A War of Words: 4 Tips to Help Lawyers Win the Cost-Per-Click Bidding Wars

January 6th, 2016 by Search Influence Alumni


Whether a veteran attorney or a recent law school graduate, legal professionals have likely noticed that the world of generating leads and winning new clients has changed drastically. While tried and true marketing methods such as word of mouth and putting your picture on a billboard still have their place, effectively using online resources can have a huge impact in establishing a solid client base. In particular, paid online advertising for attorneys has become so vital that competition for keywords has skyrocketed. Although it may seem daunting and difficult to know how to begin, these critical tips can help you win the cost-per-click (CPC) bidding war.

1. Understanding the Competition

Consumers who are searching for a lawyer often turn to the Internet to conduct their research. With that in mind, marketing online has become an integral part of building and sustaining a law practice. When it comes to paid online advertising, it’s important to first understand your competition. Legal keywords are typically among the most expensive in Google AdWords, with terms related to “attorney” and “lawyer” topping the cost charts. High levels of competition naturally follow expensive keywords, as lawyers constantly place bids on the exact same terms. Try conducting your own competitive research and search the keywords in your geographic area to see for yourself what ads are getting top placement. Simply run a search on the keywords you’re hoping to target and see which keywords your competition is already bidding on. Take a look at their ads and start crafting a plan to make yours even better.

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2. Target Specific Keywords

So how do you overcome the highly competitive landscape and win the bidding war in your online ads campaign? First, you should create a list of specific and relevant three- to five-word keywords to explicitly target. This is a trial-and-error process, and it takes time to accumulate useful data. A simple way to start is to use the Google AdWords Keyword Planner, which will help you compile specific keyword ideas. This tool will also help you determine average traffic and CPC for your potential keywords, and it will make suggestions based on your site’s URL. In addition, it’s critical to focus on relevancy and make sure that your keywords, your ads, and your landing pages all match the searcher’s intent. For example, if the keyword in your ad is “DWI lawyer,” the click should take the consumer to a page with content for “DWI lawyer.”

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3. Use Negative Keywords

Another crucial aspect of a successful paid online advertising campaign is the use of negative keywords. This allows you to stop your ad from appearing when you know that the consumer isn’t interested, which can help improve the click-through-rate of your ads. Using negative keywords informs Google that certain search queries are irrelevant to your practice, ensuring that you don’t pay for clicks that will not lead to conversions. You can start by using a free negative keyword tool like the one from Wordstream, which will return an extensive list of search terms that may not be related to your practice area. Using this tool is especially essential in the legal world, where you are bidding on expensive keywords that could result in unnecessary and costly clicks.

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4. Optimize Your Landing Pages

Now that your paid online advertising campaign is set up with specific and relevant keywords and you’re getting clicks from consumers searching for your exact type of practice, it’s important not to derail all of your efforts with ineffective landing pages. Your landing pages should be directly on point to the ads that the consumer clicked on. They will likely need to be continuously tweaked with different types of offers to see how people respond to them. You might want to consider using videos on your landing pages with subject matter explanations directly from a lawyer, or customer testimonials from successful cases. In addition, having a chat function on legal landing pages can be particularly critical for consumers who are hoping to have immediate answers to case-specific questions.

Keeping your paid online advertising strategy focused on these tips will help you capture leads that you would have normally missed, allowing you to conquer the competitive CPC bidding war for attorneys.