Google AdWords Basics


For law firms looking to increase new leads as quickly as possible, digital advertising campaigns using tools like Google AdWords are a popular choice. Campaigns can be set up very quickly and can target users based on specific search queries. Many law firms are eager to dive into a Google AdWords campaign, but there are a few basics to understand before taking the plunge.

  1. Make sure Google AdWords is right for you. If you are looking to advertise in a competitive market, you need to analyze whether or not this will be a worthwhile use of your available advertising dollars. If the market you want to advertise in is already saturated and your budget is limited, look at other types of digital advertising like Facebook or Twitter ads. Other forms of digital advertising can have cheaper acquisition costs per lead and fewer competitors.
  2. You’re going to need Google Tag Manager. Google AdWords can give you information about how users interact with your advertisements; but what about after that? Google AdWords isn’t designed to track user behavior after a user leaves an ad; therefore, you’ll need to install Google Tag Manager on your website and set up appropriate conversion tags. With these in place, you will be able to see how many users view and click on your ad, and then complete some type of conversion, like a contact form submission. Without Google Tag Manager, you could neither track these conversions nor understand how well your ads are actually driving user behavior.
  3. The highest bidder doesn’t always win. Google AdWords auctions are different than other auctions. A number of factors contribute to winning a Google AdWords  auction, and the actual bid itself is only one of them. Google wants to provide the best and most relevant ads to users, so the quality and relevancy of an ad are both extremely important. This means high quality ads at lower bids can actually beat out competitors willing to pay more. An experienced Google AdWords campaign manager will have the skills needed to maximize the number of times your ads show while minimizing your cost.
  4. You need extensions. Extensions allow businesses to show additional information in their ads. You have probably seen ads that contain additional links to contact pages, location pages, attorney pages, etc. Extensions are important for two reasons: (1) they improve the overall quality of your ads, which in turn will help you rank better, and (2) they help ads perform better with users. The most important extension to use is a call extension. This allows users to call your law firm from a link contained within the ad itself. Users don’t need to click through to your website, search for the contact page, and then find a phone number to contact the firm. Users can call you directly from the ad itself. Additionally, these calls can be tracked in Google AdWords, providing very detailed information like exactly when the call took place, how long the call lasted, and the area code of the caller.
  5. Start with search network only. Text ads on Google are referred to as “Search Network” ads; however, Google also offers “Display Network” ads, which are essentially banner ads. The default setting for a new Google AdWords campaign will run your ads on both the Search Network and the Display Network, but when starting a new campaign, it is recommended to start with Search Network only. Search Network and Display Network ads work very differently, and each requires a different approach for success. Get a solid footing with Search Network ads before graduating to Display Network ads.


Running a successfully Google AdWords campaign is a not a “set it and forget it” endeavor. Careless campaigns can waste hundreds or thousands of your advertising dollars. To make sure you are running the best campaign possible, contact the Google AdWords specialists at Stacey E. Burke, P.C.

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