Law Firm PPC Guide

1. Responsive Ads.
Responsive ads use your copy and other properties (i.e. images and videos on display) to show the best combinations to users based on machine learning. This takes the guesswork out of testing ads and adds an element of versatility, particularly with display ads. Since June of 2022, Google only allows the creation and support of responsive ads for search, so getting on board with these ads is imperative for future success. Since it is no longer possible to edit previous text ads, it is important to include strong and clear messaging in the options for responsive ads.

A preview screen displaying an ad by PaperStreet Web Design that reads: "Law Firm Web Designer | Impress and Get Results | PaperStreet Web Design". Award-winning designs for lawyers by a lawyer.

2. Local Service Ads (Google Screened).
A newer offering from Google now serves nearly every location and legal practice area. These ads show your law firm at the top of Google searches, even above traditional Google Ads, and run on a pay-per-lead model rather than pay-per-click. Early adoption is important to get a foothold in your market before it becomes saturated.

An advertisement for personal injury lawyers, showing three options with ratings and years in business: Anderson Hemmat, Robinson & Henry, P.C., and The Law Offices of Dianne L. Sponsored by Google.

3. Local Service Ads.
These are proven to assist, obtaining top tier local rankings for Paid.

4. Audience Targeting.
Audiences are the present and future of paid search. They allow advertisers to choose the right messaging and viewers for a given campaign or ad group, either by targeting groups you want to show your ads to or excluding groups that don’t fit your target audience. Continued innovations on audience creation and targeting may eventually make keywords obsolete.

A screenshot of a table listing audiences, their types, and associated campaigns. The table includes categories like Business Services and Education, with campaign types such as PPC/SEO, Web Design, and Dynamic.

5. Mobile is King.
The majority of clicks from paid searches come from mobile devices; so having ads and landing pages that appeal and target to mobile users is key. If your message or page functionality are not in line with user expectations, your business will suffer.

PaperStreet's website homepage featuring devices displaying their services. Text reads: "Law Firm Pay Per Click Management. Increase Leads Today. Flat rate pricing starting at $450/month.

6. Display Campaigns.
Just a few years ago, display campaign strategies for lead generation were essentially “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks.” With advancements in targeting, from audiences and topics to expanded demographics, display campaigns are now viable options for driving conversions.

A preview of an online ad displays a link for sharing, promoting PaperStreet web marketing content with the tagline "Impressive Websites, Get Results." A button reads "GET A BETTER WEBSITE" below.

7. Google Analytics Integration.
Google Analytics is not just for website analysis, it also offers insights into how paid search is performing. Additionally, Analytics is the preferred source of conversion tracking for Google Ads

Google Analytics dashboard showing user statistics over the last 90 days. Users: 1K (+17.2%), Sessions: 1.1K (+10.8%), Bounce Rate: 71.18% (+11.5%), Session Duration: 51s (-35.7%). Line graph displayed.

8. Don’t Be Afraid Of Automation.
Whether through the use of rules, scripts or platform-provided automated bidding strategies, automation can be helpful in freeing up time to focus on more important tasks. Most bidding strategies have at least some element of control, so risks are negligible as long as the correct strategies are chosen and campaigns are regularly monitored.

A screenshot of a Google Ads help message explaining "Target CPA," where bids are set to achieve as many conversions as possible at a set cost-per-action. Options include "Learn more," "Cancel," and "Save.

9. Platform Diversity.
While Google is the undisputed champion of paid search, that doesn’t mean that other platforms don’t have something to offer. Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit, Microsoft Ads and Hulu, among others, each have a niche that they can serve (i.e. B2B on LinkedIn). Branch out from Google when the opportunity arises.

Ad featuring PaperStreet's law firm website design services, showing an elephant standing in a room with furniture scattered and the text: "Before the elephant enters the room.

Screenshot of a Bing search results page for "lawyer web design" showing a paid ad by, offering web design services, PPC advertising, and ADA website compliance for law firms.

10. The Value of Bing.
By default, Android devices use Bing; historical data shows campaigns getting proportionately as much exposure, clicks, and conversions, yet at a fraction of the cost.

11. Proper Use And Testing Of Extensions.
The amount of space available for extensions on paid search ads is limited, so it is important to ensure you have the right extensions showing at the right times and on the right devices. It’s also a good practice to test extensions beyond the default sitelink, callout, location and call extensions. You never know what might click with your audience (pun intended).

A screenshot displaying performance metrics for various Google Ads extensions including Sitelink, Callout, Structured Snippet, Call, Lead Form, and Location, with data such as impressions, clicks, and CTR.

12. Monitoring Negatives.
Frequently check search term reports for possible additions to negatives, including competitor terms (if you don’t want those) and locations your business doesn’t service. Also check auction insights reports and do a Google search for potential competitor names to add to negatives. Robust negative lists can prevent unwanted searches.

A screenshot of a list titled "Negative Keywords" with various keywords such as "Competitors," "99designs," and "Base Negs," categorized under "Web Design" and "Best Web Design.

13. Niche Your Keywords.
Some areas like criminal defense and personal injury can get extremely competitive in larger markets. If you don’t have a large budget, you may see more success by splitting these down into smaller focus areas like slip and fall and white collar. By niching your targeting, you commonly also see higher quality clicks, as your audience is searching for exactly what their case is about.

Screenshot of a digital ads interface showing keywords for auto accidents, bicycle accidents, and motorcycle accidents with options for attorneys and lawyers. Menu options include search keywords and settings.

14. Proper Tracking is Key.
You don’t know how well your campaign is doing unless you set up a means to track every opportunity that someone may contact you through. Be sure that you have conversion methods set up for your contact forms, call extensions and phone calls from the website through a service like CallRail. Having this conversion data will also allow you to make adjustments to your campaigns in order to improve the quality and volume of conversions you receive.

A screenshot of a conversion actions management interface showing various conversion actions, their sources, and categories. Options include calls from ads, message conversions, and contact form completions.

15. A/B Testing.
Every area of law performs differently, and every city will have different results. You can’t expect the same campaign to work well in all areas. You should A/B test your ad copy, landing pages and keywords to build your campaigns specific to the audience you are targeting.

A screenshot of an online ad for law firm website design services, featuring links to various web pages offering free website analysis and award-winning web design for lawyers.

16. Quality Scores Matter.
Google assigns a quality score to every keyword that you target in your account. This number is based on how closely your ads match that keyword term, the landing page that your ads direct to and how closely they match the keyword, as well as user interaction with those ads. You want to build your campaigns in order to achieve a 6+ quality score. For every point above a 5, you will see lower cost bids and you will have an easier time achieving higher positioning.

Screenshot of a keyword search tool displaying a list of keywords related to legal web services, their quality scores, match types, policy details, and final URLs.

17. Branding.
More and more, competitors are targeting the brand names of other firms to piggyback off of their marketing efforts. Creating a campaign based around your brand name can help drive them out of the ad space and ensure that potential clients find you first.

A sample mobile ad for PaperStreet's law firm web design services, mentioning their specialization in web content for lawyers and providing a link for more information.


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