Pay Per Click Best Practices for Attorneys

Don’t burn through your money on PPC unnecessarily – Money Saving Tips that will have you rank higher & pay less money on Google’s PPC.

Dave Hendricks – Attorney Marketing Network – 818-618-2227

I know most of my articles focus on tips & techniques on getting you found in Google’s ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ results, but I want to take a minute to cover some important best practices on PPC or Pay Per Click.  There is definitely a place in Attorney Marketing for PPC advertising, however the main problem is that most people think that throwing money at it, without proper maintenance and ongoing tweaking, is “Managing their PPC Campaign”.

I know many, many attorneys who spend $5,000 – $20,000 a month on PPC, and unfortunately they don’t need to be spending that much to still achieve effective results.  Other attorneys have companies or ‘their web guys’ manage their PPC campaign for them, yet have no idea how much the markup is and what % people are charging them for their “PPC Management” fee.  Some PPC Management companies don’t even tell you all the keywords they are bidding on for you!  Not a bad gig to spend someone else’s money & not tell you what they’re spending it on!

Here is a basic, yet powerful technique that will 1) Save you money over what you are spending with Google & 2) Help to make sure who’s running your existing PPC Campaign is doing the same thing, and doing a good job of spending your money.

Focus on Your Quality Score from Day 1 – It will save you $$ Short-Term & Long-Term & Give you Better Placement for Less $$ than your competitors.  I repeat:  If you have a higher Quality Score than your competitors, you will have higher placement than them, and you will pay less per click than them.

How do you do this?  Your Quality Score is dependent on a number of factors (how long you’ve been advertising w/Google, what is the CTR (the rate that people who see your ad actually click through to it), your ‘bounce rate’ (do people click your ad, then bounce right out of it): There are over 50 different factors that weigh into your Quality Score.

If you focus on this one main principle, you will be ahead of the game:  You want the searcher to have the most RELEVANT results & the best user experience.  This is similar to SEO, however if you do it poorly here, instead of ranking low, Google will charge you more money for the keywords you are bidding on.

Below is a very advanced PPC technique, however it works.  And no PPC management company that I know of does this – especially any of the big ‘legal marketing experts’!  It takes time and patience, however done correctly it will save you a ton of your money!

In Adwords, you start by creating an Ad Group.  From there, you put the keywords you want to bid on.  When most people create an Ad Group, they put a bunch of keywords they want to bid on within that Ad Group.  (i.e. Business Attorney Los Angeles, Contracts Attorney Los Angeles, Real Estate Litigation Lawyer Los Angeles).

The correct way to build a PPC campaign is to put each Individual Keyword in its own Individual Ad Group. DO NOT put a bunch of keywords in one single Ad Group – Especially unrelated keywords like ‘business’ & ‘real estate’.  In this example, if you are bidding on 3 different keywords, you would build 3 different Ad Groups.  If you are bidding on 100 different keywords, you need to build 100 different Ad Groups!  This is where it gets labor intensive, and to save time you could conceivably have 2-3 closely related keywords in a single Ad Group, but you want to keep the keywords as closely related as possible.

Next, create a unique & specific Text Ad for Each Ad Group.  Use that specific Keyword in it’s own specific Text Ad.  In the Ad Group ‘Business Attorney Los Angeles’, make sure that the keywords ‘Business Attorney Los Angeles’ are located in the top line of the Text Ad.  ALSO – make sure that the same keywords are in the second line of the Text Ad.

We’re still in the ‘Business Attorney Los Angeles’ Ad Group – Now create a second Text Ad, and Split-Test your two Text Ad’s.  Let Google randomly run both.  After a few months of good data, use the one that converts the best.  Which one has the higher Click Through Rate or CTR?  Delete the lower-performing Ad, and then create another one to compete with the surviving Text Ad.  Repeat this process again for another 2 months.  This will tell you what Ad people are more attracted to, and let you focus on higher-performing ads.

Finally, you want to create a Specific Landing Page for each specific Text Ad.  DO NOT have the PPC ad land on your website or home page.  You want to create an entirely new attractive page (it can have the same look & feel as your site), however you want it to be focused on the Keyword you are bidding on.  Make sure the Landing Page has those specific Keywords prominently placed on its Landing Page at least 3-5 times.

In short – The Keyword you are bidding on is now exactly the Keyword in the Top line of your Text Ad, and that same Keyword is also in the 2nd Line of your Text ad, AND the same Keyword is prominently displayed 3-5 times in the content of your Landing Page.  So Google sees relevance all across the board, and the Text Ad someone sees when they search “Business Attorney Los Angeles” has those relevant keywords in there, and so does the Landing Page they will link to.  The searcher’s destination page mirrors the keywords they typed in, so it should be a good user experience.  And if it is, Google will reward you with a higher Quality Score, and put your user-friendly ad higher (for less of a bid) than one that is less relevant.

Other Important Tips for Higher Conversion:

  • Make sure your Landing Page is action-oriented: Tell the searcher to Call now, email now, fill out form now.  You just paid Google for the click, now tell the user to call so you get the lead too.
  • Make sure Your Landing Page has ‘NoIndex’ / ‘NoFollow’ attributes in the html code.  Google will penalize your campaign if your page is set up incorrectly, so having these attributes help.
  • When bidding initially, don’t low-ball your bids.  Bid Competitively for month’s 1-2, or 1-3, then back off your max-bids in month’s 2-3 when your Quality Score is solid.  This will help your budget decrease in correlation with your increased Quality Score.
  • Make sure you use your target geography and as many keywords as reasonably possible in your advertisement itself. State that you are a Woodland Hills, or Encino Lawyer.
  • Turn off Content Match / Content Network. Too often, this is nothing but a moneypit. In some cases it is useful, but for most practice areas, it is money down the drain.
  • Use IP Targeting – Don’t put your ads in cities that you will not travel to, and conversely where a potential client won’t travel to your office.
  • Track Conversions or “leads”-not just clicks or impressions.

I hope this wasn’t too overwhelming for you, but for those of you that are spending money on PPC, this is important information that can save you thousands of dollars each month.  PS – I realize this is a more advanced article, so you might want to have your Marketing, Web, or whoever is managing your PPC read this too.  I hope it helps you!

Dave Hendricks works with the Attorney Marketing Network, helping firms get new clients by improving their internet presence and driving measurable leads to their business.  He presents a regular Attorney Marketing / Attorney Networking Seminar locally at The Law Offices of Magana Cathcart & McCarthy.  Google Adwords Certified, Dave is an Internet Marketing Consultant and has over 15 years of sales and Internet experience in the technology space (8 years within the legal market).  Each month, there are literally thousands of people searching for a local attorney in all the major practice areas.  Dave helps firms take advantage of that search and be found on Google, Yahoo, Bing, using successful website design, Search Engine Optimization, Google Local, and Pay-Per-Click techniques.  Dave’s next luncheon seminar is at a different location:  Wednesday, August 18th at 12:00 at the Century City Rotary Club  – Hyatt Regency Century Plaza – 2025 Avenue of the Stars, Century City.  Lunch is included, and you can get a complimentary website evaluation afterward.  Space is limited, so save your spot by contacting Dave directly at 818-618-2227