Submitted by Deanna on

Pay-per-click advertising, or PPC, is one of the most popular forms of legal digital marketing available. Legal PPC advertisements work by allowing law firms to pay a set amount each time a potential claimant clicks on a link to their firm’s website. When executed correctly, PPC campaigns can be a profitable way to generate legal leads. On the flip side, a poorly-run PPC campaign can cost your firm thousands per week. Here are some of the pros and cons of starting your own campaign.

Pro: Target the Clients You Want, Quickly

When a consumer enters a phrase (search query) into Google, Yahoo, or Bing, he or she will be shown a mixture of paid and unpaid search results relating to that search. In order for an ad to display on that user’s search engine results page, advertisers bid on words in that query.

Personal Injury Results

PPC campaigns are wonderful in the fact that you can choose the exact keywords you want to bid on. For example, if you’re a personal injury firm, you can bid on popular keywords all relating to auto accidents, or class action lawsuits if you specialize in those claims. Best of all, PPC ads begin running as soon as you’re ready to fund them, so you can drive traffic to your site within a matter of minutes.

Con: Clients in Oversaturated Fields Require High Bids

Depending on your area of law, it might be very challenging to get your ads to show up on Google or Bing. Personal injury law in particular is completely overrun with PPC ads. It’s nearly impossible to find a short keyword relating to personal injury attorneys that returns less than four ads above the organic search results (Google’s current maximum). Some keywords relating to auto accident queries can even cost upwards of $50 per click.

Pro: With PPC, You Spend What Your Firm can Afford

“Traditional” forms of legal marketing, like TV, radio, or print ads, are usually more expensive than PPC campaigns, which is why digital marketing is so favored for smaller firms. For example, pricing from Lamar Advertising show that the average billboard in a moderately-populated area will cost around $2,000 per month, while high-traffic locations like Times Square will set your firm back nearly $10,000 per month for just one billboard.

When working with advertisers like Google or Bing, you can set whatever budget you can afford and still direct some traffic to your firm. If you’d like, it’s entirely possible for Social Security firms to run paid ads for just $10/week. It’s unlikely that you’ll get much traffic or generate many Social Security disability leads, but PPC ads can be adjusted to reflect your current marketing budget if you find your firm is strapped for cash.

Con: PPC Ads Require Ongoing Monitoring and Modifications

Unfortunately, you cannot simply select your keywords to bid on and let the PPC campaign roam free. Each query’s cost per click is determined in real-time, and search engine algorithms take many components of your campaign into consideration to set this price. Because of this, you’ll need to consistently track and monitor your campaign to adjust bids accordingly. This includes running A/B testing to see if there are more profitable options available. If three competing firms begin bidding for the same keywords you use in your campaign, the price to maintain your ad position may increase, or you might lose a fair amount clicks to your competitors.

Due to the volatile nature of PPC campaigns, it’s very challenging to implement one without a dedicated search engine marketing employee to help monitor and improve the campaigns. Be sure to factor in these fixed costs when evaluating whether or not to launch your own PPC campaign.

Unfortunately, the biggest challenge with PPC ads is that although you’re paying for traffic to your site, you’re not guaranteeing anyone contacts your firm. If your web development team has not optimized your firm’s landing pages to entice claimants to choose to reach out to your firm, your paid ad budget will be wasted.

Are There Other Low-Cost Options?

Purchasing legal leads in lieu of a PPC campaign gives you a safety net in the fact that you’re paying for the contact information from an interested claimant, not a visitor to your website. If you’d like to discuss our Social Security disability, personal injury, workers’ compensation, or employment law lead pricing and availability, give us a call today at 617.800.0089.

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