Best Google Ads Campaign Types for Law Firms

Home Google Ads Best Google Ads Campaign Types for Law Firms

As most of you reading this would know, the legal industry is extremely competitive, and reaching potential clients requires a strategic approach to advertising. Google Ads provides several campaign types that can help law firms effectively target and attract clients. In this article, we’ll explore the most effective Google Ads campaigns for lawyers, providing insights, best practices, and potential disadvantages for each.

1. Search Campaigns

Overview: Search campaigns are a fundamental component of Google Ads, designed to display your ads to users who are actively searching for keywords related to your legal services.

These campaigns operate on a pay-per-click (PPC) model, meaning you only pay when a user clicks on your ad. This approach ensures that your ads are shown to individuals who have already expressed an interest in legal services by entering relevant search queries on Google.

The primary goal of search campaigns is to capture high-intent traffic—those who are closer to making a decision and are seeking specific information or services.

Search campaigns allow law firms to strategically bid on keywords that potential clients are likely to use when searching for legal help.

By appearing at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs), these ads can significantly enhance your firm’s visibility and attract targeted traffic to your website.

We typically recommend most firms implement search campaigns in their strategy as these typically lead to the best results out of not only all Google ads campaigns, but all advertising campaigns in general.


  • Highly Targeted: Reaches users with super high intent who are actively looking for legal services.
  • Control Over Budget and Bidding: Allows precise management of ad spend and bidding strategies.
  • Skill Gap: With Google Ads, there is a huge skill gap between very experienced practitioners and beginners. This means that if you know what you’re doing you can get incredible results.


  • Very High Competition: Popular keywords can be expensive due to high competition. This is especially the case in all practice areas under the personal injury umbrella.
  • Requires Ongoing Management: Needs continuous monitoring and optimization to maintain performance.
  • Dependence on Keyword Selection: Effectiveness is heavily reliant on thorough keyword research and management, hence why there was an emphasis on the skill gap previously.

Best Practices:

  • Conduct thorough keyword research to identify the most relevant and cost-effective keywords.
  • Use negative keywords to filter out irrelevant traffic and avoid wasting budget.
    • This is especially relevant for law firms as keywords can be very expensive, so the last thing you want to do is to waste money due to inexperience.
  • Implement ad extensions such as callouts, sitelinks, and call extensions to enhance ad visibility and provide additional information to users.
    • This is a simple strategy that is overlooked a lot of the time. It is usually a quick win for a lot of the firms we work with.

For more on keyword strategies, visit best keywords for law firm Google Ads.

2. Display Campaigns

Overview: Display campaigns are a type of Google Ads campaign that allows you to place visual ads across the Google Display Network (GDN).

The GDN is an extensive collection of over two million websites, videos, and apps where your ads can appear.

Unlike search campaigns, which target users based on specific keyword searches, display campaigns reach users as they browse online, use mobile apps, watch videos, or check their emails.

This strategy helps increase brand awareness and engage potential clients at various stages of their online journey.

Display campaigns use visually appealing formats such as banners, images, and rich media to capture the attention of users.

These ads can be customized with a variety of sizes and formats to fit different placements on the network.

The primary goal of display campaigns is to create visual interest and reinforce your brand message, making them ideal for reaching a broad audience and maintaining top-of-mind awareness among potential clients.

One of the key features of display campaigns is their ability to use advanced targeting options. You can target audiences based on demographics, interests, behaviors, and even specific websites they visit.

Additionally, display campaigns are particularly effective for remarketing, allowing you to re-engage users who have previously visited your website or interacted with your brand but did not convert.

We typically recommend firms that have a medium to large budget to implement this into their strategy. For smaller firms there are typically other mechanisms to receive a better return on investment.


  • Broad Reach: Can display ads across millions of websites and apps, increasing brand exposure. These are essentially the digital billboard ads.
  • Visual and Engaging Ad Formats: Uses images and videos to capture user attention. Creativity can be leveraged here significantly more than with search campaigns.
  • Really Effective for Remarketing: Helps re-engage users who have previously visited your website.


  • Lower Intent: Users are likely to not be actively seeking legal services when they see your ads.
  • Ad Fatigue: Overexposure can lead to users ignoring your ads, reducing effectiveness.
  • Potential for Irrelevant Clicks: Display ads usually attract less targeted traffic compared to search ads.

Best Practices:

  • Use high-quality images and engaging visuals to capture user attention.
  • Leverage targeting options like demographics, interests, and in-market audiences to reach relevant users.
  • Implement frequency capping to avoid ad fatigue and overexposure.

3. Local Services Ads (LSAs)

Overview: Local Services Ads are a specialized form of Google advertising designed to help service-based businesses, including law firms, connect with potential clients in their local area.

These ads appear at the very top of Google Search results, above traditional Google Ads and organic listings, providing prime visibility for your law firm.

LSAs are particularly effective for attracting high-intent local clients who are searching for specific legal services in their immediate vicinity.

One of the unique features of LSAs is the “Google Guarantee” badge, which adds a layer of trust and credibility to your ads.

This badge indicates that your business has been vetted by Google and meets its standards for quality and reliability.

Potential clients are more likely to engage with ads that carry this endorsement, making LSAs a powerful tool for building trust with new clients.

LSAs operate on a pay-per-lead model rather than a pay-per-click model. This means you only pay when a potential client contacts you through the ad, such as by calling your office or sending a message.

This cost-per-lead approach ensures that your advertising budget is spent on generating actual inquiries from potential clients rather than just clicks.

Local Services Ads also include features like client reviews and ratings, which are prominently displayed in the ad.

These reviews help potential clients make informed decisions and can significantly impact their choice to contact your firm.

We implement Local Service Ads for our clients for a few practice areas, however, we’ve found in practice search campaigns normally outperform LSAs. I believe this is because with LSAs it is very difficult to differentiate yourself, whereas with search campaigns you can do this to a much higher degree.


  • Pay Per Lead: You only pay for actual leads, not clicks, meaning you don’t spend money on non converting clicks. (However, this often comes at a premium price)
  • Show Above Search Campaigns: LSA’s typically show at the very top of the search engine results page.
  • Require Less Expertise Than Other Campaigns: LSAs are easier to run than other campaigns meaning you don’t require as much experience.


  • Difficult Differentiation: It is difficult to stand out to a potential client because there are not many variables that can be changed. As a result, LSAs often become more of a bidding competition rather than a contest of who can create the most effective ads.
  • Dependance On Reviews: If your firm doesn’t have the best reviews, or doesn’t have a significant amount it can be difficult to compete with firms that have thousands of 5 star reviews.
  • Potentially Higher Costs per Lead: Depending on the competition and location, lead costs can be higher than that of other campaigns.

Best Practices:

  • Optimize your LSA profile with detailed service descriptions and high-quality images.
  • Encourage satisfied clients to leave reviews to enhance your profile’s credibility.
  • Set a competitive budget to ensure your ads are visible to potential clients.
  • Make sure you have someone available to answer calls and respond to potential client inquiries when you are running the ads.

4. Video Campaigns

Overview: Video campaigns are a dynamic form of advertising that enable you to display video ads on YouTube and across the Google Display Network (GDN). These campaigns leverage the power of video to engage users with compelling visual and auditory content, making them an effective tool for capturing attention and conveying complex messages.

We recommend these to clients that are comfortable and good on camera. To those that are, they can do really well.

Key Components

  1. YouTube Ads: As the second largest search engine in the world, YouTube offers vast reach and engagement. Video campaigns can appear as skippable or non-skippable ads before, during, or after videos, as well as in YouTube search results and on the YouTube homepage.
  2. Google Display Network (GDN): The GDN encompasses millions of websites, apps, and videos where your video ads can be displayed. This extensive network allows for broad reach and the ability to target specific audiences based on demographics, interests, and browsing behaviors.


  • High Engagement: Video content is highly engaging and can convey complex information effectively.
  • Less Competitive: This channel is much less saturated (at the moment) than others.
  • Compelling Storytelling: Ability to tell a compelling story visually, building stronger connections with viewers.


  • Production Costs: Creating high-quality video content can be expensive and time-consuming.
  • Requirement for Skill: To excel with these campaigns, you must effectively articulate your value proposition and understand where your potential client is in their decision-making journey.
  • Measurement Challenges: Tracking the direct impact of video ads on conversions can be more complex.

Best Practices:

  • Create engaging, informative, and concise video content that captures attention quickly.
  • Use TrueView ads to allow users to skip if not interested, only paying for engaged views.
  • Include a super clear call-to-action in your video to guide viewers on the next steps.

5. Smart Campaigns

Overview: Smart campaigns are a type of automated Google Ads campaign specifically designed to simplify the advertising process for small businesses.

These campaigns leverage Google’s machine learning technology to manage many aspects of the campaign, such as targeting, bidding, and ad placement, which can be particularly beneficial for small law firms with limited time and resources to dedicate to managing advertising efforts.

Disclaimer: We never use these.


  • Easy to Set Up and Manage: Automation simplifies campaign setup and management.
  • Automated Targeting and Bidding: Uses machine learning to optimize targeting and bidding.


  • Limited Control: Less control over targeting, bidding, and ad placements.
  • Potential for Misalignment: Automated settings may not always align perfectly with your specific business goals (and budget).
  • Dependence on Google’s Algorithms: Performance is extremely reliant on Google’s automated systems.

Best Practices:

  • Set clear goals for your campaign to ensure the automation works towards your objectives.
  • Regularly review performance and make adjustments based on the results.
  • Ensure your website is optimized for conversions to maximize the effectiveness of your ads.

6. Discovery Campaigns

Definition: Discovery campaigns are a type of Google Ads campaign designed to showcase your ads across various Google feeds, including YouTube Home, Gmail, and Google Discover.

These campaigns leverage Google’s expansive network and advanced targeting capabilities to reach users with visually engaging ads as they browse content tailored to their interests.

Disclaimer: We very rarely use these. For most firms I wouldn’t recommend including this in your strategy.


  • Reach Potential Clients Across Multiple Google Properties: Ensures your ads appear on high-traffic Google platforms.
  • Visually Rich Ad Formats: Uses engaging images and content to capture attention.
  • Targets Users Based on Interests and Behaviors: Leverages Google’s data to reach users likely to be interested in your services.


  • Less Control Over Ad Placements: Ads may appear in a variety of contexts, most of which may not be relevant.
  • Potential for Low Intent Traffic: Most users are not going to be actively seeking legal services when they see your ads.
  • Complexity in Tracking Performance: Measuring the impact and effectiveness can be very challenging.

Best Practices:

  • Use high-quality, engaging images to attract attention.
  • Target users based on their search behavior and interests to increase relevance.


Choosing the right type of Google Ads campaign for your law firm depends on your specific goals, target audience, and practice areas. By understanding the strengths, best practices, and potential disadvantages of each campaign type, you can create a more effective advertising strategy that drives results.

For additional strategies and optimization tips, explore A/B testing in Google Ads for lawyers and improving Google Ads CTR for law firms. These resources can help you refine your campaigns and achieve better performance, ultimately attracting more clients to your practice.

If you’re keen on learning more about Google Ads and lawyer marketing feel free to subscribe to our newsletter, there we share insights which are not available to the general public.

Also if you’re interested in seeing if and how we could help your law firm get more clients, feel free to reach out using the form at the bottom of this page.

Santiago Alvarez
Santiago Alvarez

Ad Hoc Digital is an agency that specializes in helping law firms get more clients, and in total our team has over a decade of experience in marketing and advertising. Santiago Alvarez, the founder has been working exclusively with law firms since 2022.

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