How To Tell If Your Adwords Account Is Being Actively Managed

You’re paying an Adwords Manager to handle your PPC account. What is he doing?

Sure, you get an analytics report every month, and you may or may not understand it.  Regardless, the analytics report is simply telling you the results of your campaign, not if your Adwords account is being actively managed.  This post is going to show you how to figure this out.

To start, you should have read/analyze permissions from the firm handling your PPC account.  If you don’t, stop reading this and email your PPC manager now.

It’s ok, I’ll wait.

Great, now you have access to your Adwords account.  Let’s take a look at what is being done.

An actively managed account has changes being made on a regular basis.

Let’s take a look at what changes are being made.  First, log into Adwords and look for “Change History” under the tools tab:

is your adwords manager working?

Click on “change history” and you’ll see this screen:

This list outlines all of the changes that have been made.  If nothing has been done in 3 months, fire your Adwords manager. You’re paying for management that isn’t being done.

What if there are changes, but I don’t know what they are?

Let’s go through some of the changes that you should be seeing.

Your PPC manager is adding negative keywords.

This means that he or she is setting keywords that will prevent your ad from triggering.  Want to keep people looking for “web designer employment?”  Set “employment” as a negative keyword.  This is what it should look like in your change history:

change history screen adwords

Your Adwords manager is finding new keywords to bid on:

Anyone that is going through the search terms that are triggering ads will find new keywords that could be valuable.  Your manager should be adding them to your keyword list.

You’re seeing changes in the bid amounts”

Here you see that the manager is changing the amount that he is bidding for specific keywords, times of day, days of the week, or device.  It’s important that the account have some changes made to eliminate waste.

Your ads are actually changing:

Your manager needs to split test your ads.  There is going to be some magic combination of ad copy that drives the most business and the only way to find it is to test.  If you don’t see “text ad changed” somewhere in the change history, you’ve either already found the holy grail or your manager isn’t doing his due diligence.


Are there any changes that you feel need to be constantly done in an Adwords account?  Do you regularly check your account?









Should Your SEO & PPC Reports Be No More Than 3 Numbers?

The case for simplified SEO and PPC reporting.

Does in-depth reporting provide any value in the first place?

I work primarily with professional services firms, the majority of whom are law firms.  These clients are highly intelligent, extremely well-educated, and generally speaking, highly successful in their fields.  If anyone outside of marketing is going to be able to easily understand a typical PPC report, it would be the accountants, lawyers, and adjusters that we work with, but surprisingly, most do not.  Even after the meeting or phone call that explains a CTR or a CPA, I can tell that the majority do not entirely understand what the reports are telling them and that we need a new way to report to our non-marketing clients.

“All kinds of lines and graphs”

I recall a first meeting with a small firm in Philadelphia that was leaving a well-known attorney marketing firm from out of state.  I asked about the results that he had been seeing, what was working and what wasn’t, and he answered that “they send me an email with all kinds of lines and graphs every month, but it is impossible to read.  I’ll send you a copy of some of them and you can tell me.”  The forwarded email was a standard report that clearly outlined the changes in traffic, time on page, bounce rate, and all of the typical metrics that we use to track web traffic.  The client was a 38 year-old graduate of the University of Pennsylvania that was very comfortable managing most aspects of his website, so it was not an issue of not being “tech-savvy” or uneducated.

He just didn’t get what the numbers meant in terms of his business and the time that his agency put into those reports was wasted.

Pick three numbers and put them front and center.

PPC and SEO reporting must be simplified to the point that a child can understand it.  At 12khz, we have started creating dashboards for clients using Google’s Data Studio. These dashboards prominently feature the numbers that mean the most to that client.  What does your client care about?

  • Number of phone calls?
  • Number of people visiting the website?
  • Time on page?

By focusing on a few numbers that the client clearly understands and that you have mutually agreed impact the business the most, your reporting goes from being “an email with a bunch of lines and graphs” to being a document that communicates the progress and results of the work that they are paying you to do.  In the case of analytics reporting for non-marketers, less is significantly more.  All of the typical detailed reporting should be placed on separate pages as to not overwhelm or distract our clients, but still remain available should they choose to delve more deeply into the work that you’ve done.

What are your thoughts?  Have you had any positive experiences with greatly simplifying your client reporting?  Am I totally wrong? Please share below.


7 Things You MUST Do Before Doing SEO for a Law Firm in New Jersey

These first tips are applicable regardless of where your practice is.

1. Claim Your Google My Business Account.south jersey seo company

This is your free business listing on Google.  Click here to claim it.

When you’ve searched for a service and saw the big box in the upper right hand side of the search engine results page (like the one to the right), that information was populated by Google My Business.  If you want your firm to pop up there, claim it and maintain it.  Post pictures, respond to reviews, stay active.  If you go to the Google My Business Dashboard, you’ll notice that there are analytics that let you know about people that called you, viewed your business, or asked for directions.  It’s good to keep tabs on this.

2. Get A Mobile-Friendly Website

If your site is not mobile-friendly, you’re missing out on cases.  If you’re really hurting financially, get a site from or Squarespace.  If you’re ready for a big-boy website, make sure that it’s not only mobile-friendly, but that it also has tap-to-dial markup and tap-to-email.  It’s really simple to do and shouldn’t cost extra.

3. Set up Google Analytics and Search Console

Have your web designer set up your Google Analytics and Search Console.  Even if you have not idea how to read it, the data will be valuable in the future when your firm grows and you’re ready to hire a marketing agency.

4. You are a lawyer, not an attorney, law office, or law firm

When you start doing your SEO or Adwords, know that people look for “lawyers in ______.”  They are not searching for law offices, attorneys, or law firms, so if you focus on these terms in your online strategy, you’re going to chasing a smaller piece of the pie

These next few tips are insights that we have from working in the Greater Philadelphia region

5.  SEO and Adwords work wonders for B2C practices like PI, family law, or worker’s comp, but not so much for B2B practices such as real estate law or tax law.

Corporations are not really hiring tax attorneys that they find on Google, but the private individuals that work at those corporations do hire lawyers from Google.  If you cater to this population, SEO and Adwords will almost certainly be worth it.  On that note,

6. Adwords works and you should have someone do it for you.

If you have a good Adwords manager, you’ll get clients tomorrow.  If you’re curious about seeing some of the numbers that you’re likely to see if you DIY your Adwords account, check out this other post that we wrote about the topic. In a nutshell, Adwords can be hit-or-miss for a novice, but can be a major moneymaker if you do it right.  Following us on Facebook or signing up for our newsletter can help you get there if you really want to do it yourself.

7. People in South Jersey are including town names when they search for lawyers

This is good to know when doing your SEO and Adwords.  You will find that keywords targeting specific towns that you serve tend to be a little cheaper than the broad “worker’s compensation lawyer”-type keywords.  If you are focused on the town where your practice is located, we have found that ads running location extensions tend to extremely well, so be sure that they are set up



What Can You Expect to Get From An Adwords Campaign In 2017

Understandably, this is probably the most common question that we get from a client interested in PPC.

Since we’re not in business to break even, it’s important to get an idea of what it should cost you to get a sale or customer lead.  Fortunately, Adwords has its keyword planner, a tool that you can use to get a ballpark idea of what it should cost you to get a sale or lead.  When you log into the tool, you’ll see this screen:

how much does adwords cost

Don’t feel overwhelmed.  Click on “get search volume and trends.”  This will give you a good idea of what you can expect the cost-per-click to be for the keywords that you want to bid on within the market that you wish to target.

What percentage of the clicks that you pay for will turn into a sale?

This is the hard part.  This is the “conversion rate” of your website and/or ads; the rate at which visitors “convert” into paying customers.  You can typically see conversion rates range from 1%-5% depending on the industry that you work in, but many of the campaigns that we run have conversion rates up to 30%.  A good Adwords manager can maximize your conversion rate through a variety of techniques, developing the right ad copy, the right landing page for the ad, and the right placement for your ad.  However, it takes time to do all of that—what can you expect to see in month 1?

Let’s do a test run

I did a quick keyword check for terms related to an appeals lawyer in Pennsylvania.  How much should it cost us to get a case and what kind of profit can we expect?

how much adwords costs in 2017

I have found that the “average monthly searches” tend to be a bit off, and if you’re in a brand new Adwords account, you’ll get a really broad number like “0-100” searches a month.

If you’re just “average”

In the case of this firm, 100 clicks will cost $1,375.  The average conversion rate for the legal field is 4.35%, so this is likely to result in 3-5 client contacts, of which 1 in 3 is likely to be a “good case.”  Ultimately, if we are working with an average conversion rate, we’re looking at spending roughly $1,375 to get a $2,000 client.

If you have a good Adwords manager

A good Adwords manager could optimize this account to get a 5%-8% conversion rate.  In this case, the firm would be likely to get 2-3 cases for the same spend, cutting the cost of a client from $1,375 to $823.

If you have a rockstar Adwords manager

If you’re running a campaign that converts at 15%-25% (as many of our attorney campaigns do), then your $1375 goes a long way.  In this case, of your 100 clicks, 20 would be likely to contact you.  Of these, 6-7 would be good cases, bringing the cost of bringing in a new case to $211.  If a client is worth $2000, that is a nice return.

Ultimately, the skill of the person running your account is the deciding factor

But you can use some rules of thumb in calculating the results you can expect.
  1. What conversion rate does your Adwords manager normally get for clients like you?  Run the numbers based on your cost-per-click and see how profitable it would be.  Rule of thumb: don’t spend more than 33% of a customer value to acquire that customer.  Anything over $475 for this client should be suspect.
  2. What percentage of the leads that you receive are “good leads?”  If you’re like us, a good 4/5 of the web leads that we get are “good leads” that we can help.  If you’re like our attorney clients, that number is only 1/3.  Try to figure out what your rule of thumb is.
Don’t Spend Money in Places That Don’t Convert

In this early morning video, Frank shows a part of the Adwords optimization process.  When optimizing a campaign, you must find and cut the parts of the campaign that are not performing as well as the rest of what you are doing.  Here, we walk you through a session where we are looking at the performance of a campaign by state in order to determine where we are spending too much or need to spend more.

How We Get 15%-30% Conversion Rates For Our Paid Search Ads

In this post, I’m going to explain the thought behind the processes that allow us to regularly run “unicorn” PPC campaigns.

As of today’s post, we do not have a single ad campaign for a law firm that is converting at less than 15%.  Our best was doing over 30% for the first few weeks of Feb, but has dropped to 24%.  We are getting three to five times the number of client phone calls for our firms in comparison to the industry average (3%-4.5%) and we’re spending 1/3 to 1/2 of Google’s suggested bids for these clicks.  I’m going to give you a high level explanation of how we do it.

First of all, why focus on conversion rate and cost per action?

Ultimately, the goal of most legal marketing is to get new business.  The responsive website, professional photos, slick video, well-planned social media posts, informative blogs, and all of the other efforts that we undertake to drive our digital presence have one goal: get people to hire the firm.  Conversion rate tracking tells you how well you’re doing that.  Cost per action tells you how much it costs you to do it.

Why you should care about your conversion rate more than anything else.

Get out your digital scissors.

It’s time to start cutting.  You want to start optimizing your Adwords accounts by cutting out the bottom 25% of your performers.  If you’re spending money on clicks that aren’t turning into clients, stop.  If you’re spending money to get a type of case that is less profitable than another type, stop.

You need to start by looking at:

  • The time of day that the fewest people convert
  • The days of the week that the fewest convert
  • The keywords that have the lowest ROI
    • A side note on this one.  If your PI cases are worth $3,000 and a will nets you $400, but the cost per acquisition is the same, stop blowing money on clicks for $400 jobs and start spending that money on your PI keywords.
  • The devices that convert the worst
    • Do desktop users tend to contact you more often than mobile?  Then stop blowing money on mobile searches.

You can find these numbers under the “dimensions” tab in your Adwords account. (second from the right)

law firm conversion rate optimization

This is not a one-time thing.

You should be constantly revising your account and getting rid of anything that isn’t performing.  After paring it down to its strongest performers, it should look something like this:

49 phone calls with 39 conversions from a $1,188 spend?  Fine with me.


The Most Important Number in Your Law Firm’s Adwords Report

This post will help guide you towards running a lean, mean, profitable Adwords account.

You are drowning in data.  Between your Analytics and Adwords accounts, there is so much information available to you that you don’t even know where to start.  It doesn’t have to be so difficult.

Start with the question “what do I want customers to do?”

When it comes to a law firm’s digital campaigns, you want people to do one of the following:

  • become aware of your area of practice
  • become aware of your practice
  • contact and hire you

The metrics that you need to focus on are the ones that are related to your objective.  Each of these aforementioned goals will measured in different ways.  Pick the number that reflects the effectiveness of your campaign and use it as the deciding factor when choosing what to remove.

The remove box is the most important box on your screen

You are wasting money on clicks that do not make the clients that you want do the things that you want them to do.  I know, that was a mouthful; read it again.

If you dig into your keywords, scheduling, and dimensions tabs, you will find that a small percentage of your account actually drives business.  A small percentage of your keywords result in people contacting you, downloading your white paper, or whatever it is that you want them to do.  There are hours during the day that your numbers do better.  There are days of the week that your goals are met at higher rates than others.  Why do you spend money on something that clearly doesn’t perform as well as something else?

Stop spending money on your lowest performers and spend it on your stars

Are 3% of your Sunday visitors downloading your whitepaper vs. 1.8% of your Monday visitors?  Stop spending money on Mondays.  Use those funds to raise your bids on Sundays by 20%.

Are 4% of your Monday clicks resulting in client contacts, vs. 7% on Thursday?  Again, free up some money by stopping your Monday ads and direct them towards Thursday clicks.

You get the idea; just like a major league organization gets stronger by cutting its weakest players, you should be doing the same thing with your Adwords accounts.  Eventually, you should only be spending money on a few of your strongest terms, days, keywords, and ads.  This will allow you focus your resources on what works and help your practice grow.