The Power of Paid Search: Understanding advertising’s influence on the buyer’s journey

The Power of Paid Search: Understanding advertising’s influence on the buyer’s journey

At the risk of sounding cheesy, let’s talk about relationships for a second. Imagine the steps leading up to a genuine connection – meeting someone, having those initial conversations, spending time getting to know one another and ultimately developing a lasting friendship. But what if you skipped right to the finish line, ignoring the critical first steps of a healthy relationship? It may work on the rare occasion, but it’s not a formula for success.

Now think about it from a legal consumer’s point of view. People are often looking to take those same steps before committing to a lawyer and want to feel confident they’re making the right decision. So how do you establish credibility and trust before someone walks through your firm’s door? Well, one way is by being present.

Understanding your clients and how they’re interacting online is key to determining the best advertising strategy for your law firm. Implementing paid search helps increase visibility while maintaining your reputation. Just like a friendship, letting someone know you’re there to lean on every step of the way helps build the needed foundation for a successful relationship in the future.

Taking a walk in their shoes

Before diving into where you should be optimizing paid search, it’s important to understand the entire buyer journey and the impact each stage has on a customer’s experience with your firm.

  1. The journey begins by building awareness with your brand. Think about this as moving from being strangers to casual acquaintances. A prospect in this phase may not be ready to connect with your firm just yet, but they’re getting their eyes and ears primed for more information about what you have to offer.
  2. Then comes engagement. This is when a prospect is moving from the casual browser to a more serious contender. They’re interested in learning more about you, getting to know your firm’s personality and figuring out if the fit is right.
  3. The last phase is connection. The research has happened – they’re ready to seal the deal and contact your office. With either an email to your firm or a direct phone call, they have decided you’re who they may like to do business with.

While it’s no secret your firm’s ultimate goal is to convert leads to clients, a lot can be said about making people aware of your presence and engaging them with your brand at the optimal time. Using paid advertising to impact all three steps of the buyer’s journey helps to create lasting connections and more satisfied customers at the end of the day.

But what kind of paid advertising is effective for each stage of the buyer’s journey? Let’s find out.

Generating awareness with display advertising.

Those picture and video advertisements on the top or side of a webpage are known as display ads. These come in a variety of forms and are the perfect choice when thinking of best ways to generate awareness. For example, a potential client may be reading a news article or looking at a recipe and notice your law firm’s banner ad at the top of the page. Although they may not be ready to contact you about their legal issue just yet, you’re putting your name in front of the right pair of eyes so they will be more inclined to use your services when the time comes.

Engaging prospects with paid social media.

Social advertising means paying for ad placement on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, targeting a specific group of users. It’s an incredibly valuable way to engage people with your website, blog and other content that builds your firm’s reputation with the person on the other side of the screen. And just like display ads, it continues to remind people that your firm is the right choice for their specific legal need.

Connecting the dots with pay-per-click.

Want to skip to the finish line? A thoughtful PPC strategy places your firm’s ad at the top of the search results when specific keywords are used, creating a convenient way for someone to connect with you. With a powerful call-to-action and optimized landing page, you’re making it easy to bring new visitors to your site.

While complex, paid search is a powerful way to promote your firm, stay in front of prospects and grow your business. For a more in-depth look at how your firm can utilize paid search to effectively reach your audience, download the updated playbook, Promoting Your Firm With Pay-per-click.

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