Online Advertising 101
How to Get Clients with Google AdWords
To get new clients, many lawyers still turn to media like the Yellow Pages, TV, radio and newspapers. Eventually, most discover these options are expensive, ineffective and frustrating. Some lawyers are experimenting with Google AdWords for better leads, finding it can be a cost-effective way to generate inquiries from quality prospects in a short time. And its return on investment can be significantly higher than traditional advertising avenues.
Here’s how to create a smart Google AdWords campaign.
Step 1: Set up a high-converting landing page. When you create an ad with AdWords, you are asking people to click a link to learn more about you. Don’t send people to your website’s home page. It’s too distracting and conversions — the number of visitors who actually call your office or respond in some way — will be low. We find conversions in this case are generally about 3 percent or so.
Instead, send visitors to a special landing page on your website that focuses on their specific problem and shows how your firm can solve it. For example, if yours is a family law practice and you want to bring in more adoption clients, send people to a page that talks only about adoption, not your entire practice. Conversions will be much higher — up to 10 to 20 percent.
Here are the main elements of a high-converting landing page:
- A well-defined call to action (i.e., call your office)
- A backup call to action (e.g., fill out a form so a staff member can follow up)
- Headlines and body copy that focus on the benefits the prospect will receive
- Space for video or pictures
Step 2: Write a good ad. Google gives you a limited amount of space to write your actual ad, so you must make the most of it. Start with your headline. If you are targeting people who have decided to get a divorce and you practice in Dallas, simply use the specific search term and the city you practice in. For example, in this case the headline would read, “Divorce Lawyer Dallas.”
Next you will be given two 35-character lines to finish out your ad. I like to include a benefit and a call to action.
Maybe you offer a free consultation. In that case your first line could read, “Keep What’s Rightfully Yours” (the potential benefit). The second line could read, “Call Now For Your Free Consultation.”
This is a great formula to start with, because it’s been proven to work. Once you have one ad running, create a second, slightly different ad to test against it. Pick the winner and repeat the process.
Google loves when you improve your ads. In fact, Google will often move your ad up to a more prominent spot on the page (that’s more potential clicks) and charge you less for each click (so your cost per lead drops).
Step 3: Start tracking the phone calls. Whether you hire someone to handle your AdWords campaign or you do it yourself, you will be flying blind without a way to track responses. Call conversion-tracking software allows you to see which ads actually produced phone calls to your office.
For example, let’s say the first ad has a click-through rate (CTR) of 2.5 percent (meaning 2.5 percent of your total audience clicked through to your landing page), while your second ad’s CTR is 3 percent. Ad two is the winner, right?
With call-tracking software, you may discover that ad two has a higher CTR, but fewer people actually called your office once they got to the landing page. Ad one is the winner because it generated more phone calls to your office, and a lower cost per lead or phone call.
The more information you have, the more you can tweak your ad campaign to get better results.
I hear from lawyers all the time who say they tried AdWords and it doesn’t work, or it’s too expensive. That’s true, if you’re using it the wrong way. Follow the basic process I’ve explained here and you’ll likely discover AdWords can be your best source of reliable, high-quality leads.
Curtis Alexander is a digital marketing strategist, author and speaker. His firm focuses exclusively on helping small to medium-size law firms leverage the web to transform their business. Learn more at www.curtismalexander.com, and follow Curtis on Twitter @CurtMAlexander.
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