Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising campaigns can be incredibly effective for a law firm to generate cases – when they’re done correctly.

When PPC campaigns are poorly implemented, however, they’re only good for one thing – draining your bank account.

In just a few minutes, anyone with a computer and a credit card can set up an account and PPC campaign with Google Adwords. The same cannot be said for setting up a profitable PPC campaign.

Many business owners – including law firm owners – see that they’re getting clicks and a corresponding bill for each click, and assume that their PPC campaign is pulling its weight. But it ain’t necessarily so.

PPC Analytics

Let me talk about the analytics of a PPC campaign for a moment. With a PPC campaign, you bid to appear when certain search terms are used.

Your ad may get 1,000 impressions in a week, and generate 100 clicks. That gives you a 10% click-through-rate (CTR).

From those 100 clicks or visitors, 10 visitors go on to fill in a form requesting further information. That gives you a 10% conversion rate from the traffic generated.

But remember, that 10% conversion rate represents just 1% of the people who saw your ad. Also remember that you’ve paid for 100 clicks to turn 10 of them into conversions.

If you paid, say $50 per click, that means you’re paying $500 per conversion.

So what any good PPC campaign architect is going to do is figure out, over time, how to increase your click-through-rate and increase your conversions, to get the cost per conversion down from that $500-a-time. (Remember, that’s a conversion in your PPC account – it doesn’t guarantee that visitor will become a client of your firm.)

And that’s why dedicated landing pages are so important for an effective and profitable PPC campaign.

Quality Score

What you may not realize if you’re new to PPC is that Google assigns a “Quality Score” to the page you’re sending your PPC traffic to. Google wants you to provide a page with content that’s relevant to the keywords that were used. The same landing page can have a different Quality Score depending on the keywords used.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you have a landing page about your Personal Injury practice targeting car accidents in Shermer, Illinois. The page title, the copy on the page and even the ‘alt’ tags for your images might all be optimized around legal services for car accidents in Shermer, IL.

So it makes sense that the exact same landing page will be much less relevant for people who need an SSD lawyer.

In Google Quality Score terms, the page may score 10/10 for “car accident lawyer in Shermer Illinois” and only 4/10 for “SSD lawyer in Shermer Illinois”.

The higher the Quality Score for a landing page, the less you will pay for each click to that page. So it makes sense to have landing pages that target specific practice areas and even neighborhoods, in order to get the best possible Quality Score.

Usability

It also makes sense to have a load of dedicated landing pages to make it easy for visitors to find the information they need.

The front page of your website is the ‘entrance-hall’ to your online presence. You might serve 30 neighborhoods with six different practice areas. Your front page has to accommodate all of that. Your front page says, “This is everything we do, and all the areas we serve.” But you don’t have to send visitors to your front page when you know what they’re looking for because of the keywords they used. You could take that visitor straight to where they need to be – to a page that is more personalized and addresses their specific problem.

If you can drive traffic to a page that’s relevant to the potential client, why would you be lazy and send them to the front page of your website? If a visitor to your site has to go hunting for the information they need, they may just click the ‘back’ button in their browser and go to another law firm.

So if you can take them from a Google search directly to the page that fits what they’re looking for, they’re more likely to stick around and hire you.

Increasing Conversions

The other part of the equation that makes a profitable and effective PPC campaign is increasing your conversions.

Whether it’s offering a free report to download or requesting a call-back from your intake team, you need a “next step” for website visitors to take.

Remember, you pay for every single click (it’s called Pay Per Click!), but bringing them to a landing page does not guarantee that they will become a client of your firm. If you let them leave your website and you have no way of following up with them, then you’re flushing your money away.

Inviting visitors to provide an email address in exchange for a free report will enable you to follow up with them. When the visitor submits their email address they count as a ‘conversion’. If you can double the percentage of visitors who enter their email address, you’ll double your conversions and hopefully the number of new cases your firm opens.

Once again, dedicated landing pages can help you increase your conversions.

For example, on the landing page for “car accident lawyer in Shermer, IL”, it might make sense to have testimonials from your previous car accident clients who live in Shermer.

For your SSD landing page, you’d have testimonials from your SSD clients who live in Shermer.

If you were targeting a different suburb or neighborhood, you’d focus the content around that particular area, making it relevant content for visitors to that page, and designed to maximize conversions.

Once you get a visitor to the landing page, your next task is get that conversion – to get the visitor to take that all-important next step. That’s why PPC professional will spend time split-testing landing pages, constantly refining what’s there. One small change can make a big difference to conversion rates.

Another way of increasing conversions is to use retargeting. By using dedicated landing pages, you can focus your retargeting ads accordingly. Instead of running a generic banner for your firm, no matter what the visitor was searching for, you could run a different banner ad for each practice area or each neighborhood. Again, this kind of personalization can increase your conversions by brining more visitors back to your website or landing page. And because it’s PPC, you only pay if they click.

Summary

Getting your PPC campaigns to be effective and profitable takes time and money. It’s easy to get it wrong and cost yourself a load of money, which is why I recommend to most law firm owners that they hire a specialist.

But if you’re not going to build the landing pages that make a PPC campaign cost effective then you’re probably just wasting time and money

If you liked this blog check out Consultwebs PPC training from last week: