Legal Billing | Online Billing Software | 5 min read Share:

Legal Marketing: Law Firm Investment and ROI on Pay Per Click Ads  

Written by Erika Winston

5 min read

The average law firm reportedly spends between 2% and 10% of their revenue on marketing and development. This can equate to an extensive sum of money, especially for small and solo practices. So, law firms need to spend these funds in a thoughtful and effective manner.

Many factors influence how much law firms spend on marketing activities, including firm size, practice areas, and which platforms they choose to utilize. Among the many advertising options available to legal practices, pay per click ads have become a popular choice. They are seen as an affordable option and good value for money spent, where law firm leaders can choose to spend as little or as much as they choose.

This post will discuss law firm investments into pay per click ads, including how to manage them and potential Return on Investment (ROI).


What are Pay Per Click Ads

Pay-per-click is a type of paid digital marketing. When using this advertising tool, law firms only pay when someone clicks on their ad. Firms bid on keywords relevant to their practice areas and geographic locations. Ad publishers, which are usually search engines or website owners, then calculate the cost based on much other law firms are willing to pay for the same click.

Pay per click is a marketing investment that brings potential clients to your firm for conversion into paying clients. Like any investment, if unsuccessful, your firm will lose the funds invested. However, if successful, a $5 investment can result in an extremely valuable client case.

The legal industry typically has the most competitive, and most expensive, keywords. This is probably due to the high level of competition among law firms and legal service providers. When consumers need legal services, they usually turn to an internet search. At the same time, lawyers are competing for their business, especially within lucrative practice areas like personal injury cases.

Here are some examples of expensive keywords that probably sound familiar:

  • New York Personal injury Lawyer
  • Auto Accident Attorney
  • California Medical Malpractice Law Firm
  • DUI Attorney

It is quite common for law firms to pay $30-$40 or more per click for these keywords. By comparison, less competitive industries often pay a few cents for their clicks.


Calculating ROI

The true value of any marketing effort is measured by how many potential clients it brings to the firm. Law firms need to calculate their ROI when determining the value of using pay per click ads.

The general equation for ROI is profit minus costs, divided by costs. To calculate pay per click ROI, take a specific time span of an ad campaign, and calculate how much your firm made from clients who came from the ads. Analytics can provide this information if you don’t have it. Then, plug both numbers into the ROI formula.

To get the most accurate ROI calculation, remember that cost is more than just the money paid for ad clicks. Calculations should also include the cost of designing the ad and time spent setting up pay per click marketing. The cost of maintaining your website should also be included for the most accurate assessment.


Setting ROI Goals

There is no single measure for setting ROI goals. Lawyers may benefit from speaking with other attorneys and law firm leaders to get an idea of how their pay per click efforts should perform. Without the help of a marketing expert, setting a pay per click ROI goal may simply involve an educated guess about how to boost revenue.

For example, a law firm currently brings in $10,000 per week. Firm leaders estimate that 5,000 ad clicks at a 5% conversion rate could boost firm profits to $15,000 per week. The ROI goal is that extra $5,000, minus ad costs and then divided by ad cost.

To turn this educated guess into actual profit, the law firm must set up the ad and review the conversion results. In reality, the number of clicks may be smaller, or the conversion rate may differ. The law firm may only bring in an additional $2,500 instead of the $5,000 leaders hope to earn. However, with an ROI goal in place, the firm can make decisions and adjustments to the ad until the goal is met.


Managing Pay Per Click Ads

A benefit of pay per click ads is the ability to see results relatively quickly. The number of telephone calls and contact form submissions in response to pay per click ads provides valuable insight into their effectiveness.

Law firms need to keep an eye on these numbers using the analytics provided by the advertisement publishers. If you determine that a particular ad campaign is performing poorly, you can make necessary adjustments, such as:

  • Changing keyword targets to cheaper options
  • Changing keyword targets to higher converting options
  • Modifying the targeted number of clicks to increase profits or cut losses
  • Modify your ad content
  • Improve your website landing page to increase client conversions

These changes are relatively easy to make and they can be quickly tested for effectiveness. Poorly performing keywords waste money. Take the time to routinely evaluate your pay per click ads and make changes when appropriate.


Law Firms can Benefit from Pay Per Click Ads

Law firms need proven marketing methods when promoting their practices within the crowded legal industry. Pay per click advertisement offers a tried and true technique for marketing success for law firms of all sizes.

About Erika Winston:

Erika Winston is a freelance writer with a passion for law. Through her business, Personal Touch Edits, she helps legal professionals deliver effective written messages. Erika is a regular contributor to TimeSolv and a variety of other publications. 


Subscribe to

our Newsletter

Stay up to date with the latest
articles, educational resources, and news.