How to Share AdWords Access with an Agency

Once you’ve entered into a partnership with a digital marketing agency, whether you’ve signed agreements or agreed to an audit, you’re going to need to provide access to your Google AdWords account. The process is relatively simple if you know what you’re doing, but it’s very easy to get lost.

Here’s how to grant AdWords access to agencies in 3 simple steps:

Step 1: Client Sends AdWords Customer ID

  1. Log in to your Google AdWords account
  2. Find your Customer ID and email it to your agency
  3. Stay logged in and wait for the agency to request approval

Step 2: Marketing Agency Requests Access

  1. Log in to the top level Manager Account for Google AdWords
  2. Under Accounts, click +Account and select “Link existing accounts”
  3. Enter the provided customer ID and click “Continue”
  4. Name the account (for internal use only) and click “Request approval”

Step 3: Client Approves Access

  1. Click the gear icon (top right) and select “Account Settings”
  2. Click “Account Access” on the left menu
  3. Click “Accept Request” and if you’d like provide full access, grant Admin permissions

And that’s it! You’ve successfully granted a marketing agency access to your AdWords account.

How Voice Search May Be Hurting Your Advertising

In the past six months, virtual assistants have become the newest must-have tech device.  Virtual assistants have been around for the past couple of years, but Amazon and Google have taken it to the next level. You can now ask a small speaker in your home to play music, write a to-do list, and search the internet for a restaurants’ phone number. I have yet to hop on the AI bandwagon, but my dad is still amazed that Alexa can play the Magnum P.I. theme song.

While these devices make life a little easier, they can also be hurting your advertising costs, and even inflating your leads. Since there’s no screen to view your search results, your assistant will choose what they believe the best answer is. If it’s the correct answer, then great! If not, you may end up calling a business you didn’t intend to.

I was recently looking through the search terms report in AdWords for a client, and stumbled upon a series of voice searches:

“Okay Google I need probate attorneys in the state of Kentucky USA not Oklahoma anywhere else”

“Okay Google maybe you don’t understand I’m trying to reach probate attorneys in Kentucky Kentucky”

I think it’s pretty safe to say that this was the same searcher looking for an attorney in Kentucky, not Oklahoma where my client practices. But because Google thought this query best matched our call-only ads, the helpful assistant placed a call to their office. Twice.

At least the second search was only half the price of the first…

So with the increased use of virtual assistants, your ad managers need to be vigilant in monitoring the types of searches you’re paying for, and what changes they can make to ensure you’re only paying for searches that are relevant to your business.

Get The Most From Your AdWords Search Terms: 2 [Simple] Tips

The number one reason I love Google AdWords (aside from us now being a Premier Partner) is that their advertising platform enables you to target potential clients who are actively searching for your service. Not only do they place your ad in front of users who are searching for your service, but you can actually see what they searched for before clicking your advertisement. This transparency gives you an immense amount of power. In this post I’ll describe how to use that search data to quickly and easily perform 2 key tasks:

  1. Identify negative keywords
  2. Content idea generation

How to Access Your Search Terms Data

Let’s take a step back. The first thing you need to do is navigate to your “Search Terms” tab in your Google AdWords dashboard. Follow these steps…

  1. Login to Google AdWords
  2. Navigate to the specific campaign you want to work on
  3. Select the “keywords” tab and then select “search terms” in the second menu so you see a screen similar to this:

AdWords Search Terms

Now that you can see how people are finding and clicking on your ads, you’re ready to use that data. Take a minute to scroll through your search terms; if it’s your first time, you may be surprised at what you find.

Identifying and Adding New Negative Keywords

Now that you’re looking at the list of search terms you’ve paid for – you’ll want to identify anything that is irrelevant or not likely to lead to conversions. It’s good to go through at least every few weeks (more frequently if you are running a large budget campaign) and make sure you are excluding terms you don’t want to pay for in the future.

Here are some real client examples from an immigration attorney…

  • is rihanna getting deported” (I don’t think this person is looking to hire a deportation defense attorney for Rihanna.)
  • immigration paralegal openings in clearwater utah” (Unfortunately the law firm isn’t located in Utah and not looking to hire new paralegals.)
  • how many immigrants has trump deported” (Albeit an interesting question… this client doesn’t have the answer, and more importantly, this person is not looking to hire an attorney.)

If you find terms like this that you want to exclude from triggering your ads, simply select the checkbox next to the search term and then scroll to the top navigation and click the “add as a negative keyword” button.

It’s important to mention that as a best practice, you should upload a list of negative keywords before ever launching your AdWords campaigns. This way you are proactively mitigating the irrelevant and unprofitable keywords. Here are some freebies we include on most of our campaigns (dependent on practice area of course):

  • Cheap
  • Pro bono
  • News
  • Job
  • School
  • Statistics

Using Search Terms Data for Content Idea Generation

The queries you find in your search terms data can be utilized as a tool for organic search strategy as well. This list of terms is often a goldmine for generating new content ideas. You can see what people are interested in and actively searching for and make sure you have content on your site that answers those questions. Once more, if you already have relevant content, you can use the search terms report to get insight into how you can optimize the content on page to match the searchers verbiage.

For example, here are more examples from the same immigration attorney…

  • can I get a green card by marrying a permanent resident?
  • which green card is safe from deportation?
  • what are the newest immigration laws?

All of these questions can and should be used as a springboard for new content. If you can become the trusted resource for information about your practice area than you are winning.

Wrapping Up

Make sure you are not neglecting the search terms report in Google AdWords. Not only will it help you cut costs and focus on the relevant queries that drive business, but it can also help support your content and overall SEO strategy.

A *strong* Case for Avvo Pro

Avvo has done really well with email marketing – and they are very good at using email to drive business to their advertisers.  And I just received a great email from Avvo that reinforces that point oh so very visually:

 

So – Heidi’s direct contact information shows up not only directly in Avvo’s search results pages, but also in their follow-up emails.  Would this tip the scales in favor of contacting Heidi over Stephen?  Not sure…. but if I was reading this on my phone, and speaking with an attorney was just a click away.  At $50, if you have reasonable volume of views on Avvo, that may be some $ well spent.

Full Disclosure here:  I still hold a bundle of early stage Avvo stock.

Picking a Winning Title Tag: No Easy Way Out

As we know, title tags are a key element of on-page SEO (Ahrefs has a comprehensive analysis of just how important they are). And as Ahrefs determined, the use of exact match keywords in title tags has the second strongest correlation to higher rankings, right after the domain name:

So, What Should My Title Tags be?

To answer this question, some SEOs end up relying on PPC ads to see test keywords. They do this by plugging a potential title tag into a PPC ad, and based on the success (or failure) of that ad, decide whether or not to apply their trial title tag to a page on their site.

According to a recent study done by the Wayfair SEO team, this tactic is dangerous.

In this test, paid ads did not consistently predict winning organic titles:

“In our testing, paid ads did not consistently identify winning organic title tags. While trying to improve your title tags is definitely a very smart SEO play, relying on PPC might end up steering you wrong. PPC was able to identify some winners, but also mislabeled losers as winners, particularly when it came to promotional language.”

The Wayfair SEO team believes the reasoning for this to be that the success of a paid ad is different in nature to the success of an organic page in a key way: those clicking on PPC ads are not a random sample of people, they are the type of searchers who click on ads. These people tend to respond positively (by clicking) to promotional language (“sale”, “50% off”, “free shipping”). When the rest of us (those that don’t click on ads) see the words “50% off” in an organic search result, we think we’re being scammed, and keep scrolling.

Takeaway

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to find optimal title tags, it looks like you have to keep looking beyond the success of PPC ads. Unfortunately, finding the perfect title tags may take a lot of time and data.

5 AdWords Tips You Need Before 2017

AdWords is an extremely powerful marketing tool but can be confusing to even the most knowledgeable advertising experts. There seem to be endless settings, strategies and opinions on how best to set up, run, and manage campaigns. While we happily admit that we are constantly learning, we’ve found a few tricks that have undeniably helped a majority (if not all) our clients’ accounts.

Enable Ad Extensions

The easiest and arguably most effective upgrade to any campaign is to enable Ad Extensions. These little add-ons are a great way to claim more SERP space and generate more clicks. Right below your original text and link, you can extend your ad with valuable information for users to interact with. Our favorite Ad Extensions are:

  • Call Extensions – Users can click to call your law firm
  • Message Extensions – Users can click to text your law firm
  • Location Extensions – Users can click to get directions to your law firm, and this extension makes your ad eligible to be included directly in Google Maps.
  • Callout Extensions – Draws attention to your most valuable features (Free Consults, Open 24/7, etc.)
  • Sitelinks Extensions – Adds more links to your ad, allowing users to navigate to content they care about

Use Accelerated Delivery

AdWords’ description of Standard Delivery is a bit misleading: “Optimize delivery of ads, spending budget evenly over time (Recommended).” That small sentence is stuffed with a lot of nice sounding buzzwords. Optimize, spend evenly, recommended… However, a new client in the morning is just as valuable as a new client in the afternoon. Law firms are not restaurants. You do not need to save your advertising budget for the dinner rush. Use Accelerated Delivery to show as often as possible. If you want to make sure your ads show in the afternoon, don’t hold your budget back; increase your budget and get more clients!

Match Ad Schedules to Business Hours

While a click in the morning is just as valuable as a click in the afternoon, a click at night might not follow the same pattern. If you don’t have people answering the phone at night or on weekends, your conversion rates are going to be negatively affected. Clients are much more likely to move on to the next firm if they are greeted with an answering machine. Unless you are prepared to handle leads after hours, restrict your ad schedule to when you are actually able to answer the phone.

Upgrade to Expanded Text Ads

A few months ago, Google launched their new Expanded Text Ads (ETAs) which were a huge improvement over their old standard format. The new ETAs now include:

  • Two headline fields (up to 30 characters each)
  • A single, expanded description field (up to 80 characters)
  • A display URL that uses your final URL’s domain
  • Two optional “Path” fields, used in the ad’s display URL (up to 15 characters each)

Not only are these new ads much more effective, starting January 31, 2017, AdWords will no longer allow advertisers to create or edit standard text ads. If you haven’t upgraded already, now is the time.

Apply Bid Modifiers

Utilizing bid modifiers is a great way to gain a competitive advantage over other law firms. If you’re targeting a large area (50+ miles, multiple counties, statewide, etc.), a positive bid adjustment focused on a more precise 5 mile radius can be a beneficial. Additionally, people searching on mobile devices are usually more likely to place a phone call and convert into a client. A positive bid adjustment here will help make sure your ads get are delivered when these high value searches take place.

How To Implement

Most of these tips and tricks can be applied at the campaign level of your AdWords account. When in doubt, this is a great place to start when making high level changes. However, there may be times when diving into each Ad Group is a better decision (as with sitelinks). Make sure to stop and think about how each change will affect your AdWords campaigns before implementing.

Whether you’re optimizing old campaigns or starting fresh, these 5 AdWords Tips should help you get 2017 started on the right foot.

Happy Advertising!

The Beginners Guide to Facebook Advertising

Tackling the many advertising options offered by Facebook can be a challenge. Do I want more likes on my Facebook page? Can I direct people to my website? What’s a boosted post? These and many other questions may be running through your mind, but don’t worry, I’ll be here to guide the way.

Why Facebook Ads?

First and foremost, you may be wondering why a lawyer would even want to advertise on Facebook. Although legal matters can be extremely personal, you have to think about how people make large purchases. They research, compare, and then buy. The traffic you receive from a Facebook ad may not be high converting, but they could be later, so think of these as branding campaigns. But with the extremely low cost of running ads on Facebook, it doesn’t hurt to dip your toes in the water.

Boosted Posts

Boosted posts are the easiest way to get familiar with Facebook advertising. A boosted post is essentially a post you might share with friends and followers, the only difference is you can now target people outside of that circle. You can target a specific location, a certain age group, and even narrow it down to job title and interests (this can be particularly helpful for workers’ compensation campaigns).

A boosted post could be a link to a recent blog on your site, or an update about your firm. Almost anything you share on your Facebook page can be used as a boosted post (consult their ad policies for more information).

Once you’ve published the post live on your page, you’ll find an option to boost underneath (there are other ways to get here, but I find this to be the easiest).

Boosted Post Button

You’ll then choose your targeting settings.

Facebook Boosted Post Demographics

And set your budget.

Boosted Post Budget

You’ll be able to preview your post before submitting in both desktop and mobile versions.

Boosted Post Preview

Once submitted, your post will be visible when someone matching your targeted audience scrolls through their newsfeed. With this kind of post, a potential client can click through to your website, visit your Facebook page, like your page directly from the post, comment, like, and share.

For these kinds of advertising campaigns, it’s usually best to run them for a short amount of time. The campaign pictured below ran for one week with a total budget of $200, yielding 169 clicks to our site, which equates to just under $1.20 per click. Not too shabby.

Mockingbird Boosted Post

Once you’ve mastered the art of the boosted post, you may be ready to start running even more targeted ads to generate leads, whether through video, geo-targeting, or larger branding ads.

How to Generate Personal Injury Cases for About $100.

Alternate Title:  PPC Isn’t Too Expensive – You’re Just Doing it All Wrong

I have a variation of this conversation with attorneys all the time:

I tried Adwords, but its just crazy expensive.

I spent $800 on our first day with Adwords, with no phone calls, so we turned it off.

Everyone is in Adwords, its just not worth it.

The general consensus among lawyers (many of whom have been burned either by an uninformed agency or their own missteps) is that Adwords is expensive and therefore ineffectual.  But…. the very system they are complaining about is based on a Pay per Click model – and we get to choose how much to pay.  So its not that its too expensive – its just that you aren’t doing it right.  Attorneys – always driven to be at the top – spend a lot of “stupid money” trying to “win” Adwords.  This is driven by the misperception that marketing is a cost not an investment.  If you learn to view your marketing as an investment, you’ll start asking questions like how much am I spending, and how much is that returning?  And when you do that, you’ll find that Adwords is a great investment when handled correctly.  Adwords too Expensive

Now, I’ve admittedly cherry-picked the following data from our best campaign from last week to demonstrate my point. This is an entire week, where we spent less than $250 for a small personal injury firm in a secondary market and generated 4 conversions.  (In his case – these were phone calls, not chats or form fills, but all three conversion channels should be counted in your assessment.) Not all of our clients look this amazing and this client’s investment doesn’t return this well every week. But the data below is demonstrative of a well run Adwords investment.  A few things to note a) this is NOT a ton of volume.  The phone’s aren’t ringing off the hook.  b)average position is high – meaning we are looking for clients outside the typical pool and c)CPCs are much lower than what it takes to “win” in a typical Personal Injury campaign.  Like any investment, the results are in the numbers:

  • 1 week
  • 4 calls
  • 2 clients
  •  $236.07 spent

Oh – and those four phone calls…. turned into two clients.  So, if you think Adwords is too expensive… you’re just not doing it right.