Pay-Per-Click [PPC] Advertising
Pay-per-click advertising is one of the most powerful tools in a marketer’s toolkit. While many forms of online marketing are geared more for long-term results, PPC offers law firms the opportunity to gain immediate exposure to an audience.
When done properly, PPC campaigns target those most likely to need your services, giving them a powerful call-to-action and increasing the visibility of your firm. However, if a PPC campaign is poorly managed, the results are both ineffective and costly. It’s extremely important to have a tested, customized approach to build a successful PPC campaign.
Gladiator Law Marketing provide clients with PPC campaigns based on extensive research and in-depth data analytics. Most importantly, we have the experience to know what works and what doesn’t. That experience provides us the ability to avoid the common pitfalls of PPC and deliver a data-driven approach that increases audience awareness and drives traffic to your website.
What is PPC?
Pay-per-click refers to a form of advertising that targets audiences based on their previous searches, geography, interests and several other factors. Pay-per-click means that you pay the publisher of your ad each time a user clicks on that advertisement. PPC is effective for several reasons, one of which is that it targets an audience that has demonstrated some interest in your firm or a topic related to your practice area.
You’ve probably seen PPC advertising before, even if you didn’t realize it at the time. Have you ever searched online for information about a very specific topic, only to later see an advertisement on a completely unrelated website for that exact same topic? At first, you might have thought it was a big coincidence that the very thing you were searching for just so happened to be the subject of an advertisement on a website you are browsing. Of course, it was likely no coincidence at all, but rather the result of a PPC campaign.
Examples of PPC Advertising in Action
Let’s say that a 32-year-old woman in Dayton, Ohio, is involved in a car crash. She suffers injuries and decides to seek the services of an attorney to represent her in filing a personal injury claim. She begins her search, as many people do, on Google. She starts by searching “hurt in car accident” and after digging around for information about personal injury cases, she eventually starts to look for law firms in Dayton that handle car accident cases.
Meanwhile, a Dayton law firm is launching a PPC campaign. They have targeted people searching for the terms “hurt in car wreck” and “Dayton personal injury attorneys.” They have also narrowed their target audience to include people who live in the Dayton area and are between the ages of 25 and 55. So, it’s no surprise that our 32-year-old injury victim in Dayton eventually sees an advertisement for this law firm while she is later browsing for something completely unrelated to law firms, vehicle accidents or personal injuries.
In this scenario, the firm used demographics and search terms to identify people that would be interested in learning more about their firm and the services they offer. PPC advertising is distinct from more conventional methods of a firm’s outreach, such as television ads, billboards or even some forms of online marketing, which have a broader scope and are more likely to appear in front of people who aren’t necessarily looking for the services offered by the advertiser.
PPC Can Dramatically Increase Traffic to Your Site
One of the biggest questions companies ask before launching a PPC campaign is, “Will a PPC campaign be more effective than other forms of online advertising?” Before we look at how effective PPC can be, let’s first consider the purpose of a PPC campaign.
Other forms of online marketing, such as search engine optimization (SEO), are typically designed to provide long-term benefits and, thus, require a longer period to craft and implement. Conversely, PPC campaigns have immediate benefits for a website because they can be implemented right away. However, as opposed to SEO, once a PPC campaign is finished, the ads stop running and the traffic will be reduced, at least partially.
So, let’s circle back to the original question – is PPC worth it? We know from experience that a PPC campaign provides immediate benefits to a website. Research from Google also validates the effectiveness of this form of advertising. Google researchers found that when ads based on search terms were paused, advertisers saw a steep decrease in traffic to their sites. In fact, they found that up to 89 percent of traffic generated by search ads is not replaced by organic traffic (non-search ads).
Experts at Google, Moz and several other companies tend to agree that PPC offers benefits to businesses of all kinds, but it is particularly useful for:
- New businesses or websites
- Businesses that need higher volumes of traffic to their websites as quickly as possible
- Businesses that want to build brand awareness
- Established businesses that want to enhance their other marketing and advertising efforts.
The Science (and Art) of a PPC Campaign
Perhaps more than any other digital marketing channel, PPC is a science. It is a process driven by data analytics and past performance of campaigns. These numbers help advertisers learn what works and what doesn’t work, affording them the opportunity to refine campaigns and create the most effective strategies for bringing in traffic.
PPC is also a learned craft. A PPC veteran knows what methods are best for their industry. They have cultivated a base of knowledge and instincts for PPC advertising based on years of experience running campaigns. There are several variables that a PPC advertiser will consider when launching a campaign. For example, they will consider:
- The search behavior of the target audience
- The geographical location of the audience
- Audience age
- Audience gender
- Interests of the target audience
- Keywords relevant to the firm and the audience’s searches
- The placement of an advertisement on a search results page.
PPC Can Provide Insights That You Can Use Both Online and Offline
Pay-per-click advertising not only drives traffic to your website, it also provides useful information about who your message is reaching. During and after a PPC campaign, you can learn the demographics, interests and locations of people who clicked on your advertisement. This information can then be used to help you identify potential client bases, which can inform your other marketing efforts and clue you in to who is most likely to engage with your firm.
Let’s look at another example to illustrate this point. Your firm has decided to reach out to people who have been exposed to asbestos in their homes. You have focused primarily on vehicle accidents in your previous marketing efforts, so you need to get the word out quickly about the new campaign. You assume that one specific region of the area you serve will be the most likely to need legal representation in these cases.
However, the results from your PPC campaign reveal that residents of a different neighboring community made up the bulk of those clicking on your advertisement. After following up on this information, you discover that there are several apartment complexes in this neighborhood with high rates of dangerous asbestos exposure.
How Gladiator Law Marketing Uses PPC for Clients
A Stand-alone Offering – Depending on the needs of your firm, PPC could be the most effective tool for your marketing approach. If you have a new website, a new firm or want to emphasize a new practice area of your firm, PPC is a great way to generate awareness and engagement with your website. You may consider utilizing PPC advertising to promote your firm’s social media marketing. Sometimes law firms choose to activate PPC ad campaigns during traditionally slow times of the year to boost activity.
Part of a Larger Strategy – For clients that have a big enough budget, it is best to have a multi-pronged strategy. PPC can augment SEO and social media efforts to meet both short- and long-term marketing needs. When used in conjunction, PPC, SEO, web design and social media can provide an incredible return on investment. By partnering several search marketing initiatives, your firm benefits from increased saturation on the search engine results pages and expanded access to potential clients.
At Gladiator Law Marketing, it is our job to tell you what we believe is the best approach for your marketing campaign. We will analyze information based on your location, practice areas and budget to present a strategic approach to getting the most out your campaign. However, we know that nobody knows your practice better than you. When you work with Gladiator Law Marketing, you always have the final say. It is our goal to empower our clients through well-managed, data-driven marketing approaches and to defer to their preferences and goals.
Our approach to marketing sets us apart from other marketing firms. We present you with different options, including bundled or unbundled marketing services, a la carte services or custom web marketing packages. We are also distinct in the transparency of our efforts. Clients that work with Gladiator Law Marketing know exactly what they are paying for and are given itemized lists of the services we provide.