Marketing for Attorneys: What Works and What Doesn’t
If you’ve ever talked to any digital agency about marketing for attorneys, you’re likely going to hear the same three words over and over again: Pay per click.
If you don’t know what the phrase means, you’re either new to digital marketing or you were smart enough to hire someone else to be doing this for you.
Pay per click, simply explained, means that you are buying ads on Google search engines. Each time someone clicks the ad, your account is charged. While this is very effective, it’s also expensive.
Depending on where you are, how much competition in your area of practice locally and the type of practice, each call could cost you over $100 in ad fees. In some cases, it can be much, much more. In fact, the most expensive Google pay per click search word is “mesothelioma” at over $900 per click in some places.
Obviously, if the click is costing you money, you must make sure that you have the best appointment-setter in the world answering the phone.
However, nothing will make your phone ring faster than a pay per click campaign.
WHAT WILL PAY PER CLICK ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS COST?
Typically, attorney marketing agencies won’t let you budget anything less than $10,000 a month on the ad spend. For many small practices, this is out of the question.
We’ve had attorneys spend less – on the order of $2,000 a month – but this is one expense that shows a clear return on investment quickly. With a good agency, you should see results within 30 days that will continue to improve.
The challenge, of course, is that agencies charge a fee for managing your pay per click campaigns as they should. Monitoring and adjusting your pay per click spend is a daily chore. It must be done. Building the right ads to yield results is a constant process of adjusting, testing and measuring. To do this, agencies typically charge 20% to 30% (we charge 25%) of the total ad spend. This is standard across all ad agencies in all industries.
If you’re spending $10,000 a month on the ads, you’ll be spending another $2,000 to $3,000 a month for your agency to manage your spend.
If you try to manage it yourself without significant training and experience, you will waste a lot of money (for a long time) trying to get it right.
START WITH THE BASICS
If you’ve set up a legal practice or have one that isn’t generating calls, you need an expert to examine your search engine rankings. Things like in what position do you rank when you Google “Family law” (for example) in your town. Are you in the top three spots in the search results? If not, you need help.
This is all part of “local search.” Essentially, we want people local to you to be able to find you quickly.
Do you have tons of five-star reviews? If not, you need an agency to set up marketing automation that can automatically ping your clients and solicit positive reviews on your behalf.
Is all of your information on your Google Business listing correct? If you don’t know what a Google Business listing is, you absolutely need help.
There are many agencies that do digital marketing for attorneys. We prefer to work with the small to mid-sized firms for several reasons, not the least of which is that significant results can be achieved rapidly.
There have been numerous instances where attorneys who were three, four or even more pages back in local search that were on page one of search results in less than a year.
This picture shows you what is meant by “local search results.” This query used the keyword phrase “family law Irvine.”
Once you’ve hired a digital agency, they will conduct an SEO audit on your website. Nine times out of ten, your website will be in dire need of a refreshing.
From there, it’s a matter of formatting your new website correctly, employing all the proven SEO tools and leveraging on-page SEO tactics to their fullest. Done correctly, you will have successfully completed the necessary groundwork to better rankings in search engines.
MEASUREMENT AND ADJUSTMENT
The best part of digital marketing is that everything is measurable in real-time – you can tell how much you’ve spent on any campaign or initiative, then examine how the lead is ingested and whether or not the client retained your services. Your agency will manage all of this for you and make monthly recommendations based on their findings. Just you advise your clients to take your suggestions, you should do the same with your agency. The data will tell you if they’re right or wrong.
IT REQUIRES A SUSTAINED EFFORT
You can’t throw some money at pay per click for a couple of weeks and “see how it goes.” It doesn’t work like that. Any pay per click campaign should run at least 4-6 months.
Any effort to improve your search engine results will take a sustained effort of on-page SEO, inbound marketing, blogging to drive organic search and an effective email campaign.
Any agency worth its salt should be able to handle the entire process.
Digital marketing tor attorneys is proven science. There is a recipe that always brings success. It requires an appropriate budget, time, commitment, measurement and adjustment.