PPC or Pay Per Click is a method of paid advertising attorneys can take advantage of on Google, Bing, and other popular search engines and websites.
With PPC your ad is typically shown in rotation for everyone else who is bidding for that same keyword. In most search engines these ads are shown at the top of the page above the free clicks or organic results.
Below is an example of a PPC ad for a law firm that would show up in Google.
PPC is not the same as local services ads which is a new service Google launched on a pay per lead basis.
Why Use PPC Advertising?
Whether you’re a new law firm or a well established firm, one thing is clear. You need cases. If you’re looking to sign more cases from people searching for your exact services you can use paid search to quickly show up in front of potential customers.
We typically recommend our clients participate in some level of paid search. For the firms that have the budget we believe you should show up everywhere a potential client is looking.
Another reason to use PPC Advertising is to supplement your case intake while your organic SEO is still working it’s way up. Organic SEO can take a year + to rank for competitive keywords in competitive markets. Paid search can help bridge that gap and provide a steady stream of new cases.
How Does PPC Work?
Pay per click is based on a bidding model where multiple advertisers bid to rank for the same keyword. Since there are only so many searches (and thus clicks) a day, these bids can be driven up. As the advertiser you can set these thresholds, but lower bids will have less visibility and therefore get less clicks.
When the searcher clicks on your ad, you are then charged for that click. This differs from organic search because if you’re ranking for the keyword in organic results and you get the click, that click is free.
How Much Does PPC Cost?
The price of Pay Per Click will vary and depends greatly on your location, the number of advertisers, and the keyword. Head keywords are typically going to cost more. This is because law firms generally want to rank for their primary practice area to get qualified leads.
Example: A personal injury law firm will probably bid on the keywords “Personal Injury Lawyer”, “Personal Injury Attorney”, & “Personal Injury Law Firm”.
The cost per click can range from a couple of dollars to hundreds of dollars per click, so it’s important to enter paid search with a reasonable budget.
Less competitive or longer tail keywords will typically cost less.
Example: “Do I need to hire a lawyer after a car accident”
Should You Run a PPC Campaign Yourself?
If you feel like you have the time and energy to learn paid search properly there is nothing holding you back. Google also makes it easy to start up yourself. But here also lies the problem. Google’s goal is to make more money and slowly they have been taking away the ability to limit irrelevant clicks.
Remember, you still get charged for a click even if it’s irrelevant. Typically PPC experts know the ins and outs of these systems to add things like “negative keywords” which will help reduce irrelevant clicks.
A few years ago I worked with an attorney who was adamant on setting up the campaign himself because he thought it was easy. He called me after spending $20,000 and having not generated a single lead he signed up with us. We have also taken over campaigns from other agencies who don’t monitor the clicks daily to reduce wasted ad spend and achieved lower Cost Per Leads and Cost Per Cases.
At the end of the day I wouldn’t recommend launching your own campaign unless you have the time to learn everything you can about it and get certified. Even then, in this business experience can save you a lot of money and heartache.
How Long Does PPC Take?
One of the things our clients like about pay per click is that doesn’t take long to get started. However it’s important to note that your campaign will only get better with time. While you can launch a campaign in a few minutes, the real results from a highly customized and tweaked campaign tend to yield strong results at month 3.
This is when we have enough of your daily data to really show you how your campaign is going to perform.
It’s typically not advisable to jump in and out of different campaigns and practice areas unless you don’t care about losing money.
Want to Get Started With Pay Per Click?
We offer Pay Per Click Consulting services at Lawyer Marketing Experts and Full Service PPC for law firms at our sister company Juris Digital.