The concept of designing Google Ads (formally, Google AdWords) is relatively simple. Designing a Google Ad is the difficult part. Designing Google Ads for lawyers is even more difficult.
This guide to creating Google Ads for lawyers will make it easier.
Note: If you use a Google Ad manager to manage your Google Ad campaign, you should still be familiar with how to design your PPC ads.
Why Are Google Ads More Important Today?
Search engine optimization (SEO) for your website used to be crucial. It’s still important and will remain important in the future because potential personal injury clients will find your website in the organic search results when searching longtail keywords or oral questions.
What are organic search results? Those are the websites that appear in the search results without paying an advertising fee to Google. Longtail keywords are phrases with three or more words.
We still get lots of new clients who find our website in the organic search results when searching a longtail phrase like “how to get a police accident report.”
When Google thinks someone is looking for answers, such as when searching for “how to get a police accident report,” Google will still show organic search results at the top of the page.
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But now, Google Ads are even more important because organic search results are no longer seen when Google thinks someone is looking for a lawyer.
Now, when someone searches on a desktop or asks Google on their phone, “Find a personal injury lawyer” or “Find personal injury lawyers near me,” instead of showing your website in the organic search results, Google will show Google Ads at the top.
Google has evolved over the years to generate more revenue. Not long ago, Google showed mostly “organic” search results when someone searched for a lawyer.
Comparison of Google Search Results and Google Ads — 2010 and today
This image is a screen capture of Google search results in 2010 on a desktop computer for the search “Denver motorcycle accident lawyer.” The Google ad boxes are outlined in red at the top and side of the organic search results. The organic search results are outlined in green.
Now, Google has changed to become the new Yellow Pages. If Google thinks you’re searching for a personal injury lawyer on a desktop computer, every result above the fold (without scrolling down the page) is a Google ad.
This is a screenshot showing a comparison of the same search result for “Denver motorcycle accident lawyer” on a desktop computer in 2018. Today, you can see in this image that Google is showing three ads above the fold. No organic search results are seen on the screen. If someone does not scroll down the screen, they will not see your website!
This image shows a screenshot for the same search result “Denver motorcycle accident lawyer” on a mobile phone. Every result on the screen is a Google Ad for personal injury lawyers.
How a Better Performing Google Ad Improves Performance Exponentially
You think a better-performing Google Ad will get more business for your money but what you may not know is that if your Google Ad performs better than your competitors, your ROI will be compounded.
Google Ads are rated by Google with a Quality Score. A better-performing Google Ad will give you a higher Google Quality Score.
A higher Google Quality Score will reward you with:
- Higher placement in the Google Ad rankings; and
- Lower charge per click!
How much can a high Google Quality Score save you, and how much can a low-Quality Score cost you?
WordStream says a Google Quality Score of 10 will earn you a 50% discount, while a Quality Score of 1 will make you pay a 400% penalty!
WordStream gives an explanation of Google Quality Score and how it affects PPC.
What a Potential Client Does When Searching for a Lawyer on Google
- Searches on Google
- Sees several Google ads
- Clicks on the most noticeable and appealing Google ad
- Contacts the lawyer (hopefully)
Concept of Designing a Google Ad
- Create a Google ad that instantly stands out from the competition.
- Create a Google ad that acts as a magnet enticing the viewer to click on your ad rather than your competitors’ ads.
- Create a custom landing page to increase the probability of the searcher calling you.
Features Which Make Google Ads Successful
Using these features in your Google Ad is known to substantially improve the click-through rate and ROI:
- Brand name
- Trademark symbol ® or ™
- Typographical symbols (such as * + – % @ & $)
- Great offer
- Call to action
Example Google Ad for a Personal Injury Lawyer
This Google Ad for a personal injury lawyer has all the features of a successful PPC ad.
Mobile ad for targeted motorcycle niche cases
Desktop ad for targeted motorcycle niche cases
- Specifically speaks to the problem of the target audience and says what the lawyer does;
- Stands out from competing ads by including a brand and registered trademark symbol; and
- Includes a free offer.
- Includes a free offer;
- Includes a benefit important to the target audience (to prove the accident wasn’t their fault);
- Includes the benefit of personal service;
- Includes a call to action with the convenience to call days/nights/weekends; and
- Repeats the call to action to call now.
Mobile ad for general personal injury cases aimed at targeted geo-location
Designing Google Ads for Lawyers
There is a science to designing Google Ads, but designing Google Ads for lawyers is different than designing a Google ad to sell candy for the holidays.
The above features substantially improve the performance of every type of PPC ad on Google, Bing, and other platforms, but they need to be adapted for lawyer advertising.
Using a brand name is probably the most important and serves two purposes:
- A recognizable brand name or a brand name that just looks like it should be a recognizable name helps your ad to stand out from your competition; and
- A brand is an attractant enticing potential clients to click on your ad.
Some states do not allow lawyers to use a trade name. In those states, lawyers can use a vanity phone number or domain name (website name) such as ChicagoAccidentLawyer.com as effectively as a brand name.
Google does not allow phone numbers in Google Ads, but Google does allow vanity phone numbers because they are brands.
It’s vital to use your vanity phone number in your Google ad title precisely because it is a brand and will make your ad stand out and make the searcher want to click on it.
We just started A/B testing Google ads in New York using 1-800-HURT-911® either in the title or in the description vs. ads with Franckel & Plevy either in the title or in the description (although potential clients see 1-800-HURT-911® in ads, all calls are actually routed through different tracking numbers).
In a comparison test using 1-800-HURT-911® in the title of our Google ads vs. Franckel & Plevy, 1-800-HURT-911® was responsible for a 24.10% cost of advertising savings! The average cost per click was $150.60 for Franckel & Plevy vs. $114.30 for 1-800-HURT-911®.
1-800-HURT-911® produced a 166.66% increase in click/calls; 69.84% share of clicks/calls vs. 30.16% for Franckel & Plevy; and a 44.42% overall conversion rate!
The overall campaign with both ads resulted in an increased share of impressions and a higher average position which can be seen in the screenshot below. The overall cost per case was $792.41. We believe this is due to the high conversion rate of ads using 1-800-HURT-911®.
It’s also important to use your vanity phone number in the ad title so people who have seen your offline advertising or website will recognize your brand when they see your Google Ad.
Tracking vanity phone numbers: You can use a vanity phone number in your Google Ad and still track your phone calls. The vanity phone number is really used to get people to click on your ad. They will call you by clicking on a button or a link from your vanity phone number, which uses a tracking number. Additionally, vanity phone numbers can be tracked, so you can still track anyone who calls your vanity phone number.
The vanity phone number for personal injury lawyers in this Google Ad makes the ad stand out; attracts the searcher’s attention; and makes it more likely that the potential client will click on the ad because it is immediately recognized as a brand (even where it hasn’t been seen yet) and creates an image of a successful personal injury attorney. But we found in testing that our best-performing ads used 1-800-HURT-911® at the beginning of the title.
Trademark symbol ®
A trademark symbol serves two purposes:
- ® visually helps your ad to stand out from an ad with a lot of words.
- ® identifies a brand and signifies recognizable importance. It attracts the searcher, making the searcher want to click on your ad.
A registered trademark ® is best because it is highly recognizable. In fact, ® is itself a brand. But if you don’t have a registered trademark, you can use a common law trademark ™.
Example: White Shark Lawyers™.
I’m using White Shark Lawyers™ as an example instead of Killer Shark Lawyers because personal injury lawyers usually want to portray themselves as aggressive, but that can actually scare off potential clients from calling. White Shark Lawyers™ identifies the personal injury lawyer as aggressive but sounds a little more approachable.
The 411 on Using Numbers
Numbers make PPC ads visually stand out by breaking up blocks of words with just letters. Any number or series of numbers can be used to stand out, but it must meet Google guidelines.
Simply tacking on 999 to your title or headline will make it stand out. But Google doesn’t allow the use of numbers that do not make sense. Google allows 1-800-HURT-911® in the ad title because it’s a trademark. See the example below.
Typographical Symbols * + – % @ # & $
Typographical symbols also make PPC ads visually stand out by breaking up words and letters. That will increase your CTR & ROI $$! But again, it must meet Google guidelines, and it’s next to impossible for a lawyer to do that.
While your Google Ad isn’t going to offer a half-price legal fee, there are things a lawyer can offer. For instance:
- 1/3 Legal Fee paid at end of your case
Your legal fee may be the same as every other personal injury lawyer and paid at the end of the case as with other personal injury lawyers, but this makes your ad stand out.
There are other offers you can make if you just give it some thought. Don’t be afraid of offering the obvious.
Again, there are many benefits that you might be able to offer that other lawyers do not, or you can simply offer obvious benefits.
- We’ll protect your rights right now! (I doubt that Google will allow using an !)
- We do Asset Searches — know when accepting the policy is right (maybe Google will allow those two capital letters and a hyphen)
and my personal favorite:
- Personal service
Call to action
Tell people what to do:
- Call 24/7 & we’ll give you a free consultation on how to protect your rights. Call right now!
When you’re done designing a Google Ad for lawyers, it should look like this
Google Ads are very expensive, and you should expect to pay 15% of your budget to a Google Ad manager. The last thing you want to do is waste your money.
If you send click-throughs to the homepage of your website, you will have an abysmal conversion rate. You may as well send people to your competitor’s website.
You must use a landing page. Just as important, you must use a custom-designed landing page. And, just as important, you should use several custom-designed landing pages designed specifically for what the potential client is searching for.
It’s vital that your custom-designed landing pages are well designed by experienced landing page designers. The statistics reported by Search Engine Land show why.
Search Engine Land reports:
- Approximately 25% of all Google Ad accounts are converting less than 1%!
- The median conversion rate for the legal industry is 2.07%
- The top 25% of legal ads convert 4.12%
- The top 10% of legal ads convert 6.46%
Should You Use a Google Ad Campaign Manager?
Answer these two questions.
- Do you have the knowledge, skills, and experience to set up and manage your ad campaigns?
- Do you have the time to set up, manage and monitor the campaigns?
I have the knowledge and skills to run a Google ad campaign, but I don’t have the time, so I hired a Google ad campaign manager.
If you have the time, you might be tempted to set up a Google account and do-it-yourself, but it’s a lot easier and will cost you a lot less at the end of the month if you use a PPC manager.
This is a list of just some of the things a PPC manager will do for you:
- Set up Google and/or other PPC campaigns
- Design your Google Pay Per Click Ads
- Design and create custom landing pages
- Bid optimization
- Keyword optimization
- Negative keywords
- Improve Quality Score
- A/B Ad Testing – Image Ad Split Testing
- Competitor analysis
- PPC Call Tracking
- ROI Conversion Tracking
- Bid Modifiers
- Geo-Targeting improvements
- Device adjustments
- Landing page heat maps
- Day Parting analysis
- Click fraud detection
- Obtain reimbursement for click fraud
A Pay Per Click ad manager usually charges a minimum monthly fee and 15% of your advertising budget after you meet the minimum. There is usually a three-month minimum commitment.
The minimum commitment is necessary to perform an analysis of your campaign and fine-tune adjustments for optimal performance. Although the minimum commitment is usually three months, I suggest a minimum commitment of 6-9 months to get a clear picture of your results.
Read about how to design landing pages for lawyers
Philip L. Franckel, Esq., is the author of this article.
Phil Franckel is the owner of 1-800-HURT-911® and over 1,100 domain names. He is a personal injury lawyer and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the NYS Trial Lawyers Association. He is an expert in branding, advertising, marketing, and SEO. He has been doing SEO since 1994.
Phil Franckel has written and produced TV commercials for lawyers and other industries and has been a consultant to businesses, including several using vanity phone numbers. Phil writes a blog about lawyer advertising at LawyerAdvertisingBlog.com.
Phil Franckel began a mail order business in 8th grade, bought and sold coin-operated amusement games in 10th grade, and a used car business in 12th grade through college. After law school, he worked in the wholesale diamond business and part-time for a TV production company. Later, while a lawyer at a large personal injury law firm, he worked part-time for ABC Wide World of Sports and ABC Monday Night Baseball.
Phil Franckel then started a personal injury law practice and is a former member of the Board of Directors of the NYS Trial Lawyers Association.
In his spare time, Phil Franckel became an Aux. Police Cadet in 12th grade and is the Commanding Officer of the Communications Bureau, NCPD Aux. Police Section.
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