Marketing the small law firm: five things I learned using Google Adwords/pay per click advertising (PPC)

Sonia Limada explains five things she’s learnt about Google Adwards and pay per click.

When I first dipped a nervous toe into world of online advertising I’ll admit that things didn’t always run to plan e.g. lots of people clicking on my adverts resulting in no new clients and an overspent marketing budget. Happily since then I’ve run several successful campaigns using Google Adwords/pay per click Advertising (PPC) with great effect.

So why did I persevere after the initial setbacks? For the simple reason that more and more clients use the internet to search for legal services. A firm’s online presence is now just as important as being on the High Street. Let’s face it, even if word of mouth is your main source of business, referred clients will still ‘google’ you before they get in touch.

Anyone who searches on Google has come across Adwords - Google’s online advertising service. For example if you Google ‘solicitors for divorce’ it produces the search results page shown below. The areas circled in red are the Google Adwords adverts which firms have listed through Adwords. The areas marked in green are organic/free search results that appear because the website’s content is relevant to the word which was searched.

Here are five key things I’ve learned using Google Adwords/Pay per click advertising

1. It’s easy to set up

You’ll need to set up a Google Adwords Account. There’s a simple step by step guide on the Google Adwords website plus lots of information about the service.
Once you’ve registered, and chosen the keywords most relevant to your practice areas (i.e. keywords that you think your clients would use when searching for information related to your services), it’s simple to create your own advert.. Your advert will be displayed in the search results each time someone types in your targeted keyword in the search box. If the searcher clicks onto your advert, they go through to your website. At that point you hope they like what they see and pick up the phone to instruct.

2. Pick keywords wisely

Take it from me, the keywords you chose will determine the success of your campaign so do your homework. Target specific keywords to create highly targeted visitors to your website. For optimum performance, instead of a generic advert for ‘divorce solicitors’, you could set up multiple adverts targeting specific areas i.e. ‘grandparents access rights’, ‘expat divorce’ or ‘same sex divorce’. Make sure when the prospect client clicks on your advert to go through to your website, they will find information on that very topic, rather than the generic information on your homepage.

3. Keep an eye on the money

Signing up for Google Adwords and placing your advert is free. You only pay when someone clicks your advert, which is why it’s sometimes called pay per click advertising. Watch out though, paying for the wrong keywords can quickly get expensive. Adwords is by no means a ‘cheap’ advertising tool so you’ve got to watch your budget.

The more popular a keyword, the more it will cost. Paying for generic key words such as ‘divorce solicitors in London’, can be more costly than a targeted marketing campaign with specific keywords such as ‘grandparents rights’.

To manage your costs you should set a daily budget say, £10 maximum per day for your advert, so that once this depletes Google will cease to run your ads for that day. The good thing is you can pause or stop the adverts at anytime.

4. Results are fast and measurable

An Adwords campaign is a fast way to up the ranking of your website in search results. It can quickly raise the visibility of your law firm and generate high-quality leads, provided you have good quality content on your website. From your Adwords account, you can easily see how many prospects have seen your ad, how many clicked it, and how many performed the action you want them to perform. Keeping an eye on these statistics will allow you to work out whether you are getting reasonable ROI.

5. It’s flexible - with a little effort

You can elect to run your advert only on Monday mornings for one hour in London starting at 9am, until you have used up a budget of £30. Alternatively you can set your advert to display to the whole world, all day everyday until the end of time ….budget permitting. If you want Adwords to work for you, you’ve got to put the work in, adjusting it regularly to produce the best possible results. I’ve found that an hour or so each week is usually sufficient , but it depends the scale of your campaign.
Why not give it a go?

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