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Matthew Crehan

How to use Google AdWords for your law firm and generate new business

Google is the most used search engine worldwide with over two billion searches performed each day. So along with all your firm's SEO efforts, it would be silly not to utilise Google’s AdWords to help your law firm’s marketing efforts from a paid search perspective. But if you’re not sure where to start or are a little intimidated by the AdWords interface, don’t worry here is a quick guide to setting up your first campaign.

 P.S. Learn how to target your audience with paid advertising with the help of this legal eBook!

Google Adwords for your law firm

Phase 1: Build a powerful keyword list

Before you start interacting with the AdWords interface you need to build your list of keywords. Here you want to think about exactly what your ideal clients are searching for. It might be simple to create a list with lots of legal terms, but that won’t always be what your clients are searching for, so think of the wording and types of questions they may be asking that your services could be an answer to.

Depending on the type of law and the services your firm offers you may want to target quite broad terms such as ‘divorce lawyers’, but if your firm has specialities in a specific form of medical condition then you may wish to use longer tailed terms that are more specific and target a more tailored audience.

Google AdWords has a brilliant keyword planning tool that can help you generate keyword ideas, as well as giving you insight into the average monthly searches for such terms and the average cost of a bid for each term.


Phase 2: Create a Google AdWords Campaign

1. When creating your first campaign you’ll begin by clicking ‘create my first ad campaign’.

2.From here you’ll then need to choose the type of campaign you want to run from one of the following options:

  • Default: Your ads will appear in both Search and Google Display Networks across all forms of device.
  • Search Network only: Your firm’s ads will only appear on the Search Network and relevant partner sites such as Google maps, and images. This option gives you more control over where your ad will appear.
  • Display Network only: Your ads will only appear on websites in the Google Display Network such as YouTube and Gmail.
  • Display Network only (Remarketing): This form of campaign will show your legal ads on sites in the Display Network but only to people that have visited your firm’s site in the past.
  • Search and Display Networks (Mobile devices): With this option, your ads will only show on mobile and tablet devices.
3. Next, you’ll want to select the geographic locations that you want your ad to appear in. If you’re an international firm then you will want to target either the specific countries you conduct business in or select a broad reach such as ‘All countries and territories.’ If on the other hand, you are a locally based firm, you will want to select the local areas in which you target. You can also choose to exclude locations to prevent your ads from showing to anyone in that area.


You’ll also need to select your language, this doesn’t translate your ad copy but ensures that only users that have selected that language as their default in Google will see it.

4. You will now get a chance to further customize the networks and devices that your ad will be shown on, as well as a couple further options such as:

  • Broad Reach (within the Display Network): Here your legal ads will show if the keyword matches the website keywords.
  • Specific Reach (within the Display Network): Here you ads will only show if your keyword matches and you have listed the website.

5. You will now need to set the bidding and budget options for your ad campaign. Here there are a number of options you can choose between, but you’ll want to select the options that work best for your budget and the type of campaign you are planning to run.

  • CPC: Cost-per-click, here you will only be charged when someone clicks on your ad.
  • CPM: Cost-per-thousand-impressions, this option is best used across the Display Network.
  • CPA: Cost-per-acquisition, you are unlikely to use this option as it is directed more towards product sales, with you only being charged when an individual clicks your ad and converts.
  • Manually set bids: This allows you to choose the max CPC for a keyword.
  • Let AdWords set bids: This gives AdWords control of your CPC, allowing it to optimise for maximum clicks while remaining within your overall ad campaign budget.

In terms of setting your overall budget, you may already have some idea of how much your firm is willing to spend, but using the traffic estimator tool in AdWords you can calculate optimal amounts to having a successful campaign based on the keywords you’ve chosen.

6. You can use advanced settings at this stage to set further customisations to your ads, be it selecting optimal times for your ads to show, so as to match the times when your ideal audience are online, or to target particular demographics.

7. At this stage, you can also choose to create Ad extensions which can provide some key additional information to show below your ads. Here are a couple types of ad extension that may be useful to your firm:

  • Location: Show your firm's business address which can be useful for locally based campaigns.
  • Site links: This allows you to highlight up to four relevant pages on your legal site that may be relevant to your audience and giving your ad more real estate.
  • Call: This ad extension adds your firm’s phone number to the ad and allows it to be dialled directly from mobile devices.


Phase 3: Create your Ad

Once you’ve set up your campaign you can begin to create ad groups, which will contain one or more ads alongside a set of related keywords.

From here you can then create your firm’s ad copy. You have a range of options which include text, image and mobile ads.

For a text ad, you must include a title that is no longer than 25 characters and two lines of ad copy which are no longer than 35 characters each. With your ad copy, you want to include your targeted keywords and ensure that your title is mirrored on the related landing page. You also want to include a strong call to action and provide value to your ideal client through your ad copy, showing them that your firm can help them with the challenge they are facing.


Phase 4: Monitor and Analyse your Ad

Google AdWords provides you with perfect platform to monitor the day to day performance metrics of your legal ad campaigns, providing you with data on impressions, clicks, conversions and bid values, allowing you to have full perspective of the performance of your ads and make changes to ensure your ads are fully optimised to generate new business for your firm.

Pursue your legal personas with paid advertising 

So there you go a full step by step guide to help your firm start using Google AdWords to target potential clients and generate new business.


If you have a business in the financial sector and would like to up your marketing game or receive some expert information about digital marketing for financial services, then get in touch with a member of our team!

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