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Paid Search Strategies for Lawyers in 2017

If you’re already using internet advertising such as Google’s AdWords to promote your law firm’s services, then you know how important it is to have an active online presence. As more and more clients turn to smartphones to find representation, you’ll want to be front and center in their search engines. Firms not using paid search run the risk of losing out on new clientele.

In 2017, lawyers may want to consider three new paid search strategies for converting more service seekers into actual clients:

  1. expanded text ads
  2. message extensions
  3. ad variation testing

All of these can increase your quality score and ensure you’re making the best use of your advertising dollars. 

Expanded Text Ads

In 2016, Google redesigned the search engine results page to improve its display on mobile devices. Google also made it easier for advertisers to adjust their device bids and introduced price extensions for mobile ads. They even announced they had rolled out a mobile-first search index, which ranks sites based on their mobile versions rather than desktop ones.

With mobile devices in mind, Google has continued to refine the effectiveness of AdWords with innovative new features that improve ad performance and help firms reach more prospective clients. One such feature is expanded text ads.

Expanded text ads provide users with more information before they click. Unlike standard text ads, expanded text ads have two headline fields and incorporate an expanded description field, offering nearly 50% more ad text.

Expanded text ads also display a URL that uses your final URL’s domain, and they offer two optional ”path” fields that may be used in the ad’s display URL. Expanded text ads can connect with more prospective clients and drive better-targeted clicks to your website. 


Message Extensions

Ad extensions, such as telephone numbers and location information, have been around for a while. They typically make ads larger and more visible, with features that can increase the user click-through rate. AdWords recently introduced a new innovation: message extensions.

Message extensions allow users to text message you with any questions or comments directly from the SERP. You can even initiate a generic text message to make starting that conversation easier for mobile users in a hurry. AdWords advertisers are charged the same CPC fee regardless of the searchers action, i.e. texting.

There’s one downside to this new feature. Advertisers can collect information on how many people see and click on their message extensions,. but Google is currently unable to track texts from message extensions as conversions in AdWords. So, you’ll need to track and record that data yourself.


Ad Variation Testing

Ads are your firm’s first handshake with prospective clients. You want your ads to be as friendly, informative and effective as possible. One way to ensure this is through ad variation testing, available on AdWords and other internet marketing platforms.

You can create ads with different headlines, ad copy, page links or extensions and then test each variation. Regardless of what variable you’re testing, you’ll want to document your variations and record the results, building your knowledge of what works with your target audience. Don’t forget to use available statistical testing tools to verify your tests.