Everyone in the legal industry knows that digital advertising is costly and competitive. But, because one-third of people begin their search for a lawyer online, it remains a crucial component of a successful legal advertising strategy.
And search advertising is one of the most effective forms of digital advertising. Search advertising can help your legal business get in front of potential clients searching for your services in your area.
But what do good results look like for those running legal advertising on search engines like Google and Bing?
Here, we’re sharing the average search ads benchmarks for legal, including:
We’re also sharing tips lawyers and legal services businesses can use to maximize the profitability and effectiveness of their Microsoft and Google Ads.
Average click-through rate for attorneys and legal services search ads
The average click-through rate (CTR) for attorneys and legal services running search ads is 4.76%.
|Legal business category||Avg. click-through rate|
|Accidents & Personal Injury Law||4.56%|
|Estate & Probate Law (incl. Wills)||5.17%|
|Family Law (incl. Divorce)||4.70%|
|General Practice Law||4.80%|
Bankruptcy Law and Estate & Probate Law saw higher-than-average CTRs of 6.23% and 5.17%, respectively. Criminal Law and Accidents & Personal Injury Law saw a little lower-than-average CTRs of 4.51% and 4.56%, respectively.
CTRs for attorneys and legal services as a whole increased 12% year over year.
Average cost per click for attorneys and legal services search ads
The average cost per click (CPC) for attorneys and legal services businesses running search advertising is $9.21.
|Legal business category||Avg. cost per click|
|Accidents & Personal Injury Law||$9.30|
|Estate & Probate Law (incl. Wills)||$7.92|
|Family Law (incl. Divorce)||$7.69|
|General Practice Law||$9.97|
Some legal services, such as Criminal Law, Bankruptcy Law, and Tax Law, saw a little higher average cost per click. Whereas others, such as Estate & Probate Law and Family Law, saw lower costs per click than average.
While this is higher than the average CPC across all industries of $4.22, it’s not surprising given the legal industry’s high competition and higher-value leads.
Of the industries we looked at, 91% saw increases in CPC in 2023, including attorneys and legal services. This year’s CPC for attorneys and legal services is only slightly higher than the average CPC they saw last year at $8.67.
Average conversion rate for legal search advertising
The average search advertising conversion rate for attorneys and legal services is 7%.
|Legal business category||Avg. conversion rate|
|Accidents & Personal Injury Law||5.45%|
|Estate & Probate Law (incl. Wills)||9.65%|
|Family Law (incl. Divorce)||8.52%|
|General Practice Law||5.52%|
Bankruptcy Law and Tax Law had the highest conversion rates at over 13% each. General Practice Law and Accidents & Personal Injury Law had the lowest conversion rates at 5.52% and 5.45%, respectively.
An uncertain economy and increased inflation have impacted almost every industry’s conversion rates, and the legal industry is no exception. Conversion rates fell for attorneys and legal services by 24% year over year. Keep reading for tips you can use to increase conversion rates for your Google Ads this year.
Average cost per lead for legal search advertising
Our data shows that the average cost per lead (CPL) for attorneys and legal services businesses running search advertising is $111.05.
|Legal business category||Avg. cost per lead|
|Accidents & Personal Injury Law||$159.17|
|Estate & Probate Law (incl. Wills)||$72.24|
|Family Law (incl. Divorce)||$103.54|
|General Practice Law||$96.54|
Accidents & Personal Injury Law had the highest CPLs of the legal services businesses at $159.17. Bankruptcy Law saw the lowest CPLs of the bunch at $82.27.
While these numbers are higher than the average CPL across all industries of $53.52, it’s important to look at CPL in the context of average lifetime customer value. While an industry like Restaurants & Food or Animals & Pets may see lower CPLs, their customer value is much lower than that of those in the legal field. This is where understanding your law firm’s marketing ROI can play an important role in determining what a good CPL looks like for your business.
Tips for legal advertising on Google and Bing
Use these tips to improve your legal search advertising campaigns.
Try Local Services Ads
Lawyers are eligible to run Google Local Services Ads. Not only do Google Local Services Ads (LSAs) show above regular Google Ads on the search engine results page, but they’re pay per lead rather than pay per click. This means you only pay when a person contacts you directly from your LSA.
Plus, to run LSAs, your firm or business has to be Google Screened, which lets potential clients know that you’ve been vetted by Google. People want to make sure they’re finding legal services from businesses they can trust, and this extra vote of confidence from Google can help alleviate some of the hesitations over contacting your firm.
Audit and test your ad copy
Is your ad copy enticing searchers to click on your ad? Is it helping you stand out from the competition? Is it relevant to the keywords you’re bidding on? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you may be letting your legal search advertising results slip.
Effective ad copy provides information relevant to the query, speaks to the searcher’s intent, and includes a compelling call to action. If your ad copy is missing the mark, it’s likely searchers will click on a competitor’s ad—or no ad at all.
This could be even more compelling with a strong CTA.
Speaking of competitors, to improve your ad copy, you can take inventory of how your competitors are talking about their services, what CTAs they’re using, and what they’re communicating about their business. Then you can find ways to tweak your ad copy so it stands out.
You may also consider A/B testing your ad copy to see what headlines, CTAs, and descriptions work best to drive clicks and conversions.
Optimize your landing page
Once a searcher clicks on your ad, it’s up to your landing page to drive them to convert. Your landing page should be relevant to your ad copy, include a clear path to conversion, and answer any potential questions a searcher may need answered before converting.
You may also need separate landing pages for your keywords, services, or campaigns. The more you can tailor your landing page to a specific query, the better chances you have of conversion. Plus, the more relevant your landing page is to your keywords, the higher your Quality Score will be. And your Quality Score can impact your performance in the Google Ads auction.
This landing page closely matches its Google Ads copy.
Get better results for your legal advertising on search engines
By understanding the latest data and how your campaigns compare, you can make meaningful tweaks and optimizations that will drive the best results for your business. It’s important to understand that these benchmarks serve solely as a guidepost—every business is unique, and results will vary depending on a whole host of factors, including keywords, demographic and location targeting, and budget.
For more information about our benchmarks and tips to improve your results, download our 2023 Google Ads Benchmarks Guide. And for information about how we can help you run effective search ads for your law firm or legal business, reach out to get a demo.
About the data
This report is based on a sample of 256 US-based search advertising campaigns running between Apr 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023. Each subcategory includes at minimum 10 unique active campaigns. “Averages” are technically median figures to account for outliers and are taken from our wider search advertising benchmarks for the Attorneys & Legal Services industry. All currency values are posted in USD.
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