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Law firms and Adwords - a PPC guide to the first time Paid Search user, and differences with Bing and Linkedin


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Paid referencing (or PPC, “Pay Per Click”) involves setting up individual PPC accounts with the search engines (such as Google Adwords) and placing “bids” on desirable keywords and phrases that will help your company attract new customers.

More and more law firms are throwing their hats into the Pay Per Click (PPC) ring, and for good reason – it works.  Right now the majority of PPC ads you’ll see in legal search results are for Personal Injury, but Personal Injury firms are not the only law firm who can benefit from an intelligent PPC campaign.  A good SEO professional will help research specific keywords, suggest additional words and phrases, adjust them based on results, and provide detailed reports showing results.

PPC is based on an auction model, and keywords can range in price from a few cents to $30 or more per click depending on the competitiveness of your market and the words and/or phrases that are being bid on. While your company is not charged a fee until someone clicks on your ad and is directed to your site, these campaigns still need to be monitored closely.

Natural or “organic” referencing tends to be the best long-term solution (as its results are free), but quite often we recommend that our clients advertise in a PPC campaign in order to effectively compete in keywords in which high organic page placement (i.e. on the first page of Google results, for example) is either difficult, or will take longer to achieve.

While the ultimate goal for any business should be to drive as much unpaid traffic to their site as possible, Google AdWords can be reasonably successful for law firms that have narrow niches and high entry barriers. But you can’t put all your eggs in one basket, so for PPC to work you need to invest time to create good ads, to target the most logical audience for your firm, and keep a constant eye on your results. This takes time.


Geographical targeting
The more specific you can be with your geo targeting the better. Select a states, a region, or a particular city rather than just countries. Optimizing your bidding by geographical area makes your campaign more effective.

To optimize your campaign, go to the locations tab under campaign settings and click on the “Bid adj” for any geographic area. Select increase or decrease from the drop-down, set the percentage, and Save.


Mobile Targeting
Mobile results: there are only positions 1 and 2 in the banner for mobile, and if you’re not showing there, you’re unlikely to be seen. These results are going to come from Bing as much as Google because of the relationships they are developing with mobile companies, so making sure your firm is advertising on Bing if you want good mobile results is a must.


Looking at other platforms
Besides Adwords and Bing, some of your PPC budget might also be spent on a platform like LinkedIn, where you can target specific industries or job titles that follow your typical customer’s profiles. While Google Adwords has nice tools, this is one area they cannot compete in. Until they buy a company that has this information, of course (Watch out, Linkedin!)