Does AdWords work for lawyers

Does AdWords work for lawyers?

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Does Adwords work for lawyers?

Or is it a waste of money?

Find out in this article.

(Note: these terms are interchangeable: PPC, Adwords, Google Ads)

So, Does AdWords work for lawyers?

Let’s find out.

How Google Adwords can get new clients for law firms

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Google Ads is probably the most effective law firm marketing strategy.

Yes, organic search (SEO) does drive traffic to your website. But it takes time. 

Here’s the thing –

A steady flow of highly targeted and qualified leads will start coming your way if you are running an effective Google Ads campaign. It’s that simple. You just need to get a few things right and keep the campaigns running.

Don’t take my word for it though.

Check out these stats…

10 statistics that show why Google Ads are great for law firms:

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  • Google delivers an 8:1 return on investment (ROI) — or $8 for every $1 spent (Source)
  • 50% of users can’t tell the difference between a paid ad and an organic listing (Source)
  • 46% of clicks go to the top three paid ads in search results (Source)
  • 75% is the average conversion rate for Google Ads (Source)
  • People who click on ads are 50% more likely to make a purchase (Source)
  • 90% of consumers say ads influence their purchase decisions (Source)
  • 75% of users say paid search ads make it easier to find information (Source)
  • 63% of people have clicked on a Google ad (Source)
  • 33% of people click on search ads because of how relevant the ad is to their search (Source)
  • 63% of people say they would click on a paid ad in Google search results (Source)

How good is that?

Just imagine the immediate flow of emails or calls from people ready to hire you.

Sound good? Okay, let’s keep moving.

3 Reasons why Google Ads are great for law firms

three person pointing the silver laptop computer

You’ve seen the stats.

Here are 3 specific reasons why we love Adwords for lawyers.


Google Ads gives you high-quality law firm clients within a few days. But SEO can take 3-12 months to kick in. This depends on your budget, competition and other variables.


Google Ads lets you target people who are looking for a specific service. These keywords are usually cheaper than more general keywords. For example, ‘DUI Lawyer’ vs ‘Criminal Lawyer’.

Visibility on Mobile Devices

Google Ads has high visibility on mobile devices. In fact, you have to scroll past the first 4 ads to see the local map pack and organic search results. And most people use their mobile device when researching a service. Thus, Google Ads will attract more of these people to your website.

4 common Google Ads mistakes by law firms

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Some law firms question the return on investment provided by AdWords.

This is generally because of a poor experience in the past.

It’s often due to the following 4 mistakes.

They run the campaign by themselves. 

Google gives away $100 coupons to encourage businesses to try their DIY version of Adwords (called Adwords Express). 

But Adwords Express doesn’t let you do specific optimisation.

This makes those campaigns much less effective. 

So most lawyers try Google Ads, spend a ton of money, fail, assume it doesn’t work, then act gun-shy for the rest of time.

They bid on the first position. 

Unlike organic search, being #1 doesn’t matter for paid ads. 

In fact, it’s an actively bad idea. 


Google operates on an auction system, where it awards the #1 ad spot to the company who’s willing to pay the most per click. 

Law firms, who have a lot of pride around “being #1,” overbid on keywords.

This means they’re essentially paying twice as much for what is effectively the same click. 

They don’t track conversions. 

I had one client who recently said to me, “It’s been a slow week. What’s wrong with my ads?”

Fortunately, my team sets up conversion tracking for all Adwords campaigns.

So I went into his account and discovered he had plenty of leads calling. 

His intake team just wasn’t converting them. 

That information helped him reevaluate how his team speaks to potential clients. 

Remember: You can’t fix a problem unless you understand it first. 

They don’t send Adwords traffic to a custom landing page. 

It’s rather expensive to pay for traffic in the legal industry. 

It can be as high as $20+ per click. 

For example:

Thus, it’s incredibly important to send the clicks to a high-converting website.

Otherwise, you will burn the budget like crazy without ever seeing results.

Tip: Don’t run an Adwords campaign to your home page or dull service pages. Send paid traffic to a targeted landing page instead. Your wallet thanks you.

A few more common mistakes

  • “DIY” campaigns not being managed correctly
  • Not targeting the right keywords
  • Costly mistakes – like not stating negative keywords, which exclude irrelevant searches.
  • Campaigns not being run within pre-agreed spend guidelines
  • Not budgeting enough for effective campaigns
  • Not hiring AdWords specialists to optimize performance
  • Not sticking at campaigns for long enough – giving up after a month
  • Poor copywriting

How your law firm can succeed at Google Adwords

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Here’s what you need to do:

  • Hire experienced and professional AdWords specialists to set up, run, and test campaigns – mistakes are costly
  • Focus on targeting long-tail (niche) keywords
  • Use dynamic keyword extension in your ad copy to match customer’s search terms
  • Use ad extensions – to help your ads stand out and increase click-through rates
  • Go local with your search ads – and attract more of your target audience from a defined geographical radius
  • Target zip codes and postal codes – not just cities
  • Request an agreement with your AdWords professional. E.g. no leads = no fees
  • Insist on regular reporting from the agency you hire
  • Budget for at least $1000 per month spend

Additional Learning Resources

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The Better Law Firm Marketing Podcast

Services: Google Adwords for Lawyers

The #1 Reason Why Big Money Doesn’t Equal Success With Google Ads

The Beginner’s Guide To Law Firm Google Ads

Creative Marketing Ideas fo Law Firms (‘Jumpstart’)

Law Firm Marketing Blog by Legalsites

Google Ads Resource Centre by Google

Takeaway: Does AdWords work for Lawyers?

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Of course! Just follow the steps in this guide and the additional resources.

Please contact us if you’d like to learn more.

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