Dominating Your Local Market Through Paid Search and SEO

You have opened your legal practice and are ready for clients. But, no one is contacting you for legal help. What should you do? The first place to look is the internet. Using a combination of paid advertising and organic SEO practices, you can begin attracting clients.

Depending on the level of competition and the SEO techniques that they use, you may quickly climb to the top of the rankings within months. Though, this is not always the case.

If you want to increase your chances of success, you should work with a reputable SEO company that specializes in SEO for law firms and lawyers.

The local landscape has changed over the past several years. This is in part due to changes to Google searches and paid ads.

Early in 2016, Google removed side ads that would appear along the right sidebar in organic search results. They have also reduced the number of ad positions to seven.

These changes have had a large impact on paid local advertising strategies. SEO specialists had to reassess their techniques.

If you want to increase the online presence of your law firm, you should take the time to learn more about the use of Google AdWords and local SEO practices.

Without local online marketing, it is incredibly difficult for a business to compete locally. Learn how to dominate your local market through paid search and SEO.

How Users Find Local Law Firms


With a limited number of ad positions, you must also rely on your organic search rankings. At the same time, your on-site SEO will have an effect on the ad position that you receive. Therefore, paid ads and SEO are directly connected.

In order to compete with other legal practices in your region, you need to incorporate effective SEO techniques. It can be difficult to understand how these techniques work without understanding how users find local businesses.

You have probably searched for businesses in your area, such as restaurants and local stores, and you are not alone – over 84% of the public perform local searches. The majority of the population relies on Google for these searches, with a fraction of the public using Yahoo or Bing.

Searching for Local Businesses

When using Google, users have a few different options. You can search from your phone or tablet, desktop or laptop, or with the Google Maps app. More than 1 billion people now use the Google Maps app.

Based on your search query, Google will attempt to determine whether you are searching for a local business or performing a general search. The following applies to local searches, which is the focus of your SEO and paid ads.

Google Search Results Page

With the standard local Google search, the first search results page contains a selection of Google Places results, along with a map, above the organic search results. No ads are displayed on this page. Though, if a user clicks on the map, the Google Maps results page will open.

Google Maps Search Results

The Google Maps search results page includes a map of the area and the results contain business listings from Google Places. One to two ads is displayed at the top of the Google Places results. With the Google Maps app, only one ad is displayed.

So, when a user performs a search for a local business, they will only see a couple of ads. The majority of the results will come from organic results with business information obtained from Google Places.

Updating Your Google Places Profile

Working with an experienced SEO company will help increase search rankings across Google searches, including Google Maps. When you interview an SEO company, you should ask about what methods they will use to improve your Google Places rankings for local results.

As a part of SEO techniques for Google Places, they should update your profile, which includes important business information.

First, you will need to verify that you are the owner of the law firm that appears in Google Places results. Once the verification is completed, your phone number, website address, and other details can be updated. This is also necessary for connecting your law firm listing on Google Places to your Google AdWords paid advertisements.

Now that you understand how potential clients can find legal help, you are ready to learn how to use Google AdWords to ensure they choose your law practice.

Google AdWords for Local Advertising


Google AdWords has gone through numerous changes and updates in recent months. As mentioned, Google streamlined the search results pages by removing side ads and limiting the number of ad positions to seven. This increases the importance of good SEO.

If there are only one or two ads per results page, how do you use Google AdWords for local advertising? With effective local SEO techniques, such as keyword optimization – both on-site and on your ads. You will also need to include Google Maps as a part of your local PPC (pay-per-click) ad campaign.

Desktop and Mobile Searches

The ad placement will vary based on whether the user is searching for a law firm on their desktop or mobile device. On the desktop, one or two ads will appear below the search box or directly on the map. On the mobile Google Maps app, one ad may display below the search box.

Using Standard Google AdWords

You should still use standard PPC ad campaigns to reach local clients for your law practice. These ads should target commonly searched legal issues that you are capable of handling.

When a user searches for legal help, Google may provide standard web results instead of local results. But, your PPC ads can still appear in these searches and are effective when you target your local region. Though, you still need to create separate ad groups for targeting Google Maps searches.

Enabling Your Local Ads for Google Maps

Your paid ads will not automatically appear in search results on Google Maps. You must first enable location extensions for your AdWords account. Along with updating these extensions, your Google Places profile must also be updated.

Location extensions provide details about your law firm, such as your location, office hours, and phone number. Updating location extensions also allow potential clients to call your offices directly from the search results on their phone.

One of the advantages of using Google AdWords is that you can easily create multiple PPC ad campaigns. When creating an ad campaign for use with Google Maps, you will need to target a specific location and set bids by location.

Paid ads for Google Maps search results work similar to standard CPC for Google AdWords. You will pay for each click on your Google Maps ad. This includes the following three types of clicks:

  • Get location details clicks
  • Get direction clicks
  • Clicks-to-call clicks (for mobile)

When setting bid by location, you will be able to target different groups of potential clients. You can use this option to create different ad groups for different neighborhoods or regions.

Once these steps are completed, you will be able to use Google AdWords for targeted local advertising through Google Maps. But, the work is not yet done. There is still a good chance that your ads may not appear in search results, especially if you have a lot of competition from other law firms in the area.

The Benefits of Paid Ads for Local Searches

It is okay to be skeptical about the benefits of using paid advertisements for obtaining new clients. When you are paying an SEO company to increase your organic search results you may wonder about the effects of paying to start an ad campaign.

Despite the fact that only a few ads now appear in search results, Google AdWords remains a quality investment for local businesses, including law practices.

Here is an overview of the top benefits of paid ads for local searches :

  • You get fast results
  • AdWords is flexible
  • Great return on investment
  • Easy to understand metrics
  • You can learn more about your market

You Get Fast Results

One of the primary advantages of PPC ads is that you get fast results. When you use SEO to increase organic search results, you may have to wait several months to a year before you notice a positive return on investment.

With PPC ads, results are instant. As soon as your ad campaign is active, users will begin clicking on your ads and will visit your website. You are paying for the benefit of getting immediate results. Though, keyword research and SEO techniques must be performed before you begin your Google AdWords ad campaign.

AdWords is Flexible

Google AdWords is also extremely flexible. It is the perfect solution for any business of any size with any budget. You also have the ability to make changes as needed. You can instantly pause your campaign or adjust your bids.

Great Return on Investment

Overall, Google AdWords provides a great return on investment. You are only paying for each time that a person clicks on your ad. Additionally, the potential clients that click on your ad are more likely to result in a conversion – meaning that they are likely to contact your law offices after clicking on your ad.

Easy to Understand Metrics

It can be difficult to accurately judge the impact on SEO on your law practice. While you can look at search traffic and conversion rates, the results can be ambiguous. This is not the case with PPC ads. You can easily determine how much you have spent and how many clicks have resulted in a conversion.

You Can Learn More About Your Market

Another advantage of paid ads for local searches is that you can learn more about your market. The results are completely transparent, so you can see which ads were most effective at attracting clients. You will also be able to determine which ads provided the highest conversion rates. This information can be useful for marketing research.

Paid ads are one part of the solution for dominating your local market. The other part is legal SEO – with the help of a reliable SEO company.

How SEO Impacts Paid Ad Placement

Google has reduced the number of paid advertisements that appear in search results to a total of 7 sponsored ads. When a client searches for a local firm using the Google Maps app, one sponsored text ad will appear at the top of the search results. Desktop users will see a maximum of two ads.

Since there are only one or two ads per local search result, these ad positions will require good SEO practices. The following criteria play the largest role in ad placement:

  • Your bid for the targeted ad
  • Expected click through rate
  • The relevance of your ad
  • The quality of your landing page

Google considers these factors in order to calculate your Ad Rank. The Ad Rank is then used in an ad auction to determine the ad position. The expected click through rate is based on previous clicks and impressions.

So, you have no control over this factor. But, you do have the ability to adjust your bid and to use legal SEO to improve the ad relevance and the quality of your landing page.

Choosing the Right Bid

Choosing the right bidfor your advertisement can be tricky. This is another area where hiring an experienced SEO company can be useful. They will be able to help you choose an acceptable bid that fits within your budget and allows you to receive hits on your ad.

As mentioned, there are three different types of clicks for Google Maps. For standard search results, all clicks are treated the same. An SEO company may make adjustments to the bid depending on how the ad is performing. They are also able to judge the effectiveness of the ad for reaching potential clients in your local area.

Keyword Usage on Advertisements

Working with an SEO company, you can determine the best keyword phrases for use in your ads and on your website. These keyword phrases need to be relevant to the searches that you are targeting. Your ad will appear in a higher position when the text is relevant to the search.

Improving the Quality of Your Landing Page

Targeted landing pages are often used in conjunction with an ad campaign. This allows you to use the same keyword phrases while increasing the relevance of your website to the search query.

Additional Impact of SEO on Your Paid Ads

Not only will SEO help increase your ad position, it will boost conversion rates – which refers to the percentage of website visitors that complete an intended action, such as contacting your law offices. Using good SEO can also lower your cost per click (CPC). This means that you will spend less on your paid ads.

The bottom line is that legal SEO and paid advertisements go hand in hand. In order for your ads to be effective, you need to use search engine optimization – and remain up to date with any other changes that Google decides to put in place.

Staying Up to Date with Local Search Results

You can expect Google to make additional changes to how ads are displayed across their search network. Along with the issues that have already been discussed, it is essential that you stay up to date with these changes.

Where is Google headed? What can you expect from the future of PPC ads and local search results? It is hard to predict what Google will do. For example, an equal number of PPC ad specialists believe that the CPC rates will increase or decrease in the coming year.

More Law Practices Will Focus on Local SEO and Paid Ads

One trend that could have an impact on PPC ads is targeted advertising. You can count on an increasing number of local businesses to begin focusing their SEO strategies and paid ads on the local market. The various techniques and practices described in these pages will be commonplace among your competitors.

As more people begin realizing the importance of local SEO and paid ads, you will need to remain on the forefront of changes to these techniques.

The best solution for remaining current with local search results is to work with a trusted SEO company that specializes in legal SEO. They will be uniquely equipped to help your law firm take advantage of Google AdWords and good SEO practices. You will be able to increase your organic search results while gaining immediate results through paid ads.

You have learned more about the use of paid ads in local search results and how important they are for increasing traffic to your website.While paid ads do not have a direct impact on organic search traffic, it will provide immediate results. This can be crucial for a law practice that is just starting out. For those that are struggling to attract new clients, now is the time to get help.

If you want to dominate your local market, you will need a combination of marketing methods. At the front of this list should be paid ads and legal SEO.

Get started today. Contact Attorney Marketing Network, a legal SEO company to take the next step towards attracting more clients to your law practice.