Don’t Lose Locations: Getting Google Ads Targeting Right for Law Firms

Effective Google Ads targeting remains an extremely profitable and effective way for law firms to generate quality leads. It revolves around specific adverts that focus on specific keyphrase enquiries and direct users with high intention to convert to your website.

According to the American Bar Association 2020 Legal Technology Survey Report, 87% of law firms have websites. So shouldn’t every law firm be able to benefit from Google Ads? In theory yes, However, some firms are sceptical about Google Ads. They see it as an unnecessary cost. However, it’s actually an extremely worthwhile one. Moreover, as Google Ads targeting can help your law firm hone in on the exact locations that you want to promote your adverts, you further increase the chances of getting a conversion.

However, it still does require your law firm to take time to get your Google Ads targeting right. There is a multitude of different targeting options within Google Ads. Setting an advertising schedule allows firms to dictate when their post shows. Enabling or disabling the display network gives law firms control over showcasing their visual identity. Similarly, enabling or disabling the search network lets law firms decide how wide a net they want to cast when being advertised outside the standard search engine results. Finally, there is geographic targeting which is the focus of this blog.

Google Ads Targeting: Geographic Targeting

Google Ads location targeting enables law firms to select territorially where they want their adverts to appear. This helps focus advertising specifically to the right customers in the right place, at the right time. As a result, law firms have a better chance of a stronger return on investment (ROI).

There are three types of location targeting within Google Ads: Countries, areas within a country, or a radius around a location.

  • Country-wide targeting can be useful for large law firms that want to provide a range of products and services across an entire nation.
  • Areas within a country such as regions, towns or cities that want to focus specifically on advertising efforts within these areas. This can be helpful for mid-size law firms that want to target multiple areas without going country-wide.
  • Radius targeting to promote your law firm to customers within a certain distance of a chosen location. This can be useful for small and medium law firms looking to maximise their local clientele.

You can target as many locations as required.

Targeted Ads

 Negative Google Ads Targeting

You can also mark locations as negative. This means law firms can ensure their adverts don’t appear within select countries, areas or location radius too. This can help siphon out spam users and bot traffic.

Google Ads Targeting: Selecting the Best Option

There are some key factors that law firms need to take into account when it comes to Google Ads targeting. Firstly, it’s important to think about where your customers are based, as opposed to your business. The legal sector is increasingly becoming a digital industry. Resultantly, there is a greater opportunity for scale. There is also a widespread ability to target multiple locations as your services are all online.

However, if your law firm does target an area that you aren’t based in, it can be difficult to assess if your advert is showing regularly. Law firms can’t check adverts via the SERPs, but they can see previews due the advert creation process. Some law firms may also use VPN facilities to help them evaluate whether adverts are showing in target locations.

Additionally, targeting a small radius can have an adverse effect on advertising performance. If the selected radius doesn’t meet the targeting requirements, then adverts won’t show.

Finally, it is best practise to ensure that law firms are consistent between language and location-targeting. If law firms aren’t matching these up, it’s likely they are speaking to the wrong audience.

Common Pitfalls

There are some very common pitfalls that law firms do encounter. One of the main issues is discrepancies between target geographies and user territories. If they don’t match up properly, it is clear that something has gone wrong in the advertising process.

At this point, law firms need to reverse engineer the process. Checking that your ideal audience is in your target territory is not always easy. However, it is extremely important to do this to ensure your law firm is not wasting precious budget.

Be aware of VPNs too. If clients are using VPNs, they will be synched to a specific location. That location may not align with your target territories. Consequently, your law firm may lose out on traffic data.


Advanced Location Settings

One other common issue is the failure to set advanced location settings in Google Ads. Google Ads offers 3 levels of specificity for advanced targeting:

  • Presence or interest: People in, regularly in or who’ve shown interest in your targeted locations
  • Presence: People in or regularly in your targeted locations
  • Search interest: People searching for your targeted locations

Google Ads targeting usually recommends ‘Presence or Interest’. This is the widest possible pool. However, it also has the highest possibility of attracting bot traffic. It bypasses other location checks. This means that it can ignore negative location data. THis can be problematic for law firms.

For example, if your law firm was set to target people in London, but had ‘Presence or Interest’ set as your advanced settings, people searching for ‘Law Firm London’ could still find your adverts even if they were based in Paris! In order to avoid this issue, it’s best to use ‘Presence’ because that requires people to have actual GPS signals from these locations. Be warned, however. It is possible VPN users can still pick up your adverts if their VPN is set to target your chosen country, region or city.

For advanced negative settings, there are also two choices;

  • Presence: People in your excluded locations
  • Presence or interest: People in, regularly in or who’ve shown interest in your excluded locations

Once again, presence is the better option. This time, presence or interest can go the other way, and actually exclude people you want to target.

Google Ads Targeting: The Final Word

Using geographic targeting can be effective for law firms to hone in on the right territories. They can show the best message at the best time, to the best people. This gives them the best chance of converting a user. However, getting territories right is not easy. Law firms should take full advantage of all Google Ads targeting options. This includes advanced settings for negative and positive location selection.

For more advice on Google Ads targeting for law firms, or other marketing enquiries for the legal sector, contact Boss Digital today.

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