Google Ads helps lawyers grow visibility and capture qualified leads. Hiring an agency can cost $1,500 to $10,000 per month. Learn from our experts and examples to make your campaigns stand out.

Here, you’ll find:

Marketing your law firm can be challenging, whether you’re a personal injury lawyer or a divorce attorney. But it’s necessary to continue driving leads to your practice.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of local and national competition. .Plus, you’re busy working cases and defending clients — leaving no room to focus on (or wait for results from) search engine optimization (SEO).

This is when advertising on Google Ads can be a boon for your business.

Curious to know whether Google Ads is right for you? We’ve put together this comprehensive guide to Google Ads for lawyers. We’ll (cross) examine how much it costs, how to get started, and the different types of Google Ads you can use.

What is Google Ads for lawyers?

Google Ads is an online advertising platform that lets you promote your legal firm across Google Search and selected partner sites.

Let’s say a potential customer searches Google for “personal injury lawyer Philadelphia.” The “sponsored” result is a Google Ad, which appears above the organic search and local results. This means more visibility and an increased chance of a searcher clicking on your website.

You only pay when someone clicks on your ad.

Example of a Google Ad in Google search

How do Google Ads work? Google Ads uses auctions to determine ad placement. You specify how much you want to bid for specific keywords.

When someone searches for these keywords, Google uses a range of factors to decide which ads to show and in what order, such as:

How much do Google Ads for lawyers cost?

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising on Google Ads can cost between $1,500 and $10,000 a month if you hire a PPC ad agency. Let’s break down the specific costs.

Campaign costs

How much are clicks for lawyers in Google Ads? According to WordStream, the average cost per click (CPC) on Google search in the legal industry is $6.75, and $0.72 on the display network.

For comparison, the average CPC across all industries is $2.69 on Google search and $0.63 on the display network.
Why are Google Ads for lawyers so expensive? It’s a competitive landscape. Many law firms are vying for the attention of a small pool of prospective clients, which drives up keyword costs.

There are steps you can take to lower your CPC on Google Ads. A good starting point is implementing negative keywords across your campaigns.

Negative keywords are words and phrases that don’t trigger your ads. For example, to exclude prospective customers looking for low-cost lawyers, set up a negative keyword list for words and phrases like “cheap” and “affordable.” This means you can focus on the site visitors most likely to convert.

Google search terms report exclusion list

Another way to lower campaign costs is using exact match and phrase match keywords instead of broad match. Keyword match types target more specific search queries, meaning fewer wasted clicks.

Broad match

Ad agency costs

A digital marketing agency will manage your Google Ads campaign for you, optimizing it to get the best click-through rate (CTR).

There are three common fee structures ad agencies use:

  • A flat fee, ranging from $1,500 to $10,000 a month, that may depend on the size of your account and the complexity of your ad campaigns
  • A percentage of ad spend, ranging between 10%-30% of your costs
  • A performance-based fee, where you pay for the leads they bring in (a more risky strategy that may result in low-quality leads)

Google Ads isn’t always the most cost-effective marketing channel, but consider the return on investment (ROI) your law firm will get.

“A few years back, a family approached us after seeing our Google Ad online,” shares Andy Gillin, Attorney and Managing Partner at GJEL Accident Attorneys.

“They were seeking justice for their child, who was the victim of a school bus accident. It turned out to be one of the largest settlements in our firm’s history.”

The fact this family found his law firm through his ad campaign proves the real potential PPC offers.

How to create a stand-out Google Ads campaign

While Google Ads are more expensive for lawyers than other sectors, they have a higher conversion rate. In Google search, the average conversion rate for ads across all industries is 3.75%, and 6.98% in the legal industry.

Although the conversion rate is higher, you must work hard to create a solid ad campaign that drives clicks.

Here are our expert tips for building the best Google Ads for lawyers:

Want to boost your conversions even more? Here are five additional tactics to elevate your Google Ads game.

Focus on high-quality keyword research

Relevant keyword research is the cornerstone of an effective Google Ads campaign for lawyers. This allows you to reach the right audience, make your ad copy more engaging, and lower your CPC.

Keyword research doesn’t just help your Google Ads strategy, but your SEO strategy too. When you understand your target keywords, you can get prospective clients’ attention across all marketing channels.

A good starting point for your ad campaign is Google Keyword Planner. It’s free with a Google Ads account and allows you to identify different keywords, alongside monthly search volume and average page bids. You can even scan your competitors’ websites for potential keyword ideas.

Google Keyword planner for the search term “family law attorney”

Google Ads for lawyers are highly competitive, so it pays to target long-tail keywords. These are longer, more specific keyword phrases that are 4-7 words long.

For example:

  • Personal injury lawyer in Minneapolis
  • Spanish-speaking divorce attorney near me
  • Car accident lawyer with motorcycle experience
  • Contract dispute lawyer for small business

These phrases have less competition than shorter keywords, and searchers are closer to the bottom of the sales funnel.

Use assets

Assets (formerly known as ad extensions) are additional pieces of information you can use in your search ad. In the example below, the highlighted links are assets, linking to other sections of the law firm’s website.

Google search ad for “DUI lawyer in Phoenix” with assets

Assets give your ad more visibility since it takes up more space in the search engine results. This increases the chance of search engine users noticing your law firm and clicking your ad.

Use these assets in your law firm’s PPC advertising:

  • Callout extensions: Add extra descriptive text to your ad. For example, showing your benefits, like “available 24/7,” “free consultations,” or “Se Habla Español.”
  • Call extensions: Add your phone number to your search ad, so customers can call you directly if they’re searching on mobile.
  • Image extensions: Add images to your ad to make it stand out. According to Google, image assets increase your CTR by 6%.
  • Lead form extensions: Add a lead form to your ad, so prospective clients can click a button and request more information directly from your ad.
  • Location extensions: Link to a physical address, so when a customer clicks, they see your location in Google Maps.
  • Sellers rating extensions: Show a rating for your law firm to show your credibility. Google Ads pulls this data from your Google Business Profile, and review sites like Trustpilot.
  • Sitelink extensions: Add additional web links to your ad to highlight the services you offer, promote your testimonials, and showcase your qualifications.

Develop your landing pages

The landing pages you drive prospective clients to through your PPC campaigns must be fast-loading, easy to read, and have a clear call-to-action.

Here’s a great example of a Google search ad for a law firm and the corresponding landing page.

Google Search ad for the term “family law Brooklyn”

The ad has clear copy and uses assets to provide additional information. The landing page demonstrates a strong value proposition, is mobile-responsive, and offers trust signals from media mentions.

Landing page for the Google search ad above

Relevant landing pages positively affect your Google Ads quality score, which means a lower CPC.

Track, measure, and optimize

“You can’t improve what you don’t measure” — the key to Google Ads success is to track your campaign results and optimize accordingly.

Track, measure, and optimize

Here’s what we recommend to get the most out of your PPC campaigns:

    • Understand your goals to determine which metrics are most important. For example, do you want to increase

revenue, improve brand awareness, or generate new leads?

  • Set up conversion tracking on your law firm’s website to see which ad campaigns are most successful.
  • Add the Google tag to your website to create retargeting ad campaigns.
  • Regularly check your Google Ads account to see how your ad campaigns are doing and to prevent going over budget (especially with automated bidding strategies).
  • A/B test your ad copy and assets to see which drive the most clicks and conversions.

“Tracking is an essential part of any PPC campaign, especially for law firms,” says Sam Yadegar, CEO of HawkSEM.

“We use ConversionIQ (CIQ) to track every step of the buyer journey on Google Ads. This shows which aspects of the campaign work best, allowing us to optimize towards a higher return on ad spend (ROAS).”

The different types of Google Ads for lawyers

There are various ad types to choose from, allowing you to customize your ad campaign to your goals and target audience.

Here are three campaign types to consider in your legal marketing strategy and the benefits of each:

Find out more about the different types of Google Ads, with some high-converting examples.

Search ads

Google search ads appear on the search engine results pages (SERPs) when people look for a specific search query.

Search ad for the search term “family law Arizona”

This type of ad has a high CTR because it focuses on potential customers ready to invest in your legal services. Someone searching for “family law solicitors” or “family law advice” is at the bottom of the sales funnel, meaning they’re close to becoming a paying customer.

You can amend search ads (alongside the other ads in this section) so they target key demographics. For example, if you specialize in business law, adjust your campaign to show during office hours.

Local service ads

Google local services ads appear when people search for legal services in a specific geographic area. Google Ads charges you when a client messages or calls you.

Local service ads for the search term “personal injury lawyers Boca Raton”

A benefit of local service ads is that you can earn a Google badge, which inspires trust in new clients. For example, the “Google Screened” badge shows you have an active law license.

Display ads

Display ads don’t appear on Google search — these visual ads appear on over two million websites and mobile apps across the Google Display Network.

Google display ad for a San Diego divorce attorney firm

These ads are good for brand awareness. When people see your law firm advertised across different websites, they become aware of your services. This means when they need legal support, you’re on their radar.

Another benefit of display ads is you can use them for retargeting. This is when you show ads to people who previously interacted with your law firm’s website. You can then encourage them to come back and convert.

Legal advertising compliance and ethics

When you’re an attorney, your Google Ad campaign needs to be compelling, stand out from the competition, and bring you qualified leads. It also must comply with state and federal guidelines.

Model Rules of Professional Conduct handbook

The American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct advises lawyers to avoid:

  • Making false or misleading communications about their services
  • Compensating people for recommending their services (for example, through reviews and testimonials)
  • Stating or implying they’re specialists in a particular field of law without appropriate certifications
  • Soliciting specific groups of people. You can advertise to everyone and ask if they need representation after a car accident, but you can’t directly target people who’ve been in a car accident

Also, be aware of the Model Rules of the state where you practice law. For example, the Florida Bar Association states that if an ad quotes a fee, the ad must also advise if the client will be responsible for additional costs and expenses.

Breaking the rules can lead to reprimand, suspension, and even disbarment in serious cases.
The best course of action is to check advertising regulations in your practice area and ensure your ads are honest, transparent, and truthful.

Google Ads may disapprove your ad if it’s not compliant, but this shouldn’t be a failsafe for your ad campaigns.

The takeaway

Google Ads is a highly effective platform for lawyers who want to reach the right clients. However, you must understand the legal advertising regulations and how to craft a high-quality ad that gets people’s attention.

When managed efficiently, Google Ads boosts your online presence and drives conversions — 13% of lawyers say Google Ads generates the most leads for their businesses.

When it comes to Google Ads management for lawyers, HawkSEM is best-in-class. We take time to understand your business, the services you offer, and what you want to achieve.

Our PPC experts then create custom campaigns bespoke to your needs, tracking them using Google Campaigns 360 and CIQ to ensure a positive ROAS.

And if you have questions about your Google Ads account, you’re only a phone call or email away from a senior strategist.

See why we’re the best Google Ads company for lawyers — get in touch for your free consultation today. Take the first step towards attracting more clients and maximizing your revenue with us.

Contact HawkSEM for Free Consultation