There’s no question that your law firm needs online traffic. Instead, the question is, “How should you attract it?” And the answer for your law firm is PPC.
Every modern law firm needs an equally modern approach to attracting new business.
This means – unless you specialize in representing the Amish – you need to market your firm online.
Unfortunately, far too many lawyers rely solely on organic traffic to keep their schedules full. They spend countless hours anddollars on creating content that they hope will win Google’s favor.
Eventually, they’ll spend even more hours and dollars on trying to figure out why this “proven” approach didn’t work.
Perhaps, this sounds familiar?
Save yourself the time, money, and disappointment that goes along with trying to market your legal services solely through SEO.
Instead, invest in PPC marketing for your law firm and enjoy much better results.
The Verdict Is In: 8 Reasons PPC Marketing for Law Firms Beats SEO
Don’t fall for the fallacy that the frustrating path to the top of Google’s organic rankings is the only way your firm can attract consistent business.
The truth is that the far easier way to reach that goal is by leveraging the many benefits of law firm PPC (pay-per-click) marketing. Here are eight reasons successful law firms already are.
1. Start Seeing Results ASAP
As a lawyer, you know all about waiting around. Whether it’s waiting to hear back from opposing counsel, when your court date will be, or what the judge or jury has decided, patience isn’t just a virtue for attorneys. It’s a requirement for the job.
And yet, if you’ve ever had to wait around for SEO results, you’ve probably felt that trait tested.
For those who are trying to choose between law firm PPC and SEO strategies, here’s what a Search Engine Journal article had to say about how long SEO takes to work to give you some idea of what to expect:
“You need to be prepared to invest several months to a year before seeing results from your SEO efforts, but even then, you won’t be king of the hill. In fact, according to a comprehensive statistical analysis by Tim Soulo, only 5.7 percent of all newly published pages will get to Google’s top 10 within a year.”
Eh, what’s a year?
You don’t mind waiting that long, right?
Or maybe even longer?
Of course, even after you begin seeing results, that doesn’t mean those results will start paying for themselves. It could still be months, another year, or even longer before you finally see a positive ROI for your efforts.
So, if you have a year – or many – to kill and you absolutely hate money, it’s worth considering SEO for your law firm.
On the other hand, you could invest in the quick turnaround times of PPC.
Here’s what world-famous digital marketer Neil Patel had to say about the effectiveness of PPC ads:
“If you know what you’re doing with PPC and target active keywords, you’ll see traffic increases almost immediately after you set your bid prices.”
To be fair, it’s important to recognize the caveat, “if you know what you’re doing.”
However, if you know what you’re doing with SEO – or hire someone who does – you still have years ahead of you. Work with someone who understands PPC and you could literally have new clients by the next day.
2. No Long-Term Commitments
Because PPC marketing for law firms doesn’t take years to show results, agencies don’t insist on long-term commitments. They know their clients are going to be happy and will want to secure their services again and again.
Most SEO agencies can’t afford to let their clients decide on a monthly basis if it’s worth it to keep working with them. Instead, they’ll generally require a six-month contract – maybe longer.
They know they’ll need that much time to show their clients results.
One more time, here’s Google’s Maile Ohye explaining how long it will take an SEO agency to deliver:
“In most cases, SEOs need four months to a year to help your business first implement improvements and then see potential benefit.”
So, imagine signing one of these long-term contracts only to finally realize by the fourth month that you’re probably not going to make your money back.
As a lawyer, you probably don’t need to be reminded about the power of contracts. You’ll either need to keep paying the SEO agency – even after you’ve given up all hope that they’ll be successful – or break the contract for a sizable fee.
With law firm PPC, you can stop whenever you like. If you decide to hire another PPC agency, they can start showing you results again right away. As long as you hire a PPC agency that specializes in helping law firms, they can begin targeting those high-intent users from day one. As long as the experience is there, you don’t have to wait to see results.
It’s not like with an SEO agency, which would need to backtrack and start over before they could build on any past results. Even those that are experienced at working with law firms can’t replicate the kind of early success you’d see with a qualified PPC agency.
3. PPC Ads Can Target Prospects Who Are Ready to Become Clients
Another big, BIG problem with SEO is that it inevitably attracts a lot of “tire kickers”, the kinds of people who will come to your law firm’s website, maybe take a look around, and then move on.
When this happens once, you hardly notice.
When it happens a dozen times a month, it becomes extremely annoying.
When it gets to the point that the vast majority of your traffic clearly never has any intention of ever becoming one of your clients, you might as well just take your money and strap it to fireworks. That will be a much more entertaining way of watching it go up in flames.
Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot you can do when you rely on SEO. The traditional marketing funnel is integral to the way this approach works. It consists of four stages:
- Awareness of the Problem
- Interest in the Potential Solution
- Consideration of Your Solution
- Conversion into a Customer
This is highly effective for a lot of businesses.
Law firms are not one of them.
You do not want – nor can you afford – to spend money on creating content that merely makes prospects aware of their problem.
Your prospects – the kinds who are actively searching for a lawyer – already know what their problem is. They’ve been charged with a crime. They want a divorce. They are interested in setting up a trust. They just got into a car accident and know they need a personal injury lawyer.
What they really want is just to speak with an attorney who can help them.
The “Interest” stage is equally irrelevant to law firms. Your prospects already know they need an attorney. They’re past that stage the moment they turn to Google.
You want prospects who are hoping they can speak with an actual attorney today.
PPC marketing lets law firms catch prospects at this all-important stage. You pick the keywords related to the services you offer and that reflect buyer intent. Then, you just create ads that speak only to those who are ready to become clients.
As we’ve previously shown, you can even use PPC ads to target Spanish speakers or any other demographic who falls within your market.
It’s this kind of hyper-focused targeting that makes the approach so powerful. Consider these statistics about the effectiveness of PPC for further proof:
- PPC visitors are 50% more likely to buy than organic visitors
- 65% of all high-intent searches result in an ad click
- Search ads increase brand awareness by as much as 80%
- 32% of companies use PPC to sell products directly to consumers
- On average, businesses earn $3 for every $1.60 spent on AdWords
That last statistic represents nearly a 2x ROI!
How many other investments can report the same thing?
- You Get to Control Your CPA (Google Will Actually Show You How)
When Thomson Reuters conducted their annual State of U.S. Small law Firm Survey for 2019, they found that 28% of respondents said that the most significant obstacle to their success was, “Challenges acquiring new client business.”
However, “cost control and expense growth” clearly kept a lot of lawyers awake at night, too. 45% of respondents reported that one of the reasons they recently made a major change was to reduce costs.
With law firm PPC, you can kill both birds with one stone.
As we just covered, it’s one of the absolute best ways to acquire clients. That kind of targeting, alone, will help lower your acquisition costs. No more wasting time on prospects who love free information but aren’t so fond of paying for your services.
Even better is that law firm PPC makes it easy to lower your cost-per-acquisition (CPA) dramatically. In fact, Google will basically reward you with lower overhead for improving your ability to effectively acquire clients.
Try to think of another channel where that’s the case.
If you buy space on a billboard, bus bench, or some other public area, you might get a discount for buying in bulk, but that’s about it. You’re still going to significantly increase your overhead as you buy more space. And the vast majority of people who see those ads will never even become customers.
Remember, with PPC marketing for law firms, you only pay when an interested party clicks your ads.
The way you’re able to lower your CPA with Google Ads is through its Quality Score. As a smart attorney like yourself has probably already ascertained, the Quality Score is designed to measure the quality of your ads.
The better your ads are, the more clicks you’ll get, and the more Google will make. So, the better your PPC agency is at selecting keywords, homing in on ad relevancy, creating high-quality landing pages, and then revising those ads over and over, the more clicks you’ll get, which means more opportunities for Google to make a buck.
Ergo, they have a very vested interest in your law firm’s PPC ads being as successful as possible. Google will even go so far as to lower your CPC (cost-per-click), which, in turn, means a lower CPA.
That kind of feedback is also a very underappreciated reason to choose PPC marketing for your law firm instead of SEO. Google doesn’t give you scores where your site’s SEO is concerned. It’s 100% up to you to figure out if you’re making the right changes to it. In fact, arguably the only feedback Google gives you is your organic ranking.
That’s not very reassuring, though.
In short, Google wants you to figure out SEO on your own, through trial and very, very costly error. However, it’s more than happy to let you know whether or not your ads will lead to lower CPAs.
Finally, when it comes this point, another advantage of using law firm PPC is that you’ll constantly be working to improve the same group of ads. Unless you decide to practice a new kind of law or a completely different demographic, you’ll eventually have general ad types you run over and over.
There might be a dozen of them.
There might be two dozen.
But, once you have them, they’re all you need to worry about. Keep focusing on improving their quality score and watch your acquisition rates improve while your CPA drops.
With SEO, you constantly need to come up with new types of content. As we touched on above, there’s no end to adding the content on your site. According to many content marketing experts who specialize in organic traffic, this means multiple blog posts a week.
Aside from the time and money that will take, there’s also the frustration of coming up with new types of content over and over and over.
Or, you know, you could just stick to the same ads, year after year, and watch new clients roll in.
That’s a tough one.
5. PPC Ads Get Right in Front of Mobile Users
Nowadays, marketing your law firm online means marketing it to mobile users.
Aside from the fact that the majority of people access the web through their mobile devices, Google has been giving priority to mobile-friendly sites in their search results since 2015, regardless of what the searcher is using.
If that’s not enough, mobile users make some of the best prospects. According to a nationwide study done by Bloomberg in 2018, the power of mobile marketing seems almost too good to be true:
“When done well, mobile advertising can drive recall, clicks and eventually purchases. Two-thirds of consumers can recall a specific brand they have seen advertised on mobile in the last week, 60 percent click on mobile ads at least weekly, and 20 percent make weekly purchases based off digital ads.”
This isn’t just great for prospects who see your PPC ads when they’re in need of a lawyer. Think about all the people who will see your ads and recall them later when one of their loved ones require your help. That improved recall level could pay dividends for your law firm.
It gets even better, though.
For one thing, your paid ad will appear right at the top of a user’s search results. On a mobile phone, this will take up the majority of the screen – no room for your poor competitors who are still relying solely on SEO.
But it gets even better than that!
With Google Ads, you can actually run call-only ads, so mobile users just have to tap their screen to immediately start speaking with someone at your firm.
That’s a supercharged call-to-action that will help you get more clients and get them sooner. They don’t have to navigate to your page to try to find your number or fill out a form. When someone needs to speak to an attorney right away, it doesn’t get much better than a one-click call option right from their phone.
6. Organic Traffic Is Extremely Competitive for Law Firms
By now, we’ve brought up numerous times just how hard it is to get on the first page of Google if you don’t plan on using law firm PPC.
However, it actually gets worse.
Here’s what no SEO specialist wants to tell their clients: if your website doesn’t show up in the top five search results on the first page of Google, you might as well not be on the first page at all.
Most people just don’t scroll down that page past the fifth result. After you take out searchers who will simply try a new term and those who will click on our beloved ads, the first page of Google looks like this:
“On the first page alone, the first five organic results account for 67.60% of all the clicks and the results from 6 to 10 account for only 3.73%.”
So, it’s not enough to work for the first page of Google. You really need to work to beat out all the competition and make it to the top five.
Detractors may try to point out that paid ads “only” get 15% of the total first-page traffic, but keep in mind that you’re not paying for anyone who doesn’t click. You get the benefit of being at the very top of Google – above all organic results – without making the same investment of time and money as those below you.
More importantly, 15% is multiple times more than most other law firms relying on SEO can ever hope to get.
And as we pointed out in the first section, you don’t need to wait to start seeing results. There’s no four-to-six-month timeline (if you’re lucky) before you get on the first page (if you’re even luckier) much less in the top five (insanely lucky).
All of a sudden, that 15% looks incredible for your business.
As you probably know, competition is one of the biggest challenges facing law firms like yours. It doesn’t look like that’s going to change any time soon, either.
If you’re trying to fight all of those competitors in Google’s organic search results, you’re fighting a losing battle. Even if you’re currently at the top, you’ll need to keep spending more and more to stay there.
Utilize PPC marketing for your law firm and immediately start skipping the line right to the top of Google where prospects are clicking to become clients.
- If You Don’t Run Brand-Name PPC Ads, Your Competitors Will
How would you like to stand outside your biggest competitor’s door and hand your card to every one of their potential clients before they step inside?
You never would, of course.
You’re too busy and you’re probably above that sort of thing anyway.
But it would be fun, right?
After all, you can wish their firm well without actually wishing they do better than yours.
While it’s not realistic to do this kind of thing in real life – unless, of course, you have interns – Google is actually 100% fine with you doing it.
You can run law firm PPC ads that focus on your competitors’ brand names.
For example, say the firm of “Hook & Crook” is currently winning the war for your market share. You’d definitely want to use PPC marketing for your law firm to focus on the kinds of terms your demographic searches for when they need your services.
If that’s all you do, you should look forward to improving your client acquisition rate for all the reasons that we’ve already covered.
But why not have a little fun with “Hook & Crook”, too?
You can target that firm’s official name and any derivatives that you know their prospects often use.
Now, when those potential clients conduct their searches, your ad can show up right at the top of the page. You can address the services you know those prospects need while also referencing what makes your firm the better choice.
In other words, you can wait right outside their virtual door and hand out your business card.
Of course, turnabout is fair play.
One or more of your competitors may be doing the exact same thing to your firm right now. That’s why you also need to use law firm PPC to protect your brand. As we’ve advised before:
“Set up a branding campaign on Google Ads. Don’t just add your brand name to the keywords of a general campaign, as that could eat the budget of other ads targeting high-intent users. Because of relevancy, your branding campaigns should have a high click-through rate and therefore cost you less than they would for another law firm. Monitor the campaigns’ performance and make sure you are showing up at the top of the page, and adjust your budget until you can secure that top-of-page positioning.”
Maybe you don’t have any competitors who are getting enough traffic from Google that it would be worth using branded campaigns to market your firm to their prospects.
However, that doesn’t mean they feel the same way about you. Use PPC ads to make sure that you’re playing defense, so your firm’s hard-earned popularity isn’t putting money in a competitor’s pockets.
- PPC Ads Are Essential for Gaining and Growing Your Traffic
And finally, our eighth reason you should be investing in PPC marketing for your law firm is that it is the best possible way to build traffic for your site.
For those of you who may have very little – or even no – traffic at the moment, we just covered why law firm PPC is essential for changing that. Instead of a slow, laborious, and expensive climb to the top of Mt. Google, you can enjoy an effortless ride in a cable car called PPC, one that will actually put you above the top organic results right away.
It’s 100% realistic to say you could start seeing your first qualified visitors within a week – maybe even the same day.
Okay, so that’s your initial traffic taken care of, but what about those of you who are already attracting visitors?
Maybe you are one of the few firms that has made it to the top five for relevant search terms.
Maybe you’ve successfully used social media to attract visitors.
Maybe your billboards or bus signs have brought them.
Whatever the case – no matter how much traffic you’re currently attracting – PPC ads can not only increase that amount but improve your conversion rates, too.
This is possible through the magic of retargeting ads.
Before I delve into the details, do you mind if I knock SEO one more time?
One more and then I’m done – promise.
When you rely on SEO for lead generation, “Approximately 96% of visitors that come to your website are not ready to buy.”
Recall how hard it was to get to the top of Google and then how little traffic you could expect from those efforts. Now, factor in that harrowing statistic.
And, just as a reminder from the third section: “PPC visitors are 50% more likely to buy than organic visitors.”
Again, that’s because PPC ads are so effective at targeting qualified traffic not “tire kickers” who aren’t even sure what they need yet.
Anyway, as I was saying, retargeting ads are a specific type of paid traffic that are used to retarget people who have already come to your website.
This could include prospects who are among that 96% of visitors who come to your site but don’t end up becoming clients right away.
Tracking pixels “follow” them, so that when they go to other sites that support display ads in the network you’re using (e.g. Google Display Network, Facebook, etc.), advertisements for your firm pop up.
As a result, you stay top of mind and give prospects who have already shown interest in your firm another chance to pay your site a visit. You could also have the ad bring them to a landing page specifically designed to convert people who may be on the fence.
Given all of these advantages, it’s no surprise that website visitors who later see retargeted ads are 70% more likely to convert.
Drive, Increase, and Convert More Traffic for Your Law Firm with PPC
If your law firm’s website doesn’t receive regular traffic from prospects, it’s little more than an expensive online business card.
That’s not good enough.
No matter how much traffic you’re currently seeing, you could be seeing a lot more by empowering your law firm with PPC ads.
At Nanato Media, we specialize in PPC marketing for law firms, including using Spanish-language ads to explore new markets.
Whether you’re ready to start attracting more visitors to your site right away or you’d simply like to learn more about this powerful marketing approach, we’d love to hear from you.
Feel free to contact us today.