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Deciding to invest your marketing resources into paid ads can be a big decision for many law firms. Here are nine questions we suggest you ask before signing a contract with a new PPC consultant for your law firm.
Because effective marketing is often a full-time job, many lawyers consider partnering with external consultants and marketing experts for their legal marketing needs. A quick Google search will reveal numerous consultants eager to assist law firms with their digital marketing plans. However, lawyers should not be hasty when hiring marketing experts.
To maximize the return on your investment in paid digital marketing solutions, you should carefully evaluate each marketing agency you are considering. In this post, we’re discussing nine of the most important questions you should ask a new pay-per-click (PPC) consultant before you sign on the dotted line.
1. How long have you been running digital advertising campaigns for law firms?
Even the most experienced PPC specialist can go his entire career without running a campaign for certain specialized industries. It is important to confirm that the agency you hire has a strong track record and substantial experience in the legal industry.
If you want to take this inquiry a couple of steps further, you can ask for more information about the agency’s experience in running ad campaigns for your particular practice area and request a case study illustrating the results the agency has achieved for other legal clients.
You are best off hiring a consultant or company that is exclusively focused on law firms, or at least has a team focused on law firms, instead of treating attorneys as just one more vertical. You want a team running your campaigns that is constantly thinking about how best to optimize for law firms, not plumbers or restaurants. The good news is many companies (not just Justia) do focus on law firm marketing and PPC.
2. Are you a Google Premier Partner?
Google Partners are advertising and marketing agencies, consultants, and professionals that have been trained with sufficient knowledge to run Google Ads campaigns. Google Premier Partners take that one step further.
A Google Premier Partner is a top partner that has demonstrated skills and expertise in digital advertising. At least 50% of a Google Premier Partner’s team members are certified by Google and are familiar with Google’s best practices for creating and running successful campaigns. You will also want to make sure the individual team member working on your account is certified by Google.
3. How do you define campaign success?
You want to ensure that both you and your PPC consultant are on the same page in terms of how you define a successful campaign for your law firm. Many metrics can be considered in this analysis.
One quick answer is often that increased conversions equal success. However, this is not the only metric your PPC provider should be considering. You also want to consider additional factors, such as any increases in leads, your cost per click, and return on overall investment. At the end of the day, you want your campaigns to ultimately make money for your firm.
Just as you cannot guarantee your clients any particular outcome in your practice, no consultant can guarantee a successful campaign for your firm. However, your consultant should have a strong understanding of your firm’s goals and diligently work to achieve the desired outcomes.
4. Do you offer landing pages or other additional benefits related to my PPC campaigns?
In addition to setting up and managing your PPC campaigns, some companies and consultants offer additional benefits designed to help your campaigns perform as effectively as possible. Getting leads from a PPC campaign is a multi-step process.
People must see your ad, click your ad, and then take some sort of action on the webpage your ads direct them to. Therefore, this landing page is an integral part of ensuring your PPC campaigns are efficiently designed to convert clicks into the new leads (potential clients) your law firm is looking to reach. Similarly, other features and benefits, such as call tracking and customized reporting functions, can help you better evaluate how your campaigns are performing.
5. Who will own my ad accounts?
You want to ensure that you own your Google Ads account. Though Google Ads is undoubtedly the top PPC advertising platform, you also want to own your account for other channels, such as Microsoft Ads for Bing or campaigns on Facebook and other social media.
You should be able to log in to your account if you so choose and view your campaigns and any changes. Though we don’t recommend changing things in your ad accounts without consulting with your PPC agency, you should also be able to edit your campaigns.
6. What commitments do you require from my firm?
Lawyers understand the importance of reading the fine print. You should make sure that you fully understand any commitment you are making to a particular PPC consultant. Confirm whether you are locked into an annual contract, or if shorter-term options are available. Ask whether there is a monthly minimum ad spend and understand what that means for your law firm.
Understand how the agency’s management fees are structured (common models include a percentage of ad spend or flat fee charges) and what is included in that cost. For example, some consultants may offer ad set up with little hands-on management or reporting included. However, as mentioned in a previous question, others include full-service management, monitoring, reporting, and extras like call tracking and customized landing pages in their fee. You want to maximize the benefits you receive for the price.
7. Can you explain PPC ads to me in more detail?
It may seem obvious, but your paid advertising consultant should be able to quickly explain PPC ads in a manner that non-marketers can readily understand. PPC advertising has been around for over 20 years and Google Ads has become one of the most well-known, effective ways to advertise online.
Strong PPC consultants should be able to define key terms like cost per click, click-through rate, and conversion rate without hesitation. They should also be able to explain how the Google Ads auction works and how the algorithms determine which ads are served and where.
Additionally, a consultant should be able to explain how Google Ads (or any other PPC advertising) can realistically further your law firm’s marketing goals.
8. Can you handle my other legal marketing needs?
Dealing with a different consultant for every aspect of your digital marketing plans can sometimes become difficult to manage. Many law firms find they are more successful when they have one dedicated team focused on a unified common strategy for achieving the firm’s goals. To this end, some consultants (Justia included) offer additional digital marketing solutions, such as websites, blogs, and SEO services, that complement each other as part of a well-rounded marketing plan. Whenever you sign your contract, it is important to know whether this is a possibility with the consultant you are choosing.
9. Do you offer exclusivity for a practice area/location combination?
Some firms find that it is important to have an exclusive relationship with their marketing provider within their practice area and location. The reasons a particular law firm may not want to use a marketing provider that works directly with their competitors may vary and the reasons a certain consultant may or may not offer “exclusives” also vary.
For instance, Justia does not offer exclusives. This is a business decision that allows us to avoid increasing costs and only serving the largest clients. Instead, we use our methods and platform to serve everyone. Justia implements best practices and tailored strategies designed to help each of our clients achieve their individual goals. Then, we modify our approach and update clients’ campaigns as the clients shift their focus to other goals and as the Google platform evolves.
However, other legal marketing consultants have chosen to offer exclusive relationships with one firm for a given practice area and location. Because of this exclusive relationship, these consultants may charge a higher fee and are looking for clients with large advertising budgets. From a business perspective, they may have difficulty taking on a very small client and foregoing the opportunity to work with larger clients.
Lawyers need to decide which approach is the best fit for your firm, your firm’s expectations, and your firm’s budget. Should you decide that your law firm needs a PPC consultant that offers exclusives, we suggest considering AttorneySync (CEO Gyi Tsakalakis), Mockingbird Marketing (CEO Conrad Saam), and PaperStreet (CEO Peter Boyd). These companies take a different approach than Justia and may not run campaigns the same way we do, but they are solid teams with years of experience focused on law firm marketing.
Reasons to Hire Justia Amplify PPC Management for Your Next PPC Campaign
The entire Justia Marketing Solutions team is dedicated to legal marketing. Justia is proud to be a Google Premier Partner and many of our professionals are certified by Google for their expertise in digital marketing.
Our Justia Amplify PPC Management specialists are experts in legal marketing with years of experience working on law firm PPC campaigns. Many core members of our team started their PPC careers working with one of Google’s first clients, FindLaw (pre-Thomson acquisition). Today, our team remains so committed to the legal industry that we do not handle advertising campaigns for professionals in any other sector.
We strive to create high-quality ads with above-average conversion rates. Our methodology includes careful consideration of various relevant factors, including an attorney’s practice area, target location, and budget.
We treat campaign management as an ongoing process focused on conversion rate optimization. Our team closely observes relevant metrics, such as quality scores, ad strength, landing page experience, impression share, and click-through rates to ensure optimal performance and make timely adjustments as needed.
Justia offers various contractual terms that can fit any firm’s needs: no long-term agreements required. In addition to set up and general management, our fees include the development of custom, optimized landing pages for your campaigns that also include an AMP version, call tracking integration, click fraud detection and prevention, and Google My Business health checks. Of course, our clients also own their Google Ads accounts. They can access them at any time.
Additionally, we do not have a monthly minimum ad spend requirement for Justia Amplify PPC Management, but we do encourage our clients to be realistic about what results can be achieved on a given budget.
We offer complete transparency throughout the set up and management process. All Justia Amplify clients receive monthly reports designed to give insight into their ongoing campaign performance. Our team is available for calls to discuss client campaigns and goals.
Our years of experience working with law firms across the United States have empowered our team to understand and implement legal marketing best practices. Simply put, we know what it takes to get you more clients.
Final Thoughts: Why Do You Care?
Making an informed decision about the legal marketing consultants your firm hires is crucial to setting your firm up for long-term success. These questions can help you thoroughly vet any PPC consultants you may be considering for your next advertising project.
Ready to chat with a legal marketing expert at Justia? Contact us today.