A Brief Guide To SEM

In our previous blog posts, we covered the basics of digital marketing and explained how you can optimize your law firm’s marketing with no investments. Apart from your time, of course.

Now, we will deal with the paid SEO techniques and define “search engine marketing” (SEM). As we mentioned in the previous posts, you don’t necessarily have to invest any money in SEM. If you follow our advanced guide to search engine optimization, your business will improve. However, to achieve the best results, you will need to combine the free SEO methods with paid SEM.

Continue reading to find out how to help your law firm grow faster than ever before.

What is SEM?

SEM and Online Advertising

SEM refers to the use of paid listings to increase the visibility of your business on the Internet. Now, the term can encompass various techniques, but it is typically used for:

  • Paid search advertising
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) ads
  • Cost-per-click (CPC) ads
  • Cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) ads

What SEM platforms to use?

There are countless SEM platforms that you can use to advertise your law firm. However, in reality, you should only be looking to use one of the three main search engines and their platforms:

  • Google Adwords
  • Bing Ads
  • Yahoo: Search Ads

Of course, we recommend that you go with Google, but you should know that Bing and Yahoo ads may be cheaper to run. If you’re looking to spend the absolute minimum amount, you might want to try them out as well.

In the unlikely event that you’re targeting the Asian market (especially China), you should focus on Baidu and Sogou for advertising.

Similarly, if you decide to go with Google, you can optimize your campaigns to be more economical. Now, it would probably take us around 10 articles to explain all the ins and outs of Adwords. Plus, it wouldn’t be nowhere near as good as the free online course that Google offers to everyone.

Academy for Ads – how to start making advertising campaigns

Academy For Ads

If you’ve never used Adwords, we strongly advise you to complete the Adwords courses on Google’s Academy for Ads. They’re very useful and they can all be finished within a day or two. What’s more, they’re completely free.

As an added bonus, you will become a certified Adwords manager once you finish at least two online courses (one basic and one advanced).

In any case, the time you spend reading up on Adwords management will undoubtedly yield results sooner or later. Once you pass the exams, it’s only a matter of practice.

Don’t hesitate to play around with different Adwords features and functions. In the beginning, you should focus on collecting advertising data. Later, you will use that data to optimize your campaigns and use SEM with the highest possible return on investment (ROI).

Practical tips for your first SEM campaign

Now, we understand that it can be hard to begin, even when you have all the necessary knowledge from the Academy for Ads. That’s why we will share some practical tips and tricks to help you start your first advertising campaign.

Prioritize smartphone searches

The days of sitting behind your desk, googling for stuff on the Internet are long gone. Nowadays, almost everyone uses their smartphone to search for the information that they need, including searching for lawyers. In fact, Google estimates that up to 70% of all searches will come from mobile devices within the next year or two.

This means you should make your law firm’s ads mobile-friendly. Moreover, it means you should target mobile users with your campaigns.

List your services in the ad copy

This one is just common sense. But you’d be surprised how many lawyers forget to list their legal services in the ad description. Instead, they usually write up a brief summary of the law firm or use a call to action in the description.

However, that strategy doesn’t work as well as you might have thought.

The call to action should always be placed in the title, where it’s more prominent. Your ad should contain an easy-to-understand list of all the legal services that you offer. There’s no need to describe your company here – people can read about it once they visit your website.

Start small and work your way up

We already mentioned that your first campaigns will not really be effective. They’re meant to provide you with valuable advertising data and you should not expect instant results from them. This is why it’s important that you start out small – set a modest daily budget in the beginning. Then, slowly increase your budget and direct your finances in accordance with the data.

Similarly, you should start with low-competition keywords simply because they will be easier to rank for. We explained how you can use the Keyword Planner tool to find low-competition keywords.

In addition to that, the ad price will be significantly lower. That will allow you to test your ad across different devices and locations and see how it performs.

Conclusion

That’s all for our first article on search engine advertising. Check back our blog next week for more useful information on how to advertise your legal firm and improve your visibility in the highly competitive digital market. If you want to see what a top legal SEO company does, you can read our review of BluShark, a leading legal company in the field of SEO.

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