How Do I Get Started with Google Ads for My Law Firm?

Home Google Ads How Do I Get Started with Google Ads for My Law Firm?

Importance of Google Ads for Lawyers

For lawyers and law firms, Google Ads can be a game-changer. It offers numerous advantages, such as immediate results, precise budget control, and the ability to reach potential clients at the very moment they’re searching for legal services. With Google Ads, you can also track the performance of your campaigns in real-time, giving you valuable insights into what’s working and what’s not.

However, clicks on law-related search terms can be costly, sometimes running into hundreds of dollars per click. This high cost makes it essential for you to understand how to effectively manage your Google Ads campaigns from the start. Whether you opt for DIY Google Ads management or decide to work with a professional, it’s crucial to make informed decisions to ensure the best return on investment (ROI).

Google Ads is particularly important for lawyers because it allows for targeted advertising. You can use specific keywords related to your practice areas, such as “divorce attorney” or “personal injury lawyer,” to attract clients who require those specific services. Moreover, with options like location targeting, you can narrow down your ads’ visibility to the geographic areas where your potential clients are located.

To successfully leverage Google Ads for your law firm, it’s vital to begin by understanding the platform and all its features, including ad formats, bidding strategies, and much more. With the right approach, Google Ads can significantly benefit the growth and online visibility of your law firm.

For foundational insights on creating successful campaigns, visit our guide on effective Google Ads campaigns for lawyers.

Getting Started with Google Ads for Your Law Firm

This section will guide you through the process of setting up your Google Ads account and conducting keyword research, which are fundamental steps in launching your advertising campaign.

Setting Up Your Google Ads Account

Before you can start advertising, you’ll need to set up a Google Ads account. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to get you on your way:

  1. Visit the Google Ads website and click on the “Start Now” button.
  2. Sign in with your Google account; if you don’t have one, you’ll need to create it.
  3. Once signed in, you will be prompted to set up your first campaign. However, it’s recommended to skip this step for now and instead navigate to the Google Ads dashboard to have more control over your settings.
  4. Set your time zone and currency preferences, as these will affect your billing and reporting.
  5. Next, go through the account settings and optimize based on your firm’s needs, including location targeting and ad scheduling.
    • What we recommend is you start with narrow geographic targetting. So instead of choosing an entire county or state, start by selecting zip codes that you think are the most relevant to your firm.
    • With ad scheduling the most important thing is to run ads when you have someone available to answer the phone. Whilst it is true that in many circumstances that cost per lead can be significantly cheaper after hours, if you don’t have someone there to answer the phone, I personally wouldn’t run ads at that time.
  6. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the dashboard features such as the campaign, ad groups, ads, keywords, and settings tabs. These will be crucial as you build and manage your campaigns.
    • I recommend you go through each tab and have a look at what is there.

Keep in mind that you can always seek assistance from Google support or consider the benefits of using a Google Ads specialist for a more nuanced and professional account setup.

Conducting Keyword Research

Keyword research is a critical step in ensuring that your ads reach the right audience. It involves identifying the terms and phrases that potential clients are using to search for legal services like yours. Here’s how to begin:

  1. Utilize tools such as Google Ads Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, SEMRush, or Moz Keyword Explorer to discover relevant keywords.
    • I recommend sticking to the Keyword Planner and not overcomplicating it.
  2. Start by brainstorming a list of terms related to your legal services. Consider the types of law you practice, services you offer, and any specific terms your clients might use.
    • For an auto accident attorney this might look like:
      • Car crash related keywords: Car accident lawyer near me, best car crash attorney in [CITY], Car wreck lawyer.
        • The above list is not comprehensive and is just an example. I recommend using a spreadsheet to map it out for each practice area.
  3. Enter these terms into your chosen keyword tool to gather data on search volume, competition level, and suggested bid amounts.
  4. Look for keywords that are highly relevant but have lower competition, as these can be more cost-effective and yield better results.
    • One important caveat though is that cheap does not necessarily equal good. Sometimes keywords are cheap because no one wants them (because they suck).
  5. Organize your keywords into themes that match your various services. This will help when creating targeted ad groups, which can lead to a better Google Ads quality score and lower cost per click.
Keyword ThemeExample KeywordsMonthly SearchesCompetition
Personal Injury Law“personal injury attorney”, “accident lawyer”VariesHigh
Family Law“divorce attorney”, “child custody lawyer”VariesMedium
Criminal Defense“criminal defense lawyer”, “DUI attorney”VariesHigh

We recommend going as specific as possible. So for a personal injury law firm we would probably create a different ad group for each sub-service. This has helped us significantly boost our quality score and get better results

Also, make sure you don’t forget to include negative keywords to filter out irrelevant traffic and save on your budget (using negative keywords in Google Ads for lawyers).

Conducting thorough keyword research is essential for creating focused campaigns that connect with clients seeking your legal expertise. With the right keywords, you can optimize your Google Ads campaigns to attract more qualified leads and achieve a better return on investment (measuring ROI of Google Ads for lawyers). As you become more experienced with Google Ads, you can explore advanced strategies such as single keyword ad groups (SKAGs) and dynamic keyword insertion to further enhance your campaigns.

Creating Your Law Firm’s Google Ads Campaign

Creating Effective Ad Groups

Ad groups are the cornerstone of a successful Google Ads campaign. They allow you to organize your ads by common themes or practice areas, making it easier to target specific audiences.

This is an example of how this might look for an auto accident attorney:

  • Car accident ad group
  • Motorbike accident ad group
  • Truck accident ad group
  • Pedestrian accident ad group

This approach allows you to tailor your ad copy and landing pages to each specific keyword group, increasing relevancy and, in turn, improving your ad’s quality score. A higher quality score often leads to a reduced cost per click and a better ad ranking.

For each ad group, create multiple ads targeting different keywords or variations of your ad copy. This strategy not only helps in optimizing your quality score but also provides valuable data on which ad variations perform best. Utilize A/B testing to determine the most effective ad copy and design elements.

Remember to include negative keywords to prevent your ads from showing for unrelated or undesirable searches. By excluding terms that don’t match your service offering, you can ensure that your ads are more targeted and your budget is spent more efficiently.

Crafting Compelling Ad Copy

Your ad copy is the first point of contact with potential clients. It needs to be compelling enough to encourage clicks and drive conversions. We normally recommend having keyword insertions in the headline (We use a behaviour based approach which works extremelly well). Then include some of your firm’s selling points as some of the headlines. For example, ‘98% Success Rate’, or ‘5-Star Rated’.

Then, don’t forget to include action-oriented language that prompts users to take immediate steps, such as “Schedule a Consultation Today” or “Call Us Now” for some other headlines.

Also make sure that the information on your landing pages aligns with the promises made in your ad copy. The most important thing with Google Ads is congruency.

If someone reads in the headline “Best Car Accident Lawyer Los Angeles” then after they click they see a landing page with a headline that says Personal Injury Attorney California, they might click off. This is why we take time to create between 5 and 20 landing pages for each of our clients campaigns. The absolute worst thing you can have is many ‘bounces’. This is when someone clicks and then immediately leaves your page. This is terrible because you are paying for the click, but you ae not receiving absolutely anything.

To craft ad copy for the descriptions, you want to focus on the unique selling propositions (USPs) of your law firm. Highlight aspects like your expertise in a specific area of law, your track record of successful cases, or the personalized attention clients receive when they choose your firm.

You can pin headlines in certain positions too, if this is something that is really important for you, however, this doesn’t always lead to improved performance so I would say proceed with caution.

Finally, keep track of your ad performance and make data-driven decisions to update your campaign. If it’s your first time running Google Ads for your law firm it is very difficult to get everything right from the start. Monitor metrics such as click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, and cost per acquisition (CPA) to gauge the effectiveness of your ad copy. Regular analysis and tweaking will lead to more optimized campaigns and better results for your law firm (tracking google ads performance for lawyers).

By diligently creating effective ad groups and crafting compelling ad copy, you can significantly improve the performance of your Google Ads campaigns. Keep in mind that refining your approach is an ongoing process, and staying informed of best practices and the latest trends will help you maintain a competitive edge in lawyer marketing.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When you’re getting started with Google Ads for lawyers, it’s easy to make mistakes that can impact the effectiveness of your campaigns. Here are three common pitfalls you should steer clear of:

Poor Keyword Choices

Making the right keyword choices is essential for the success of your Google Ads campaigns. Selecting irrelevant keywords or those with low search volume can lead to a lower quality score and reduced ad performance. It’s crucial to periodically review and refine your keyword list to ensure it aligns with the services offered by your law firm. For better keyword optimization, consider using best keywords for law firm Google Ads and incorporating negative keywords to exclude irrelevant traffic.

A common example of this we see is using keywords that are way too broad. For example ‘lawyer’ or ‘attorney’. I would advise most firms take a more targetted approach at the start and then later on consider going more broad if necessary.

Lack of Targeting

Effective targeting is key to ensuring that your ads reach the right audience. Without proper targeting, you might end up paying for clicks that are unlikely to convert into clients. You can use location targeting (location targeting for Google Ads lawyers), audience targeting, and device targeting to refine your audience and better match your business goals. Implementing these strategies can help improve your ad’s relevance and the likelihood of attracting potential clients to your law firm.

So in practice, a quick win most law firms can make is setting location targetting to Presence rather than Presence or interest.

What this does is it makes it so your ads only show to people in your selected geographical locations. Otherwise, if you are a car accident lawyer in las vegas, and someone in Ohio searches for car accident lawyer in vegas, your ad will show up and you will possibly get charged for that.

  • There are some circumstances in which this is relevant, but for most law firms I would say stick with this.

Bidding Strategies and Budgets

Your bidding strategy should be in harmony with your campaign budget. A common issue is setting bids that are either too high or too low, which can affect your ad’s visibility and your overall campaign performance. Your ad rank depends on both the quality score and your bid amount, so it’s important to find the right balance. Review your bidding strategies and budgets regularly to ensure they are optimized for achieving the best results for your law firm. Additionally, consider exploring automated bidding strategies for more efficient budget management.

We often like using max conversions for our clients once the account has a bit of data.

Avoiding these common mistakes can save you time and money while increasing the effectiveness of your Google Ads campaigns. Keep these tips in mind, and remember to track your results to continuously improve your strategy.

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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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