In the legal world, a single lead can be extremely valuable – possibly worth many thousands of dollars, and in some cases even millions. For that very reason, attorney PPC clicks (especially Google Ads) tend to be very expensive. It’s simple economics – supply and demand. There is only so much search engine traffic for people looking for those legal services, and lots of law firms who want those clicks.

For the above reason, there is probably no industry where optimizing your paid search traffic is more important than the legal industry.

One area that can be optimized is bidding by device type. Your performance can vary greatly by the type of device that is being used to view your ads: computer, mobile phone or tablet.

You may ask: why would it make any difference what type of device is used? The answer to that question can depend on your type of business and your market. People who are looking for legal services are serious, and they may tend to be older. In addition, requesting information about legal services can require the filling out of an online form. All of those factors would point to computers as being the most used and best performing device type for law firms.

HOWEVER…every case is different. The only way to know for sure what type of device is most effective for your attorney PPC campaigns is to start running ads and then analyze your data. But you should not base your decisions solely on click-through-rates. Clicks are great, but what you want are conversions. The issue gets a little murky here because there are different types of conversions.

Typically, a law firm will have conversions that come in the form of form submissions and some that come in the form of phone calls.
Form conversions are easy to track. You just have to make sure that you have a conversion tracking script on a form confirmation page (a “thank you” page) or by tracking clicks on the form submit button (using Google Tag Manager). Phone conversions require the use of a call tracking number that is different from your main number. That allows Google (or whatever paid search platform you use) to record those calls as conversions. There are some details related to setting up conversion tracking, but that is not the point of this article. We will discuss that another time.

Obviously, phone conversions are much more likely to occur on a phone – a mobile device. Form conversions are much more likely to happen on a computer because of how much easier it is to fill out a form. Tablets are often the least effective for both types of conversions because you can’t make a call and it is also more difficult to fill out a form.

What you want to do is adjust your attorney PPC bids to spend more of your money on the type of device that generates the most conversions. To do this in Google AdWords, after logging into your account, click Devices on the left-hand menu. If you want to make this adjustment for a particular campaign or ad group, first navigate to that campaign or ad group, and then click the Devices button. You will see a table that shows performance for that level by device.

To adjust your bid by device, mouse over the Bid adj. column for the device you want to adjust, then click the pencil icon that appears. Then set the percentage amount by which you want to increase or decrease bids for that device, and click Save.

For example, you could set a bid decrease of 50% for mobile devices, which means that your bid for ad clicks on mobile devices will be 50% less than whatever the bid would otherwise be. Likewise, you can increase bids for a particular type of device. Whichever way you go, it allows you to push more of your budget to the device types that generate the best results.

One caveat is that you should make sure you have enough data to feel very confident that you are making the right choices. It is not unusual for results for a short period of time to be very different from results over a longer period of time. If you make these types of decisions with insufficient data, you could end up doing the opposite of what actually delivers the best results long-term.

Need help? The staff at Virtuoso hold multiple Google certifications and have been managing attorney PPC campaigns for many years, so give us a call today!