PPC, or Pay Per Click, campaigns can be highly effective for managing your online reputation. Specifically, branded PPC can be a strategic investment that yields substantial rewards with minimum spend—if you do it under the right circumstances.
Branded PPC is when a firm bids on its own name or the names of its attorneys. It can also include taglines. That’s opposed to non-branded PPC, which focuses on general keywords like “divorce attorney” rather than branded keywords.
In this article, we won’t cover the specifics of how to run a PPC campaign for lawyers (although you can hire us for that, if you need it!). Instead, we explain the top four reasons to run a branded PPC campaign and the overall costs and benefits associated with branded PPC ads.
Reason #1: To prevent competitors from doing the same
Did you know that your competitors are allowed to bid on your firm’s name? This is a clever PPC technique that can undercut your online marketing efforts if you’re not aware of it.
Whether or not someone else is already bidding on your name, it’s wise to use branded PPC to secure the top spot for your firm’s name.
This allows you to control the narrative and capture people searching for you and your firm. Otherwise, your competitors could hijack your brand awareness and redirect your leads to their own sites. Lead generation is a ton of work, so why let your rivals reap the rewards? If you want to rank first for your name, branded PPC can help.
Reason #2: If a new attorney recently joined from another firm
Welcoming a new attorney is an exciting development, but it also necessitates some proactive marketing solutions.
Here’s an example. Let’s say the newest addition to your team is Nahzi Sirjani who used to work for a firm called Capella and Donnelly. If someone searches for Nahzi Sirjani, it’s possible that Nahzi’s previous work with her prior firm may appear in the search results—even though she currently works with you. That’s because you haven’t yet created enough content for your firm to organically appear first for Nahzi.
Branded PPC can be an effective way to boost new talent’s visibility while proactively redirecting their online traffic away from their old place of employment to your law firm’s webpage.
Reason #3: When you don’t yet rank in the organic Map Pack
We’ve written extensively on the power and majesty of the local Map Pack. But if you don’t yet rank organically, branded PPC campaigns can be a strategic shortcut for appearing in the SERP—especially for local clients.
Use branded PPC with local targeting to improve your visibility among nearby searchers, even if you don’t rank organically yet.
This type of targeted advertising can get complex, so we recommend hiring an ads manager to help develop and deploy your campaign for best results. You will need to identify keywords, create compelling ad copy, select location extensions and schedule the PPC campaigns.
Reason #4: You rank below directories and other web properties
It’s frustrating to see a directory ranking above your own website in the SERP. However, law firms are far more likely to compete with these types of listings than other businesses.
The bad news is that directories are a critical part of legal marketing. The good news is that directories infrequently use PPC marketing.
You can leapfrog right over the organic search results with a branded PPC campaign, ensuring that your website appears higher than the directories and other competing web entities. Make sure you’re capitalizing on the halo effect!
Costs and benefits of branded PPC for lawyers
We generally recommend a blend of non-branded and branded PPC for law firms. Aim to spend your budget on approximately 80% non-branded and 20% branded keywords.
Cost: Branded PPC will usually cost no more than $50 per month per attorney.
Benefit 1: Get a high quality score on Ads
There’s one major advantage we want to highlight with branded PPC campaigns, and that is the quality score.
A quality score is based on ad relevance, landing page experience, click-through rate and bid amount. When you bid on your own name, you’re creating a resonant experience for searchers who are more likely to click on your ad. Plus, your landing page copy will include your firm’s name. All of this will yield a high quality score which can help you rank higher on Google.
Benefit 2: Stay competitive in tough markets
In some markets, competition is extremely fierce. This means that your competitors may be searching for every opportunity to exploit your good name—even in a recession.
In these markets, it’s relatively common to see rival firms bidding on each other’s names in an effort to snag the top spot.
Branded PPC ensures that your competitor’s name is not the first thing someone sees when searching for your practice. It can also be a great strategy to deal with zero-click searches.
Smart use of branded PPC campaigns can fortify your online reputation, suppress competitors and improve your local visibility while you wait for organic SEO to yield results.
If you’ve recently welcomed a new attorney, if you’ve discovered that a competitor bid on your name with PPC ads or if you’re ranking below directories in the SERP, you might benefit from a branded PPC campaign.
Book a free 15 minute call to discuss digital marketing for lawyers with our experts. We can help you direct your resources to the highest ROI campaigns and grow your business strategically.