It takes a smart, confident, aggressive, high-energy person to successfully run a law firm. Unfortunately, some of those same characteristics can lead lawyers into trouble on Google AdWords. I work with lawyers around the country on their Google AdWords campaigns, and here are five mistakes I’m constantly trying to help them fix.
1. Being Too Aggressive
Max it out!
Please floor it!
These are the kinds of intense marching orders I get (and have to ignore) every day from my most aggressive law firm clients. These guys wake up in the morning ready to crush anything and everything in their way, and they take that aggression and passion into their AdWords campaigns.
The problem, is that this is not what you need to do to run a profitable AdWords campaign.
I can get you to the top spot in no time. Mostly it’s just a matter of raising the bids. But what good does that do if we have to raise bids to the point of unprofitability? If we’re running an unprofitable campaign, then eventually we’ll run out of money and have to stop advertising.
So I’ve got to constantly calm these lawyers down, get them focused on cost per lead and cost per case, and go from there. “You want the cost per case we discussed Jim? Then let me bid what I need to bid to get you that cost per case and help you make lots of money.“
But not every law firm on Google Ads has me talking them down. Many of them just run too aggressively, run out of money, and decide that Google Ads doesn’t work. And that situation is a tragedy because of how many clients and how much wealth-creation they’re missing out on by giving up on Google Ads.
Aggression is good in business, but on AdWords you’ve got to be smart, keep your aggressive tendencies under control, and focus on getting a profitable cost per lead and cost per case.
2. Being Obsessive
Lawyers can be obsessive about AdWords performance. Sometimes I wonder what these lawyers do all day. How can they be this focused on AdWords and still run their practice?
We’re talking guys checking their phones constantly to see if their ad shows up (a very bad practice that can decrease clickthrough rate), constantly looking at the AdWords app to check position and spend, and constantly contacting me to request tweaks and things like that.
This obsessive behavior can be extremely damaging to AdWords results. AdWords is not setup to be monitored and tweaked all day long. There are delays in data, so at any point in the day you may not be seeing the complete data. Changes take time to prove themselves and produce new data. And constantly tweaking things based on incomplete data is just a really bad idea.
The best manual AdWords bid management, in my experience, is when you do it weekly or bi-weekly or even sometimes monthly. But lawyers I know are constantly wanting to change around bids almost every single day. The problem with this behavior is that it leads to bid, cost per click, and cost per lead data being useless since you’ve made so many changes to the point where you don’t know what’s what.
AdWords decisions require good data, not just data. And good data is clean data. You’ve got to step back, let the data come in for awhile, and then make smart decisions based on that clean data. That is how you achieve great results in AdWords.
Lawyers need to step back, focus on their law practice, and let their AdWords managers work their magic. Otherwise, if the lawyer is being obsessive, it can make getting great performance almost impossible.
3. Being Impatient
Similar to being obsessive, being impatient with an AdWords campaign can make great performance impossible. AdWords is great because it is so accessible and flexible. If and when you need to make changes, you can make them instantly. There’s no bureaucracy or technical items blocking you from changing things. But this is a blessing and a curse.
The downside of the accessibility and flexibility of AdWords is that it makes impatience a possibility.
Don’t like the way your ads are going after one hour? Change things!
Just came up with a different direction for your ad copy but it’s only day two? Change things!
Got two clicks so far today and no conversions? Change things!
You get the point.
Statistical significance matters. If you’re making random changes all the time, then you’re never going to get statistically significant data to make smart decisions on.
Being impatient, being unsatisfied, those can be beneficial personality characteristics when running a law firm and growing a legal business, but they can also ruin an AdWords campaign. Calm down, gather data, make smart decisions.
4. Trying To Find A Person, Not People
This is a very interesting flaw that injury lawyers have when it comes to AdWords. Injury lawyers are used to following tragic events and trying to get clients from those events. For example, often times there will be a multiple car wreck on a highway, or there will be a school bus crash, or some kind of traffic event like that gets on the news. And the lawyer will instruct me to target keywords like “seattle bus crash” or “multiple car wreck on highway 1 today.” They want me to find that person that was involved with that individual event and get in front of them.
But that’s not the way AdWords works. You’re never going to get in front of a person, you’ve instead got to focus on getting in front of the right kind of people.
Yes, in an endless universe, someone whose child was in that bus crash could search “bus crash in seattle” and end up clicking on your ad and calling you. But realistically, that’s never going to happen and you’ll just end up paying for tons of clicks from people doing news-related searches about the bus accident.
Instead, this lawyer should be focusing on getting in front of the right people on AdWords. People searching for accident lawyers, car accident lawyers, bus accident lawyers, etc. People who have a need for a lawyer and not people who are doing informational news-related searches.
Injury lawyers are always thinking about the victim, singular. The person, singular. Instead, at least on AdWords, they need to think about the people, plural, who are searching for their kind of legal services.
5. Bad Intake
And last but certainly not least, nothing destroys a law firm’s advertising campaign on Google as bad as bad intake. Bad intake will ruin everything. We can get you great leads from Google AdWords, but if your intake staff can’t close the leads and turn them into clients, then it’s all for nothing, and AdWords won’t work. Your staff has got to be able to turn the quality leads from AdWords into clients.
Answering calls, quickly calling back missed calls, sales skills, communication skills, listening skills, quickly and thoroughly following up with the lead form leads that come in… all this stuff is crucial to making the most of your AdWords campaigns and making AdWords profitable for your law firm.
Equal thought and work should be put into the AdWords campaigns and on training the intake staff on how to handle and convert the leads. Intake matters.
Don’t Make These Mistakes
Google AdWords is the best form of marketing for law firms. There’s no more efficient or cost-effective way to sign up new clients than running ads on Google. But it is crucial that you run your ads correctly. If you can avoid the common mistakes listed above, it will go a long way in terms of helping you run a profitable campaign and making the most of your Google Ads. Good luck, and don’t make these mistakes!