In our previous blog posts, we explained what search engine marketing is and why it’s important to incorporate both SEO and SEM into your legal firm business. Now that you understand what SEM is, it’s time for you to create your first Adwords campaign. Continue reading to find out how you can do that.
Here, we will explain the basic steps that you need to take to set up a search advertising campaign. This article is a collection of actionable steps and pieces of advice that you can use when you decide to start advertising your firm on Google.
Without further ado, here’s exactly what you need to do to set up an Adwords camapaign.
Step 1 – Specify your budget and your goals
This might seem obvious, but it’s the basic things that are often overlooked. Before you start an Adwords campaign, you need to see if there is any customer demand or opportunity for your firm.
You can create the best ad in the world, but if you target the wrong people, it will fail miserably. Moreover, it will cost you dearly and bring little to no results. That’s why it’s important to do proper research before you start any advertising campaign.
Specify your budget, identify your potential clients and target niche keywords. Your keywords should contain buyer intent – there’s no point targeting general terms, like law or legal. Instead try Phoenix bicycle accident lawyer.
If there is no buyer intent, people will not be encouraged to buy your service. At best, they will see your ad and quickly go over it. At worst, they will check out your website and leave after a few minutes, accruing costs to your ad campaign.
In fact, not only will this bring little results, but it will also cost you a lot, because simple keywords are always more expensive to advertise.
All of this means you need to tailor your campaign carefully. Luckily, you can use the Keyword Planner tool to find your target audience and keywords.
After you finish this step, it’s time to start creating your first advertising campaign.
Step 2 – Select the campaign type
After you’ve identified lucrative opportunities for your law firm, you should consider what campaign type you want to run. While you could technically choose any campaign type that you want, it’s best if you select Search Advertising, where your firm’s ad will appear in Google search results. The alternative is Display Advertising, where your ad will run on someone else’s website.
We won’t get into all the technicalities here, but practice has shown that especially for lawyers, the best return on investment with search advertising. In case you want to raise your brand awareness, you should probably opt for Search Advertising with Display Network.
Step 3 – Choose the ad location
We’ve already talked about this in our earlier posts. Legal firms need to create a hyperlocalized service. Their websites, marketing and advertising campaigns should all target a specific area.
It might be tempting to target the entire country. More people seeing the ad = more clients, right?
Wrong. The chances of someone from the other end of the country calling your firm and scheduling a meeting are virtually zero. You’re wasting your money on it. Instead, focus to the area that you could service best, likely the area where your office is located.
Step 4 – Set your bidding strategy
If you don’t want to spend too much time on your ad, you can use the automatic bidding strategy. This will allow Google to choose the search terms for your firm to advertise in. This will bring you decent results and you won’t have to put a lot of time into. However, there are problems with automatic bidding. Automatic bidding might not narrow the search terms specifically enough or tailor them to your law firm’s practice area. It might also not be the most cost-efficient when choosing advertising search terms.
If you want optimal results, you should set your bidding strategy manually. Manual bidding will help you better understand Adwords better and tailor your campaigns to your firm. Don’t be afraid to try out different strategies – you can always go back to automatic bidding.
Step 5 – Write your ad text
This step is possibly the most important in the entire advertising process. You need to write a compelling ad copy that includes your target keywords in the headline.
It’s been shown that people are more likely to click on an ad if it contains the precise phrase that they searched in its headline. Bear this in mind when you’re writing the ad.
Here, it’s especially important that you follow Google’s guidelines on ad creation. That means no improper capitalization, playful symbols or emoticons in the ad. Adwords will reject your campaign before it even starts running, if it contains a headline like *L*E*G*A*L Consultation.
Step 6 – Include your keywords
At this moment, you’ve finished almost everything that needs to be done. Now, it’s time for you to paste the keywords that you want to target in the Keywords field.
Similar to target audience, you should not be looking to include as many keywords as you can. Instead, try to target the most important keywords only. You can add more keywords later when you analyze the ad’s performance.
Step 7 – Decide on your maximum cost-per-click
In the end, you need to decide on your maximum cost-per-click to optimize the spending of your total budget. If you’re targeting a handful of keywords, it’s best to set a specific maximum cost-per-click amount for each target keyword.
Each keyword participates in another market with varying prices, which means that a certain maximum cost-per-click might work well for some keywords, but fail for others. Of course, you adjust this later as well, if you’re unhappy with the results that you get from your ad.
And that’s it! Now, you know how to create your first Adwords campaign. All that is left for you to do is sign up your law firm for Adwords and start working on your search advertising campaign.
However, before you launch any campaign, remember to double-check everything. You don’t want to miss out on potential clients due to poor spelling or wording that could easily be fixed.
Does your firm use Adwords campaigns? Do you use manual bidding? Do you use Display Campaigns? Please drop your feedback in the comments.