Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads bring in 50 percent more lead conversions than organic web traffic. It’s not surprising that 40 percent of brands plan to increase their PPC budget. What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to creating an effective PPC ad campaign? Is it optimizing the ROI on those expensive legal keywords? Is it beating out the competition? What about reaching qualified searchers and weeding out the irrelevant clicks or calls?


What if we told you that there’s one key component that will help you overcome those challenges? It’s true. While optimizing your PPC campaign involves numerous moving parts, there’s one piece of the puzzle that is absolutely critical. It’s your ad copy. “Nobody reads advertising. People read what interests them, and sometimes it’s an ad,” said advertising legend Howard Luck Gossage. Your copy matters. Period. 


Ineffective copy can sink the most well-thought-out PPC strategy. You may have invested time in your ad targeting to reach the right searchers, carefully crafted your calls-to-action and identified the keywords with the highest ROI. However, all that effort will be lost if your ad copy isn’t effective. How do you create copy that helps drive quality leads and convert them? Consider these tips: 


Compel with Clarity


Clarity for legal ad copy is key to maximizing your PPC ROI. How so? Simply put, attracting the right searchers and weeding out the irrelevant ones helps you reduce cost per click (CPC), Average Conversion Rate (CVR) and Cost Per Acquisition (CPA). Lowering those metrics optimizes your campaign and boosts ROI.


Think about this. Ninety percent of the top 100 most expensive terms and 100 percent of the top 25 most expensive terms are legal keywords. Every time an irrelevant searcher clicks your ad but then realizes your landing page isn’t where they wanted to be, you are wasting money. You are also lowering your quality score, which negatively affects your ranking. Read more about maximizing your campaign by closely watching those key metrics in this recent blog


To compel the right leads and weed out the wrong ones, remember that most people do not read every word of an ad. They simply scan. That means your keywords must stand out. For example, if you are a personal injury attorney, repeat the word “injury” five or six times. This attracts quality leads and decreases the number of non-injury clients that might click your ad (remember you pay for every click) or call you. 


Stay Competitive By Being Google-Savvy


Competition is fierce in the legal arena, so it’s critical to create ad copy that differentiates your firm. If your competitors are taking advantage of the newest formatting and ad copy changes on Google and you aren’t, your ads are not going to get as much attention. Stay up-to-date and competitive.


For example, Google recently added a third headline and a second description. PPC advertisers that are behind are going to have smaller ads that make much less impact. Searchers are going to be attracted to a tech-savvy competitor who has well-thought-out, keyword-rich descriptions. 


Google’s Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) allow a total of 300 characters, three 30-character headlines, a display URL with two 15-character path fields and up to two 90-character description fields. That is twice as big as traditional expanded text ads. Who is going to attract more leads? Obviously, the advertiser taking up the most real estate.


In addition to more space, Google tests your RSAs for you. Using all the allowable headlines and descriptions gives you more than 43,000 different ad combinations. By monitoring the combinations that yield the best results, Google optimizes your PPC campaign. Beat out the competition by getting larger ads in front of the most relevant leads in just the right place at just the right time. Read Everything You Need to Know about Google’s Responsive Search Ads to learn more about RSAs.


10 Ad Copywriting Tips to Live By


Clarity is the overarching principle to live by. The clearest headlines always beat out any other variations. Above all else, get clarity down. Here are 10 tips to help you keep it simple. 


1. Be relevant. 


The copy has to match your target keyword and the messaging on your landing page. However, being relevant is about more than matching keywords. Your competitors are bidding on the same keywords too. Your ad must address your searcher’s pain point.


People will click your ad because it promises to solve their problem, not because it’s keyword-rich. Before writing your headline, think about what the user wants to accomplish. Does your headline meet their end goal? 


2. Use numbers.


Creating ad copy with statistics grabs attention and provides social proof. According to HubSpot, 83 percent of global consumers say they trust social proof recommendations more than any other form of advertising. So, run your numbers and share them. Have you generated impressive results for your clients? How many cases have you won in the last year?


For example, if you are a personal injury attorney, how much money have your clients been awarded over the last year or five years? Share your average win-rate, number of clients, or total years in business.


3. Ask questions.


Searchers looking for legal answers often have a million questions running through their minds. Make sure your ad hits on one of them. Be the solution to their challenge. For personal injury, try something like “Have you been hurt in a car accident?” A family attorney might ask, “Need help finding a divorce attorney?” or “What child custody arrangement is best for my children?” 


4. Use emotional triggers.


Emotional triggers spur users to action. While many internet searchers are simply looking for information, legal searchers are looking for solutions to matters that weigh heavy on their minds. Get to the heart of their concerns by crafting copy that solves those weighty matters. Focus on these five triggers:


  • Trust: Reinforce trust and help searchers feel they can rely on you. Be transparent by showing stats mentioned in No. 2. Show testimonials or use your landing page to link to reviews on appropriate third-party sites. Trust builds if readers feel risk is reduced. For example, if you are a personal injury attorney and clients do not pay unless you win, be sure to state that. Use phrases like “free consultation” or “100 percent satisfaction guaranteed.” Give your firm a human face by showing photos of your team or linking to social profiles. 
  • Value: From buying a car to making grocery purchases, buyers are more price-savvy than ever. The same goes for legal services. They want to avoid buyer’s remorse at all costs. Do you have a price guarantee? How do you compare to your competitors? Do you have a unique fee structure? How about adding a call-to-action that says “Call for a free case review?”
  • Instant Gratification: People buy products and services that give them instant gratification. They want to feel the effects of their decision right away. That’s challenging in the legal arena, but possible. Include words in your copy such as, today, now, within 24 hours or instant access. Help them feel like a winner right away. For example, a personal injury attorney could use “Call us now to get the money you deserve” as their call-to-action. It makes the user feel like they are on the road to easing their woes, and your firm is going to act quickly. 
  • Hope: Paint a picture of a brighter future. “Get the relief you need” or “We’re here to help you get what you deserve” are two possibilities for personal injury firms. 
  • Fear: Fear doesn’t seem like a positive emotion, but it does drive the decision-making process. The fear of being left out is a strong motivator. Don’t craft a bleak message. Instead, show how your services are the right decision. The user will conclude that not using your services could have negative consequences. For example, try something like “Stop worrying about medical bills from your car accident.” It conveys the fear that your bills will not go away without contacting your firm.  


5. Speak to one person.


Hyper-targeted ads are most effective. If you are a searcher looking for a divorce attorney, you are more likely to click an ad that specifically addresses divorce instead of one that only advertises family law. Speak to an individual searcher as if you were meeting with a potential client in person. Remember, Google RSA’s allow you to create over 43,000 different ad combinations. Take advantage of new technology to give potential clients customized content. 


6. Don’t use legal jargon.


Don’t be tempted to show your expertise through technical or overly dense language. Remember, clarity is key. Give a concise message that users can digest in just a few seconds. Avoid references to statutes or specific laws. 


7. Focus on the reader, not you. 


Don’t focus on your services. Focus on the benefits of doing business with you. What do clients get for working with your firm? Don’t overuse “we.” Talk to your potential clients. Use “you” instead. There’s nothing wrong with mentioning your credentials, experience or reputation, but don’t make your ad look like a resume. Pick a few highlights that specifically relate to how your credentials help your clients. 


8. Listen to existing clients.


Your existing clients are a treasure trove of information for ad copy. When you onboard clients, you most likely ask them to complete a questionnaire about themselves. If you don’t, start now. Tell your clients you want to know all about them. Get their story directly from them. What are their pain points? Lift phrases from that questionnaire for your ad messaging. It’s likely their pain points are the same as your potential clients.


9. Think holistically.


Consider how your ad copy fits with the rest of your online strategy. Think of your ad as the start of your messaging road map that leads potential clients to conversion. For example, different ad versions may link to different landing pages. If your ad is about divorce, be sure it takes users to a page that is specifically about divorce.


While some repetition is okay, too much repetition can be distracting. Give your visitors a satisfying experience from start to finish. Make the steps to conversion as clear and easy as possible, starting with your ad.  


10. Keep testing.


Every ad is not going to meet all these tips. That’s why it’s critical to test ad variations to see what is effective for your target audience. What’s the easiest way to test? Follow these steps: 


  • Go to the “Ads & Extensions” section of your campaign. 
  • Determine your highest performing ad.
  • Click the “pencil” icon next to that ad.
  • Select “copy and edit.” 
  • Use the Ad Variations feature to test different ads against each other.
  • Look to the bottom of the left-hand menu and select “Drafts and Experiments.” 
  • Click the “New Ad Variation” option.
  • Follow the wizard prompts to apply new variations to your selected campaign.


Test out various minor changes. Swap out calls-to-action. Replace entire sections of copy. Try minor changes in headlines. A/B testing your headlines alone has been proven to result in a 127 percent improvement in conversion rates.


Be sure to only test one element at a time so you can identify exactly what factors are improving performance. Remember that Google’s RSAs test for you as well. This feature allows up to 15 headlines and four descriptions. It’s a simple way to perform testing. Use this feature to your advantage.


In Summary


PPC campaigns have the potential to give your web traffic a big boost. PPC looks for people with a specific need, exactly the audience law firms are looking for. In addition to lead generation, PPC increases brand awareness by 80 percent. Lead generation and brand awareness are the perfect combination for a lawyer trying to reach a local audience.


Take full advantage of this platform by developing a PPC strategy that optimizes your campaign. However, if your copy doesn’t engage your audience, none of those strategies will work. Above all else, keep your copy simple. Clarity is king. Stick with a clear, concise message.