2024 Google Ads Guide for Family Law Firms

2024 Google Ads Guide for Family Law Firms

family law firm marketing

At SunHouse Marketing, we’ve spent a whopping 15 years and invested thousands of hours meticulously crafting, brainstorming, testing, and pushing the boundaries of ad campaigns.

Our journey has led us to uncover 8 powerful keys to building rock-solid lead generation campaigns. These aren’t just any campaigns; they’re the secret sauce that not only fuels family law firms with traffic and leads but, most impressively, ushers in a steady stream of new clients and revenue.

Follow each of these steps, and you will have the most efficient, effective & profitable ad campaigns among all of your competitors.

1. Choose Keyword Effectively

Choosing the right keywords is a fundamental step in your campaign, and we emphasize this because it’s often neglected. Your keywords are the building blocks of your strategy, and their selection can make or break your success.

It’s mission critical to ensure that you’re targeting keywords that are highly likely to connect you with potential clients for your law firm. This requires a balance between precision and expansiveness.

Consider a family law firm, for instance. The way people search for family law services varies widely, and not all search terms may be relevant to your practice. Let’s examine a few examples:

  1. “Family lawyers” – 49,500 monthly searches in the United States
  2. “Family law firms near me” – 33,100
  3. “Divorce lawyers near me” – 90,500
  4. “Child custody lawyer” – 18,100
  5. “Child support lawyer” – 14,800

These keywords are quite explicit, indicating a clear intent to find legal services. However, don’t overlook keywords that don’t explicitly mention “lawyer” or “attorney” but can still yield substantial returns:

  1. “Cohabitation agreement” – 1,900
  2. “Child custody laws” – 9,900
  3. “How to get custody of a child” – 1,600

The key here is to pinpoint the specific terms that align with the services you offer. Based on our experience, we recommend focusing on keywords similar to the ones listed above. Going too broad, such as targeting just the word “divorce,” can flood you with unqualified leads. Avoid the pitfall of targeting overly generic keywords like “lawyers near me.” Your chosen keywords must clearly specify your legal expertise and the services you provide.

2. Segment Keywords into Campaigns / Ad Groups

As demonstrated earlier, a wide array of keywords exists to connect with your target audience, and each of these keywords signifies a distinct user intent. Consequently, employing a one-size-fits-all approach by displaying the same ads for all these keywords is not a prudent strategy.

Instead, opt for a more tailored approach by dividing your keywords into separate campaigns and ad groups, each accompanied by its own unique ad text.

Let’s delve into an illustrative example:

Imagine you’re operating a law firm in Houston, and you’re targeting the keyword “family lawyer near me.” In this scenario, it’s crucial to craft an ad headline that resonates with the user’s local intent. A suitable headline might read, “Houston Family Lawyer: Contact Us for a Complimentary Consultation.”

Now, consider a different scenario where someone searches for “how to get custody of my child.” In this case, a generic ad won’t cut it; you’ll achieve superior results by directly addressing the search query. Your headline should be finely tuned to the user’s intent, reading something like, “Need Assistance Gaining Custody? Our Experts Are Here to Assist. Reach Out for a Free Consultation.”

This concept can manifest in numerous variations, but the core principle remains consistent: segment your keywords and deploy ads that precisely align with the unique intent of each segment. This approach enhances the relevance of your ads and improves your overall campaign performance.

3. Understand the Difference Between Keywords and Search Terms

This is absolutely crucial to understand.

A keyword refers to the word or phrase you provide to Google to trigger your ads. Examples of keywords include “divorce lawyer,” “divorce lawyer near me,” and so forth.

On the other hand, a search term represents the actual words that someone enters into Google, leading to the activation of your ad.

Frequently, you may observe that your selected keywords and the resulting search terms differ significantly. Without effective keyword management (which we’ll delve into shortly), your search terms can veer off course entirely.

For instance, if you exclusively target the keyword “divorce,” you might discover that your ad is displayed when people search for unrelated terms such as:

  • “Divorce papers”
  • “Girlfriends guide to divorce”
  • “Divorce rate in the US”
  • “Dr. Phil divorce” (while it’s a bit far-fetched to think Google would show your ad for this term, it’s worth a chuckle).

The good news is, you can prevent wasting your budget on irrelevant search terms by employing match types and negative keywords effectively.

4. Tighten Your Match Types and Negative Keywords

There are two essential concepts here which you need to understand.

  1. Negative Keywords: Negative keywords are the terms you want to steer clear of triggering your ads. For instance, let’s say your law firm specializes in wills and estate planning but does not handle litigation. In this scenario, you’d want to designate “litigation” as a negative keyword. This prevents your ad from appearing in searches containing that term.
  2. Match Types: There are three primary ways to target a keyword: exact match, phrase match, and broad match. (There used to be a fourth, but Google has since removed it.) Let’s break down what each of these terms entails:
    • Exact Match: Your ad will exclusively appear when someone searches for your exact keyword or a close variant. For example, if you target “wills and estates lawyer” through exact match:
      • Your ad will display for searches like “wills and estates lawyer.”
      • Your ad might appear for searches like “wills and estates attorney” because Google may consider “lawyer” equivalent to “attorney.”
      • Your ad will NOT show for searches like “wills and estates,” “wills and estates lawyer near me,” “how to write a will,” or any other variations.
    • Phrase Match: Your ad will be triggered when all the words in your keyword phrase appear in the search term, in the same order. For instance, if you target “wills and estates lawyer” through phrase match:
      • Your ad will display for searches like “wills and estates lawyer,” “wills and estates lawyer near me,” “best wills and estates lawyer in Denver,” and so on.
      • Your ad will also appear when people search for your competitors, like “John Johnson wills and estates lawyer.”
      • Your ad might show for the “attorney” variants mentioned earlier.
      • Your ad will NOT show for searches like “wills and estates,” “wills and estates lawyer near me,” “how to write a will,” or other unrelated terms.
    • Broad Match: This match type is akin to giving Google carte blanche to display your ad whenever it deems fit. For example, if you target “wills and estates lawyer” using broad match, your ad will pop up for practically any query remotely related to writing a will. While broad match has its place in certain situations, it’s generally not recommended for most campaigns.

5. Understand Big Strategies

Now, let’s delve into some advanced concepts.

In the old days, you’d establish a maximum amount you were willing to pay for someone to click on your ad. For instance, you could cap your maximum cost per click (CPC) for the term “wills and estates lawyer” at $4, and that would be the end of it. This approach falls under the category of Manual CPC (cost per click) bid strategy.

However, we’ve moved beyond those days.

Today, a multitude of bid strategies exists, and it’s vital to discern which one aligns best with your campaign goals. Here’s a breakdown:

  1. Manual CPC: As previously mentioned, this method straightforwardly sets the amount you’re willing to pay for each click.
  2. Enhanced CPC: Under this strategy, you designate a CPC amount, but you grant Google the flexibility to adjust your bid based on the likelihood of conversion.
  3. Maximize Clicks: This instructs Google to prioritize obtaining as many clicks as possible, with no emphasis on conversions.
  4. Maximize Conversions: With this bidding approach, Google focuses solely on securing as many conversions as it can within your budget. There’s no predetermined limit on your cost per conversion; it could range from $5 to $100. Essentially, you’re telling Google, “Do your utmost to acquire as many conversions as possible.”
  5. Target CPA (Cost Per Acquisition): Here, you set a desired cost per lead, let’s say, $75. Google’s task is to either obtain leads at or near this cost, fully utilizing your budget, or, if it can’t meet that goal, not spending your budget at all.
  6. Target Impression Share: This bid strategy revolves around ensuring that your ad appears a certain percentage of the time.

The million-dollar question is, which bid strategy is the best fit for your campaign? That’s a truly loaded question. This is a very important determination to make, so it’s best to work this out with the help of an expert.

6. Send Traffic to Message Matched Landing Pages

This, my friends, is the secret sauce. Everything mentioned above is of course important, but pales in comparison to the impact of high-converting landing pages.

There are two critical keys to success here:

  1. Instead of directing your ad traffic to your website, channel it to a dedicated landing page meticulously crafted to align with your ad’s content.
  2. Understand that not all landing pages are created equal. In fact, they vary significantly. Over the years, I’ve honed my skills in creating high-impact landing pages. In the past year alone, I’ve developed a groundbreaking landing page technique that has catapulted the effectiveness of our ad campaigns by a staggering 300%. This technique is the secret sauce that transforms good campaigns into truly exceptional ones.

7. Track All Conversion Types

Ensure you’ve got comprehensive conversion tracking in place to capture every way a user can reach out to you. Typically, our clients have three primary conversion actions:

  1. Lead Form Submissions: This represents the most straightforward type of lead generation conversion. You can effortlessly track it in Google Analytics by utilizing a thank-you page.
  2. Live Chats: Tracking live chats varies depending on the specific tool you employ. However, it’s crucial to establish a goal tracking mechanism in Google Analytics for chat interactions.
  3. Phone Calls: Tracking phone calls is a breeze with tools like Callrail.

In summary, there are multiple avenues that patients can get in touch with you. Ensuring that you have robust tracking in place for each of these contact methods is essential.

 8. Track Client Closings

As previously mentioned, there are numerous keyword segments available to connect with potential clients. While it’s relatively straightforward to track the number of leads generated by each targeting option, it’s even more crucial to precisely gauge the number of patients each campaign brings in.

This measurement can be accomplished using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools like HubSpot, Zoho, and various others. Alternatively, you can opt for a simpler approach using a Google document, although this method is more basic in nature.

Here’s the key takeaway: As you accumulate data, pay close attention to which keywords yield the most significant actual return on investment. Allocate more budget and intensify your optimization efforts toward these high-performing campaigns.

For the last decade and a half, and tons of sweat hypothesizing, testing and experimenting with landing page concepts. we’ve developed a landing page format which has proven, time and again, to triple conversion rates.  And needless to say, our clients are thrilled. These high conversion rates have translated into low-cost, quality leads, which in turn have resulted in an influx of new clients coming in their doors.  

The SunHouse team would love the opportunity to show you in person how this secret-weapon format works. I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll have the most effective, efficient ad campaigns among all of your competitors. 



  • Fran Jakubowicz

    Fran Jakubowicz is the CEO of SunHouse Marketing, a full service digital marketing agency with a track record of excellence. A digital lead generation expert, Fran and her team have generated hundreds of thousands of leads and millions of dollars in sales for her clients. Fran invests in training and certifying her team across all digital marketing channels to ensure that her clients are benefiting from the freshest digital marketing strategies, Google best practices and tools available. Working across multiple verticals including health, pharmaceutical, finance, law, education, non-profit and eCommerce, Fran and her team have been helping organizations reach their digital goals since 2009. Fran grew up in communications. Early in her career, she worked in her family’s public relations firm, DCI (Dworkin Communications Inc). Since that time Fran has been involved in an impressive array of projects, assisting companies and non-profit organizations to attain their goals. In the days before the internet Fran practiced traditional marketing and PR. With this background, it was only natural for Fran to evolve her skills, and to become a very successful online marketer. In a rare combination, Fran blends over 20 years of experience with her love and passion for the latest and hottest technologies. This unique worldview allows Fran to assist companies to achieve their goals. Connect with Fran on LinkedIn.

Contact SunHouse For Your Free Strategy Session

Rooted in a deep understanding of your market and backed by 15 years of experience and a commitment to results, our strategies are designed not just to attract leads but to convert them into clients, ensuring a high return on investment for your organization.