Advertising on Google can be one of the most effective ways to generate leads for your law firm. However, when the ads aren’t properly tested, the right keywords aren’t selected, or the landing page falls flat Google Ads can be a waste of time and money. There are a lot of components to a successful ad campaign and therefore a lot of mistakes can be made. In this blog post we outline the seven most common Google Ads mistakes made by law firms and how to avoid them.
Ineffective landing pages
While ad copy is important in order to generate clicks, the post-click landing page experience is critical in terms of conversions and maintaining a healthy ad quality score. How is the user experience of your landing page? Ensure that the page loads quickly and that it is also optimized for mobile users. Then, make sure all of the content on the page is readable and aesthetically pleasing. It’s also essential to ensure you place a few clear and effective call-to-actions within the landing page to encourage conversions.
Beyond the design, it’s important that your landing page is relevant to the ads in your campaign. Even if the landing page is effective and the ads are effective separately, they must match to avoid a high bounce rate. For example, if your ad reads “Getting Divorced? Find an experienced matrimonial attorney here,” then your landing page should be about divorce law, not wills and trusts or taxes.
Directing to the home page
What’s worse than a bad landing page? Directing searchers to your website home page. While this practice is quite common, directing users to the home page of your site will damage your quality score which negatively impacts the visibility of your ad on search engines. When you direct ad clicks to your site with full navigation and an array of content that may or may not be relevant to their needs, it dramatically lowers your conversion rate. Why? Well, home pages are distracting. There’s most likely a navigation menu that leads to dozens more pages and content that may or may not be related to the users initial search and ad click. Landing pages on the other hand are clear and straight to the point – they have a goal and visitors are more likely to fill out a contact form when it’s all that appears on a page.
Poor keyword strategy
Using as many keywords as possible to get the most ad views is not a sustainable campaign strategy. Irrelevant keywords and keywords with low search volume only hurt your quality score. There’s no use in having more than 20 keywords per ad group as this usually means that your keywords and ad copies are not closely related enough. Just think – if you’re a medical malpractice lawyer which keyword would be more effective within an ad campaign “hospital” or “medical malpractice lawyer in Texas”? Clearly the second keyword is much more specific and while the search volume is lower, the quality and number of ad conversions will be higher than a general search term. Take advantage of Google’s keyword planner to new keywords with high search volumes. Then, monitor their performance and revise as necessary.
Another important aspect to consider when choosing keywords is integrating negative keywords. Without negative keywords your ads may still appear in irrelevant searches. Start by adding broad, phrase, or exact match negative keywords to your campaign. For example, if you’re a lawyer specializing in worker’s compensation, you may need to add negative keywords like “worker’s compensation doctor” for those looking for medical services rather than legal services. The best way to generate conversions from Google Ads is to use specific keywords that make sure your ads reach the right audience.
Lack of targeting
Speaking of the right audience, Google Ads allows you to select specific demographics and audience behaviors to direct your ads to. However, if your law firm is not specific enough this can hurt your conversion rate. Consider what makes sense for your law practice and the goal of each specific campaign. For example, if you specialize in tax law in the United States, it would be a waste of budget to include individuals overseas within your targeting. Being strategic in terms of targeting not only helps drive conversions, but it saves your law firm money in the long run.
Not using extensions
There are several different types of ad extensions that can elevate the performance of your law firm’s ads. For example, you can include an extension that allows users to call your firm directly from the ad itself. Not only do extensions make your ad more clickable, but they also make your ad bigger in physical size meaning it’s more likely to get noticed on the search results page.
Not creating an ad group for your brand
Law firms – especially large ones – must be proactive in protecting themselves against competitors on Google Ads. Did you know that a law firm can actually bid on your law firm’s name in their ad campaign? This is a tactic that allows their firm’s ad to rank above yours even when searchers are directly searching for a law firm by name. To prevent this, you must create an ad group with your brand keywords.
Forgetting to test
While Google Ads can have an incredibly high return on investment for law firms, it can also be disastrous when law firms are not constantly testing, monitoring, and changing ad campaigns based on statistical performance. Legal marketers can be proactive by creating multiple variations of your ad copy – even if the differences are subtle. Run all variations and then after around 30 clicks you can remove the worst performing ads.
Google Ads campaigns take a lot of planning, strategy, and testing. However, they often pay off. In order to make sure your firm is getting the most conversions for its budget, make sure to follow best practices and avoid these common mistakes. For help implementing an effective ad campaign for your law firm, contact us for help.