Submitted by Deanna on Thu, 07/11/2019 - 16:50

While pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is one of the best ways to find clients online, it’s also one of the most expensive. According to Wordstream, “attorney” alone can cost $47 per click. This isn’t guaranteeing that anyone will even contact your firm of course—simply that they’ll click on your ad. When lawyers spend so much for a single keyword, they need to ensure the ad that Google displays is as relevant to the user’s search as possible. While tedious to set up, single keyword ad groups (SKAGs) can increase your ad’s click through rate, lower ad costs, and increase the number of high-quality leads coming to your firm.

Ad Groups—What They Are, and What Is a SKAG?

An ad group is a collection of related keywords. To create an ad group, you cluster similar keywords together and make approximately three ads based around your selected keywords. When someone searches for any single keyword in your ad group, one of your three ads will display. A disability attorney may have the following keywords included in one “SSDI” ad group:

Social Security disability
Social Security disability insurance
SSDI attorney
SSDI lawyer
Social security disability attorney
Social Security disability lawyer

When you have multiple keywords within one ad group, each keyword will vie for relevancy with the ads you’ve written. This means that Google has to guess which ad would be best for a user based on his or her query, and Google’s “best guess” may not necessarily be accurate. For example, if a user searches for “SSDI attorney near me,” but your ad groups aren’t specific enough, Google may choose to display something like this:

It’s likely advertiser #1 is bidding on a broad match “lawyer” keyword, and the second advertiser does handle SSD cases but the keyword we used does not appear in their ad at all. Lower ad relevancy = lower click through rates. If users aren’t clicking on your ads, Google will charge you more than other advertisers if they have higher click through rates. When a single bid for a lawyer may cost $50, there’s no room to pay Google an extra dime due to poor ad copy. A SKAG is an ad group that has just one keyword. For example, a SKAG on SSDI may look like this:

+Social +Security +Disability +Insurance
“Social Security Disability Insurance”
[Social Security Disability Insurance]

All three keywords are the same here—the only difference is the match type. This means that your ad will not display unless someone searches for either exactly “Social Security Disability Insurance,” or searches for a phrase that includes “Social Security Disability Insurance.” Because you know your ads will only show up for a very specific set of queries, you can cater your ad text to this keyword perfectly.

How Lawyers Can Use SKAGs

SKAGs are particularly important in the legal industry not only because they’ll help your overall ad quality and lower your CPC, but they’ll also help you find very specific claimants.

Don’t worry about having to make 1,000 ad groups per campaign—if you include broad match for your SKAGs, you won’t need to worry about having one ad group for lung cancer, one ad group for breast cancer, etc. The keyword “+ssdi +cancer” will display for any query including those two words (in any order), so a user’s search of “SSDI for liver cancer” or “breast cancer SSDI benefits” will both trigger your ads.

Caveats With SKAGs

While SKAGs are a very popular PPC tactic, not everyone uses them. The first issue with building a campaign based on SKAGs is the time it takes to actually make the campaign. Instead of dumping 25 keywords into a single ad group and making three ads for the entire group, you’ll need to make three ads per keyword. This adds up if you’ve identified 100+ keywords for a single campaign.

The other issue with SKAGs is that because your ad is so specific, you won’t get as much traffic as if you used a traditional ad group. While it may be a slower method of generating leads, the traffic you will get is more relevant than the typical user.

While many PPC experts recommend using SKAGs for your ad campaigns, it’s not always feasible unless you have a full-time digital marketing specialist to help you manage your campaigns. It takes hours to set up a new campaign, let alone conduct keyword research and monitor and optimize the campaign after it goes live.

Campaign Optimization Alternatives?

Lead generation is a great alternative to managing your own PPC campaigns. Instead of building SKAGs yourself and optimizing your own conversion rates, we send you legal leads in real time from claimants who’ve indicated interest in speaking with a lawyer.

We currently offer nationwide Social Security disability, personal injury, workers’ compensation, and employment and labor leads. If you’re sick of toiling over Google Ads and making individual keyword bids, give eGen a call at 617.800.0089. We’d be happy to discuss our lead availability in your area today.

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