Savvy legal marketers have caught on quick to the efficacy of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, evidenced by the fact that 80% of the top 25 most expensive keywords are related to the legal profession.
Whether you’re a rookie or have been working Google Adwords for awhile, here are some common mistakes lawyers make when it comes to PPC advertising and what you should do to avoid them:
- Failing to create a unique landing page for your Google ad.
This is an extremely common mistake — you create an ad, pay Google to run it, but when people click on it they are taken to the home page of your website. The compelling ad copy you wrote to entice them to click does not pay off, so you will fail in converting those clicks into actual leads. You need to create a unique landing page for every Google ad you run, with content that pays off on the promise you made in the ad.
- Failing to check on your ads every week.
You must check on your Google campaign at least once a week to ensure it is performing to your expectations. Bid prices can change and you may not be investing enough to get visibility for your ad. Or maybe the content is not compelling enough to get people to click or call. If you are not paying close attention, changes in the marketplace or in your target market’s behavior can quickly derail your campaign.
- Failing to use analytics.
To be able to make good decisions, you have to have the right data sets for your Google ads. You can only get this data by installing analytics on your landing pages. I recommend using Google Analytics because it aligns perfectly with Adwords and it’s free. With Google Analytics, you will be able to see how long people stay on your landing page, what action they take next, what devices they use to access your ads, and other relevant data.
- Failing to use the right keywords in your ad.
Your PPC ads need to contain your main keyword phrase. They also need to have a benefit and a call-to-action. Experiment with expanded ads and ad extensions to draw more attention to your ads.
- Failing to align your ads and landing pages.
As I stated, your landing pages must be unique and align with your PPC ads. If your ad makes a specific offer — for example, tips on how to help children through divorce — and a user clicks on that and is taken to a general divorce page, you will fail to convert. Make sure your landing pages reinforce your ads.
- Failing to maintain a high quality score.
Simply put, you will pay more for clicks if you have a low quality score. To achieve a high quality score, Google measures several factors, including your ad’s CTR (click-through rate) on Google.com, CTR on your landing page, account history, relevance of keywords to ads, relevance of keyword and ad to search query, geographic factors, presence of a unique landing page, landing page load time, and more.
- Failing to narrow your focus.
In choosing the keywords or key phrases for your ads, you want to narrow your focus as much as possible to get the most conversion bang for your buck. Choosing a broad match key phrase will bring you traffic that could very likely be looking for something totally different and you will have spent money on clicks that don’t convert.
- Failing to add negative keywords.
Adding negative keywords allows you to narrow the focus of a search intent so you don’t end up wasting money bidding on phrases that will never convert for you.
- Failing to properly name your landing page URL.
Giving your landing page a good name that reinforces your ad and keywords will help you with your quality score. Don’t use a generic landing page URL like /landing — instead, use a succinct phrase that pays off your ad promise.
- Failing to have realistic expectations.
Setting high expectations for your PPC campaigns like every click will convert into a qualified lead is unrealistic. If you see a click-through rate of 5% or more, you’re doing well. If you convert just 10% of those, you are also doing well. There is lots of competition out there in the legal space, so you must adjust your expectations accordingly. The broader your practice area, the more you’ll pay for your PPC advertising. That’s because you’ll be competing for the same keywords with lots of other attorneys in your practice area(s). Narrow your practice area and your geographic region as much as possible. Scope out what your competitors are doing and then do it better.