There are dozens of ways to get clients. Slap up a billboard. Run a late night commercial. Beg family and friends to send in referrals.
But, when it comes to finding clients online, there's one way that is more efficient, a way to find new, highly qualified clients without wasting money. It puts you at the top of search results, it targets your message directly to those who are searching for you already, and it does so in an easily measurable and affordable manner, which makes calculating your return on investment (ROI) easy.
It's Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. Here's how it works.
It Puts You At the Top of Google Search Results
You're likely already familiar with Google search results -- the page of suggested websites you get when you search for something on Google. Above and alongside these "organic" results are PPC advertisements, which are targeted ads that match what you are searching for. Take a look below, these PPC advertisements stand out on the search results page.
Be As Specific As You Want to Be
PPC is also flexible, letting you target specific types of clients, and change targets quickly when your business needs change.
Is your estate planning department suddenly suffering from a lack of clients? You can instantly bump up your PPC ads to target those who are located in your area and searching for information on wills and trusts. And if you're on the cutting edge, you can respond quickly to new class action opportunities, like drug recalls, or developing areas of law, like same-sex family law.
If you want, your ad can also appear on Google partner sites, like The New York Times. Google matches advertisements to keywords on those sites as well, giving you even more visibility. How much visibility? Google's partner sites, collectively called the Google Display Network, reach 80 percent of Internet users in the U.S.
Another great feature of PPC advertising is that you pay per click, at an amount that is never higher than the ceiling you set -- you "bid" on keywords. Unless a user clicks your advertisement, Google doesn't charge a cent. And people typically only click on advertisements when they're really interested.
In other words, you're not paying to blast your face across a bus bench, where it'll be seen by everyone -- your advertisement is targeting someone who already needs you, and is looking for you. It's more of a precisely shot arrow than a widely cast fishing net.
It also means that measuring return on investment is brilliantly simple, as the reporting shows exactly which searches are driving traffic to your site. Your online ad not working? Is one practice area lagging behind the others? Is there a hot trend you want to get it on? The analytics make it easy to see what's working and where you need to adjust.
That's a fair question. PPC is a wonderful way to attract interested clients, but it's not exactly easy to figure out the system, which keywords work, how much to bid on keywords, how to optimize your website's PPC landing page, and all of the other fine points of PPC strategy.
As certified Google AdWords partners, we have the trained experts and top industry tools needed to make your campaign successful and efficient from day one. No wasting money; no second guessing your PPC strategy. We combine the general Google certification with decades of experience in lawyer marketing to make sure your PPC strategy fits your needs and budget.
Want to learn more about how PPC advertising can help you get more clients quickly and efficiently? Fill out this form and a local FindLaw consultant will contact you to set up a free consultation. The consultation will cost you nothing, and could result in much more business for your firm. What are you waiting for?
Editor's note, May 3, 2016: This post was first published in April, 2014. It has since been updated.