Thinking of using online advertising to promote your law firm? If you’re planning to use pay-per-click advertising with Google, you could be in for a hefty bill—depending on your practice area.
For the uninitiated, pay-per-click (PPC), or cost-per-click (CPC), is an advertising model that allows companies to place ads on third-party websites; businesses pay a fee each time the ad is clicked by a user. For ads on Google, the most popular website in the world, advertisers bid to appear in results for specific search terms. For popular terms, bidding wars can run costs up fast.
It isn’t a secret that legal terms account for many of the most expensive keywords to advertise with. According to an infographic put out by marketing company Hubspot, nine of the ten most expensive keywords to advertise with came from the legal sector.
More specifically, most of the top terms are accident related, at least in the United States. We’ve put together a more recent list of the most expensive terms; see them for yourself below:
Why the focus on accidents? And how did the cost get so high?
There could be a high volume of attorneys bidding on these terms, and as the number of bids increases, the price goes up.
Also, those bidding to advertise on these terms can afford to bid high. Personal injury lawyers commonly charge a contingency fee of about 33 percent of any settlement the client receives, and settlement amounts for these types of cases can be quite high—sometimes as much as several million dollars. Clearly, there’s a lot at stake.
How do other practice areas stack up?
For practice areas outside of personal injury law, legal keywords can still be expensive to use.
Take criminal law, for example. The suggested bid for “felony defense attorney” is $66.61, and it’s $75.05 for “Los Angeles criminal lawyer.”
For other practice areas, such as family law, the cost is more reasonable. The cost per click for “family divorce lawyer” is $25.69, and for “top divorce lawyers,” it’s $25.34. Costs are even cheaper for “divorce rights” ($3.11 per click) and “divorce custody” ($2.79 per click).
It’s a similar case for immigration lawyers—you could pay $16.62 per click to advertise on search results for the keyword “international immigration law firm” or $2.87 per click to advertise on “immigration help.”
In other words, there’s a large variance in costs for legal terms in PPC advertising. Furthermore, many of these examples are national search terms—when bidding on local terms (e.g., Arizona divorce lawyer, New York divorce lawyer) costs may vary even more.
How to save money on law firm advertising
PPC advertising with Google can be expensive, especially for certain practice areas. Clicks (and costs) can add up quickly, and if your ad isn’t bringing in new clients, your marketing spend will be all for naught.
However, PPC isn’t the only way to advertise your law firm online.
Social media advertising is one alternative to look at. Consider: Facebook has over 1.4 billion monthly active users, and Facebook advertising is much cheaper than advertising on Google—the going rate for “divorce lawyer” on Google in the U.S. is roughly $25 per click, but for the same price, you could get at least 1,000 users on Facebook to view a video with helpful divorce-related advice.
There are also a number of places where lawyers can advertise online for free. Yelp and Google maps are two good examples of this (and don’t forget your state bar directory).
The bottom line is, get informed about where you spend your marketing dollars, and make sure you’re aware of all the options.
On a similar note, make sure you’re tracking your spend and the performance of your ads, so that you know they’re actually working. Otherwise, your marketing dollars won’t be as effective as they could be.
Want to learn more about online marketing for law firms? Check out our guide, Law Firm Marketing 101.
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