Post Summary ppc adwords profitable attorneys

  • Case Study for Google Adwords
  • How to Lower Cost Per Click
  • How to Lower Cost Per Client Acquisition
  • How to Determine if You Can Profit From Google Adwords

In the early 2000s, Google Adwords (PPC, Pay Per Click) was often an easy “plug in and profit” way of marketing. With just a little bit of marketing and technical savvy you could set up a profitable campaign. Over the last 10+ years Adwords has become much more challenging, and many (if not most) businesses and law firms lose money with bad Adwords marketing.

(For my complete series on How to use Google Adwords, search on Google for c1 partners how to use google adwords)

When I teach Adwords classes, this is usually one of my first slides:



In the legal market and many other markets Adwords can be very challenging to make profitable.

Why is it so hard to make Adwords profitable?

1. There are more bad Adwords campaigns than there are good ones.

Due to what Google calls quality score, the better you are at PPC, the less you pay for a click, and the worse you are at it, the more you pay per click. This means that if the average person sets up an Adwords campaign, they may pay up to 400% more per click. A great Adwords campaign could spend 50% less per click.

Quality score is affected by a number of things – many that have to be improved upon continuously:

  • Properly structured campaigns and Ad Groups
  • Ads written that contribute to the desired results
  • Quality of Landing Pages, which means higher conversions and lower bounce rate
  • CTR-Click Through Rate

It is difficult for an amateur to know how to properly handle these four factors

This is just one reason why it is worth it to pay a reputable and experienced Adwords manager to develop, implement and manage your PPC campaign. The 15-20% you pay them can make up to an 800% difference in what you spend per click. Of course, many people who claim to be good Adwords managers fall short of truly maximizing the profitability of an Adwords campaign. Make sure you get references and that they have evidence of success in your industry.


2. Inadequate Results Tracking Which Drives Up Biddng

When I ask a law firm (or any business for that matter) how their Adwords campaign is performing, I usually get a response that resembles something like this:

“It seems to be doing ok, not really sure.”


“We have no idea.”


“It is working great!”

Even if they respond very positively, when I ask them what their cost per client acquisition is, they say “I have no idea.”

In a world where tracking can be easier than it has ever been before, I still have a hard time believing how few attorneys (or businesses for that matter) know what their cost per acquisition is for their Adwords or SEO inbound marketing.

My Adwords clients know what their actual cost per acquisition is from not only their SEO and Adwords efforts, they know what the cost per acquisition is per keyword in their Adwords campaigns.

If you are not doing this you are wasting money. If your competitors aren’t doing this they are wasting money and artificially driving up the cost of Adwords.

3. Personal Injury Lawyers “Gamble” With Google Adwords

Many personal injury lawyers-especially the big guys who spend millions a year on tv, radio, billboards and SEO efforts, pump a lot of money into Google Adwords with no real goal of short term profits.

This is because the upside is so high on their cases, they can afford to lose tens of thousands of dollars a month for 6-12 months as long as they are able to get just a few huge cases that end up paying for all of their PPC marketing for years.

How do you determine if Adwords can be profitable for your firm?

Step 1. Do your keyword research.

Once you find out which keywords you want to target, and how much the estimated cost per click is, you can begin to see what your options are.

Step 2: Use Realistic Numbers to Calculate Potential Results

Let’s say you have the term “denver auto accident attorney” with an estimated cost per click of $100. This means every time someone searches for this on Google, sees your ad AND clicks on it you pay $100.

Other terms, like “colorado workers compensation attorney” may cost only $40 a click.

Now you have to ask the questions:

How many of those clicks will become leads?

How many of those leads will become clients?

The industry averages for conversions from clicks to leads are usually 5% or lower. An excellent Adwords expert can get your conversion as high as 10-20% for QUALITY leads. This means leads from people you would actually want to take on.

Quality leads are vital if you want to convert 10-20% or more of your leads. Improving conversion to lead rate is practically useless if you are only converting 1-5% of the leads because they are so bad.

Google Adwords Examples and Case Studies

Let’s look at cost per lead and cost per acquisition examples:

Industry average example for “denver auto accident attorney”

  • Cost Per Click: $100
  • Conversion to Lead rate: 5%
  • Cost Per Lead: $2,000
  • Conversion to Client Rate: 5% (due to low quality leads)
  • Cost Per Client Acquisition: $40,000

Sophisticated Adwords Example:

  • Cost Per Click: $80 (lowered because of better quality score)
  • Conversion to Lead rate: 10% (improved by better campaign development and optimization)
  • Cost Per Lead: $800
  • Conversion to Client Rate: 20% (due to better quality leads)
  • Cost Per Client Acquisition: $4,000

As you can see, the savings are incredible, but you also have to be willing to spend at least $4,000 as a personal injury attorney in Denver to acquire one good auto accident client with Google Adwords.

Let’s look at a lower cost example from an actual client of mine…

Industry average example for “colorado workers compensation attorney”

  • Cost Per Click: $40
  • Conversion to Lead rate: 5%
  • Cost Per Lead: $800
  • Conversion to Client Rate: 5%
  • Cost Per Client Acquisition: $16,000

Sophisticated Adwords Example:

  • Cost Per Click: $35 (lowered because of better quality score)
  • Conversion to Lead rate: 18% (improved by better campaign development and optimization)
  • Cost Per Lead: $194.40
  • Conversion to Client Rate: 15% (due to better quality leads)
  • Cost Per Client Acquisition: $1,296

This results in a savings of over 90%. Since the firm knows they make at least $2,000 a case on average, with potential upside into the tens of thousands of dollars, and they can handle as many cases as we can throw their way, this is a no brainer for them to continue with-which they have done for over a year now.

Since we differentiate paid leads and organic leads, we also were able to determine that their cost per acquisition for their organic leads were about 50% less.

Whether you are going to implement Adwords yourself, or hire someone to do it, you need to use a sophisticated approach to develop a better campaign, track results and continuously improve your program or you will be wasting a lot of money and time.