This is often one of the first and most difficult to answer questions that we’ve been asked. There’s a few reasons why it’s such a tough one. There are numerous tools out there but they just don’t give a reliable answer. They are based on algorithms that attempt to gauge an advertiser’s spend. Unfortunately, we have found these numbers to be way off when we feed in our own client’s campaigns.
The best way to answer this question is to run a test. This lets us do several things including determining how competitive your market is based on other advertisers. One of the challenges of estimating this prior to a test is that every market and area of practice is different. A ‘family law’ related click in Athens, GA is very different than a ‘car accident’ related click in Southern California.
PPC is rooted in math and the top numbers drive the bottom line. Those top numbers are determined by the level of competition in your area. Google Ads is an auction and there are a number of variables that determine who shows up highest on the search results page.
Google Ads is an auction model. This means that you are bidding on specific keywords and bidding against your competition. There are a number of factors that contribute to the amount you bid.
- What is your competition willing to pay per click?
- What volume of cases are you seeking?
- What is the quality score of each keyword you are bidding on – particularly the ones that generate the most clicks?
If you’re not seeking as many cases for your firm then you can bid less and show lower on the search engine results page (SERP). If your goal is to gain as many cases as possible you will pay a premium to show up higher in the search results.
Testing is an ongoing process and for our clients we never stop testing because the market and user behaviour constantly changing. What works today might not work tomorrow.
Let’s start with the landing pages because that’s where you can really move the needle. We test a number of differ things. We test formatting, layout, imagery and graphics. Really some of the the most important things to test is the headline and the call-to-action on a page.
On average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy. It follows that unless your headline sells your product, you have wasted 90 percent of your money.
– David Ogilvy
Headlines have the ability to make or break the success of your landing pages. They are almost always the highest-read copy on the page.
Effective headlines must perform three key actions: they must catch the reader’s attention, communicate the benefit of your offering, and encourage the reader to continue reading.
If you are able to achieve all of these with a brief headline then you are well on your way to building a successful landing page that converts.
While it isn’t possible to tell you exactly what headline you should write as there are too many variables in each market and for each prospect, most successful headlines share several common characteristics that should be used and must be included in your headline testing.
Most good headlines contain some combination of the following:
- Easy to understand
- Write for your visitor
- Reference specific benefits and value proposition
- Summarize one overarching benefit
We have a three-point criteria we’ve developed that constitutes a good lead. Keep in mind this doesn’t mean it’s a good case::
1. The lead has to be in your area of practice.
2. The lead has to be in your geographic area.
3. The caller has to think they may need a lawyer in your area of practice.
We use this criteria because this is as much as advertising can deliver. With enough leads that fit these criteria, you are likely to get cases based on probability. If the majority of leads you receive don’t fit this criteria then you are unlikely to gain many cases because the top of the funnel is flawed.
PPC and SEO are two very different animals. SEO is a much longer game. It can take months or years to gain enough SEO authority to rank prominently enough to get traffic to your site.
PPC is more immediate and has a number of its own advantages.
- Google places PPC ads above organic (SEO) listings so they are more likely to be seen by prospective clients.
- Ads run nearly instantaneously. We can often have a campaign launched and ads actively running within a few days.
No one channel is necessarily better than another. Most marketing works together and the more brand visibility you have, the more likely you are to have a successful PPC campaign.
We can’t succeed without a good intake system in place. Our marketing can bring all the leads in the world but if they don’t convert from leads into signed cases then it’s all for nothing.
There are several key components that influence intake quality.
- The human element
- Systems and technology.
The human element is about empathy, gathering information efficiently and understanding that each call is worth a significant amount of money and has a huge opportunity cost.
The systems and technology requires that calls are answered quickly by intake personnel who can answer questions, follow a script and go off script when necessary. It also requires an efficient method for entering information.
Websites are similar to brochures. They are designed to provide detailed information about your firm. Sites typically have numerous pages, navigation, and a number of other pieces of information that help with SEO ranking.
Landing pages are pages specifically designed to have a particular user convert. Think of a landing page not as a website but as an extension of the ad that got the click in the first place.
Well-designed websites are expensive. They require not only financial resources but they are also very expensive in terms of the time and investment required internally.
If you represent a small company then it can be even more difficult to get the budget or assistance needed for modest changes. In big companies, IT restrictions, resource allocation and other red tape barriers can make it nearly impossible to change.
Landing pages on the other hand can be owned by marketing. They can be set up separately from the website and allow marketing to use them as their own personal sandbox without further tasking I.T. With the right software, even a beginner can revise copy to test headlines, offers, and promotions. Moving your campaign marketing away from big lumbering websites is often the only way to launch campaigns that work in the real world.
Do you want to make life difficult for your best prospects?
Do you want to make it tough for them to become a qualified lead ?
Of course, you don’t.
So why am I asking such a basic, no-brainer question? The answer often doesn’t lie in the ad itself. The answer is often what happens AFTER the prospect clicks an ad (post-click). This is the big disconnect.
After someone clicks your Google Ad, Facebook ad, or any other link to your online content, what happens next?
We have helped clients improve their conversion rates from 3% to upwards of 30% using proven post-click strategies and techniques. The strategy comes in a number of formulas, but the most common is something like:
- Restate their specific problem
- Provide a solution
- Answer all of their doubts
- Build trust with GOOD testimonials and reviews
- Create a sense of urgency
- Reinforce points 1 and 2
There you have it. The building blocks of a well-designed landing page!