The decision to opt for pay-per-click advertising (known as PPC ads in the marketing industry) is often one that most law firms are presented with at one point or another. PPC ads can contribute greatly to your firm’s overall marketing plan, but there’s no denying that they aren’t always the answer – and certainly aren’t the end-all-be-all – for every firm’s digital portfolio. At Black fin we recommend paid ads through our partner Juris Digital.
So, when exactly should a law firm start to consider paying for PPC advertising?
While so much of this question will be dependent on the specifics of your firm, we can say definitively that, like many other marketing strategies, there certainly are situations in which PPC ads are a worthy investment. If your firm is seeking to expand clientele within a specific target audience, PPC ads may be right for you. If your firm has the time, budget, and an existing marketing plan, PPC ads could serve as a great addition.
Conversely, if your firm is still in the beginning stages of developing a targeted consumer audience, still expanding an existing (and organic) digital marketing plan, or if your firm is unable to work with a growing caseload or the budget needs of PPC ads, it might be wise to reconsider adding them to your scheme sometime in the future instead.
Here, we’ll dive into what PPC ads are, how they can help your firm, and when it’s best to adopt them into your firm’s marketing repertoire.
What Exactly Are PPC Ads?
As the name implies, PPC ads work in a way such that advertisers only pay for the clicks that their promoted content garner (using some measurement, whether on a click-by-click basis or after a specific number of impressions has been achieved).
PPC ads, much like the work of search engine optimization (SEO), are considered to be inorganic (i.e., paid or boosted) forms of advertising that are best used as part of a balanced marketing campaign: one that prioritizes both organic and inorganic content promotion methods.
How Can PPC Ads Help Your Firm’s Marketing Plan?
One of the biggest advantages when using PPC advertising is an advertiser’s ability to tailor content toward specific audiences. Either by designating particular keywords in searches or by simply using a series of demographic information, PPC ads can be directed at intended viewers more quickly and easily.
And, with an estimated 41 percent of overall clicks being performed on the first three paid ads featured in consumer search results, PPC ads can mean wide exposure for your law firm’s practice areas.
Of course, as is the case with all forms of marketing, PPC ads can be highly beneficial in your firm’s overall digital branding – though they may not be right for every firm. We advise that you investigate PPC ads for your own firm and market test their success before deciding to heavily invest in them as a primary marketing source.
Generally speaking, PPC advertising data are pretty reliable when it comes to letting your firm know how financially successful they are. As such, based on the data, your firm can make the decision to continue (or even increase) spending on PPC ads, depending on their overall return on investment (ROI) compared to dollars spent per ad.
5 Situations When a Law Firm Should Opt for PPC Ads
1. When Looking to Grow Firm Clientele
If your firm is fervently looking to grow its clientele, then PPC ads can be an excellent growth resource. According to one source, PPC advertising can generate internet traffic boosts with a nearly 50 percent increase in lead conversion rates as compared to organic marketing methods.
That being said, it’s important that your firm consider whether or not it’s truly equipped to handle new client expansion and development or if it’s better to hold off until the future.
2. When Sure of Target Ad Audience
While most firms and businesses may advertise to multiple target audiences in an effort to reach new clients and retain existing ones, it’s still important to have a pointed, targeted focus when it comes to advertising.
After all, any firm’s nightmare would be spending time, money, and resources on advertising, only to discover that it’s all been wasted on marketing toward the wrong audiences that don’t need the services which your firm’s practice areas offer.
3. When There’s an “All In” Marketing Approach
One of the most important aspects of any firm’s decision to take on new marketing approaches is having the right attitude. The correct attitude: An “all in” marketing strategy that displays your firm’s best attributes and takes its marketing seriously. The incorrect attitude: Imbalanced opinions, differing priorities, and a lack of resources needed to sustain healthy marketing over the long term.
If your firm is the former, congratulations! PPC ads may be just what you’ve been looking for. If your firm fits more into the latter description, focusing on generalized, non-paid marketing approaches will probably be more effective until a stronger consensus is reached toward PPC within your firm.
4. When the Firm’s Budget Allows for PPC
While PPC can be very effective for your firm’s digital marketing outreach, it’s obviously not the cheapest marketing option available. For this reason, it’s important to anticipate your firm’s potential gains and losses with PPC ads, then ensure that the ROI stacks up.
5. When an Existing Marketing Structure Is in Place
Finally, PPC is best used in tandem with an existing marketing plan, not as a stand-alone source of advertising. For example, if your firm is still in the beginning stages of developing your marketing brand and digital presence, PPC ads may not be as effective as when your online brand is already developed and thriving.
As with every marketing option, there’s no absolute guarantee that it will be successful – for myriad reasons. Keeping this aspect in mind becomes particularly important when a firm is considering paid advertising.
5 Situations When a Law Firm Should Reconsider PPC Advertising
1. When There’s No Clear Target Audience
If your firm is undergoing a time of transition, or if your practices are growing and expanding all over the place, perhaps it’s best to wait for things to settle internally before diving into PPC advertising.
Because PPC is so specifically tailored to a targeted demographic, knowing your audience’s locations, income levels, needs and interests, ages, and more are all critical factors. Without being pretty clear on these details, PPC ads will not be as effective.
2. When There Are Budgeting Constraints
Sure, PPC ads aren’t the most expensive forms of advertising, but they certainly cost more than other methods. And we all know there’s nothing worse than wasting your firm’s valuable resources on advertising that isn’t done well or properly invested in.
For this reason, it’s important to avoid “cutting corners” with PPC ads and decide either to properly invest in them now, or wait to invest more fully in the future.
3. When Trying Only Organic Results First
As we’ve mentioned, PPC ads are best used as part of a larger marketing plan, which should include a strong arsenal of organic marketing. Unlike paid or boosted marketing, organic marketing depends on using methods like social media, blogging, and more to ‘naturally’ attract and develop clientele over the long term.
If your organic marketing scheme is still weak or underdeveloped, consider postponing your launch of PPC ads until your firm has a stronger online presence.
4. When There’s No Capacity for More Clientele or Marketing Upkeep of PPC Ads
While determining the specific boost that PPC ads could mean for your firm’s client development will vary depending on many factors, PPC ads are great at reaching more pairs of eyes and boosting content in places that it may not normally appear. As such, it’s important to be sure that your firm is ready and willing to respond positively to the newly generated clientele – just in case you experience a client boom.
Additionally, it’s crucial to realize that PPC ads do also involve a bit of work. Even at a bare minimum, PPC ads produce a lot of data. As such, it’ll be important to be able to dedicate some time and effort toward sifting through this data in order to perfect your firm’s PPC advertising strategy. If your firm is looking to downsize its administrative overhaul or isn’t all that interested in analyzing data, consider turning to other marketing avenues first.
5. When the Firm Doesn’t Have an “All In” Marketing Attitude
There’s no way to be absolutely sure that PPC ads will work for your firm. Therefore, there will always be some element of risk at play when marketing your firm digitally.
As such, it’s up to you to decide whether or not the world of PPC advertising is right for your firm, whether it be now or in the future.
Ready to Look Into PPC?
If your firm has more questions about the PPC advertising world – or if you’ve weighed the pros and cons and think they might be right for you – look no further than our sister company Juris Digital.
We love helping our clients expand their digital marketing by investigating every possible avenue for client outreach and consumer growth. And, we’re pretty darn good at what we do.
If you’d like to learn more about PPC ads or any of our other services (including content creation, web design, SEO, and more), contact us today. We can’t wait to help you get started expanding your client development immediately.