PPC Marketing for Law Firms: Understanding Paid Ads

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What is PPC marketing for law firms?

PPC advertising, which stands for Pay-Per-Click, is an online advertising strategy that can be used by law firms to enhance their online presence and attract potential clients. This model involves law firms paying a fee each time their advertisement is clicked by a user. This type of advertising can be particularly powerful when implemented correctly as it can lead to high-quality leads for the law firm​​​​.

PPC marketing for law firms is a significant yet sometimes underappreciated aspect of legal marketing. It is essentially a way for businesses, including law firms, to only pay for advertising when it results in a user taking the action of clicking the advertisement. If no clicks are received, there is no charge, making it a cost-effective way to target potential clients​​.

These PPC ads usually appear at the top of search engine results, giving them prime visibility and making them one of the first things a person sees when searching for legal services. This prominent placement can help law firms reach an audience actively seeking legal services, therefore increasing the chances of attracting clients who are in immediate need of legal assistance.

ppc marketing for law firms

How does search engine PPC work?

Search engine PPC, such as Google Ads, works as a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platform. They enable law firms and other advertisers to display their ads on Google’s search results pages and other Google properties. On overview on how PPC marketing for law firms on search engines is outlined below:

  • Keyword research: Before setting up a PPC campaign, law firms should conduct keyword research to identify specific keywords that potential clients might use when searching for legal services. This involves using tools like Google Keyword Planner to find relevant keywords, including long-tail keywords, which are more specific and less competitive.
  • Specific keywords and search terms: After identifying the right keywords, law firms will then be required to create Google Ads campaigns targeting those terms. Specific keywords are chosen to match the search terms entered by the target audience. This ensures that the firm’s PPC ads are displayed to users with intent that aligns with the services offered by the law firm.
  • PPC ads and search ads: Once the keywords are selected, law firms create search ads. These ads are shown to users who enter the chosen search terms on Google. The firm’s PPC campaigns are designed to capture the attention of the target audience through compelling ad copy that includes these keywords.
  • PPC budget: Law firms must set a PPC budget for their campaigns. This budget determines how often the ads will appear and how much the firm is willing to pay each time someone clicks on their ad.
  • Quality scores: Google assesses the relevance and quality of each PPC ad and their associated landing pages through Quality Scores. Ads with higher Quality Scores can get better ad placement and lower costs per click. It is therefore, crucial for law firms to optimise their PPC campaigns for better Quality Scores by using relevant keywords and creating high-quality landing pages.
  • Target audience: The success of PPC campaigns for law firms is dependent on how well they can target their audience. Ads have the ability to be tailored based on demographics, location, and even the time of day to reach potential clients who are most likely to need legal services.
  • PPC campaigns for law firms: Law firm’s PPC campaigns are structured to generate leads and drive conversions. This involves managing the campaigns actively to respond to the performance data and optimising for the highest possible conversion rate.
  • Relevant keywords and conversion rate: The relevance of keywords is not just about attracting clicks; it’s about attracting the right clicks that have a greater likelihood of converting into clients. A successful PPC campaign is measured not just by the number of clicks, but by the conversion rate, which reflects the percentage of clickers who take a desired action (like contacting the law firm).
  • PPC strategies: Effective PPC strategies are at the core of a law firm’s PPC campaigns. This includes choosing the right keywords, setting an appropriate budget, crafting targeted ad copy, and constantly refining these elements based on campaign performance.
  • Successful PPC campaign: A successful PPC campaign for a law firm is one that not only reaches a large audience but engages a relevant audience that is likely to need legal services. This success is reflected in high-quality scores, an impressive conversion rate, and a good return on investment for the PPC budget spent.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of PPC marketing for law firms?

The use of PPC marketing for law firms has both benefits and drawbacks, some of which are listed below.


  • Instant visibility: PPC marketing for law firms offers immediate exposure, with ads appearing shortly after the campaign begins, potentially driving new traffic to the website right away​​.
  • Targeted traffic: PPC allows for highly targeted marketing, attracting visitors with a high intent to engage with the law firm’s services​​​​.
  • Flexibility and control: Campaigns can be quickly adjusted in response to performance data, allowing law firms to optimize their approach and spend​​.
  • Data-driven decisions: The vast amount of data collected from PPC campaigns helps law firms make informed decisions and continually refine their marketing strategies​​.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Whilst some legal keywords can be costly, the ROI can be significant if the campaign leads to acquiring new clients whose business outweighs the advertising spend​​.


  • High competition: The legal sector faces stiff competition in PPC, with high costs per click for popular keywords, which can be prohibitive for smaller practices​​​​.
  • Time and management: PPC campaigns require constant monitoring and management to be effective, which can be a significant time investment or require hiring a specialist​​.
  • Complex setup: Creating a successful PPC campaign involves several components, such as a compliant website and effective ad copy, which can be complex to set up and optimise​​.
  • No guaranteed results: Clicks do not always translate to conversions, and users may skip ads in favour of organic listings, meaning the effectiveness of PPC can vary​​.
  • Relative cost: Compared to other marketing models, PPC can be more expensive, especially for highly competitive keywords​​.

Alternatives to PPC marketing

Other marketing strategies should be considered for use alongside, or instead of PPC marketing. One significant alternative to PPC marketing for law firms is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

SEO is a strategy that targets specific keywords and phrases to rank high on search engine results pages organically, without paying for each click like in PPC. SEO for law firms involves creating high-quality, informative content that satisfies the search queries of potential clients.

SEO also focuses on improving various website factors like site security, page speed, mobile design, site authority, content optimisation, technical SEO, metadata, and acquiring high-quality backlinks. While SEO takes longer to show results compared to PPC, it can drive consistent traffic over a longer period, even years, as the content remains visible as long as it’s relevant and ranks well​​.

Content marketing emerges is another robust alternative to PPC marketing for law firms. It’s an inbound marketing technique that draws potential clients by offering valuable content tailored to their needs. SEO can also be incorporated into many types of website content to allow the content to be found on search engines. This form of marketing includes various types of content:

  • Blogs: Writing informative blog posts can help improve a law firm’s visibility on search engines and establish authority in their field.
  • eBooks: Offering in-depth guides on specific legal topics can be a way to provide value and attract leads.
  • Videos: Creating video content, such as explanations of legal processes or answers to common legal questions, can engage potential clients who prefer visual or auditory learning.
  • Podcasts: Law firms can reach their audience through regular podcasting on relevant legal topics, building a connection and showcasing expertise.
  • Infographics: Visual content like infographics can help break down complex legal information into digestible visuals.
  • Social media: Engaging with clients on social platforms can increase a firm’s reach and humanize its brand​​.

The strategy behind content marketing for law firms is centred around the production of high-quality, client-focused content that boosts organic search visibility and client acquisition. Using these methods, a firm can build trust and authority with potential clients, making them more likely to choose the firm for their legal needs.

Content marketing can also increase a firm’s online authority, generate backlinks, grow email lists for targeted campaigns, and extend reach through videos, webinars, and podcasts​​.

Combining these alternatives with PPC or using them independently can provide law firms with a multifaceted approach to digital marketing, reaching potential clients through a variety of channels and content types.


How can BSD Legal assist?

BSD Legal marketing can assist in the set up and management of your PPC marketing campaigns to ensure the best results are achieved.

The team at BSD Legal come highly recommended by a number of law firms and businesses operating within the legal industry.

Our client portfolio consists of personal injury, commercial law, family law and legal costs firms.

We understand that when it comes to digital marketing for law firms, one size does not fit all, which is why we offer bespoke packages to suit each business’ needs at competitive prices. Some of the services we provide in addition to PPC marketing for law firms include:

If you would like some free initial advice on your law firm marketing strategy, or if you require a quote for our services, feel free to contact us using the forms on our website, or contact our Director, Stacey Owens at stacey@barkstreetdigital.co.uk.


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