Many law firms wonder if consumers click on paid ads when searching for lawyers online. From our experience in handling marketing campaigns for law firms for the last 14 years and running research studies in the past, we know that consumers do click on Google Ads. However, we wanted to get updated data for 2019 and heading into the 2020 year to find out just where consumers are clicking after running searches on Google. Considering Google is always trying to add more ads into the SERPs, we expect Google to add another ad to the mix in 2020. For this test, we used a SERP image that displayed 4 text ads up top and 1 map ad.
The click heat map graphic below gives us insight into where the participants in our study actually clicked. Each participant was asked to click on 3 links on the page that they would click on if they had conducted this search. The percentage of clicks for each result on the page shows you the exact breakdown each position earned in the study.
Summary of Key Findings
41% of clicks went to paid listings (the first 5 positions on the page, all which were paid, accounted for 40% of clicks)
22% of clicks went to organic maps results
31% of clicks went to maps results if you include the paid map listing
31% of clicks went to organic search results
16% went to the #1 organic position (the highest percentage of clicks for any result on the page)
Important Takeaways for Your Law Firm
Smarter ad types with better quality ads will earn more clicks. Take a look at the 3rd paid listing on the image above. Even though it is in the 3rd highest position on the page, it only received 2% of clicks! Even with such a large percentage of consumers clicking on paid ads these days, simply having ads running doesn’t mean you are going to have success. Google Ads are much more complex than they have been in the past and it takes someone who really knows what they are doing to be running your firm’s ads on Google. If you aren’t A/B testing your ads on a regular basis to look for ways to improve performance, you’re not running an efficient campaign. The ad landscape is constantly changing and you should be trying to fine tune your performance on a regular basis.
You should be creating smarter content on your website on a consistent basis in order to target more search phrases. When I look at the search results here, I notice that even the results that are appearing high on the page organically are still very far down on the page. The #2 organic result here is actually the 10th item down the page, no wonder why it only got 5% of clicks! Focusing only on the most obvious search phrases (personal injury lawyer, car accident lawyer, etc.) is an outdated way of thinking. Smarter marketers will create content that answers users questions related to their situation. Here at iLawyer, we use a combination of historical keyword data, competitive intelligence, keyword research, proprietary software that utilizes Machine Learning in order to generate smarter content ideas for our clients.
Good reviews are still highly important to able to appear in Google Maps listings. It is also highly important to consumers who are looking not only at your star rating but also at the number of reviews you have. Both factors impact your CTR (Click Through Rate). Make sure you are providing EXCELLENT service to the clients you represent and ask them to leave you reviews on Google. While it’s against Yelp’s TOS to ask for reviews, it’s not against Google’s policy. These days consumers are going to leave reviews and they are much more likely to leave a negative review than a positive one, so don’t give them a reason to give you a poor review. As the chart below shows, nearly 88% of consumers want a law firm to have 4 stars or higher so make sure you are paying attention to your online reviews.
If budget allows in 2020, you should be doing both Google Ads and SEO in order to give yourself the best opportunity to consistently generate cases online. The days of consumers avoiding clicking on paid ads are long gone as a result of Google improving the relevancy of ads and of course Google increasing visibility of paid ads and pushing organics lower on the page. If you aren’t running paid ads, you are missing out on a significant percentage of consumers searching for lawyers online as 40% is a huge number to be missing out on.So what kind of budget is needed to run paid campaigns? That depends on the market you are in. As we have talked about in the past, the price you pay per click can be very expensive. In some of the medium to larger markets in the country, aggressive advertisers will often spend between $50,000-$250,000 a month on paid search (or more). While you don’t need to spend that much, you will typically need to spend at least $10,000 a month or more to get good results although this can be less in softer markets. But if the average cost per click is $100, a $10,000 budget only gets you 100 clicks! SEO on the other hand on average will start at $5-10k a month in a competitive market (less expensive in less competitive markets) and generally provides a much better “Cost per Click” average as long as you have agreat law firm SEO company running your campaign.
Note: The click test image and reviews chart above are taken from our latest study that analyzes how consumers choose lawyers online in 2019-2020. We will be releasing more details of this study at MTMP in October so please contact us if you would like to learn about the study findings.