PPC for Lawyers: An Expert Guide to Mastering Paid Search

PPC for law firmsDid you know, when looking for qualified legal advice, many people head to search engines? Google currently accounts for 88.1 percent of all search traffic in the U.S.

From these numbers, it’s easy to imagine the number of leads you could be attracting to your law firm’s website from Google with the right pay-per-click (PPC) advertising strategy.

Now, you might want to get started with PPC, but finding the perfect balance between ad spend and new clients takes a lot of time and testing. It’s not a simple set-it-and-forget-it type of marketing.

But you can expect a high return on investment (ROI) if you put in the work.

To make it easy on you, Google — the most widely used PPC platform — has created educational resources so anyone can learn to create a PPC campaign.

And in this article, you’ll learn:

  • What PPC marketing is and how it works
  • The benefits of PPC ads for lawyers
  • How to optimize a PPC ad campaign
  • Law firm PPC strategies
  • And more!

Let’s begin.

Already know a bit about PPC? Jump right to our PPC tips and tricks.

What Is PPC for Lawyers?

PPC for lawyers is a targeted law firm marketing strategy where law firms bid on and pay a fee each time their online advertisement is clicked. Legal professionals use this method to display their services on search engines and other digital platforms, directly reaching potential clients who are actively searching for legal assistance.

It’s a way of buying traffic to your law firm’s website rather than earning that same traffic organically through search engine optimization or other techniques.

Your ad will appear in one of the top spots on Google, and you can immediately start generating leads for your site.

But every time someone clicks one of your ads, you pay a fee.

The amount you pay depends on the search term the visitor typed into Google to get to your website. The more competitive the keyword is, the more expensive it’ll be.

Law-related keywords are some of the most expensive out there.

For example, any keyword related to personal injury can cost hundreds of dollars per click.

PPC for Lawyers Most Expensive Google Keywords
(Image Source)

PPC advertising can be really expensive, especially when starting out. But when it’s working correctly, the fees are trivial, as you can earn more per visit than your cost per click (CPC).

If you pay $100 for a click but make $5,000 off of that one client, you’ve made a huge profit.

And that’s the goal.

Key Components of a Successful PPC Campaign for Law Firms

To maximize the effectiveness of your law firm’s PPC campaign, setting precise goals and optimizing the key elements that drive results is important. These elements include thoughtful keyword selection, persuasive ad copy, well-crafted landing pages, and purposeful performance monitoring.

  • Strategic Keyword Selection: Choosing the right keywords is a balance between broad, high-traffic terms and specific, low-traffic phrases. The right keywords ensure your ads are displayed for high-value searches, optimizing your budget and reaching your firm’s intended audience.
  • Persuasive Ad Copy: It’s important to get the ad copy right, as it’s where you communicate the benefits of your law firm to encourage users to engage with your ad. To craft influential ad copy, concentrate on the legal issues and concerns of potential clients. Incorporate relevant keywords and end with a captivating call-to-action that compels clicks and conversions.
  • Conversion-Optimized Landing Pages: Landing pages should be conversion-centric, with messaging that resonates, straightforward navigation, and a call-to-action all catered to your audience. They are where people land when they click your ads. A landing page should turn visitors into prospective clients, and should align closely with the expectations set by your ad copy.
  • Performance Analysis and Optimization: Monitoring and analyzing your campaign’s performance is non-negotiable. It’s how you identify issues with your ads and refine them for peak performance and ROI.

Focusing on these essential components will help your law firm’s PPC campaign reach the right audience, generate valuable leads, and establish a foundation for continuous growth and a strong online presence.

PPC Terms You Should Know

Knowing the terminology that we use for PPC will give you a better understanding of this strategy.

Pay close attention to what you see here; you’ll see the same terms used throughout this article, on Google, and anywhere else PPC is discussed.

  • CPC (Cost-per-click): The fee an advertiser is charged for each clicked ad.
  • CTR (Click-through rate): The ratio of ad clicks to the total number of ad displays (Impressions).
  • CPA (Cost-per-acquisition): The average expense incurred for converting clicks into successful actions.
  • ROAS (Return on ad spend): Measures the revenue earned against the amount spent on PPC campaigns.
  • Quality Score: Google’s method for grading ads based on elements like keyword pertinence.
  • Ad Rank: A metric indicating the position of your ad on search results pages.
  • Exact Match: Displays your ads solely when search terms perfectly align with the chosen keyword.
  • Broad Match Keywords: Allows your ad to appear for keyword variations and related phrases.
  • Ad Extensions: Supplementary details appearing beneath the primary PPC ad, such as a “Call” option, cost details, or a direct link to a specific page.
  • Negative Keywords: These are types of keywords that prevent your ad from being triggered by a certain word or phrase. Your ads aren’t shown to anyone who is searching for that phrase. This is useful for filtering out traffic from searches that are not relevant to the services being advertised.

The Benefits of Using PPC Ads for Your Law Firm

You now know that PPC for lawyers can be wildly expensive, competitive, and difficult to get right. But when you optimize your campaigns, all of the negatives go out the window, and you’re left with only positives.

Here are the main benefits of PPC.

Get Immediate Results from Google for Targeted Keywords

Perhaps the best argument for using PPC for lawyers is the ability to get instant results.

As soon as your ad is sent out into the universe, you’ll start attracting visitors to your website.

This instant visibility contrasts with the gradual nature of SEO, which often requires a significant investment of time before yielding noticeable results.

Reach the Right Audience at the Right Time

Building brand awareness is an integral part of your law firm’s marketing strategy.

By creating PPC ads that target your law firm’s brand name as a keyword, you make sure that your firm appears first when potential clients search for you specifically. This strategy not only protects your brand but also reinforces it each time your ad is displayed.

Simultaneously, PPC allows for precise targeting to get your ads in front of the right people at the right moment.

Targeting your ideal client persona is one of PPC’s biggest selling points. By crafting campaigns that speak directly to the characteristics and behaviors of your desired clients, your ads do more than just reach — they resonate.

This means you get your messaging in front of people who are more likely than average to click through and ultimately hire your law firm.

PPC Ads are Flexible and Scalable

PPC ads offer unmatched flexibility and scalability, allowing for real-time adjustments and budget control to maximize ROI.

After launching your ads, it’s best practice to give them time to gain traction and visibility. During this time, you can use the comprehensive tools provided by platforms like Google and Facebook to track your ad spend and gauge the performance of your ads. This data-driven approach lets you fine-tune your campaigns by adjusting target audiences, keywords, and ad copy to improve performance.

Below you can see the main metrics we track for our clients PPC campaigns — things like CTR, CPC, and cost per conversion.

google ppc performancePlus, the scalability of PPC allows you to adapt your budget to the ebb and flow of conversion rates throughout the year, increasing spend during peak times for your target audience and scaling back during lulls or when external events could decrease conversion rates.

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Optimizing Your PPC Ad Campaigns

PPC campaigns really shine when you continuously optimize them. Here’s how to get started.

Keyword Research and Selection

Keyword research and selection are the foundation of PPC ad optimization, allowing you to target the most relevant audience.

It begins with identifying the search terms your potential clients use when looking for your services. For a criminal defense law firm, that could be as simple as “defense attorney in Austin.”

PPC for Lawyers Google Keyword Planner

Thankfully, it’s easy to identify high-intent keywords that align with your audiences’ search queries. Google’s Keyword Planner is a free tool that lets you research keywords, including their search volume and cost per click.

With the keyword planner, you can:

  • Find keywords that are relevant to your target audience. Since many law firms operate locally, consider location-specific keywords like “defense attorney in Austin.”
  • See an estimated amount of searches a keyword gets every month
  • Forecast an estimated spending plan for specific keywords, as the average cost of a keyword is available

We recommend you find a balance between high-volume, broad keywords and low-volume, more specific keywords.

Broad keywords with high volumes are more expensive across the board. They can get your ad in front of more people, but they’re less targeted. A more specific keyword will usually cost less and convert better.

Another tactic is to analyze competitor keyword strategies to uncover gaps and opportunities for your campaigns. Thoughtful keyword selection, coupled with ongoing analysis and refinement, keeps your PPC ads relevant, competitive, and cost-effective.

Legal Ad Copy Optimization

Crafting high-quality ad copy for law firms requires a blend of clarity, persuasion, and trust-building.

The goal? To resonate with your target client by addressing their legal concerns and showcasing the unique benefits of your law firm.

Here are the key elements to optimize in your legal ad copy:

  • Clarity in Communication: Your ad copy must clearly state what legal services you offer and how they address the specific needs of your clients. Use straightforward language that speaks directly to search intent.
  • Emotional Resonance: Legal issues are sensitive and stressful. Your ad copy should empathize with the client’s situation and offer reassurance.
  • Strong Call-to-Action (CTA): A clear and compelling CTA is key to converting. It should encourage immediate action, such as “Schedule a Free Consultation” or “Get Expert Legal Help Now.”
  • Feature-Benefit Focus: Highlight the benefits of your services, not just the features. For example, instead of saying, “We offer 24/7 legal support,” say, “Get round-the-clock legal support to protect your rights at any moment.”
  • Use of Trust Signals: Incorporate elements that build trust. Phrases like “Trusted by over 1,000 clients” or “Award-winning defense team” can significantly enhance credibility.
  • Testing and Refinement: Continuously test different versions of your ad copy to see what resonates best with your audience. Use A/B testing to compare different headlines, descriptions, and CTAs.

You might think you know what people want to hear, but you’d be surprised. Testing multiple iterations of copy is the best way to create the perfect ad.

Google gives you the ability to test multiple pieces of your ad copy, including:

  • Headline variations
  • Body text
  • Calls to action
  • Display URLs

Here’s an example of ad variations for one ad set.

criminal law ad set

Copywriting is an art that requires trial and error to determine what messaging works best. Google lets you run A/B tests, which display either version A or B (or C, D, E) of the search ad.

Run those for a couple of weeks. Then, you can determine which elements of the ads are most successful, recreate the best version, and reallocate your budget accordingly.

You’ll be surprised at the results you can achieve with a little bit of patience.

Related – SEO for Lawyers: Are you interested in getting your firm to the #1 position in Google’s search results? Of course you are. Who isn’t?

Landing Page Design and Optimization

When someone clicks on your ad, what page do they end up on?

An important aspect of any successful PPC campaign is the landing page that searchers end up on when they click your ad. It’s essentially your shot at convincing them that clicking your ad was the right choice and encouraging them to engage with you through a contact form or some other method.

For a few great ideas for creating these pages, check out our rundown of the best 21 law firm landing pages.

Your landing page should mirror the ad’s promise, with a headline that reaffirms the visitor’s decision to clickthrough. Visual elements should be relevant and add credibility, while the content should be concise, focusing on the benefits of your services.

Trust signals like testimonials and case studies establish reliability. The call to action should be bold and clear, encouraging the visitor to contact your firm.

Your landing page should also be speedy and responsive, as many users will be on mobile.

It’s important to test and optimize every element of your landing page continuously. Tools like Unbounce and Google Analytics help with that.

Criminal defense Google Ad campaigns tend to do well when they direct searchers to high-quality landing pages.

Here’s a great example from MD Criminal Defence.

criminal defense landing page
(Image Source)

It’s better to direct searchers to a landing page designed specifically in response to the ad copy so that it can better address their pain points, needs, and wants.

If your ad leads them to a generic homepage, the language and imagery won’t be tailored specifically to their needs, and they’ll be more likely to bounce.

Optimizing PPC Campaigns through Strategic Analysis

We said you can get instant results with a PPC campaign, and that’s more or less true. But you won’t experience optimal results overnight.

It takes time for your ads to populate and for searchers to start clicking them.

And then, you need to monitor their performance and continually optimize them. Google Analytics will let you know what ads are performing well and which need attention.

You’ll want to A/B test several versions of each ad component to ensure you’re using the optimal ads for your audience.

Here are a few metrics worth monitoring:

  • Quality Score: This is how Google determines how relevant your keywords and ads are when compared to user searches. It’s determined by your ad’s CTR, landing page, and keyword/ad relevance.
  • Clickthrough Rate (CTR): The key metric that determines how relevant your ad is to users. It’s a measurement of how many users are actually clicking on your ad. If your CTR is low, you need to improve your keyword selection and/or your ad creative.
  • Conversion Rate: The percentage of people who’ve clicked your ad and completed the call-to-action on your landing page.
  • Cost Per Conversion: The cost of actually acquiring a new client through your ads. If your cost per click (CPC) is $50 and it takes 10 clicks to acquire one client, your cost per conversion would be $500.
  • Wasted Spend: One of your goals should be to acquire new clients without wasting too much money. This metric reflects the money you spend on clicks that don’t convert.

But you don’t have to go in alone. We at JurisPage can help. Our team has decades of experience in Google Ads, helping law firms like yours get more leads, fast.

Client Results

Prusinski Law is a leading criminal defense firm serving Wisconsin.

JurisPage was approached to support the firm with a comprehensive Google Ads and landing page campaign to attract qualified sales leads from Google’s paid search results.

The professionally designed landing pages and optimized Google Ads campaign generate over 19 sales leads per month. The campaign receives sales leads at a cost of $39/each. It consistently achieves a conversion rate of over 23% and an average CTR of over 7.85%.

6 Law Firm PPC Strategies that Work

These tips should help you determine what you want from your PPC campaign and how to get started.

1. Target a Specific Audience and Location

As you now know, you can’t have a successful PPC campaign without having a specific client persona in mind. It’s not just about knowing who they are, but also where they are.

By defining characteristics such as demographics, interests, and pain points, you can tailor your PPC ads to resonate with a very specific audience. This is good for improving your clickthrough rate (CTR) and keeping your budget on track.

law firm client persona

To refine your client persona, perform a competitor analysis to see who they target and how, and survey your existing clients to gather actionable data like age, location, and income. This information is invaluable in crafting a campaign that speaks directly to your ideal client’s needs.

Geotargeting takes this a step further by focusing your PPC efforts on the areas where your potential clients are located. For law firms, local leads are gold, and PPC allows for precise targeting down to the neighborhood. This means your ads will only appear to those in your specified location.


For instance, if your firm is based in the Bronx, there’s no point in displaying ads to users in Minnesota.

Setting geographical parameters ensures that your ad spend goes towards reaching potential clients in your actual service area, maximizing the chances of conversion and minimizing wasted ad spend.

Another way to do this is to use geo-targeted keywords like we do for our client Chadi & Company.

google ppc search terms

2. Use Keywords in Your Headline and Ad Copy

Using keywords in your PPC ad headlines and body copy is a great way to capture your audience’s attention. Your headline is the first point of engagement with potential clients; it should include the primary keyword that aligns with the search queries you’re targeting.

google ad copy example for law firmsThis not only boosts the relevance of your ad in the eyes of search engines but also assures users that they’ve found a law firm that can meet their specific needs.

In the body of your ad copy, continue to use relevant keywords. This reinforces the message that your services are tailored to the searcher’s requirements. But be sure to balance keyword use with natural language so the copy sounds natural.

Remember, the goal is to make your ad as relevant and compelling as possible to those who are most likely to convert into clients.

3. Include a CTA in Your Ad Copy

A clear and compelling call-to-action (CTA) is the linchpin of effective ad copy. It should be concise and direct, guiding prospects toward scheduling a consultation with your firm.

Your CTA needs to stand out and offer a sense of urgency or benefit that encourages immediate action. For instance, “Contact us today for a free case evaluation” or “Click now to secure your legal consultation” are far superior than just “Contact us today” or “Click now.”

4. Boost Your Clickthrough Rate (CTR) with Ad-Extensions

You want to remove all potential blockers to encourage potential clients to contact you. And if you’re targeting mobile in your advertisements on social media, it’s even more important that your law firm’s PPC campaign uses ad extensions to boost your clickthrough rate (CTR).

Here’s an example of an ad extension.

google ad extensions

Google Ad extensions can include location information, site links to pages on your website, and a call button. They make it easy for searchers to find crucial information right from the SERP rather than having to click through to a landing page.

RelatedGoogle Ads for Lawyers: Common mistakes and the most critical optimization opportunities for a law firm’s Google Ads campaign.

5. Optimize Your Website

It’s not enough to have a well-crafted ad; your law firm’s website should be optimized to convert the traffic that your ads generate. A website that loads quickly, is easy to navigate, and has clear messaging encourages visitors to stay and learn more about your law firm’s services.

Your website should align with the expectations set by your PPC ads. If your ad promotes a free consultation, for example, your website’s CTAs should prominently feature this offer and make it simple for visitors to take the next step.

Beyond the landing page, your entire website should be optimized for conversions. This includes having clear, accessible contact information on every page, trust signals such as client testimonials and case results, and information about your team and practice areas.

Create a cohesive journey from ad to website so you meet the expectations of potential clients

6. Speak with Leads within 24 Hours

Responding to leads quickly has a direct effect on your conversation rates. We recommend responding within 24 hours to capitalize on the interest generated by your PPC ads.

Quick follow-up is often the deciding factor between securing a new client or losing them to a competitor. Make it a standard practice to reach out promptly, as this demonstrates your law firm’s commitment to potential clients.

We use CallRail to monitor telephone and contact form conversions for our clients.

google ads callrail

It’s a call-tracking platform that integrates with Analytics to tell you how many calls come through Google Ads search. It’s easy to install and provides a ton of helpful information.

Common PPC Mistakes that Law Firms Make (And What to Do Instead)

It’s easy to fuss up your PPC campaign. Here are some common mistakes we see and how to avoid them.

Bidding On the Wrong Keywords

One common mistake law firms make in their PPC campaigns is bidding on the wrong keywords. This can lead to irrelevant traffic and wasted ad spend.

Instead of casting a wide net with generic terms, focus on specific, targeted keywords that match the legal services you offer. Utilize keyword research tools to find terms that potential clients use when seeking legal assistance.

Also, analyze search intent to ensure you’re capturing the right audience at the right stage of their decision-making process. By refining your keyword strategy, you’ll attract more qualified leads and improve your campaign’s overall ROI.

Poor Ad Copy

Poor ad copy that isn’t engaging can result in low conversion rates.

Effective ad copy should be clear, persuasive, and tailored to the needs and interests of the target audience. It should highlight the unique selling points of your law firm and address the specific concerns or pain points of potential clients.

Use language that resonates with them and includes a strong call to action that compels them to take the next step. Regularly test and refine your ad copy based on performance data to keep it relevant and effective.

No Dedicated Landing Page

A common oversight in PPC campaigns is the absence of dedicated landing pages. Directing ad traffic to your homepage or a generic page dilutes the user’s intent and can significantly decrease conversion rates.

Instead, create a dedicated landing page for each campaign that aligns closely with the ad’s message. This page should provide a clear and direct path to conversion, whether it’s filling out a contact form, making a phone call, or downloading a resource.

Here’s an example of a landing page we’ve made for one of our clients.

urena-lp-scroll-smlaw firm landing pageall

By doing so, you’ll create a cohesive journey from ad to action, significantly improving the chances of converting clicks into clients.

Not Thinking About Mobile Users

Neglecting mobile users is possibly the worst mistake you can make. The majority of internet traffic comes from mobile devices, and PPC ads are no exception.

To cater to this audience, your ads, landing pages, and website should be mobile-friendly, with responsive design and fast loading times. The content should be easily readable on smaller screens, and call-to-action buttons must be easily clickable. Simplify forms for easy mobile completion and consider using click-to-call buttons for immediate engagement.

By optimizing for mobile users, you’ll provide a better user experience, which can lead to higher engagement and increased conversions from your PPC campaigns.

Related – Lead Generation for Lawyers: Why it’s essential for lawyers to initiate a lead generation strategy and how to go about it.

The Strategic Advantage of Outsourcing PPC Ad Management for Law Firms

Choosing to outsource your law firm’s PPC ad management can be a game-changer.

Sure, you could set up a PPC campaign yourself, but it requires a lot of time and experience to optimize a campaign to peak efficiency. Without an expert set of eyes, you could end up throwing thousands of dollars away with very little ROI.

Specialized agencies bring a wealth of experience and up-to-date industry knowledge that can significantly improve the effectiveness of your campaigns. They have the tools and expertise to conduct in-depth keyword research, craft compelling ad copy, and design optimized landing pages that convert.

Our dedicated team here at JurisPage has decades of PPC experience and stays ahead of the curve with the latest industry insights, so your campaigns are as effective as possible.

With our in-depth keyword research, creation of compelling ad copy, and design of high-converting landing pages, we focus on driving not just traffic, but qualified leads to your firm. Our vigilant monitoring and agile campaign adjustments are designed to maximize your ROI, freeing you up to excel in the practice of law.

Interested? Reach out for a free consultation today.

Frequently Asked Questions

PPC, or Pay-Per-Click, in legal marketing is a targeted advertising approach where law firms pay a fee each time their ad is clicked. It’s an effective way to attract potential clients, as ads appear in search results for specific legal queries. This model ensures law firms pay only for ads that engage potential clients, making it a cost-effective strategy for online presence and client acquisition.

The most effective advertising for lawyers today is digital advertising. It stands out for its ability to target specific audiences, cost efficiency, and measurable results. Digital ads allow small and medium-sized law firms to reach potential clients precisely and track the effectiveness of their campaigns with ease.

Keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner can help identify relevant and high-performing keywords. Think from a client’s perspective, focusing on services you offer, locations you serve, and common legal queries.

Google Ads is the most popular due to its extensive reach, but platforms like Bing Ads or Facebook Ads can also be effective, depending on your target audience.

Key metrics include Click-Through Rate (CTR), Cost Per Conversion, Quality Score, and overall ROI. These metrics provide insights into ad performance, audience engagement, and profitability.

PPC offers immediate visibility through paid ads, while SEO focuses on organic ranking through content optimization and website quality. Both strategies have their merits; typically, a combination of both offers the best results for visibility and credibility.

The ad copy should be clear and compelling, highlighting your firm’s unique value propositions, such as areas of specialization, years of experience, or client testimonials. A strong call-to-action (CTA) is also essential.

Using detailed targeting options, such as location targeting, device targeting, and audience demographics, ensures your ads are shown to potential clients actively seeking legal services.

Ad extensions enhance ads by adding additional information or links. For law firms, extensions like “call” buttons, location details, or links to specific service pages can improve user engagement and conversion rates.

Regular monitoring is essential. It’s advisable to review your PPC campaigns at least weekly to optimize performance, adjust bids, and refine keyword strategies. Major adjustments should be based on consistent trends rather than short-term fluctuations.


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