In my experience auditing pay-per-click (PPC) accounts for law firms, I have found that firms often make similar mistakes in setting up and managing their PPC accounts. These mistakes can end up costing the firm thousands of dollars in irrelevant ad spend. The key to successful PPC is targeting the most appropriate audience in the most cost-effective way possible. Let’s go through some of these common PPC mistakes and make sure your firm is not wasting its advertising budget.
1. Poor Geographic-Targeting
The beauty of PPC is its ability to target people living in or around your firm’s office location. However, in many cases, firms mistakenly target the entire United States instead of their relatively small geographic location. When setting up your PPC campaign it is critical that you adjust the area you want your ads targeted. The default setting is the entire United States. If this is not changed, you could find yourself spending a ton of money on traffic that is much less likely to bring your firm cases.
2. Targeting the Display Network
Another common mistake firms make is having their PPC campaigns running on both the search and display networks. Knowing the difference between these two options and the search network allows your ads to show on the top of the page in a Google search. This network will typically bring you a better ROI. The search network is more effective because you can specifically target people looking to hire an attorney in your practice areas based on keyword selection.
The display network is Google’s network for advertising sponsored ads in places besides its search engine. This can include YouTube, Google partnering websites, and other Google properties. If this setting is turned on, you could show your ads to thousands of people who may have no interest in hiring an attorney. The display network can generate irrelevant traffic and typically has a lower conversion and click-through rate than the search network.
When creating a PPC campaign, the default setting is to have your ads run on both networks. However, this will cause you to spend your daily budget quicker and less effectively. It is extremely important to select the search network only when setting up the targeting of your ads.
3. Poorly Chosen Keywords
It is important to have a variety of keyword match types in order to garner both significant and relevant traffic. The majority of inexperienced PPC managers will put a large list of broad match keywords into their campaigns and start spending money.
The problem with this approach is that you will attract a lot of irrelevant traffic to your site. For example, if you Google search “attorney jobs,” you will see firms appearing in the paid search ads. However, the attorneys who placed the ads are not targeting people looking for jobs; they want to reach people who have been injured at work or those looking to hire an attorney. This is a common mistake with broad match keywords.
It is important that if you use broad match keywords you also add negative keywords to your accounts or you will continue to spend your budget without getting quality leads. It is recommended that you use broad match modifier keywords as opposed to broad match because they will eliminate the really irrelevant traffic which broad match keywords might attract. Your keyword selection process is one of the most significant steps in setting up your PPC account, so it is important to take the time to effectively craft a thorough keyword list.
4. No Conversion Tracking
The most frustrating mistake I see is when a law firm is not tracking conversions (leads) that are generated from their PPC campaign. It is impossible to see how effective your PPC is operating when you do not have conversion tracking implemented. It is also extremely important to track all of your conversion funnels: calls, chats, form fills, etc. This will allow you to properly calculate the ROI and make informed optimizations to your campaigns. Accurate conversion tracking is so important that it is a good idea to perform a regular test conversion to make sure you’re tracking everything you need to be tracking.
5. Poor Ad Copy
It is extremely important for the ad to reflect the keywords you are targeting. Put keywords into your ad copy for which you are serving the ad. Not only will your ad be more relevant but the keywords in it are going to be bold. It is also critical to have strong calls to action in order to compel the user to click your ad over the countless others. If your ad has similar wording to the user’s search query as well as a strong call to action, your ad will have a marked advantage over the competition. This will improve the click-through rate of your ads and the quality score of your keywords. The better your quality score the less you will have to spend per click, so always strive to improve your quality score and save money.