Three Secrets of Digital Advertising for Attorneys5 min read

Long gone are the days where a law firm or solo practitioner could place an ad in the Yellow Pages. The best way at the time to derive the majority of business. In 2018, the top three ways for a lawyer to advertise are the following: 

  1. “Organic” Google searches
  2. Google AdWords
  3. Avvo.

We explore all three of these advertising methods to show you how the experts at Pepper Gang can help you make money with Google AdWords.


“Organic” Google searches

To appear “organically” on Google means to enter a search term on Google and for a website to appear in the search results due to their relevance to the search terms. This is different from  being paid advertisements.

 It has been said that appearing organically in Google is the equivalent to owning real estate. Whereas using Google AdWords is the equivalent of renting real estate. Unfortunately, owning real estate is far more difficult than simply renting real estate.

 Most attorneys strive to appear at the top of the organic search results. For most lawyers, though, this is simply unattainable. In Massachusetts alone there are approximately 45,000 lawyers. Not every attorney advertises, but still getting one of the nine or so highly coveted spots on the first page of Google is almost impossible.


It’s In The Terms

This is doubly true for the most popular search terms. This includes “Criminal Lawyer,” “Personal Injury Lawyer,” or “Immigration Attorney.” Studies have shown that the majority of internet users limit their search to the first page of Google.


Correctly optimizing your website and content for audience-related keywords is the only way to stay on top. Search Engine Optimization experts can correctly identify these keywords and optimize your page accordingly.


Google AdWords

At the top of each Google search, there are three  or four spots reserved paid advertisements (i.e. Google AdWords). There are also three spots reserved at the bottom of each Google search for paid advertisements. The advantages of using Adwords are many and include the following:

    • AdWords advertisements appear on top of the organic listings, and are the first to be seen;
    • A lawyer or law firm can quickly reach the very first page of Google within days, maybe even hours.
    • The client is only charged when someone clicks on their advertisement;
    • It is far easier to target multiple keywords through AdWords than it would be to target them organically;
    • AdWords is like a faucet and we can easily adjust based on the lawyer’s schedule and workload. If the lawyer requires more work he or she can spend more on advertising and instantly get more impressions, clicks and conversions. If the lawyer is on a lengthy trial, or going on a long vacation,  we can instantly adjust AdWord spending;
    • AdWords gives the client the opportunity to target as broad or as narrow a geographic location as the client wishes – for example an immigration lawyer may wish to attract cases through the United States or throughout the world, as opposed to simply attracting local cases. Conversely, a lawyer specializing in landlord/tenant law, or traffic violations may wish to target a certain city or county;
  • AdWords gives the client the opportunity to implement “negative” keywords which prevent the lawyer’s ad from showing when the keyword is part of the search query. For example, when a client adds the word “free” as a negative keyword to their campaign or ad group, AdWords will not show the client’s ad for any search containing the term “free.” The best part? AdWords lets users block more than 10,000 keywords.

Due its widespread reach, along with the fact that AdWords can easily  adapt to changing business needs, AdWords is a wonderful digital marketing solution for attorneys.



Avvo is another popular (and expensive) way for lawyers to advertise. In comparison to AdWords, there is a tad less room to customize. Moreover, in contrast to Google AdWords which requires no contract, and which is fully customizable, Avvo usually requires a contract of three months or more. Secondly, Avvo only allows users to target broad practice areas and relatively broad geographic areas. Finally, Avvo only has a limited number of “blocks” available for each practice area in each location. Lawyers can only advertise on empty blocks.


Managing an AdWords account can be time consuming and complex. Whether you already have an AdWords account, or whether you want to set up an Adwords account please contact the Digital Marketing Experts at Pepper Gang. You can reach us at 617-674-2100.