It’s likely your firm uses Google Ads to generate leads online. Why wouldn’t you—the internet is currently the top source consumers use to find an attorney. Google is far and away the largest search engine in the world, meaning you have the potential to find all the clients your firm needs on Google alone.
Unfortunately, you can’t just press a button and have leads come in. You’ll need to choose a bidding strategy to determine how much your firm will spend on keywords related to your area of law. While there are benefits to each bidding strategy, some will preform better than others.
Option #1: Manual Bidding
When you use manual cost-per-click bidding (CPC), you’ll set bids for individual keywords or within Ad Groups. This gives you the most control of how much you spend per click and you’ll have the highest likelihood of generating high-quality leads because you can choose to bid higher on keywords that are more likely to have high-quality clients, like “auto accident lawyer Boston” or “SSDI application attorney.”
Unfortunately, it’s also the most challenging option. If you don’t have PPC experience, you may find that your bids are too high and you’re burning through your budget quickly, or they’re too low and you’re not generating any leads. It’s time consuming to make minute bid adjustments to hundreds of keywords, so this may not be the best option for solo practitioners or law firms that don’t have an in-house search marketing specialist.
Option #2: Enhanced CPC
With this option you set manual bids just as you would for the previous option, but Google will have the ability to increase or decrease your max CPC by up to 30% to optimize your conversions. This is beneficial for attorneys looking to get as many inquires as possible to quickly increase their caseload.
You’ll need to have at least 15 conversions in your campaign to enable enhanced CPC, so you can’t immediately start out with this bidding strategy. Another factor to keep in mind is that you will relinquish a good portion of your control to Google. It’s possible the leads generated with enhanced CPC will not be as high quality as leads from manual bidding. This is because it’s usually cheaper to generate a lead for a lower-quality case, like a slip and fall accident, than it is to generate an auto accident lead.
Option #3: CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) Bidding
This option is very different from the previous two—when you opt for CPA bidding, you’ll set a target price to spend to convert one lead. Google will then bid accordingly to try to get you leads at your set price point (or lower). For example, you could set a target of $100 per personal injury lead. While a PI client is worth significantly more than $100, keep in mind that the majority of online inquiries you receive will not work out as clients for one reason or another.
The biggest concern among attorneys with CPA bidding is the quality of leads you receive. On the whole, the worse the case type, the cheaper a lead will be. Google won’t take lead quality into consideration with CPA bidding, so you may end up with a pile of general liability leads for $150 apiece. To make CPA bidding work, you’ll need to make sure your selected keywords are as relevant as possible, and your negative keywords are continually updated to weed out low-quality traffic.
Manual, Enhanced, or Target CPA—Which Is Best For You?
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to selecting a bidding strategy for your law firm. The most popular option is manual bidding, but it’s also the most time consuming. Target CPA is the easiest option, but you do run the risk of having lower-quality traffic.
For attorneys who don’t have an in-house PPC specialist, enhanced bidding a good option. This gives you some control in how much you’ll spend per keyword and give you the ability to control your quality, but at the same time give Google the OK to adjust your bids to maximize conversions.