Using Google AdWords to Grow a Divorce Attorney Practice (Profitably)
Writing checks to Google is a good, quick way to get your law firm to the top of search results. When someone types “divorce lawyer near me” into Google, you can be right on top – as long as you’re willing to pay for that privilege.
How AdWords Cost Per Click Works
The amount you need to pay is based on how much other advertisers are willing to pay. Google uses a bid system for AdWords. If you want to show up on top for “divorce lawyer” and are willing to pay up to $1 per click, Google won’t be showing your ad. Average cost per click for that term is $34, meaning that enough other law firms are willing to pay around $34 per click that Google is able to charge that much.
But what kind of ROI will $34 per click generate? To answer that, we’ll need to make some assumptions. First, we’ll assume that your ads are performing industry average and the people clicking on them are behaving as average people do.
Industry Average Performance Leads To More Work but Not More Money
Roughly 4.07% of people who click on a law firm’s Google ad will call or contact that law firm, meaning that at $34 per click, your average law firm is paying $835 for a potential client to connect with them. In our experience, a potential client turns into a case about 10-20% of the time. So, this average law firm is paying $4,100 to $8,200 per case.
Not very exciting to get new cases with marketing cost approaching the profitability for the case. More work, but not more money. Google’s bid system for its ads combined with its large user base ensures that, on average, advertisers pay per click exactly what that click is worth. There are two ways to be profitable running Google Ads:
Convince Google to give your firm a discount on clicks
Convince more than 4% of your website visitors to contact your law firm
Convincing Google to Give You a Discount Isn't Impossible
The first option isn’t as hopeless as it seems at first. Google only gets paid when someone clicks on an Ad and their combined Ads only take 5% of the available clicks. If you were running an Ad with a 5% click-through, Google would be incented to show your ad more often than a different law firm whose ad only has a 1.5% click-through. In fact, Google would make the same amount charging you $10 per click as it would the different law firm $34 per click for “divorce lawyer.” This is exactly how Google discounts cost per click for advertisers with high click-through rates.
The impossible-sounding task of convincing Google to give your firm a discount is accomplished by writing ads that people click on more than average. We average $12 per click for our divorce attorney campaigns – translating into a savings of $3,500 per new case. That is accomplished through endless split-testing. Here’s an example of split testing we did for a personal injury law firm. Both ads were bidding on the same keywords, but one had a 9.6% click-through and the other was at 0.0%! Certainly, we can agree that 0.0% is a poor performer. The poor performer is deleted, and a new ad is created. In this case, the new ad was running a click-through of 8.33% shorter after launch.
Use Landing Pages Designed to Convert - Not Homepages
The second approach, improving the conversion rate (the rate people contact the firm after clicking on the ad) can be improved through split-testing. The website that people land on after clicking on your ad is referred to a landing page. It’s relatively common to simply use your homepage as the landing page. After all, after someone clicks on your ad, why not just send them to your homepage?
Typically, this will result in worse than average conversion performance. People who are clicking on a Google Ad aren’t necessarily looking for research or information. They’re looking to speak with the best divorce attorney around. Not only did they search for “divorce lawyer,” they also clicked on a clearly marked ad for a lawyer. Your informational homepage will not likely convince them to call you.
Instead, we build landing pages focused on driving a visitor to take one action (and only one action). In the case of divorce lawyers, that action is to fill out a quick form so someone on your team can call them back.
The landing page we start with for divorce lawyers has a conversion rate of 20-30%.
Land a New Case With Every $500 in Marketing!
Combine the higher than average conversion rate with the lower than average cost per click, and our clients are only paying $50 per potential client contact. That drives a per case cost down to $250 - $500.
How much more profitable would your law firm be if you were landing a new divorce lawyer case every time you spent $500 on marketing?