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Google Ads & PPC Online Marketing Tips SEO

Why You Should Always Track Conversions Whether You Are Doing Law Firm SEO or PPC

Tracking conversions is absolutely crucial so that you know if your marketing is actually working or not. However, I still come across many businesses who don’t do it (or don’t do it correctly) and don’t actually know what results their marketing is getting.

Firstly, What Are Conversions?

A conversion is a metric that you set up in Google Ads or Google Analytics (or other tracking software), which triggers when someone takes a specific action on your website. This could be something like filling out a form or clicking a phone number.

You can set anything you want to be a conversion, such as visits to a specific page, clicking a button or watching a video. The purpose of them is to measure specific actions that you are trying to get people to take.

If you are running a law firm, generally speaking you are trying to get leads. So, you’d want to track leads through your website by using conversions.

How to Set Up Conversions

How I like to set up conversions is I track form submissions, phone number clicks and email clicks. These are the 3 contact methods I usually use for websites I’m managing.

What setting this up will allow you to do is see where the leads came from (such as organic traffic, PPC, social media) and what action they took (filled out a form, clicked a phone number).

Here’s an example of what that looks like in Google Analytics:

Form submit conversions:

Tracking Conversions Form SubmitsPhone number click conversions:

Tracking Conversions Phone Clicks

You can see how it shows you rows for Organic Search, Paid Search, Social and more. This allows you to see exactly where each lead came from. It also allows you to set your Google Ads to optimise for conversions, which can significantly increase the conversion rate of your ads.

Once you set this up, you will know exactly what kind of results you are getting from your marketing campaigns and can calculate what it’s costing you to get a lead. From there you can optimise, decide if you should scale or if something needs to be fixed.


How to Solve Keyword Cannibalization When Doing SEO

In an attempt to optimize your website, it’s very easy to overcapitalize and actually cause problems.

One example of this is what’s known as keyword cannibalization.

What is Keyword Cannibalization?

Keyword cannibalization is what happens when more than one page targets the same keyword (often inadvertently) and as a result, Google is not sure which page is more relevant for that particular keyword and in the end neither of them end up ranking very well.

A good example of this would be wills and will disputes. If you have a separate page for will disputes, it would be very easy to cause keyword cannibalization.

The reason why is because will disputes contains the word “will”, and if you were to try to target “will dispute lawyer”, now you would directly have the keywords “will” and “lawyer” on two pages, making the chance of keyword cannibalization high.

While it is possible to target both of those, you need to be aware of the risks if you are doing your own law firm SEO, and what to do if cannibalization does occur.

How to Check For Keyword Cannibalization

One way you can check if your site is suffering from keyword cannibalization is to check if two pages are ranking for the same keyword. If they are, this is usually a sign that there is crossover. This method won’t always work, as Google doesn’t usually rank two pages from the same website for a keyword. However occasionally you will see it happen.

Another thing that could indicate keyword cannibalization is if only one page is ranking but it’s not the page you wanted.

If either of these two isn’t happening, then you will have to manually go through your website and see if there are multiple pages targeting the same keyword.

How to Fix Keyword Cannibalization

One of the methods you can use is to combine the two pages that are conflicting. Then you redirect the old pages to the new “super page”. By combining the content and making one big “super page”, you are more likely to end up with a page that is ranking well. And by redirecting the old pages, you are passing on all the relevance from backlinks etc onto the new page.

Another option is to just redirect one of the pages to the other, more relevant page.

Either of these two are likely to solve the problem and help the new page ranking better than what was happening before.

In the future, when making new pages, always keep in mind keyword cannibalization and consider adding to a current page if the topic is very close to a page that you already have on there.

Website Tips

3 Common Website Mistakes Law Firms Make

Having looked a lot of legal websites (easily in the hundreds by now) I often see the mistakes being made over and over. These mistakes result in less leads, lower conversion rates, and higher ad costs, so they are important to make note of.

1. Hard to find contact details

This is probably the most common one I see and it will kill your conversion rates. The reason why is because people hate to have to do any work, so when you make them hunt for your contact details, they will sooner leave your website than do so.

Having a contact button in your header and a small phone number and email in the footer is not enough. It’s very easy to miss, and you have to remember that most people are on mobile and in that case it’s even harder to find them.

You want to make sure you have your contact details absolutely everywhere on your website. I spoke more about this topic in this post here, so if you want to know more go check that out.

2. Keywords not in Page Titles and H1 Headlines

Not having the main keywords in the H1 headline and Page Titles is another common one I see.

When writing your H1 headlines and Page Titles, you want to look at which keywords are worth going after and then making sure they are in the titles.

For example, “Family Law” is a common one. “Family Lawyer” is the keyword with the highest search volume when it comes to the topic of Family Law, but by not having the word “Lawyer” in the H1 headline or the Page Title, you are far less likely to show up when someone searches “Family Lawyer”.

Not having the location in the H1 headline or Page Title is also a common mistake. By including the location, you are making your website much more relevant for when someone from that area searches the keywords, and especially if they include the keyword in their search, for example “Family Lawyer Sydney”.

Remember, if you don’t have the keywords in your H1 Headlines and Page Titles, other firms do. So they are the ones that are going to show up when someone searches.

I spoke more about page titles in this post here, so check that out if you want to know more.

3. Listing all services on one page

Having one page where you list all your services/expertise as opposed to individual pages for each one is a problem for several reasons.

1) It’s bad for SEO, because your pages are not specifically relevant to any particular topic to rank. So no matter what you do, websites that have specific pages are always going to outrank you.

2) It’s less relevant for the person searching and looking at your website, so your conversion rates are going to be significantly lower since the page is not exactly about what they are looking for.

You would get far better results by having a specific page about each of the services your provide, whether you are running ads or relying on organic traffic. Your conversion rates will be higher, and the chances of you showing on page 1 and much higher, as it will be practically impossible to do with a single general services page.

Google Ads & PPC

Why Nobody Should Be Using Google Ads Smart Campaigns (How to Switch to Expert Mode)

When making a Google Ads account for the very first time, Google guides you through a process to set up your account. This process ends in you having created a “Smart Campaign”. I’m now going to tell you why you shouldn’t do this if you are doing law firm PPC and what you should do instead.

Firstly, what is a Google Ads Smart Campaign?

To put it bluntly, it’s Google Ads for dummies. It’s an extremely simplified version of that platform which is missing a tonne of features in order to make it easier for someone new to run their own ads.

While this sounds like a good idea, the problem with it is that many crucial features for a successful campaign have been removed, such as only allowing broad keyword match types, which I spoke about here.

As such, using the Google Ads Smart Campaign is a recipe for spending your money and getting very little return. Sure, you might be able to make ads that get you results (keyword being “might”) but it’s going to be nowhere near as efficient as running a proper campaign using a full Google Ads account.

In my opinion, you are much better off paying a marketer (who knows what they are doing) to run your ads rather than running a Smart Campaign by yourself. Sure, you have to pay them also, but the return will be much higher. So really it will end up costing you less.

So, how do you know if you currently have a smart campaign?

When you log into Google Ads, you’ll see an interface like this:

Google Ads Smart Campaign

In order to switch to expert mode, you need to click on the settings icon in the top bar, and then click “Switch to Expert Mode”

Switch to Expert Mode

Then, click on “Switch View” in the grey banner:

Switch View in Expert Mode

And now you will successfully be in expert mode, and this is what you will see:

Google Ads Expert Mode

If you have not yet made a Google Ads account, here is how you bypass the Smart Campaign and make an “Expert Mode” account:

First, click Sign In and you’ll be taken to the screen to make an account. Select “New Google Ads Account”:

Make Google Ads Account

On the next page, scroll down and click “Switch to Expert Mode”.

Make Google Ads Account

From there you’ll be able to complete your account setup.

Now you’ll be able to access all the features of Google Ads and will be able to set up a proper campaign that will yield you much better results.

Google Ads & PPC

Law Firm PPC: Why You Shouldn’t Use ”Broad Match” Keywords On Google Ads

When using Google Ads, the default settings for keywords is the “broad match”.

If you are running a “smart” campaign (post coming up on why you should never do this), the only option you get is to put broad match keywords.

However, this is often the most costly and least productive way to run your ads. Let me explain why.

Firstly, what is a “broad match” keyword?

Broad match is a match type that Google Ads gives you as a setting for your keywords. There are three in total:

  • Broad match
  • Phrase match
  • Exact match

These match types allow you to set how closely the user’s search has to match your keyword in order to show your ad.

For example, if your keyword is “family lawyer” and your keyword was set to “exact match” then they would have to search your exact keyword in order to see your ad, so in this case “family lawyer”. If it was set to phrase match, it would likely show when someone searches “family lawyer in Sydney”.

It’s worth noting that over the years Google has been more and more loose with its match types, so what used to be exact match (literally had to exactly match your keyword) no longer exists and it’s closer to the old phrase match, but that’s a whole other topic I might cover in the future.

For now, I want to talk about why you shouldn’t use broad match when running Google Ads for your law firm.

The problem with broad match is that the criteria for it is so broad, that your ad will show for almost anything remotely related to your keyword.

So while you would think that if you put “family law” set to broad match that it would show for all searches on the topic of family law, in reality what you are likely to get is anything law related at all, or family related, and probably a whole load of other searches that are completely unrelated to either of these.

So what are broad match keywords actually useful for?

In my opinion, not much. I’ve been running Google Ads for about 10 years now and honestly I can’t name one situation where I used broad keywords and they worked well.

In theory, if you have grown your Google Ads account to the point where you are maxing out every single search possible, and now you are struggling to come up with ways to burn your money, then a broad match campaign might be the way to go, to try and pick up any loose searches that you might have missed.

But honestly, at that point you are probably better off focusing on another area marketing.

So if you are running your own Google Ads, one of the best things you can do to increase your results are to change your keywords from broad match to phrase or exact match (depending on the circumstance). You’re going to find that the clicks you get are far more likely to be interested in what you are offering, and as a result your conversion rate will go up significantly.

If you have any questions about this, or you have actually run a successful broad match campaign, do let me know.


Law Firm SEO: How to Decide Which Keywords to Target

Deciding which keywords to target with your law firm Search Engine Optimisation can be tricky. Do you target the main ones and go after stiff competition, with the risk of not making it to page 1? Or do you go after the lower search, “long tail” keywords and risk not getting enough traffic? In this post I will cover some methods you can use which will help to decide.

Many people think that you have to go after the main keywords because they have the most search volume. While that is correct, and that certainly should be the long term goal, going after the main keywords right away is going to be difficult. This is because they are the keywords that have the most competition. Especially in a competitive niche like the legal industry.

Trying to rank for the main keywords is usually going to take a lot of effort and a significant amount of time to get there. The reason for this is:

1. Because of the competition mentioned earlier, and
2. Because Google is very selective of what it shows it’s users, so it’s not just going to show a new website for a main keyword with tons of traffic and risk all those people having a bad experience.

This second point is one almost no one considers, but it’s very important. What that essentially means is that you have to prove yourself to Google that you are providing a good experience to users and are giving them what they want, by doing so with the keywords that have a smaller search volume.

Over time, you will prove that you are providing quality content and can handle larger search volumes, and then you’ll start to rank for the main keywords.

This is where things like good conversion rates, time spent on the page, website loading times etc all come into play.

However, that’s all quite complex if you are just starting out. So here’s what I would recommend doing:

Start by making your main pages of your website as if you were targeting the main keywords. For example, “family law” or “conveyancing”.

Then, use your blogs to target the long tail keywords that relate to those pages, and link back to them from those blogs. What this will do is these blogs are likely to rank for those long tail keywords, and some of their relevance will be pushed to the main page. Over time this will make your main pages more relevant for that topic, and more likely to rank for the main keywords.

As you build up a big collection of blog posts targeting these long tail keywords, what will happen is not only will you get traffic and leads from these keywords through your blogs, but your website will become much more relevant for the main keywords and it’s likely to start ranking for them.


Why You Need to Optimize Your Page (Meta) Titles For Law Firm SEO

In a previous post I spoke about the importance of H1 headlines in SEO. Now I’m going to speak about another piece of content that is equally as important.

The page title. Also known as the meta title.

This is the title that shows up in the browser tab at the top. It’s also the title that shows up on Google in the search results. Let me show you what I mean.

If we do a quick search for Lawyers in Sydney, for example, you can see the results here. The meta title is the headline of these results (outlined in red):

Page Titles in Google Results

So why are they important?

Similar to the H1 headline, Google looks at the keywords in the meta title to decide what the website is relevant for, and thus ranks it accordingly.

So if you want to rank for certain keywords, you will need to make sure that they are in your meta title.

Similar rules apply to the meta title like they do to the H1 headline. You want to make sure that you have a unique meta title on each page and that you don’t have the same keywords across multiple pages, as that would cause “keyword cannibalization” and neither page would rank as high.

Here’s a format you can use to write meta titles:

“Legal Services in Location | Firm Name”

So an example of that would be:

“Conveyancing & Property Attorneys in Sydney | Top Lawyers”

You want to make sure that you use they keywords that are worth targeting in these meta titles. Don’t just put any keywords there that you think are good. Check the search volume and make sure it’s worth targeting them. In an upcoming post I will show you how to do this.

In the example above, because the firm name already contains the keyword “lawyers”, I put the keyword attorneys after Property so that way you target both keywords. That’s a trick you can use. An alternative to “Attorneys” would be to put “Law Firm”. The way I decide which to use is to simply look at which one of those has a higher search volume and then use that one.

Also keep in mind that you have a limit of around 60 characters for these meta titles. If it’s too long it’s going to get cut off in the Google search results, and whatever’s after that cut off isn’t going to be relevant.

Google Ads & PPC

Why You Should NEVER Send Google Ads Or PPC Traffic to Your Home Page (With One Exception)

In this post I’m going to tell you why you shouldn’t be sending any paid traffic to your home page, whether we’re talking about PPC and Google Ads, Facebook Ads or any other ads.

Sending ad traffic to your home page is still a very common practice, and if you are new to running ads it might seem like the obvious thing to do. Just send people to the website. Unfortunately, a lot of marketers who should know better also do it.

Here’s something you need to consider:

The point of the ad is to get people onto your website, and the point of your website is to get people to contact you.

When people are searching for something on Google, they are usually searching for something specific. If you send them to your home page, you are throwing everything at them and basically saying here, find what you need.

What’s going to happen is they will quickly scroll through the home page, and if they don’t immediately see what they are looking for, they will leave.

Imagine there’s a hardware store and you are looking for a particular type of hammer. You have to go into the store, look around, find the tools section, find the hammer isle, then look through all the hammers. Then you might not even find the hammer you are looking for.

Now right next door there’s a small shop that only sells hammers. You walk right in and exactly what you need is right there in front of you. Not only was it quicker for you to find what you were looking for, but the whole experience was much better.

That’s essentially the same thing when you send people to your home page versus a page made specifically on the topic of the ad.

You should be doing this with every specific topic your ads are about. So if you have ads for conveyancing, send them to a conveyancing page. Family law, send them to a family law page. Litigation, send them to a litigation page.

This is the same whether you are doing Google Ads, PPC, Facebook ads, or any other kind of ad. You results will increase dramatically if you do this.

The only exception to this is if you offer one very specific service. Say you are just starting up and you only do conveyancing, you could make your home page a landing page that specifically talks about conveyancing, and run ads to that.

That can be an effective way to get the business of the ground and get things rolling. I have done that before when it was necessary and it has worked. But that’s really the only exception to this.

Google Ads & PPC Online Marketing Tips SEO

One Thing You Can Do Right Now to Get More Leads Through Your Legal Website

There’s one thing you can do right now to increase the amount of leads you get through your legal website no matter whether you run Google Ads, Facebook Ads, do SEO, or any other kind of marketing. If you are trying to get leads through your website, this will work.

You need to make sure you have your contact methods clearly visible and absolutely everywhere. Whether you want them to fill out a form, click a call button to call you, or click an email button to send an email, you want to make these stand out and quick and easy to get to from any page on your website.

I still see a lot of websites which don’t have forms on every page, and the email or phone number is only visible in small text in the footer. Often times you can’t even click to call. This is a guaranteed way to lose a good percentage of your leads.

Every time you make a person take an extra action, such as look for something, click a button, go to another page etc, you are going to lose a percentage of them. People will sooner leave your website and go to the next one than look around your website trying to find your contact details.

So, if you want to increase your leads, one of the quickest and easiest things you can do is to make sure your contact details are very prominent on every page of your website, especially if you are sending traffic to that page.


Lawyer SEO: The Importance of H1 Headlines

H1 headlines are an extremely important part of law firm SEO and are crucial for getting your website to rank on Google, especially in more competitive niches such as the legal industry.

But firstly, what is an H1 headline?

H1 is the HTML code of the headline, and you can have H2, H3 etc headlines as well. Normal content text is normally <p> format which means paragraph.

The Importance of H1 Headlines in Law Firm SEO

Basically this is a way to organise the content on a page in a hierarchy,  and Google uses this to find out what your page is about.

The H1 title is so important because it is the highest priority text on the page, and Google places a lot of importance on it, and in turn the keywords that are contained within it.

That means that if you want to rank for specific keywords, they are going to have to be in the H1 headline.

If you don’t have an H1 headline, and I still see many websites that don’t, what’s happening there is essentially you are just saying nothing to Google, so it’s going to place your website lower than other websites which do have H1 headlines with the relevant keywords in them.

Now, an important thing to note is that each page has to have it’s own unique H1 headline that doesn’t contain keywords for other pages, otherwise you risk what’s known as “keyword cannibalization”. This basically means that more than one page is targeting the same keywords. What happens then is Google doesn’t know which page is the most relevant for that keyword, and as a result both rank lower.

So for example, if you have two pages, one for family law, and one for divorce, you don’t want “family law” in the H1 title of the divorce page, otherwise you risk causing conflict between the two and it’s likely that both will have a hard time ranking.

So that’s a basic overview of the H1 headline, if you have any questions feel free to ask and I’ll be happy to answer them.