Google Adwords (Ads) For Law Firms – Why Is It So Successful?

When it comes to marketing for law firms to attract new clients, not all marketing tactics are created equal. Some are simply more effective (and cost effective) and Google Adwords (Google Ads as it is now known) falls well into this category for law firms.

Google Adwords For Law Firms, Solicitors, Legal Services Businesses UK
Nick Jervis, Solicitor (non-practising) and Google Ads Specialist

I want to explain why Google Adwords works so well, and what you can do to make it produce even more clients for you with either the same or a lower marketing budget.

I am Nick Jervis and until 2003 I was a practising solicitor who loved marketing more than the soliciting….. Since then I have run my legal marketing consultancy full time, helping solicitors to grow their law firms quickly.

Therefore, I understand what it is like to work inside a law firm, to deal with a high fee earning target whilst undertaking all of the marketing for the firms I worked for. I understand the challenges faced by law firm owners to attract new clients whilst fee earning and managing at the same time.

This is precisely why I love* Google Adwords for law firms. It can allow you to grow your law firm without a huge amount of input or effort on your part, leaving you free to run your law firm at the same time.

*Yes, that strong a word because I know how it can transform a firm’s success.

1. Google Adwords Lets You Grow Your Law Firm With Very Little Input From You

Google Adwords (Adws) is quite a complicated marketing platform, unless or until you know it very well, which normally means that you have to ask someone else to undertake the management of your campaign for you.

However, this is a blessing in disguise, because it means that you can completely outsource the marketing tactic, leaving you free to run your law firm save for having to answer the additional telephone calls and emails that come in as a result of your Google Adws campaign.

Whilst you should always keep a check on your Google Adwords key performance indicators, if you ask a good Google Adwords Agency to undertake your campaign for you, this should be a relatively straightforward process.

In my book, The Law Firm Growth Formula, I set out the numbers you need to run through with your Google Ads agency to ensure that they keep on improving the performance of your campaign for you.

You might wander why I would do this when I run a Google Adws agency myself, but the truth is that I cannot work for every law firm in the UK, often due to a conflict with an existing client. Yet I want law firms to make the most of Google Adwords, so I show them how to manage their Google Ads agency to get the best results in terms of return on investment.

Ultimately, the metrics are very simple.

The starting point is that you want to be able to measure a return on investment (see the next point) and then above that you want more clicks each month for the same or less spend, and more conversions (completed enquiry forms).

If you monitor those numbers consistently, you will have a successful Google Adwords campaign.

What sort of return on investment should you be looking for from your Google Ads Campaign?

PPC Solicitors UK Legal Law firm Solicitor UK Google Ads marketing consultant Nick Jervis Samson Adwords freelance Consultant

2. Your Return On Investment From Google Ads?

I have seen clients receive return on investments of as much as 50 to 1, but my starting point is always 3 to 1, which you should be able to achieve within three months of starting a campaign.

If you can reach a return on investment of 3 to 1 in the first three months, meaning you bill £3 for every £1 you spend on Google Ads, you can then simply work on optimising the campaign to go to 4 to 1, 5 to 1, 10 to 1 and above.

The key point is that from 3 to 1 onwards you are making some profit and then it is all about managing your Google Adwords Agency to improve every aspect of your campaign month after month.

I was once asked by a solicitor who had been spending £10,000 a month on Google Adwords for six months when he should expect to receive his first client from the campaign. “Six months ago” was my answer!

You do not have to spend anywhere near that amount of money to generate a return on investment, often a few hundred pounds is enough, but you do need to ensure that you are running a profitable and successful campaign.

3. How Much Should You Spend On Google Adwords (Google Ads) Per Month?

This question ultimately depends on how many clients you want to generate each month, or how many fee earners’ mouths you need to fill with new clients.

If you are looking to make one fee earner busy, a budget of £500 to £750 per month will suffice. If it is more than one fee earner or one area of law, multiply that number by the fee earners or areas of law.

However, go back to my first point above: whatever you spend you should be generating a return on investment of a minimum of 3 to 1, so in some ways the amount you spend is irrelevant; it is the amount you want to bill that is more important.

I am not being flippant here, but ultimately deciding to do or carry on doing Google Adws should be a simple mathematical equation.

Let me put it a different way, if I asked you to give me £20 and in return I gave you £60, when would you stop handing me £20 notes?

Now I know there are overheads to take into account, but I hope that makes the point? Google Adwords is so successful for law firms because it puts more money into their bank accounts than it takes out.

PPC and Google Ads for Solicitors – Summary

Google Ads for Solicitors UK PPC Law firm Legal marketing consultant UK Google Ads Whitepaper For Law Firm Owners
Google Adwords should be one of the most successful forms of marketing for virtually every legal service in every legal niche, if you get it right.

This then leads me onto the next section; what is it that makes a Google Adwords Campaign for a law firm fail?

The Main Reasons Google Ads Campaigns Don’t Work For Law Firms?

Here are the main reasons why a Google Adwords campaign does not produce enough new clients to make it provide an excellent return on investment.


I have taken over more than 30 campaigns from other Google Ads Managment Companies and in every case have dramatically improved the performance of the campaign (in terms of more clients generated for the same or less spend) because I understand every element of law firm marketing.

1. Google Ads Express

The primary one is Google’s own fault.

Google has two ways of allowing you to run your campaign:

  1. Google Adwords Express, also known as ‘Licence for Google to print money’; or
  2. Google Ads Proper, also known as ‘Licence for you to print money’.

If anyone without any knowledge of the Google Adwords platform attempts to set up a campaign without help from a professional, Google will force them down the Google Adwords Express route. It is almost impossible to avoid this.

I believe it is for the reason that Google Adwords Express will make Google more money, but it frustrates me as it is such a short sighted view; anyone using this platform is going to have to stop doing so within a few months because it simply doesn’t work (won’t provide a return on investment).

The Google Adwords Express platform gives you absolutely no control over your campaign. It is blind marketing that produces terrible results, yet Google forces all new users of its platform down this route.

The simple way to see if you have an Express or Proper campaign is to login to your existing Google Adwords campaign and to look up at the URL/ Address bar.

If you see the image below, run for the hills:

PPC for Solicitors UK Law firm Google Ads Legal marketing consultant nick jervis

If you see the image below, you have the full Google Adwords campaign set up and have the chance of making a very profitable client generating campaign.

PPC for Solicitors UK Law firm Google Ads Legal freelance marketing consultant nick jervis

If you discover that you have Google Adwords Express running, you need to change this if you want to be successful with Google Ads.

I can show you how to change this. Simply download my Google Adwords Whitepaper using the button at the end of this article, then reply to my email and I will gladly show you how to change this.

2. Wrong Keywords

The next reason for a failing Google Adwords campaign for a law firm is targeting the wrong keywords. These are the words or phrases that someone enters into Google which triggers your advertisement to be displayed to them. When they click on it, you pay for a click to Google.

However, if you do not know how to properly set up your keywords, you can pay for a lot of clicks which will never generate new client instructions for you.

For example, targeting conveyancing keywords can lead to you spending money for these phrases if you do not set this up properly:

  • Conveyancing jobs
  • Sue a conveyancing solicitor
  • What is conveyancing?

None of them are likely to lead to instructions which can mean you spend money on clicks that can never provide you with a return on investment.

3. Wrong Landing Pages

A landing page is the page that you send your Google Ads visitor to once they click on your advertisement.

Ideally, what should happen is that the potential client types in a search, continuing our example for say ‘conveyancing solicitor’, sees an advertisement which has ‘conveyancing solicitor’ in the heading and then lands on a page where at the very top of it the words ‘conveyancing solicitor’ are prominently featured.

However, often people send all visitors to the home page, no matter what they type into Google. They expect the prospect to hunt around their website for the conveyancing page, but sadly, in this day and age, they simply hit the back button and click on someone else’ advertisement.

Money spent, client lost.

4. Google Adwords Management Company With No Expertise In Legal Sector

I would say this one, wouldn’t I?

However, it is based on hard evidence.

I am not just a technology company, I am a marketing company that offers Google Ads Management as one of my services.

I know how your clients think and act because they used to be my clients.

I know their fears and concerns because I have heard them first hand for many years.

I know how to show you how to set up every aspect of your Google Ads campaign to generate more telephone calls, more completed enquiries and more conversions (client instructions).

I am frequently amazed when I take over a campaign that the previous management company did not spend any time working on the landing pages or conversion processess because I know that these are the places that can make the most dramatic improvements to the campaign.

Google Adwords Whitepaper – Get More Clicks For Less Spend

To discover more areas where you can greatly improve the performance of your Google Ads Campaign, simply download my whitepaper.

My Google Ads Whitepaper shows you the most common mistakes that I see when I take over a Google Ads campaign from a solicitor who has been running it themselves or from their Google Ads agency.

I then show you how to fix these errors so that you can generate more client enquiries from the same, or often less, spend.

Discover all that I have learned from generating new clients for solicitors from Google Ads in a wide range of legal services whilst managing a multi million pound spend.

Click the button below to download the Whitepaper, free of charge, instantly:

PPC Solicitors UK Legal Law firm Solicitor UK Google Ads marketing consultant Nick Jervis Samson Adwords freelance Consultant

Case Study

From biggest fee earner to no fee earning whilst doubling turnover

I’d been looking for somebody to help me with marketing for a while, and I came across Nick on Google.

That was three years ago, and in that time it’s fair to say that he’s had a massive impact on my business, and my life as a result.

In the early days, my goal was simple and specific: increase the turnover of the business so that I could take more money out of the business.

I had an amount in mind, and I expected it to take years to get there, but when I achieved it in just six months, it began to dawn on me that this guy really knew what he was talking about.

As a result of that early success, and with Nick’s help, I realised that my expectations were too low, and what I could actually achieve, with the right thinking and guidance, was far beyond what I’d ever imagined.

What Nick saw – and what he made me see – was that my business had fantastic potential, but to realise that potential, things needed to change.

Even before Nick got involved, we were getting a decent volume of leads, but it was what was happening to the leads that was the problem.

We weren’t tracking them, there was no process in place and to top it all off, we didn’t have a clear pricing structure, which meant that we were nowhere near as profitable as we could be.

And that’s where Nick came into his own. He built us a bespoke lead generation and sales process, and the results were staggering.

We pretty much doubled our turnover, allowing me to build a four-person sales and marketing team that gets us more leads and more sales.

Of course, Nick’s Google Adwords expertise has been a key part of our growth, and today it’s a hugely profitable marketing pillar for us.

But regardless of the medias or mechanisms we’ve used to grow over the last three years, it’s been Nick’s rock solid marketing plan that underpins it all.

He’s stopped me trying this and that, and got me to focus on the things that’ll have the biggest impact on the business.

And I think there’s a lot more to come – we still haven’t implemented everything that Nick has given us to do, and when we do, I reckon we’ve got around another £250,000 of revenue per year to add to our figures.

And it’s not just the business that’s seen a transformation – it’s been a personal transformation too.

When Nick first got involved, I was the biggest fee earner, and consequently I was reluctant to stop getting involved in cases.

Nick eventually made me see that if I was serious about growing this business, that needed to change and as time has gone on I’ve taken on less and less work – now I don’t do any of it.

And I only wish I’d done it earlier, because the result has been me having more time to build the business, and spending time with the people that are important to me.

Not only that, but the business is stronger, because it’s much less dependent on me.

Nick was right about that one, as he has been about pretty much everything else – it pains me to say it, but it’s true!