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(With clicks costs and competition on the rise in AdWords for family law attorneys, it's more important than ever to make sure your campaign is profitable for your firm. AdWords is arguably the most effective way to generate leads and grow your family law practice... IF you use it correctly. Implementing just 1 or 2 of the tips below will go a long way toward improving your results and profitability with AdWords.)
1. The MOST Critical Piece of the Puzzle
(That Over 90% of AdWords Advertisers Still Ignore)
This is the most common and damaging mistake family law firms make when spending money on AdWords. (And, as we’ll show you below, fixing this mistake can EASILY double your leads without costing you a penny more on AdWords clicks).
It’s the mistake of sending AdWords traffic to the existing pages on your main website.
Why is this a mistake? You paid good money for a web designer to create your website, right? Why shouldn’t you send AdWords traffic to it?
Well, as well-designed as the current pages on your website may be, in most situations they make for very poor landing pages for a PPC campaign (a landing page being the page on your site that a prospect first lands on after clicking your ad).
People don’t have very long attention spans online… ESPECIALLY those coming from AdWords where the people clicking on your ad have no idea who you are. So sending them to a website with lots of information, links, etc. does not work well. See, all that information and all those links are essentially rabbit holes that visitors (especially PPC visitors) will go down, get distracted and never come back.
That’s why we’ve found the MOST effective AdWords landing pages should be totally focused on the keywords you are bidding on (divorce, child custody, etc.), have no links at the top leading to other pages on your site, and make it very clear WHY and HOW a potential prospect can contact you. (Here’s a free landing page template you can download to see what an effective landing page looks like).
You can have the most amazing, well-constructed AdWords campaign in the world but if you send the traffic from it to a poorly constructed landing page, most of that traffic will go to waste.
When talking about AdWords, very few people mention the landing page. And that’s a shame because a good landing page is the most important part of an AdWords campaign and can make or break the campaign’s success.
Let’s say your current website converts about 5% of AdWords traffic into leads. If you start sending that traffic to an effective landing page optimized for AdWords that converts at 10% (and a good landing page should convert in the 10% - 25% range), you have just DOUBLED your leads for the same amount of money spent on clicks.
The bottom line here is this... a good landing page can DOUBLE your leads from AdWords overnight.
2. Stop Paying for Keywords That Have No Shot of Landing You Clients
This is one of the low hanging fruits that can instantly have a huge impact on your campaign. With click costs being so high you do not want to pay for clicks that have no chance of resulting in clients for you!
Negative keywords in a campaign gives Google a list of words that you DO NOT want your ads to appear for when someone types them into Google.
In a family law campaign, you want to make sure your campaigns have negative keywords like “free” and “pro bono” (even if you do some pro bono work, you probably don’t want to pay for expensive clicks to advertise that fact!).
It also makes sense to eliminate words like salary, career, job, degree, etc. that are typed in by job seekers and not those looking to hire a family law attorney.
Lastly, depending on how your campaign is set up and if you have a specific area of specialty within family law, you may want to add negative keywords like estate planning, personal injury, trusts or adoption if you don't handle that type of work.
In AdWords there is a “Search Term” report which lets you see the actual search terms people typed into Google that triggered your ads. It’s a good idea to look through this report every few weeks or so to identify search terms you don’t want your ads appearing for.
Depending on how your campaign is configured you may see terms that include the names of cities you don’t serve, areas of law you don’t practice in and other irrelevant search terms.
Adding these as negative keywords on a regular basis will help ensure your marketing dollars are directed ONLY towards the most highly relevant and valuable searches related to your practice!
3. How Your Ads Can Take Up More Space (And Get More Eyeballs) on Google
If you walk into Best Buy, which gets your attention first? The huge 55+ inch flat screen HDTVs or the smaller 28 inch TVs?
It’s no different in AdWords. If you just rely on your ad copy (a scant 25-character headline and two 35-character lines of text) to carry the day, you’re missing out.
Google gives advertisers the opportunity to use ad extensions… additional bits of information shown around your ad that go a long way to making your ads stand out from the competition in the AdWords auction. And, like those monster flat screen TVs, they draw a lot more eyeballs to your ads.
Ad extensions are additional pieces of information you can use to enhance your ad – both by giving you more room for ad copy and also to help your ad physically take up more space (taking up more pixels = greater likelihood your ad gets noticed!).
Here are the ad extensions available to attorneys and we suggest you use ANY and ALL of them you can:
Location extension – Adds your address below your ad (you need a Google My Business account to use these)
Call extension – Adds your phone number next to your ad
Sitelink extensions – Arguably the most important ad extension, this gives you the ability to add additional links under your ad. This gives you a place to fit info you couldn’t fit in your “regular” ad copy and also links prospects to the information they are most interested in. Sitelinks only appear when your ad is ranked in the top 3 ads in the auction.
Callout extensions – These are very similar to sitelink extensions except they are not links. They are simply additional snippets of text (25-character max each) that can appear under your ad.
Review extension – Lets you link to a 3rd party review or endorsement of you or your firm. This cannot be a review left by a client… it has to come from a respected source like an industry organization or credible media source.
Structured snippet extension – This one is BRAND new as of August 2015 and is very similar to the Callout extension. We haven't seen any family law firm take advantage of these yet so is an opportunity for first movers.
Look at this ad that takes advantage of most of the ad extensions mentioned above:
And compare that to this one:
Which ad stands out more to you? It stands out more to clients too!
It doesn’t cost anything extra to use ad extensions in AdWords so there’s no excuse to take full advantage of them and have your ads fill up as many pixels on Google as possible!
4. Get Complete Transparency on Which Keywords and Ads Are Making Your Phone Ring
This ONE concept has made the single BIGGEST difference in how effective we are in managing AdWords campaigns for family law attorneys.
Why? Because when we used to manage these campaigns the biggest challenge was tracking leads and showing an ROI. Yes, we could see keywords and clicks and things like that but, ultimately, AdWords needs to be generating leads for your law firm to be worth the investment.
And because most leads for a family law firms come via phone calls, tracking leads was nearly impossible.
(Now, yes, you could use a dedicated tracking number that would give you an idea of how many total calls the campaign generated. However, while that’s better than nothing, it doesn't tell you what you really need to know to properly optimize and improve local business campaigns... which keywords and ads are actually making the phone ring.)
Dynamic call tracking, on the other hand, provides that information so for the first time you can see, directly in AdWords, which keywords and ads are generating leads and which aren’t.
This is huge… we’ve seen situations in campaigns for lawyers where a keyword (which you would think is one of the more relevant, obvious keywords to bid on) racked up over $2900 in ad spend. However, because Dynamic Call Tracking was in place we saw the keyword did not produce a single lead despite all the money spent on it. Here’s a screenshot:
Being able to see that data we were able to pause that keyword so the attorney didn’t keep throwing his money away on it and instead focused his budget on the keywords that were actually producing leads.
I don’t use the words “Game Changer” very often, but in the case of Dynamic Call Tracking those words truly apply. We won’t run an AdWords campaign without it any longer and suggest you don’t either.
Without it you are flying blind.
5. Optimizing Your Campaign for the Most Important Data and Understanding Your ROI
One of the most frustrating parts of AdWords for attorneys is that most have no idea whether they are getting enough clients from AdWords to justify what they’re spending.
And when you aren’t accurately tracking all your leads by using things like Dynamic Call Tracking there’s no way to know. Instead you have to look at things like keywords, clicks, Clickthrough Rates and other metrics to measure performance. And while those metrics can provide important insights, they don’t tell you about the 2 MOST important metrics you do need to keep your eye on in AdWords… leads and ROI.
If you are going to keep investing $1000s in AdWords each month, you should have a clear understanding of whether or not it’s generating any new business for you!
How many leads is it generating each month?
Which keywords and ads are producing those leads?
For every dollar you invest in AdWords, are you losing money? Making the $1 back? Making $2 or $5 or $10 back?
Those are the questions you need and DESERVE the answers to if you are spending money on AdWords.
Not only that, but you (or whoever is managing your campaign) needs to have that Dynamic Call Tracking data to do an effective job in optimizing your campaign and improving performance over time. Optimizing a campaign for clicks and Clickthrough Rates simply doesn’t cut it when you are paying $20 to $50 PER CLICK as many family law attorneys do.
As you saw in the example we shared in the previous section about the attorney spending a lot of money on a keywords that didn’t generate a single phone call… being able to accurately identify the EXACT keywords and ads that are producing the leads for your firm makes a huge difference.
It lets your focus your budget on the keywords that make the phone ring while your competitors battle it out and waste their money on the unprofitable keywords.
6. How to Get Your Potential Clients to Improve Your AdWords Account
This is one of the MOST effective ways to improve the results of your campaign over time and stay ahead of the competition (because most of your competitors and those who manage their PPC campaigns are too lazy to do this on an ongoing basis).
It’s a strategy called split testing.
A split test is where you essentially hold a competition between two or more ads to see which one performs the best. When you have a winner, you pause the losing ad and replace it with a new ad that then goes head to head with the winning ad and the competition starts all over again.
Split testing helps you identify the ad copy that resonates the most with your ideal prospects. This is important because, at the end of the day, even top marketers don’t know exactly what ad copy will perform the best… it’s ultimately up to your prospects to decide that.
Do they care most about your 25 years of experience, A+ BBB rating, that you specialize in working with women going through a divorce, a free consultation or something else? You can guess but split testing is the only way to get the right answer.
Another huge benefit of split testing is it increases the Clickthrough Rates (CTRs) of your campaigns over time. And because CTRs directly impact how much you pay for clicks, by improving your CTRs you can end up paying less for clicks than your competitors yet still have your ads appear higher than theirs in the AdWords auction!
Very few things can have as big an impact on your campaign's performance and profitability as regular split testing.
7. Precisely Targeting Your Ads to Get More Clicks and Clients
One mistake I still frequently see in AdWords campaigns for family law attorneys is that they just have a laundry list of keywords stuffed into a campaign with one ad serving all of them.
What’s wrong with this?
Well, someone searching for a divorce attorney should see an ad that SPECIFICALLY mentions divorce. Someone else searching for a child custody attorney should see an ad that specifically mentions child custody.
The way you do this is by creating ad groups in your AdWords campaign. (An ad group is simply a collection of highly related keywords and ads.)
At the very least, all your divorce related keywords should go in their own ad group that has ads that reference your expertise in handling divorces.
Even better is to further segment your keywords and have an ad group for “divorce lawyer” related keywords with ads that specifically mention “divorce lawyer” in the ad copy and another one with “divorce attorney” related keywords with ads that specifically mention “divorce attorney” in them.
This may seem like overkill, but the more closely the messaging in your ads matches what’s going on in your prospects’ head, the better the chance you have of her clicking your ad and contacting your firm.
AdWords is a highly competitive and expensive game so it’s worth doing whatever you can to improve your chances of your ads getting the clicks instead of your competitors’ ads.
Bonus Tip: Don’t Let This Sabotage All Your Marketing Efforts
This tip isn’t directly related to your AdWords campaign or landing page but is a CRITICAL component to your success in AdWords (and any type of marketing, for that matter).
How incoming leads are handled in your firm can make a HUGE difference in the profitability of your campaigns.
This means, at the very least, responding to leads immediately by making sure a live person picks up every incoming phone call and/or having someone monitoring your email Inbox and immediately responding to all incoming leads. (Your chances of landing a client go WAY up if you are the first attorney that is available to talk with them.)
Also, having some sort of sales training for those answering the phone in your office is important too. Anyone who answers the phone in your office is a salesperson. So getting them training whether it’s a book on sales, a full-blown sales course, or even bringing in a sales trainer to work with your staff personally is an extremely worthy investment.
Think about this… let’s say you normally get 1 out of 4 potential clients who call you to become a client. If you can bump that up to 2 out of 4 by having someone skilled in sales answering your phone/responding to leads, you have just DOUBLED your practice.
You don’t want to let your staff wing it on the phone with prospects – it costs you WAY too much. At the very least develop a standard script that everyone uses when answering the phone and talking to potential clients. Better again is to get them some sales training.
Doing so will boost the profitability of your AdWords campaign and ALL your marketing.
Are there some simple changes that can dramatically improve the results of your family law firm's AdWords campaign? Click below to find out by requesting a free, no-obligation audit of your campaign today.
Adam Kreitman the owner of Words That Click named one of the Best Marketing firms in St. Louis for the last 4 years. He is a lead generation expert for law firms and other local businesses. He has been a regular contributor to top Internet Marketing blogs and was the Online Marketing expert on the "The Rise To The Top" which appeared on ABC TV. He was also named to a list of 20 "Smokin' Hot Pieces of Brain Candy"by someone who knows these things.
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