PPC Ads for Lawyers: How to Win More High-Quality Leads

43% of consumers use Google to find legal help, often seeing PPC ads first. Many law firms fail with PPC due to poor strategy, wasting money on unqualified clicks. Proper PPC management, focusing on targeted keywords, effective landing pages, and ongoing testing, can convert more searchers into clients.

By Cesar Cobo | on Dec 27, 2022

43% of consumers turn to Google when they need legal help.

What’s the first thing they see when they’re searching?

Pay-per-click ads.

ppc ads in google for lawyers

This first in line listing is the reason law firms spend tens of millions of dollars annually on Google PPC Ads.

But let’s be real — most attorneys lack the know-how to scale PPC ads profitably.

Getting thousands of clicks from tire kickers is worse than having no clicks at all — at least you’re not wasting thousands of dollars on the latter.

The solution: learning PPC for lawyers (the right way).

So let’s get into it.


Why is PPC for attorneys important?

The demand is there – there’s thousands of people searching for your services on search engines like Google.

But so are your competitors.

And like you, many law firms struggle to gain traction with PPC campaigns and either continue with the slow burn strategy. Or drop out of the ad game, rendering it a waste of time and money.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Done wrong, PPC ads can attract a ton of the wrong traffic. But done right, PPC ads attract people who are ready to hire an attorney now.

Nothing delivers warm (or even hot) leads for lawyers like a properly managed PPC campaign.

It’s hard to miss your law firm when appearing here, here, and here:

google ppc campaigns for law firms

It’s hard to miss your law firm when it dominates each ad section on the search engine results page (SERP) for your keyword.

That’s the goal we’ll help you reach using our proven strategy. But you’re a lawyer who likely got burned by a PPC agency or three, which means we’re guilty until proven innocent.

Fair enough.

Here’s an excellent example of how we built a PPC campaign that saw amazing conversion rates at an insanely low conversion cost (using the strategy we’re about to show you).

attorney ppc bug results

The question now is, what could you see with using PPC for lawyers? Let’s find out.


Projecting results from a legal PPC campaign

The outcomes of your PPC ad campaigns depend on several factors, like:

  • Practice area
  • Location
  • Keywords

For example, using a long-tail keyword targeting Tampa can bring you 840 clicks and 84 conversions per month.

Tampa pi attorney ppc ads

Then in North Charleston, you can get 19 clicks and two conversions per month.

Charleston lawyer ppc ad results

Both have a conversion rate of 10%. But since one is a major city, and the other has a smaller market, the actual numbers are lower, which is expected.

You can also see the cost per conversion is much lower in North Charleston — $92 vs. $473. So your location plays a significant role in your results.

But this doesn’t mean they’re completely outside of your control. There’s a way to get better overall numbers — we’ll show you how.


Strategy for building a successful PPC campaign

You don’t enter a courtroom without doing research and developing a game plan to win. And it should be the same for your pay-per-click campaigns.

Here’s how we build a winning PPC game plan for law firms.


1. Tracking and reporting

Building an ad campaign is simple: find keywords, create ads, and hit publish.

But this alone won’t tell you what you need to know to improve campaign performance.

Key insights come from data gathered during the tracking stage. For example, revealing which keywords perform best, so you can remove the others. No need to keep them if they’re not generating money for your firm.

This is why we set up tracking and reporting that unveils:

  • Which ads are high-performers
  • Why we’re targeting or removing certain keywords
  • How much is spent per call or form submission
  • Which keywords deliver the best value (conversions)

ppc ads report for law firms


2. Keyword research

Keyword research for PPC campaigns is different than an SEO campaign for law firms.

It requires deep market analysis to understand your target clients, competitors, and offer. This is the foundation for building a keyword list.

For example, typing in your legal service and city into Google will reveal competitors. Then you can analyze the keywords they use in their ads for inspiration. The SERPs also offers related searches insights that provide other keyword ideas.

For instance, when you type in “DUI lawyer Orlando,” you’ll see this:

dui lawyer orlando - Google Search

So if you’re a DUI attorney in Orlando, then you’ll add these keywords to your list:

  • DUI lawyer Orlando
  • DUI law firm
  • Orlando DUI defense attorney
  • DUI defense attorney

Then the related searches at the bottom of the SERPs reveal additional relevant keywords:

related searches

After analyzing the competition, it’s time to survey and interview your clients. This is helpful for learning how they found your law firm, what services they needed, the areas they live in, and search terms they used.

With this information, you can align your ad campaigns with your target clients’ needs. This includes targeting the right cities, promoting the right services, and selecting keywords they use.


3. Landing page design

Now, what converts a lead isn’t the ad — it’s the landing page it takes them to. Designing one for each market or ad group is key to turning clickers into callers.

For example, here’s a landing page for a DUI lawyer in NYC:

attorney landing page example

It contains all the key sections:

  • A header with a clear offer “DUI attorney that looks out for your interests”
  • Why you may need a DUI attorney (to prevent an escalation to a suspended license or worse)
  • Why work with him (winning track record and he’s attentive)
  • A call to action (CTA) “Don’t wait, start now” with a form that captures personal details and message

Almost all the elements that make up a proper landing page. The one thing missing is social proof (e.g., Avvo reviews, testimonials). Tooting your own horn will only convince the few. So if you have online reviews, highlight them on your landing page.


4. Ad copywriting

There’s not a lot going on with search engine ads. There are no images — just a few lines of text. It’s all up to your copywriting skills to capture attention and persuade action.

The way we achieve this is by matching the intent of the searcher in the ad. Some are looking for an “affordable” attorney (possibly with payment plans), while others desire an attorney with similar cases won.

Your target clients’ needs dictate the copy of the ad. For example, those looking for a history of won cases will likely click on a PPC ad that says something like:

“Orlando DUI attorney with a 90% DUI case win-rate.”

Or one like this that promotes affordability:

affordable attorney ppc ad copywriting

Where do you get the intel to include in your ad copy?

The customer research (e.g., surveys, interviews, reviews) you performed in step two.


5. Ad campaign setup

Tracking setup ✅

Keyword research ✅

Landing pages ✅

Ad copy ✅

All that’s left to do now is launch your ad campaign.

google ppc campaign info

Remember, you’re tracking the results of your initial campaigns to learn more about keyword selection. Understanding which keywords deliver high-quality leads take time, which is why we run sprints to speed up the elimination process.

When setting up your Google ad campaigns, create separate ad groups that connect to specific landing pages.

These ad groups can target specific locations, legal services, or audiences (e.g., retired elderly vs. business owners).


6. A/B testing

In the beginning, there’s a lot to learn about your target clients.

So you’ll need to adjust different keywords, offers, and ad copy (e.g., headlines, CTA, and body). When testing your ad copy, only change one element at a time.

a/b testing ppc campaigns

For example,

  • Test three different headlines to see what improves clicks and conversions
  • Test keyword groups or individual keywords
  • Test different CTAs, like “Call for a free consultation” or “Open 24/7 — call today!”

But don’t stop with your ads — test everything, including your landing page design (format) and sales copy.

You may find your ads convert well, but your landing pages don’t because it lacks clarity on the next step (call to action). For instance, you ask for the call, but don’t verify if it’ll be free.

Your landing page is also an opportunity to weed out the tire kickers — so state your offer, your availability, what to expect, and other details that become objections for unqualified leads.


7. Scaling winning keywords

Once you verify the best performing keywords (those that get clicks and conversions), it’s time to scale them. We do this by developing campaigns around each ad group, and then scaling the ad budget as high as possible.

It’s an aggressive approach that lands ongoing conversions for our lawyer clients. If you struggle to fill your pipeline with high-quality prospects, then focusing on hyper-focused campaigns will generate more clicks and calls.

It takes experience to identify winning campaigns and conversion optimization for landing pages. And it’s the reason lawyers hire us to do it for them.


Fill your pipeline with qualified leads using PPC

Now that you have the strategy to improve your PPC ads, you have two options: continue doing it yourself, hoping to eventually improve results.
Or you can work with us to do it for you.

The latter ensures you get the best return for your investment in pay-per-click ads. Because if anyone understands the costly rates of lawyer-related keywords, it’s us. Legal advertising is what we do, so our strategies are specifically designed to drive quality traffic to your law firm.

If you’re interested in learning more about our process, book a call with us today.

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