How your law firm can spend less on PPC

Why is law so expensive?

When it comes to pay-per-click advertising (PPC) as a law firm on Google, the cost-per-click is determined by how many users are searching for a keyword. This means that the more competitive the industry, the higher the cost-per-click.

If you’ve tried setting up your own Google Ads account, you’ve noticed that getting just one click on a legal keyword may be pricey. Depending on the field, that one click could run you anywhere between $90 and $450. If your account is healthy, you’re getting a lot of them.

A well executed PPC account can be the most valuable marketing touch point for any law firm and must be done with one goal in mind: get the best possible lead for the lowest price. This post will go over how to make sure your account spends its budget smarter and save your firm time and money.

1. The value of PPC comes from targeting

It's common not to know where to start when building a new campaign. When just getting started, ask yourself two questions:

  1. Which practice areas bring the most value to my firm?
  2. How many people are searching for keywords about that practice area on a monthly basis?

The key is to highlight which of your highest profit practice areas is most competitive in search. By outlining the relationship between profit and search volume you can focus the budget on your highest performing campaigns that bring the most value to your business.

For some law firms, their largest settlements may come from rare cases that only get a few searches per month such as birth injuries resulting from medical malpractice. If you’re in a very competitive field of law such as Criminal Defense or Personal Injury, your Firm’s own name could be searched more than these types of cases.

By narrowing in on where to spend the most money, you’ll only be spending on campaigns you know will stay competitive and bring the most value to your firm.

2. Know your limits and work around them

If you want to see a positive return with PPC campaigns, you first have to be honest with yourself about your limitations. You can save a lot of time and money by asking yourself a few basic questions:

  1. What state(s) do I practice in?
  2. Can I refer enough cases out-of-state to justify advertising in them?
  3. How many ways of contacting our firm do we offer online?
  4. Do we offer “after hours” forms of contact such as call centers, live chats, or form submissions?
  5. Do we have enough intake specialists to support a significant increase in qualified leads?

Based on how you answered these questions, set limits, exclusions, and target campaigns by radius, city, and or zip code. For example: maybe you’re based in New Hampshire but are able to refer leads to your partners in Florida.

Depending on your intakes process, the times of day you want to serve ads may vary between campaigns. For example: if your website is outdated and lacks live chats, and you can only take calls during business hours, your campaigns should only be set to run during those times.

3. Shorter is better

Saving as much money as possible in a single campaign is important because it maximizes the amount of clicks you can generate for a set daily budget. How much you spend will always change depending on the season, market, or algorithmic updates, but it should never change to a degree where there is no return on investment.

In one of our accounts, our most competitive keyword limited a campaign with a daily budget of $300 to only two clicks per day. We found that bidding on a shorter version of that keyword reduced the price by more than 50%, and raised that campaigns output to six clicks per day with absolutely no change in the quality of queries generated.

Carefully analyze your keywords and ask yourself: is there a shorter version of this keyword that can serve my ads on the same search queries at a lower cost?

4. "Smarter" is dumber

Similar to bidding on a different version of a keyword, overlooked campaign settings are critical to saving money. An all too common mistake is forgetting to opt out of display campaigns and algorithmic bidding (commonly known as “smart” bidding).

Not only are display campaigns far more expensive than search, but the related sites in which the ads display can and will generate irrelevant traffic at a higher markup. When it comes to algorithmic, or “smart” bidding, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. “Smart” bidding is a robot deciding to spend more on a click it thinks is more likely to convert into a quality case.
  2. There is a “best case scenario” search query for each practice area – but there is no way to determine that the person who used that query has a quality case until processing their intake.
  3. Google’s goal is to make more money per click while the advertiser’s goal is to save money per click.

If you have experience listening to intakes, you’ll know that even the best case scenario query such as “Medical Malpractice Lawyer in NYC” can result in a rejected case. The fact is, algorithms have no way of determining that a query closest to your most valuable keywords will lead to a quality case but will charge you more for promising it.

5. Leads are not sales...yet

Whether a campaign generates a form submission, a phone call, or chat service, you need to know which touch-point is generating the most qualified leads, what is signing-up cases, and how to differentiate the two.

A campaign that generates five leads per day but signs up one case every six months isn’t bringing any value to your law firm – its wasting your time and money. You should be asking yourself: why are my campaign’s generating leads but not closing sales?

Only by tracking and measuring every user interaction can you fully understand and begin to answer this question and address weaknesses in the sales process.

For example: call recording software is an essential component of bridging the gap between a lead and a case sign up. By tracking calls, their quality can be measured by comparing the search query used to find your ad to the potential cases described on the phone.

Through advanced tracking like call recording, you can start to understand the relationship between the leads generated by marketing efforts and the case sign ups closed by intake specialists. This way, your time and budget can be focused to the areas that bring the most value to your firm.

If you’re new to call recording and tracking, Smart Rabbit recommends Call Tracking Metrics. Their pricing is competitive and their support staff is extraordinarily diligent and responsive.