In the first part of this series, we discussed 9 mistakes most PPC Agencies make when managing Google Ads for lawyers.
Now we’ll discuss the solutions to the problems created by those mistakes.
If you haven’t read part 1 yet, I highly recommend you head over there first.
But to recap, the issues we touched on were:
- Trying to double leads by doubling ad spend.
- Poor ad structure.
- Squandering your ad budget on wasteful keywords.
- Driving paid traffic to landing pages that convert poorly.
- Not tracking everything the right way.
- Giving you unqualified leads and then calling them “leads”.
- Doing the “set and forget” kind of ad management.
- Not protecting your campaigns from fraudulent clicks.
- Not having a system that helps boost your sales efficiency.
Now you’re going to learn some of the things we do for our clients that make their Google Ads campaigns wildly profitable.
We’re going to share some of the secrets (but not all!) behind why we’re able to consistently achieve industry-defying returns like the stats below:
That reflects some of the results we got for our Crime Lawyer client.
9 Ways Your Law Firm Can Get Higher Quality Leads with Less Ad Spend.
1. Optimise Only Metrics That Move the Needle.
It’s easy to get distracted by the available metrics that you could be optimising.
Some metrics may make you look good or give you a sense of achievement…
“Oooohhh your site gets 152,0000 views a day?! Gasp!”
…But they actually do nothing for your bottom line.
I call these vanity metrics.
Any metric can be a vanity metric if they do very little in terms of helping you make decisions that grow your specific business.
So if your agency is obsessing over metrics that aren’t actionable…
Or metrics that are not giving you insights you can leverage…
Then they’re likely optimising vanity metrics.
Some examples are:
- Traffic or Impressions
- Click-through rate
- Page views
- Average time on site
What use is having increased traffic if you’re not making any sales from them? But if you’re able to turn that traffic into email leads, now you’re talking. Same with CTR. If you’re getting lots of clicks but they’re not converting into leads, investigate why.
Could it be because your content is attracting the wrong people?
Could it be because your lead capture forms are confusing?
Consider the changes from the “before” to the “after” below:
Notice how although their CTR decreased, the conversions increased and the CPC decreased.
Even an increase in viewers’ average time on site can be misleading. Are people spending longer times on your site because they are more engaged, or because it’s harder for them to find specific information?
Examples of metrics that truly matter to law firms are:
- Conversion Rate
- CPA or CPC (the amount you spend to acquire a qualified lead)
- ROAS (return on ad spend)
- Lifetime Value (the total amount of money that a client typically spends with you over the course of their relationship with your firm)
If a client typically engages your services 3x a year on average and each time they pay you around $5,000 then that’s a $15,000 yearly lifetime value.
We’re also interested in the actual customer value and which leads or conversions turn into customers. (However, this data is harder to get and typically relies on a CRM and offline conversions through Google. You can upload a list of all the customers generated with what’s called a Google Click ID to pair it with the original Google Ads click.)
When we report to you at the end of each month, you get insightful reports showing you all the pertinent metrics plus our analysis and insights in a video format.
We break down everything so that you know…
Your Website Performance:
- Bounce rate
- Time on site
- Goal completion
- Revenue per user
- Conversion Rate
Your Google Ads Performance:
- Cost per conversion
- Conversion Rate
- Total conversion value
- Conversion value per cost
Your Organic Performance:
- Bounce rate
- Avg session duration
If you opt to get Client Pathway™ you would get separate reports where you see breakdowns such as:
- Leads by Category per month
- Leads by Value
- Leads by State
- Leads per month/day
Although we report to you at the end of every month, we do our fine-tuning at least weekly.
Plus, you have access to Live Dashboards. At any point you desire, you can log in and check your latest figures.
2. Structure Your Campaigns for Optimal Results
To ensure your Google Ads become profitable faster, it needs to have the optimal structure. These are some of the ways we structure your ads.
Some keyword groupings work better than others.
We determine the best combination of keyword groupings that is most suitable for your market and business.
Typically we break your campaign into different keyword groupings:
- General terms
- Service-specific terms
- Brand terms
- Location terms
- Information (long-tail) terms i.e. how much does a lawyer cost?
Structuring your campaign this way gives us insight into which ones bring the best results for your firm.
For example, a firm in a place like Bendigo in Victoria may get great mileage out of local suburb terms due to low competition. e.g. “Social Security Lawyer Bendigo Victoria”
On the other hand, a highly specialised lawyer may get better results from service-specific keywords. e.g. “Equine lawyer misrepresentation of racehorse”.
The idea is to double down on what’s working…
… While targeting keywords that appeal to your target audience with the highest buying intent.
Segmentation by using your website structure.
We can segment campaigns based on your website structure, your service pages, publications, or what blog posts your site has.
For example, let’s say you have various areas of expertise:
- Property disputes
- Insolvency, Bankruptcy and Debt Recovery
- Building & Construction
- Business Disputes
Then we might create campaigns for each of those topics so that each gets its own campaign-level settings.
Consider The Buying Cycle
We can also structure based on the buying cycle.
For example, someone searching for “lawyer” might convert but it’s not specific enough.
I call search terms like “lawyer” a “general term” because it’s general rather than specific in it’s intent.
If they search for “litigation lawyer” then they might be warmer and we can more clearly identify the intent.
If they search for “Do I have a case to sue for XYZ?”
In this case, their intent is more clear. We can present them with the relevant educational content and then use a questionnaire to help them identify if they do have a case or not. Once we deliver all that value, we can ask them to take action by booking a consultation call, which, depending on how you want to design their journey, could be free of charge or not at all.
Then we might have a services campaign where people might ask for things like “employment lawyer” or “commercial building lawyer”. These go directly to your service pages creating a “perfect-match” between what they are searching for and the content they land upon.
We bid on branded terms.
A buying journey usually starts with a non-branded search term and as the prospect gets “hotter” and becomes more familiar with you, finishes with a branded one.
But sometimes, competitors bid on your brand. To protect you from this, we bid on branded terms and get the top spot. We can track the entire journey in doing so while also protecting your brand from competitors trying to steal your red hot prospects.
Sometimes (depending on your target locations and expansion goals) we might create campaigns for different geographic locations. This is particularly useful if you’re already operating in various locations, or if you want to be more aggressive in a particular region or city because you want to penetrate it, or if you want to see which locations you’re most successful in.
3. Use an Aggressive Negative Keywords List Strategy to Minimise Waste as Much as Possible.
Having audited over 450 Google Ads campaigns so far, I would say that about 80% of ad spend is being wasted. And a huge part of that is caused by deficient Negative Keywords Lists (NKL).
Negative keywords are terms you don’t want your ads to show up for.
These are search terms used by people whose problems you can’t solve, or who are not looking for your services and therefore have zero chances of converting.
By adding constantly and aggressively to your NKL, we can scale more easily and much faster because we prevent your campaigns from wasting your budget on these irrelevant and wasteful keywords.
The fewer unqualified leads find you, the more chances we have of attracting the qualified ones, which then boosts your conversion rate.
Depending on your areas of specialisation, geographical targets, services, etc, we usually start with 5-10 negative keyword lists and then routinely add more over time.
We usually have, at minimum, the following NKLs:
- Account-wide NKL which we apply to most campaigns.
- Product/services NKL
- Locations NKL
- Brand name NKL
- Spelling mistakes NKL
- Some other business-specific ones.
Examples of good keyword exclusions for the legal industry are:
- Irrelevant locations.
We exclude regions, cities, states, suburbs, etc. outside of your target areas.
- Freeloaders and bargain hunters.
You don’t want to show up for searches used by people who are looking for free advice or consultations because they tend to be low quality leads.
- Job hunting and education.
Searches related to training to be a lawyer, internships, getting hired as one, or lawyer salaries.
- Intention mismatches.
Searches related to getting financial aid for legal expenses, legal-related resources, legal software, entertainment, legal related news or current events, etc.
Some of my top tips for building budget-maximising negative keywords lists (NKL) are:
Use your all-time search history
…..to find even more keywords you should be adding to your NKL.
Manually identify irrelevant keywords that your ads got clicked for. Mark them in red and then add them to your NKL.
Misspelt keywords for example, often waste a lot of your ad spend.
Use Google Predictive Search
….to identify keywords you don’t want to show up for.
When you do a search in Google, there’s usually a list of Related Searches at the bottom of the page.
Look at the list of related search terms and you will often find keywords that you would want to add to your NKL. These could be brand names of other firms, or certain phrases that are not aligned with your areas of expertise.
Do an N-gram Analysis
….to Identify Hard-to-See Nuances
This is a rather technical analysis and you probably don’t want to know the how of N-grams, but you might want to know the benefits and why we do it for our clients.
Using tools like PPC Samurai, we leverage machine power to identify nuances that would be impossible to spot heuristically.
N-Gram analysis lets us identify specific words and phrases that demonstrate the strongest correlation (either positively or negatively) with ad performance for any given campaign.
N-gram lets us review ad accounts and break down every search term into a single word (or two word/three word combinations) and then analyse how many searches have used that word (or phrase) and more importantly what their CTR, cost per click, conversion rate, CPA, etc are.
Knowing these, you’ll be able to make better data-driven decisions because you will know the answers to important questions such as:
- Which search terms are driving the most and the least conversions?
- (If you’re targeting several locations) Which locations are we converting more visitors from?
- Is there any disparity between the words our prospects actually use when searching for the lawyer they want VS the words we use in our marketing campaigns? (This is called Voice of Customer or VoC — and it’s usually a good thing to use VoC)
I have discussed these tips in greater detail (complete with screenshots) in The Ultimate Google Ads Quality Score Guide: Get 10 Out of 10 Quality Scores And Half Your Ad Spend.
It’s easy if waste is all in a single keyword, but things like spelling mistakes can be wasting across 100s of keywords in your account, n-grams will allow you to find them more easily.
4. Craft messages that align with your prospects’ psychology.
We like to approach keywords in terms of buyer psychology.
Prospects use different search queries depending on where they are in the buying process.
Although I despise the word “funnel”, I’m going to use the funnel model because it gives suitable imagery:
Top of Funnel (ToFu)
Middle of Funnel (MoFu)
Bottom of Funnel (BoFu)
Many advertisers focus on getting the “ready to buy” traffic. These are the Bottom of Funnel folks. The downside to targeting BoFus is that it’s ultra competitive and it gets expensive faster than you can say “objection!”.
The key is to build lead generation engines that also attract the Middle and Top of Funnel folks, not just the Bottom ones.
The mistake many advertisers make is treating them all in the same way.
How to Attract & Nurture “Top of Funnel” Prospects
ToFu prospects may be struggling with the problems you can solve but they are not yet ready to hire any lawyer. They are still trying to understand their problem.
They may be using search information-gathering queries like:
“Difference between binding financial agreements and consent orders?”
“Dividing a business during a divorce”
“What’s the difference between civil law and general litigation?”
Provide ToFus with educational content. Blog posts, webinars, and videos that answer their questions are perfect, such as:
The Beginner’s Guide To…
The Definitive Guide To…
What Should You Do If…
Wrongfully Dismissed? Your Top Questions Answered…
Then invite them to join your email list so that you can continue to nurture them with more educational content.
How to Attract & Nurture “Middle of Funnel” Prospects
MoFu (make sure you don’t misspell the u) prospects are more qualified because they understand their problems and may already be thinking, “I need a lawyer”.
Not necessarily hire you (they may not know you exist yet), but you could be one of the options they could end up considering (if they find you online).
Their search queries are usually more along the lines of:
“How to execute the process of terminating a building contract with a lawyer?”
“Trusted litigation lawyer Brisbane”
The best way to treat MoFus is to provide the information that will help them move forward toward a decision.
The key is to help them find more clarity. Help them tackle their questions.
Provide them with personalised information that empowers them to recognise what’s relevant and irrelevant.
Present options that best suit their needs and goals.
As you help them crystallise what their next best step is, you demonstrate your expertise and gain their trust.
How to Talk To “Bottom of Funnel” Prospects
BoFus know their best solutions considering their criteria and they have narrowed down their options to one or two. They feel equipped to make a decision.
BoFus use search queries that may involve your brand.
When speaking to BoFus, you need to switch your messaging to “why you and why now”.
This is the right time to do sales speak.
Examples of BoFu-appropriate messaging are:
- Reassure them that you’ll take care of them, that you’re the best legal team for the job.
- Give them stacks of good reasons why choosing you is their best bet.
- Remind them of what they can get only from you.
- Present proof of the results you get.
- Mitigate any perceived risks.
- Demonstrate how your solution aligns with their criteria perfectly.
Knowing what type of messaging best suits the person you’re talking to is a big part of how we make your campaigns efficient and effective.
We don’t waste time selling you to people who are not ready yet, but we give them something that will help move them along “the funnel” and reach the conclusion that you are their best option.
5. Leverage Ad Extensions.
Ad extensions are extra information you can add to enhance your text ads. This additional information enhances the user experience because they can match intent, location, or device.
The more of them you use, the more attention-grabbing they tend to be because they take up more “real estate” on the results page.
They can be powerful if you know how to leverage them.
The 2 Types of Ad Extensions:
- Manual extensions.
They require some setup.
- Automated extensions.
Once you’ve hit a certain threshold, Google serves automated extensions with your ad automatically if the algorithm predicts doing so would improve ad performance (depending on the context of the search).
- Manual extensions.
Benefits of Using Ad Extensions
Used the right way, they can help improve your ad quality, ad ranking, get more targeted visitors to your landing page, reduce your average CPC, improve your Quality Score, etc.
You can achieve so many things with Ad Extensions like:
- Occupy more space on the results pages.
- Add more elements on your listing that help give more context to searchers.
- Direct traffic to different (more targeted) pages of your site.
- Display a wide variety of specific information like highlighting the benefits you offer.
- Allow prospects to call you directly from their mobiles in just a click.
Useful Ad Extensions For The Legal Sector
Sitelink extensions add additional links under the main text ad in search. You can use this to lead users to particular pages on your site you want them to visit.
Sitelinks can also appear as links without descriptions, like so:
By serving sitelinks, you allow users to pick which page is most relevant to them. This in turn could help decrease bounce rates and contribute to better conversions.
When we add sitelinks we practice the following:
- Make sure each link is described or titled properly and it leads to the right page.
- More is better. We set up 8-10 active sitelinks for each campaign.
- Most informative: Link to pages that add the most value to users.
Great sitelinks pages are those discussing hot topics, about us, services pages, social proof pages, and contact us pages.
Callout extensions are additional text descriptions that you can use to highlight your Unique Value Proposition. Use them to give prospects compelling reasons to click on your ad instead of the others being served alongside your ad.
Using numbers, points of differentiation and specificity in your callouts usually helps your ad stand out.
Structured snippets are identified by a colon. You can add these manually or they can be automatically added by Google.
You can use them to tell your ideal prospects what you offer or what makes you different. Highlight specific services and “features” that prospects find compelling.
As the name implies, you can use this extension to highlight any special deals or promotions you may have. You can use this if you offer free initial consultations, for example.
Location and Call extensions
Location extension can be clickable.
If viewed on mobile devices, location extension can provide directions to the user by linking directly to your Google Maps location.
Here’s a sample location extension as it appears on mobile:
Call extensions on mobile devices appear with a phone icon so users can easily call just by clicking it. We always track these calls to make sure we know the results from this extension.
There are many more ad extensions but you don’t have to use each and every one of them.
The key is to use ad extensions that will help fulfil your marketing goals.
Decide what you want prospects to do, then use the ad extensions that could advance that goal.
6. Create a Great User Experience Through “Perfect Matches”.
When someone searches for “trusted wills and probate lawyers Perth” and your ad’s headline, subheadline, description and the URL contain those keywords…
And the main components (e.g., headline, subheadline, meta description, etc) of your landing page also contain those words…
Then we create what I call “perfect matches”.
“Perfect matching” helps establish relevance not only in Google’s eyes but also provides a better user experience.
And better user experience contributes to higher conversion rates, improved Quality Score, and reduced cost per lead.
We create perfect matches by:
- Using tailored ads relevant to the search terms in your ad group.
- Leading your visitors to hyper-focused landing pages or to the most relevant sections of your site.
- Using dynamic landing pages to adjust landing page copy to suit the search term.
Dynamic Landing Pages
If you are targeting hundreds or thousands of search terms, creating a perfect match means creating hundreds or thousands of dedicated landing pages as well.
You can imagine what a huge time-suck this could be.
That’s why we created our very own plugin. With this plugin, we only need to spend time building one to just a handful of landing pages… and then leverage those to build hundreds and thousands of perfectly matched landing pages.
By dynamically inserting keywords to the said pages, we can instantly create thousands of landing page variations that perfectly match your target search terms and ad copy!
This plugin is just one of our “secret weapons” to quickly and easily put together thousands of perfectly matched ads and landing pages for our clients, which then allows us to focus more on optimising Quality Score (and therefore ad profitability).
7. Optimise your Lead Generation Landing Pages for higher conversions.
If you’re getting decent clicks but your visitors are exiting soon after they land on your site, or they’re not engaging with your content well enough for them to convert into leads, then the issue is probably your landing page.
In our experience, the most common reason is that crucial persuasive elements are either missing or not executed well enough (which I’ll get into in a minute).
This is exactly why we created Client Convert™ — our performance, ready-to-deploy high converting website.
With Client Convert™, you get a high-converting legal website specifically designed to create a dramatic improvement in the performance of any Google Ads campaigns you have in place.
Introducing Client Convert
It Loads Ultra Fast
All our landing pages load within 3 seconds because it’s part of our SOP to reduce the size of large images, minimise redirects whenever possible, and we create it using only clean code.
The Page Has High Relevance.
In 5 seconds or less, the visitor confirms that they are in the right place because the content matches their interest, needs and expectations.
The more focused and tailored the content is to the reader’s intent and psychology, the higher the relevance.
The Page is Focused.
The page has ONE clear goal (lead generation) and only elements that can advance that goal have earned their right to be on the page.
It creates no mental noise. There are no distractions, no multiple choices, presents no conflicting ideas other than those that help you generate qualified leads.
There may be multiple call to action buttons throughout the page but the call to action itself leads to the same end.
The Page Conveys Your Compelling Unique Value Proposition.
…And it does so on multiple levels, in various modalities.
Your Unique Value Proposition (UVP) is how you answer “why you?”.
It’s how you convey your Differentiation.
Nowadays, you’re dealing with prospects who shop around, who compare, read reviews online, and create Excel spreadsheets listing and comparing the pros and cons of several lawyers.
Gone are the days when they’re happy to just ask a friend or relative for referrals, and, without doing any further investigation, they hire the referred lawyer on the spot.
More than ever, your marketing must create ways to give your prospects at least one powerful reason to choose you over the competition.
When you work with us, we make sure we help you create and strengthen your UVP, and then we communicate your UVP powerfully at every possible touchpoint.
The Page Bolsters Your Credibility
Nowadays, it’s no longer enough for you to be perceived as credible.
You must be perceived as more credible than your competition.
These are some of the ways Client Convert™ positions you as the superior choice:
- Feature plenty of testimonials and/or reviews that convey not only the various client profiles you serve, but also convey the multi-faceted aspects of the value you offer.
- Your UVP is not one-dimensional. You could have a UVP at the brand level, product level, prospect level, or process level. Client Convert™ conveys your UVP on all of these levels, whenever possible. We have our own process designed to first extract and then refine the value you offer. Then, we guide you through a process to help you amplify it. The result: when your ideal prospects hear your messaging, they perceive you as the one best suited to meet their needs.
- If you can have professional photos and videos made for your website and landing pages, we highly recommend you do so. (This is up to you though).
The Page Captures Leads Effectively.
A lead magnet is a free (but highly valuable) resource that you can give to your prospects to convert them from website visitors into warm leads.
It must align with their pain, issue or question that they’re dealing with at that particular time in their life.
Examples of lead magnets you may want to use:
- A webinar tackling a common issue.
(e.g., “Everything You Need to Know About Writing a Will”)
- A free consultation.
- A series of videos tackling the most important points they need to know if they’re involved in a criminal case (for example).
- An online quiz that asks them several questions, and then produces a downloadable instant resource containing free, expert advice based on their answers. We can implement this in collaboration with you.
It Has a Clear, Prominent & Compelling Call to Action
Client Convert ™ orchestrates all the elements of the page towards its ONE goal: to get the visitor to take the desired action.
When it comes to Calls to Action (CTAs), it’s not about the font, button size and colour.
Our CTAs are effective because the prospects perfectly understand the benefits they will gain if they take the recommended action, they feel their pains and fears are understood, their questions and doubts are answered, they know what to expect, and so they move forward with confidence.
If landing page optimisation is of particular interest to you, read my detailed tips (featuring several case studies with “before” and “after” webpage results) about crafting high-converting Google Ads landing pages here: 7 Game-changing Lessons I Learned from Optimising Google Ads Landing Pages
8. Filter Out Unqualified Leads.
Increasing the efficiency of your sales staff is one of our performance goals.
We don’t stop at just giving you only highly qualified leads as much as possible.
In Part 1 of this series, we touched on how constantly dealing with unqualified leads can be a huge resource drain for your team.
If you’re employing highly qualified people to deal with prospects’ enquiries, then you’d definitely want to maximise their efficiency by protecting them from “undesirables” and time-wasters.
That’s exactly what we’ve designed our Client Pathway™ solution to do.
Client Pathway™ is a form system that helps you to pre-qualify each prospect by sending them through a strategic sequence of carefully crafted questions. Depending on their answers, your sales team gets to prioritise them accordingly.
For example, let’s say you’re dealing with property law but not rental disputes.
We can make the form ask each prospect a question about whether or not their issue is a rental dispute. If yes, then we can knock them back and re-route them to more appropriate channels that could help.
Not having to deal with them saves you time and resources, and you get to speak only to those who are truly qualified or a good fit for you.
This is just one use case.
We can customise Client Pathway™ according to your purpose.
For example, we can use it as a quiz, and based on their answers, give them semi-customised answers and next step recommendations.
By getting them to answer certain questions, you gather even more intel about them that you can use to help them move forward.
How Client Pathway™ Can Benefit Your Prospects:
- Guides prospects on what and how much information to provide.
(which is often an unknown and a scary experience for them).
- Helps prospects benefit from your knowledge even before you make direct contact with them. Result: they see you as more professional and trustworthy.
- Encourages leads to give more specific information (e.g., “describe your dispute in great detail”).Result: Builds trust + saves lawyers time when they call.
9. Track Your Conversion Actions.
Question for you if you have been investing in Google Ads for a while:
How much of the money you’ve been putting towards your ads has directly impacted your business growth, and by how much?
I mean accurate numbers, not guesstimates.
Proper tracking gives you a better understanding of the effectiveness and the ROI of your campaigns. Armed with this reliable intel, you’ll be able to confidently make wiser business calls and more profitable ad budgeting decisions.
That’s why it still shocks me every time I see how the Google Ad accounts I get to audit neglect this.
In my experience, over 71% of Google ad campaigns are either not tracking conversions, or they’re tracking some but they’re doing it incorrectly.
For law firms, examples of meaningful actions you should be tracking are form completions, phone calls from your website, sign-ups, calls from ads, contact us form submissions, and landing page submissions among others.
Doing so will allow you to know which exact search terms generate your best results.
Top Tracking Tips:
- Set up Google Tag Manager
- Connect your Google Ads with Google Analytics
- Use call trackers (like Google call forwarding) to track phone calls.
- Ensure you set form completions, email opt-ins, and online enquiries as conversion goals.
- Set up Form Tracking.
You can do this with or without Thank You pages, or by using Events in Google Analytics
Because we treat your ad budget like it’s our own, we never do the “set and forget” kind of Google Ad management.
Get Your Free Video Audit.
If you’re unsatisfied with your current agency’s results or your campaign performance, get in touch.
We’d be happy to conduct a comprehensive audit of your current setup and send you our analysis and insights in a video format.
We’ll detail exactly what’s making you lose money, highlight the most profitable yet low-effort opportunities, and tell you how you can exploit them. Get your free video audit here.