How To Make Google AdWords Work For Attorneys

If you’re tired of wasting money on marketing and advertising campaigns that simply don’t work, it’s time to get back to the drawing board. For too long, law firms have spent too much money paying SEO agencies and law firm marketing companies that have simply failed to perform. Law firms need to earn an ROI from the ad campaigns, and today, we’re going to tackle a major potential revenue stream. Today’s law firm marketing blog tackles how to make Google AdWords work for attorneys.

Starting today, and throughout the rest of October and November of 2020, Big Bang will be publishing blogs and videos breaking down all of the types of lead generation campaigns we offer. Our video tutorials will take a deep dive into each and every campaign type we run. From initial investigation and info digging, to set up and management, we will walk you through each and every step we take.

At Big Bang, we believe our number one job function is to help our clients make money. After all, the money you’re spending on ads is an investment into your business. Today’s article will break down Google AdWords for lawyers and the things you can do to run an effective campaign. Let’s begin.

How To Make Google AdWords Work For Attorneys

The Different Types of Google AdWords Campaigns Available to Lawyers 

Before we start our deep dive into how to set up, manage, and capitalize on a Google Ads campaign, we thought it would be productive to discuss the different types of Google AdWords campaigns available to lawyers. A lot of things have changed with AdWords over the last 8 months. In fact, there have major updates within the last few weeks. Some have to do with the types of campaigns, other updates include keyword types as well as ad extensions and changes to geotargeting.

Google AdWords, like other forms of advertising, can be a productive lead source for law firms, if set up correctly. Too often, attorneys have a bad taste in their mouth when they are confronted with a conversation about Google AdWords. We believe, just like other forms of marketing, that a campaign is put on a path toward success or failure best upon the way it is set up. Today’s blog is going to discuss multiple ways attorneys can make AdWords work for them. However, the number one thing we believe helps a campaign’s success is proper research. There are a number of tools available online that you can use to help dig for details about your competitors, their spend, profitable keywords, as well as to obtain other campaign insights. Here is a list of the top 3 we like to utilize. As always, Google has a plethora of tools as well.

Below, we will go into detail about the different types of paid search campaigns attorneys can utilize with Google. At any time, should you have questions about paid ads, organic SEO, or lead generation please contact our law firm marketing agency at (818) 877-7701. We have physical corporate office locations in Los Angeles and Dallas, with satellite locations in San Diego, Scottsdale, and Miami.  

How To Make Google AdWords Work For Attorneys

Google Local Service Ads for Attorneys 

Let’s start with the second newest type of paid ad campaign available to law firms. Google Local Service Ads for attorneys is a HUGE game changer. Local Service Ads are, what we like to call, the “red-headed stepchild” of the Google Guaranteed program. For some time now, Google has offered a lead generation platform to service-based business owners. The Google Guaranteed program was built to help service-based business owners obtain quality leads, and in turn, help consumers connect with legitimate, honest businesses. Here is how the program works for service-based businesses, you can also read the rules and regulations directly from Google by clicking here.

  • A local service-based business such as a plumber or electrician signs up with Google for the Google Guarantee Lead Program
  • Google requires the business to fill out a series of questions
  • Google requires the business and owners to submit for a background check
  • Google performs a background check and approves or denies the business
  • If Google approves the business, Google certifies the business for the Google Guarantee program
  • Google then “guarantees” to issue a refund of up to a set amount of money to any consumer who buys from said business through their lead platform
  • Google charges a premium fee to the business for each lead it sends to the business

As you can imagine, this was and has been a very successful lead platform for service-based business owners. It has also made Google a lot of money. And, as any good business would do, Google wanted to chase the money. So, Google wanted to find a way to offer the Google Guarantee program to attorneys. After all, according to ATRA, law firms spend over $226 million per year on Television Advertising ALONE. Google wanted their piece of the pie. Google wasn’t about to offer a refund for law firm clients, as they do with service-based businesses. So, instead, they created Google Screened ads.

Essentially, in a nutshell, Google still performs a background check. However, they do not promise a refund. Okay, now let’s get down to the part where Google Local Service Ads for attorneys can be harnessed as a tool.

  • Google certifies that your law firm and the attorneys you highlight have passed a background check
  • Google utilizes two third party companies (Evident and Pinkerton) to even further highlight your law firm’s legibility
  • Google provides a detailed dashboard tracking calls, phone numbers, and call times
  • Google offers refunds for bogus leads

Now, there is an approval process. Furthermore, if you set up a Google Local Service Ads campaign wrong, or you don’t link it to your AdWords account upfront, you’re kind of screwed. GLSA (Google Local Service Ads) is a great tool for providing high-quality leads to your law firm. However, you need to know how to set it up, how to utilize it correctly, and how to make it work with your standard AdWords. Later in this article, we will talk about why linking your ads is vital to another Google paid ads product. If you’re looking to improve the quality of leads you obtain from your online marketing, call us about Google Local Service Ads for attorneys today.

How to Make Google AdWords Work For Lawyers

Google Local Targeted Ads for Lawyers 

As we mentioned above, it’s super important to set up your Google Local Service Ads correctly. The reason why? There is a new product that most law firm marketing agencies either don’t know about, or don’t understand how to utilize correctly. Google Local Targeted Ads is “kind of like” an extension of Google Local Service Ads. These ads have a ton of potential benefits, as well as a bunch of potential issues. Once again, these campaigns (like all advertising campaigns) will be successful or a huge waste of your law firm’s time and money based upon how they are set up from the jump.

These ads can be found in the standard AdWords section. However, instead of selecting a search, lead, or call campaign, you select a local storefront campaign. These ads are designed to help storefront businesses such as restaurants, hair salons, and hotels. However, if you utilize them correctly, they can work wonders for law firms. Here are some highlights (and PROBLEMS) these ads carry with them. Please read this section VERY carefully, and if you’re interested in learning more about these types of ads, we HIGHLY recommend calling one of our ad specialists.

Highlights and Pitfalls with Google Local Targeted Ads

Please look at the image and bullet points below. As stated, Google Local Targeted Ads can be a very productive lead tool. However, it can also eat up your budget and deliver horrible quality leads, if not set up correctly.

  • PRO 1: The cost per click is extremely low
  • PRO 2: Ads run off of your GMB profile and you can add text, video, and additional highlights
  • PRO 3: Ads work off of mobile
  • PRO 4: The monthly cost to run a campaign is insanely low compared to standard search or GLSA
  • PRO 5: Click to call ratio is extremely high
  • CON 1: If you do not set these up correctly your law firm will get calls for ALL types of law
  • CON 2: There, as of right now, is ZERO Google support for this product
  • CON 3: It is so new that we don’t have a lot of examples of long term success

How to Make Google AdWords Work for Lawyers

As you can, the image above shows a campaign that ran during the month of October 2021. The local ads delivered 207 phone calls at a spend of $5,724.28. The traditional search ads however delivered 32 phone calls, but at a spend of $9,496.95. Now, it would seem rational to then turn off the standard ads and ONLY run local. You can’t, it doesn’t work that way. The learning software needs the standard ads. In addition, because you cannot add keywords or negative terms to local, you need the standard ads dashboard. Worse, not all the calls from local are solid. No matter what is done, some of the calls will be for areas of law you simply do not provide services for.

Nevertheless, if your law firm can obtain 200 calls, for less than $6,000.00 a month, and say only 20% are solid, that’s still 40 plus quality leads. If you only sign 10 of them, and you’re making only $3,000.00 per case, that’s a HUGE return.

Search and Call Only Ads for Attorneys 

These types of ads have been around for a while. Couple things… Recently, on our calls with our Google Reps (yes reps who actually work for Google), they have recommended us to build call-only ads with very limited keywords. In addition, they have advised us not to utilize some of the exclusionary functions within the ads such as audience and geographical areas. We’ve seen some success and some failures with these recommendations.

On another note, Google likes to slide in “recommendations”. And, making matters more confusing, those recommendations come with “optimization score” bumps. The problem with this, in our opinion, is that your campaign’s optimization score can directly impact your cost per click. Meaning, the better the campaign score the lower your CPC. The problem is, most of the recommendations we’ve come across on law firm accounts are focused on adding BROAD MATCH terms. This will KILL your campaign.

Attorney Marketing Keywords

Removal of Broad Match Modify & What That Means for Attorneys Running AdWords 

There have been a lot of changes to search and call-only ads. The biggest, and most annoying one we’ve come across, is the auction action. Google got rid of Broad Match Modify keywords. You now have to select Phrase Match, Exact Match, or Broad Match. Long story short, because we could spend a whole day discussing this one topic, is that with the removal of Broad Match Modify, the bids are screwed up. Google is giving ad auction preferences to broad match campaigns. Meaning, broad match campaigns will impress (show up) in the ads more, and as we’ve been told by our reps, the cost per click is better. Much better. However, broad match campaigns for lawyers are a total nightmare, as you’re going to get calls for cases you don’t want. Here is an example.

  1. Broad Match Keyword: Personal Injury Attorney
  2. Potential Board Match Phone Call: Someone searching for a Personal Injury Attorney 
  3. Additional Potential Broad Match Phone Call: Someone looking for a Divorce Attorney or a Personal Trainer

As you can see above, with broad match, Google gets to take individual words within your keyword phrase and MATCH you with BROAD terms. This is GREAT for e-commerce websites. However, this is DEATH and DESTRUCTION for a law firm site. You could get lots of bogus calls. Unfortunately, if you want to participate in the learning software and get a high optimization score, and get a lower cost per click, you’ll have to learn to balance these campaigns with phrase match and exact match.

We HIGHLY recommend calling us and scheduling an in-depth review if you’re considering a call-only or search campaign. How you set up your campaign, filters, keywords, and keyword types can make or break your spend and results.

Types of Law Firms We Help Run Google AdWords at Big Bang Marketing 

At Big Bang, we love helping attorneys obtain new cases. Check out our list below to learn more about the types of law firms we help run Google AdWords at Big Bang Marketing. Big Bang is a Google Partner Firm, and we’re here to help you achieve your goals through quality campaigns and strategic planning. Remember, you get what you pay for. You cannot look at the money you spend with Google as a cost, but instead, it needs to be viewed as an investment. Google AdWords for lawyers and Google Local Service Ads for attorneys can work, and work well. If you set up the campaigns correctly. Connect with us at Big Bang and learn more about the ways we can help you get better case leads each month.

Personal Injury Lawyers

Employment Law Attorneys

Criminal Defense Lawyers 

Family Law & Divorce Attorneys 

Estate Planning & Probate Law Firms