm, you will likely be going up against established firms with much larger marketing budgets for some of your primary keywords.

Competition for keywords

There are over a million lawyers in the United States creating strong competition in the legal industry. When it comes to PPC campaigns, you could see significant price fluctuations from day-to-day as other lawyers in the same area compete against you, with access to the same search terms and keywords.

Learning curve 

Don’t expect to master Google Ads overnight, it may take time and experimentation to figure out what your potential clients are searching for and which keywords are being used by information seekers.

Even with these obstacles, it is possible for a novice to make a Google Ads campaign work. As long as you recognize that there will be a bit of investment of time and money, you can see exceptional results. Thorough education on digital marketing and constant analysis can help you avoid these challenges as much as possible while maximizing positive outcomes. 

Making Google Ads Work for Your Small Law Firm

Use these tips to guide your campaign setup, monitoring, and adjusting your PPC strategy.

Tweak your geo-targeting

Make sure your campaigns target users within your geographic area. Some law firms target far too large of an area, causing them to spend money on clicks by people who are nowhere near any of their offices. Others restrict their geo-targeting too much, excluding users who are a reasonable drive from one or more of their offices. 

If you have multiple offices, separate them into different ad groups so you can target each location. Do some research on your area and how far people are willing to drive, and use that to guide your geo-targeting.

Check the intent of your search terms

Those new to paid advertising often see relevant terms with high monthly search volumes and assume that they are good keywords to target. However, consider the user’s thought process behind each keyword. Someone who searches “how to get divorced in CO” is more likely to click your ad if it gives them access to your free guide on Colorado divorce, while someone who searches “hire divorce lawyer in Denver” may respond better to an ad that tells them to call now to talk to someone immediately. Tailor your ads for different keyword groups to meet potential clients where they are in their journey in buying legal services.

Narrow down your search terms

You run the risk of running through your ad budget in a matter of hours if you cast a broad net and bid on all keywords related to your area and practice area. It is better to spend some time researching each keyword and selecting only the most highly targeted ones that also have low competition. For example, instead of “Colorado Divorce Lawyer,” consider a long-tail phrase like “Who to call when you want a Divorce in Colorado.” It is a much less competitive phrase but is speaking to the same target market of potential clients.  

Solidify your landing page

Targeting the right keywords and geographic areas is essential, but you also need a landing page that will make potential clients act. A landing page that is vague or unclear in what it wants people to do leads to a high bounce rate and wasted ad spending. A landing page that is unappealing or not mobile-friendly will drive potential clients away in droves. Make sure the landing page is crisp, concise, and tells clients exactly what the next step is, whether that’s calling now for a consultation or entering their email for a free ebook outlining options for legal solutions to their problem. 

Analyze the data

Successful paid advertising involves constant analysis and adjustment. Avoid getting too attached to specific ad groups or keywords. Terms you expect to perform amazingly could be complete failures, and keywords that seem random might turn out to be winners. Be willing to cut a term or group as soon as it’s clear it isn’t worth targeting and use the campaigns that are successful to plan out future marketing efforts.

Find your unique selling points

Strong legal industry PPC ads highlight a firm’s unique selling points or legal services proposition. If your firm has operators available around-the-clock, point that out in your ad. Someone who is ready to act is far more likely to click on an ad that promises an immediate response. If your firm offers a free consultation, hammer that home in the ad. If your firm has an impeccable reputation on a major review site, use that to build consumer confidence and encourage a click.

The more you work with Google Ads, the more opportunities you have to reach potential clients and grow your small law firm. Putting a toe in the water when it comes to PPC campaigns can be scary but be assured that if you take the first step now, you can have a better return on your digital marketing strategy in 2020.

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