For any attorney, no matter what specialty, we would argue that PPC – pay-per-click advertising on search engines like Google – is the best marketing avenue you can utilize to grow your firm/practice.
One of the reasons why PPC is such a great option for lawyers is that it offers total control. Nothing is left to chance; within PPC, there is a whole world of optimizations you can make to your account based on data that can result in more qualified clicks, more conversions on your site, more leads, and ultimately more clients and more revenue. Segmentation for lawyers is one of those optimizations you can make that is incredibly important for account health and growth.
Segmentation is the process of dividing up key metrics in your account so you can stay organized and see opportunities to make your advertising more effective. When you can see how individual aspects are performing, you can tweak those pieces to change the results. Accounts that aren’t segmented are messy, and they aren’t revealing ways that your campaigns can achieve their true potential. If you want to spend less money to bring in more clients, you need to segment!
Here are three ways that you can segment your law firm or practice’s Google Ads account:
#1 – Segment By Device
Depending on your speciality, your clients may represent different demographic & lifestyle groups, or they may be very similar in age/gender/etc. Certain groups of people may be more active on their smartphones, and others on desktops (teenagers and elderly adults, for example); regardless of whether you serve a diverse group of clients or a homologous group, you need to find out which device performs better.
You can segment your campaign into mobile, tablet, and desktop categories to see which one is performing best. If you know where most of your traffic is coming from, you can allocate more of your budget to that device and see a higher conversion rate. When you don’t segment by device, the budget is only changeable at the campaign level. You can’t easily isolate variables to AB test, and you’re not spending your money as efficiently as possible.
When we create new campaigns for lawyers, device segmentation is one of the first things we do. First, we build a desktop version and label it “service name – desktop – match type” (for example, “car accident – desktop – broad match modifier”. Match types are another layer of segmentation we will discuss in this blog post). We enter all the information for the campaign. Then we navigate to the devices tab within the Google Ads interface and put a 100% decrease bid adjustment on mobile devices; because we did that, we will only receive tablet and desktop traffic for this campaign. (Note – we usually leave tablet and desktop together because there is no ability to call from a tablet, which is one of the main things we optimize for in our mobile campaigns.)
We then clone this campaign using copy and paste within the Google Ads interface. This creates two separate but identical campaigns. To keep organized, we like to change the name of the clone to “service name – mobile – match type” (for example, it could be “car accident – mobile – broad match modifier”). Now we can differentiate between the two campaigns. Next, we navigate to the campaign settings like we did before, only this time we put a 100% decrease bid adjustment on both tablet and desktop devices, eliminating any non-mobile traffic.
This gives us clarity at a glance. After we’ve segmented the accounts, when we view the campaigns, we can see instantly what the top performing devices are. If you do this to your account, you’ll be able to discover if more people are searching for your legal services on their smartphones or their desktop computers, which could also offer you insight into where these people might be when they’re searching for you (at home, on the go, etc.). This knowledge allows you to allocate more of your budget to the top performer and get better results.
#2 – Segment By Match Type
Another layer of segmentation you can add to your campaigns that will further help you allocate your budget wisely, particularly if you have limited spend, is match type segmentation. Google offers you four different ways for you to control what searches trigger your ad – these are called “match types”. Basically, these match types compare queries to your original keyword more or less closely. For example, the broad match setting may include misspellings, synonymns, related searches, and other variations Google consider’s relevant (“family lawyer near me” may trigger your ad which targeted the keyword “divorce lawyer”, for example). It’s the most inclusive match type. Broad match modifier is a little more exclusive, phrase match is a little more exclusive than broad match modifier, and exact match is the most exclusive match type. Exact match searches must be extremely similar to your original keyword (although recent Google changes have even expanded this definition).
A typical attorney account that we manage will have (at the very least) a broad match modifier campaign for both mobile and desktop and an exact match campaign for both mobile and desktop. That makes a total of four campaigns for each service that we’re advertising for.
Segmenting by match types gives you the opportunity to divert traffic from your broad keywords to your more specific keywords. One benefit of this is increased relevance; you can tailor the ad and landing page experience even more to the exact search query, and users are more likely to convert when you target specific keywords from your search term report because they are searching for exactly what you are offering. You will also end up paying less for keywords, because more specific keywords are often cheaper than broad keywords.
#3 – Segment By Location
For lawyers specifically, this may be one of the most helpful segmentations you can make to your account. You may have a firm with multiple offices across a state or region or city, or you may just have one location. Either way, you need to make sure that you are advertising to potential clients who are in your area(s) of service. When you segment your campaigns by location, you can tailor your ads and landing pages to specific place(s). You can use the location in the headlines or your ads, and put supporting location-specific text, images, and copy on the landing page to personalize the experience for the user. For example, if you’re a lawyer in Tampa who also wants to attract Orlando clients, or has an Orlando office, you can segment your campaigns by these two locations and target keywords like “orlando personal injury attorney” and “tampa family law” in separate campaigns. You could also target “lawyer near me” in both locations.
This allows you to get a higher quality score and a lower cost per lead because relevance is increased. This is something we recommend trying on a small scale first to make sure you are getting the results you want; we suggest first segmenting by location in your highest performing area and see if it impacts the cost per lead before segmenting further.
Why Segmentation For Lawyers Is Crucial
Say you decide you want to invest $500 and give it to your bank. You get $1,500 back. Sounds pretty good!
However, if you take an inside look, you see that your bank invested $300 in Amazon with an ROI of $350 (16%); $100 in Amazon with an ROI of $150 (50%); and $100 in Netflix with an ROI of $1,000 (900%). Netflix is clearly the winner at getting you the most bang for your buck. But because you just gave all your money to the bank and didn’t choose yourself how much money would go to each investment, the bank chose for you, and spent the least amount on Netflix. If you had properly allocated your budget to maximize ROI, you could have made an additional $3,500. (Suddenly the $1,500 isn’t as satisfying, is it?)
You can compare Google Ads to the bank. If you don’t segment, it controls how much you spend and where you spend it. If you really want to make sure you are going to get the highest ROI possible, you need to segment your campaigns and allocate to the best performing device.
If you segment your campaigns by device, match type, and location, you will see a noticeable improvement in both the performance of your campaigns and the clarity of your account. You will be able to see the data, understand what it means, and act on it to optimize your digital marketing efforts and grow your firm/practice!
Have questions about segmentation for lawyers or Google Ads? Empirical360 has more than 25 years of experience in digital marketing and web development for lawyers and attorneys. Our team members are Google Premier Partners, which means Google recognizes us as one of the few leading marketing agencies in the world. We have the expertise and support you need to help you realize your monetization potential! We want you to succeed as much as you do, and we’ll work to make it happen! Our team understands the nuances of segmentation for lawyers and can ensure your account is competitive. Contact us to get more free resources for your law firm/practice and find out more about how we can help you build a top-performing Ads account.
Shea Antonucci - Author
Director of Content Marketing
Shea is an expert content writer and is a classic literary nerd! She loves writing highly engaging content and has a knack for making it convert!