2023’s Top 5 Google Paid Search Trends for Attorneys

In a world that is always evolving due to technology and Google itself, these are 2023’s top 5 Google paid search trends for attorneys to be aware of.

Audience Targeting

When dealing with one of the highest-cost industries for the average cost per click, your ad spend should be heavily invested in the right audience. This is one feature you must take advantage of to the fullest. A key demographic to target is household income. A key strategy of ours is to aggressively bid on higher-income households that have the means and resources to pay a meaningful retainer fee. We have seen great results by excluding certain household income levels as well. In addition, making sure our client’s ads are reaching the right age group has a positive impact on performance. We routinely test different approaches within this section, and this is an area that you should implement within your account.

Smart Bidding

While we can control our demographic and audience targeting, Google is making major moves in applying more machine learning to provide better bidding strategies in return. Areas that you can leverage this feature are within your bid strategy per campaign. We have tested and seen good results from applying a max conversion with a targeted cost-per-acquisition (CPA) bid strategy. This allows us to control our bids at the end of the day but allows Google to use those top converting signals (time of day, device, GEO, etc.) to help serve our ads to the right people at the right time. Our main goal is to help our law firms acquire leads that convert into actual clients. I expect to see new bidding strategies launched and perhaps the last of manual bidding in 2023.

Mobile Optimization

A recent study showed that more than 70% of website traffic came from mobile devices in 2022. This means having your website optimized for mobile devices is more critical than ever. Google is going to leverage more site penalties due to poor user journeys and experience for slow page load times, image load times, font sizes, and more. If you are using a website that is not mobile-friendly for your Google Ads landing page, we would highly advise you to stop and invest in mobile-friendly landing pages that allow you to actually convert leads. There are third-party platforms such as Unbounce where you can create highly customized and optimized lead capture pages for your law firm. We leverage this platform for all of our paid media traffic.

Rising Cost Per Clicks

We have seen within our own law firms and clients’ accounts that there was dramatic movement in cost when the pandemic hit and recovery since then. In 2020, we saw a meaningful drop in CPCs which lasted through the end of 2021. Once 2022 hit, we saw our average CPCs rise higher than pre-pandemic days in 2019 and currently trending higher. It is even more important to understand what your ad spend can do for your business and how many leads you convert into consultations. As well as, how many hires your firm can obtain from those consultations. Going into 2023 knowing this, we intend to apply an aggressive seasonal ad spend strategy.

It’s also important to understand that the cost of advertising on Google has gone up and you will not get the same results in 2023 if you keep your 2022 budget. You can track form leads and calls back to the account via custom landing pages and utilizing a call tracking service such as CallRail.com for attribution purposes. Tracking those efforts will tell you if your investment into Google Ads is working. We’ve seen this channel alone provide a minimum 4x return with a very economical ad spend budget for our clients in highly competitive markets across the US. Depending on your average client lifetime value, we have delivered 12x returns using our Launch and Earn™ Google paid search campaigns.

Keywords Are Evolving But Still Important

There has been a lot of movement within the keyword strategy and match-type world over the last couple of years with Google taking control away due to its push with Artificial Intelligence and machine learning. Keyword research should still be your foundation for your client acquisition campaigns. With the shift in how people are seeing your ads and brand, it’s important to develop a deep understanding of your potential clients and how they search for information and solutions. We have tested and curated the top converting search terms depending on what bucket we are covering. You can leverage call tracking and analytics to determine the success of your targeted search terms. Review your search term report to see new trends or eliminate unwanted search volume. We implement a large list of negative keywords to help eliminate unwanted spending and traffic from the start. Google will eventually take over all the keyword strategy and we will be headed to full-on machine and AI learning for future campaigns. Until then, you can still leverage your targeted keywords to provide relevant search volume. Pair those keywords with a relevant message within the ad and finish that user journey by dropping them on a relevant page that is desktop and mobile-responsive.

In closing, there is a lot that Google is working on, but if you focus on the areas covered above, you can stay ahead of the curve and provide the best opportunity for your firm to capture new potential clients. Whether your firm is looking for guidance on budgeting, strategy, or simply looking to grow your firm in 2023, we can help. Contact Cardinal Concepts today to see how we grew our own law firms and how we can help grow yours.

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