Peter BoydIs Pay-Per-Click Still Worth the Investment for Law Firms?

Factors Contributing to the Success and Failure of PPC Campaign

We manage more than 40 pay-per-click campaigns for law firms.  We have seen campaigns have great success, as well as fail to achieve goals. There are contributing factors to every campaign that contribute to the success and failure of PPC efforts.

When Does PPC Work? What are Ideas that Help?

  • You Need a Clear Goal: Campaigns that have a clear goal in a niche objective succeed. We can effectively target terms, create landing pages, and tailor the campaign to meet a set goal for leads.
  • Advertise in a Non-Competitive Area: Campaigns that are typically in non-competitive areas have a higher chance for success. Competitive areas can have success.  I repeat, competitive areas can have success, however, it will cost A LOT more money. For example, it will be more difficult for a personal injury law firm to achieve results than, say, a patent law firm.  The answer is because there are more law firms wanting to market in the plaintiff’s area and that drives up bid costs.
  • Utilize Call-Only Campaigns: These campaigns rock, especially for criminal law, family law, and plaintiffs work (i.e. personal injury).  Instead of bouncing users to your website, you can direct them directly to your phone number.  Using this method our clients get instant calls. We encourage you to try it out and see if you get the same results.
  • Budget Fairly: You need an appropriate budget to both bid on phrases and to manage the account. If you only budget for the ads and no management, then your account will wither and be ineffective.  It takes a lot of work to get a campaign running and performing on a monthly basis.  Seek out an expert.
  • Use Dedicated Landing Pages: You need to get the quality score up so that you can bid less and rank higher.  More importantly, your landing pages need to match to the keyword phrase you are bidding for.

When Does it Fail?  What are Common Mistakes?

We find that PPC campaigns fail mostly because of these four factors:

  • Outrageous Bid Amounts – Yes, it stinks, but due to the competitive bidding process, bids in certain areas are above $100 a click, which means if you just get one click a day, you are spending $3,000 a month.  It equates to $3,000 for 30 visits. If you’re spending $36,000 a year you may actually want to consider a content marketing campaign. While it may take longer to see results, long-term your content should rank high and outperform the PPC ads.
  • Poor Landing Pages – Don’t ever just link PPC ads to your home page. You should link to very specific pages that help solve the users issue.  The landing page should have a headline that matches your keyword phrase. Your subhead is a great benefit, your ad copy sells your business and the contact form gives the client a reason to call or connect with you.
  • Overboard Terms – You need to narrow your focus to be more successful. Try bidding on only terms that are specific to your practice and limit your scope geographically.  For example, often firms bid on “family lawyer,” but then showcase ads anywhere in the country.  So, their ads are displaying when someone searches for “Chicago family lawyer” even if they are in Dallas. #fail.
  • No Maintenance – When you do not check on your campaign weekly, it fails. Setup tests regularly and make it a point to monitor, check and analyze results.
    • No Clicks? – You are either not bidding enough, targeting the wrong terms, or have really bad ads.
    • No Conversions? – Your landing pages need improvement or you need to match your ad copy to the landing page.
    • Bad Clients? – You need to setup expectations from your ad copy, landing page and throughout the sales process.

Related Articles

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