PPC for law firms: How to benefit from a marketing campaign

By Tim Absalikov
Founder and Acting CEO at Lasting Trend
Tim is an expert in technical SEO, on-page optimization and linkbuilding. He has over a decade of experience in Digital Marketing for B2C companies in US and Europe.

Is PPC for law firms effective or is it just a waste of money? The answer depends on how to use this promising marketing tool. Pay-per-click campaigns inform your potential clients about the company’s services and benefits as soon as they Google a lawyer in their region.

ppc for law firms

There are two catches here:

  1. Due to high competition in the legal field, the prices on top keywords for lawyers can be high. Therefore, a PPC campaign for law firms can become a money trap.
  2. The non-professional approach to setting Google Adwords can significantly reduce the effectiveness of an advertising campaign. The Lasting Trend Marketing Agency runs Adwords Campaigns for lawyers that 100% pays-off.  

Let’s review how you can take full advantage of online advertising for lawyers.

  1. Why and when attorneys should do PPC advertising?
  2. How to setup PPC campaign?
  3. In which areas of law Google Adwords PPC works most effectively for law firms?
  4. How Knowing Your Client Makes it Easy to Implement PPC strategy for Your Law Firm?
  5. Top keywords for lawyers: how can PPC and SEO help law firms?
  6. Tips on how to run and measure a PPC campaign for lawyers.

Let’s start with the first topic and analyze why marketing strategy for lawyers should include paid advertising.

Why Should Attorneys Do Paid advertising?

One great way to get clients fast is through paid advertising. If you have no other sources of new clients to your Law practice or website or want to have more leads, PPC is a perfect way to reach your target audience. Although SEO is a great way to get organic clients online, getting results from SEO may take a lot of time. But it doesn’t mean that you should spend all the budget on PPC. It should be something like 70-80% to a small law firm’s SEO and 30-20% for PPC. Google SERP’s result further proves this; only 1-2-3 positions can fetch you a few clients.

How to Set Up a Lawyer PPC Campaign?

Find out all you need to know about setting up a basic PPC campaign for law firms. You do not have to do it by yourself, but having a good understanding of the process, will help you to improve your results. This basic knowledge of PPC marketing for lawyers is also important when you outsource. A marketer/marketing agency that isn’t familiar with legal advertising may not find relevant keywords with high conversion rates.


The first thing to do before running a law marketing campaign is set goals for it. For instance, your goal may be to get at least 10 conversions each day with an average lead cost of $20.

Research Audience Before starting

Keep in mind that you pay for each click. Targeting an audience that doesn’t need your service because of the wrong location or is not ready to have an attorney is a waste of your budget. This is why for  PPC campaigns, it is better to trust launching professionals. Not only will they guarantee better results, but hiring them also costs less than paying for management services.

Create a Landing Page for PPC

PPC Landing page’s main purpose is to convert. You do not need to use keywords. The purpose of a landing page is to show your potential clients that you are a trusted attorney that can provide professional legal services.

Select Your Budget

Determine how much of your marketing budget you are willing to put into PPC. Do you plan to outsource to a professional service or do it by yourself or your marketer? You can then begin to think about what keywords you will target and calculate possible conversions after you have selected your budget.

Set Which Practice Area To Market

If you have multiple offices or branches in different locations, create different campaigns to target the different neighborhoods of each branch. To carry out successful PPC marketing for attorneys, your leads should always be around you.

Which GEO to Target 

PPC marketing for lawyers will only be profitable if all geotargeting parameters are utilized in the right way. You should target a precise group and location. That way you can guarantee more conversions for your practice.

Track Your Performance

Pay attention to how effective your ads are. Without tracking your campaigns, you can’t optimize your budget and conversion rate. Keep track of the number of times your ad appeared in search results and the number of times someone clicked on the ads. Also, keep track of your; 

  1. Click-Through Rate: this is ratio of users who click on your ad to the total number of users who view your website.
  2. Conversion Rate: this is the number of conversions divided by the total number of visitors. 
  3. Cost Per Conversion: this is the total cost of ads per number of conversions.

In which areas of law Google Adwords PPC works most effectively for law firms?

PPC for law firms is less effective if potential clients tend to believe recommendations from friends and colleagues more than advertising on the Internet. It most often occurs in the following areas of law:

  1. Real estate
  2. Securities law
  3. International law
  4. Employment law
  5. M&A law
  6. Business litigation
  7. High net worth estate planning

If your firm provides services from the list above, it will be a little bit more difficult to conduct an Adwords PPC campaign. However, it is still possible with the help of competent Lasting Trend experts who have worked in your particular area for many years.

Online advertising for lawyers is far more effective in the following areas:

  1. Bankruptcy
  2. Employment matters
  3. DUI/DWI
  4. Criminal charges
  5. Personal injury

These areas are associated with a social stigma. That’s why potential clients avoid discussing their situations with friends or colleagues. They are more likely to search for a lawyer on the Internet and click on your firm ads shown on the top of the search results.

Also, there is an interesting social mechanism that can be used to get benefits if your company provides services in several areas of law. The recommendations of satisfied customers connect two categories of the legal area.

A good law firm advertising example is when a client found a bankruptcy lawyer on the Internet and received quality assistance. When his problems were solved, he shared his positive experience with people he knew. They became referrals and contacted the company about business-related disputes or other topics. This is how online advertising for lawyers can drive clients with both categories of cases.

How Knowing Your Client Makes it Easy to Implement PPC strategy for Your Law Firm?

Usually, a law firm specializes in one category of cases. To make PPC for law firms more powerful, experts concentrate on your target audience and use negative keywords to remove searches that are irrelevant to your area of law.

For example, if your company takes only business-related disputes, negative keywords that should be used are “lawyers for property issues” or “divorce lawyers.”

The next important step in paid search strategy is narrowing the geographic area in Google Adwords. Potential clients search for a law firm nearby, in your city or town. With geolocation, professionals can also become involved in places where you have campaigns, where potential clients can easily be found. Here are several examples of where to find them:

  1. For DUI law firms – local bars.
  2. For divorce lawyers – hotels, because people often have affairs when their marriage is about to end.
  3. For real estate and wills lawyers – places loved by older people with high income, such as art galleries or even exhibitions of elite dog breeds.

For each area of law, there are places where your potential client will frequent and be likely to see your ads.

In addition to geolocation, experts may be able to determine the best time for showing ads. For example, for bars and hotels, it will be in the evening hours. PPC targeting becomes much easier when you’ve done some law firm social media marketing together with Facebook ads. That’s so because Facebook allows targeting more decent groups of people than Google Adwords does.

ppc for law firms

It is also useful to cover rush hour when people spend hours in traffic jams using their smartphones. This period of time can often bring many clients to car accident lawyers because there are many car crashes that happen.

It is crucial to create emotionally engaging ads to catch potential clients’ attention immediately. When searching for a lawyer, people have something to lose and need to be assured that your company is reliable and has a good reputation. Here are the best PPC Ads examples that can be used:

  • The number of cases won + add your number.
  • Achievements + add something that makes you proud.

Along with the reputation of a law firm, people are extremely interested in the cost of lawyers’ services. So, in order for them to feel at ease with their decision we offer the following examples of PPC ads for law firms:

  • Discounted fees
  • Free consultations

In certain law areas, almost every client is budget-conscious, for example in divorce disputes. So, these words will increase positive responses.

Top keywords for lawyers: How Can PPC and SEO Help Law Firms?

Lawyer SEO is based on keywords, and PPC campaigns, in particular, use them as bait for potential clients. Before starting any campaigns, you should have a marketing plan for a law firm that will include a mindmap of keywords you want to rank for. Top keywords for lawyers attract more traffic from PPC ads. Usually, the keywords are long-tail ones. They include specific geolocation and area of law. For example, a law firm SEO expert can use such phrases:

  1. Best property lawyer in Boston
  2. Divorce lawyer required in New York
  3. Best car crash lawyer in Chicago
  4. Need a bankruptcy lawyer in Austin

In order to make the funnel wider, experts may use not only direct search phrases but also topics that are interesting to potential clients depending on their issues. Examples of longer top keywords for lawyers:

  1. Can I file a bankruptcy without an attorney in San Antonio?
  2. How to get a divorce without a lawyer in Dallas?

SEO services for a law firm include choosing keywords not only for their effectiveness but also for their price. Long-tail keywords are usually cheaper than short-tail ones. Some short tail keywords can cost thousands of dollars a month for bidding. However, sometimes they are not properly tuned. Lawyers blogging is a great tactic to find all of these keywords. Because there is no software that will tell you that much that Google Search Console can. When you have blog posts, you’ll appear in a search for some queries, use them for your PPC. They may cost less but have a high conversion rate.

Attorney SEO experts from Lasting Trend will carefully analyze the price-effectiveness ratio when selecting top keywords for lawyers. Therefore, your SEO or PPC campaign will pay for itself many times over.

Tips on how to run and measure a PPC campaign for lawyers

PPC best practices offer many recommendations for reducing costs and increasing profits from each click. Here are the main points to consider:

  1. Calculate your cost per acquisition. Before you invest money, you should know how much you are willing to pay for each customer.
  2. Create a landing page that will convert the maximum traffic into sales.
  3. Setup tracking for conversion for each traffic source. Otherwise, PPC for law firms can easily become not cost-effective.

As the basis of a successful PPC campaign is keywords, let’s summarize how to work with them properly:

  1. Pick keywords that are relevant to your clients’ needs. Create a list with as many keywords as you can gather and group them by topics.
  2. For each group select negative keywords to cut off irrelevant searches.
  3. Diversify the traffic for each group by creating separate landing pages on each topic. Keep the topic narrow.
  4. For each group choose at least three ads to run.
  5. Create a dedicated landing page for PPC. It should be a part of your law firm website development but not accessible from navigation menu or search.
  6. Increase online presence through legal newsletters as paid advertising can be shown in emails as well.

Here are two questions that help measure the effectiveness of a PPC campaign:

  1. How high are the money returns after purchasing ads?
  2. What is the average cost per acquisition that generates a closed deal? Is attorney internet marketing in line with the company’s financial plans?

If the PPC campaign does not pay off, you should analyze your strategy and use the help of SEO experts if needed.

1.Setting up a balanced PPC Campaign for a Law firm

PPC campaigns will be better if experts focus on the quality of leads over the volume of leads. Three types of keywords that can be used for producing income:

  1. Broad – “injury lawyer.” You choose who will see your ads, and Google delivers broad keywords. The advantage is that you can reach search queries that you were not aware of. It will also give you the most traffic. The downfall is that this traffic comes with low conversion.
  2. Phrase – “injury lawyer in San Jose.” You can add geolocation tails to a keyword phrase to narrow the search area. It will decrease traffic but increase conversion.
  3. Exact keywords – “best personal injury lawyer in San Jose.”  Exact matching keywords provide maximum conversions and CTRs for AdWords ads. However, they can accidentally cut off some useful traffic. For example, you will miss a client that searches for a more general phrase like “injury lawyer in San Jose.”

Different types of keywords can be mixed to make a PPC campaign more balanced. Here are three tips on how to mix keywords in attorney internet marketing:

  1. If your budget is limited, use 20% phrases and 80% exact keywords. It will cut your cost per lead.
  2. If you want to maximize your leads, use 60% broad, 20% exact, and 20% phrase keywords. This strategy will cost more.  However, if the keywords were picked up properly, it will pay off.
  3. For most law firms the optimal strategy is 25% broad, 25% phrase, and 50% exact. This ratio optimizes costs and leads to a large amount of targeted traffic.

2. PPC Tip for Attorneys

There is another smart way to optimize costs that are called “Call Only” ads. When using them, you pay only when a potential client calls your firm. This type of ad runs when the company’s office is open, and attorneys are available.

How does pay per click advertising work?

Pay-per-click (PPC) is a form of online marketing that is often used for attracting clients to law firms. Using simple words, an expert selects specific keywords that your potential clients may search. Then “bids” on these keywords on Google Ads. When somebody is looking for a lawyer, he or she will see your company as a sponsored search result.  

Does Adwords work for lawyers?

The result of pay-per-click advertising for lawyers is mostly defined by keyword selection. The nuances depend on the niche and type of keywords. For example, general legal words like “divorce lawyer” will perform differently than more specific phrase keywords like “divorce lawyer in San Jose.” Therefore, it is crucial to constantly track, test, and optimize the campaign to make it the most cost-effective.

How effective is pay per click advertising?

PPC ads can pay for themselves many times over if the law firm landing page converts each click into a sale. So, along with Adwords settings, you should pay attention to the website optimization.

Which is better SEO or PPC?

Both SEO and PPC are a part of SEM (Search Engine Marketing) and usually, law firms use both tools to gather new clients. What is the difference between them?

SEO includes the whole website optimization, starting from building a modern law firm website. In general, it costs less than PCC. The effect may not be immediate, however, it lasts a long time.

PPC advertising for lawyers costs more, however, it can bring more clients in a short period of time. The downfall is that when the investment stops, the results go down.

Two SEM tools are deeply connected. If the website is not optimized, it cannot turn traffic from PPC into closed sales – lawsuits from real clients. That is why the best strategy is a combination of PPC and SEO performed by experts of engine optimization, content making, and website advertising.

Get a Free Consultation To Start Your Lawyer PPC Campaigns

Have you tried certain marketing strategies for your law firm that seem not to be as effective as you expect or perhaps you are looking for ways to stand out among your competitors and to bring your law practice to the forefront, get a free consultation with The Lasting Trend experts to determine the lowest-cost and highest-return channels for your ads that will drive clients to you in a short time!

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