Case Study: Creating a PPC Strategy in a Competitive Market
Recently, our team conducted an in-depth case study detailing the marketing strategies we implemented on behalf of S.H. Block ― a tax resolution law firm located in Baltimore, Maryland. Please click here to view the case study and learn more about the excellent results we were able to achieve for our client.
Pay-per-Click Advertising: A Scary Prospect?
S.H. Block Tax Services Inc. is a leading Maryland tax representation law firm that specializes in both corporate and personal tax law. While the firm boasts more than 100 years of combined experience and is well respected throughout the Baltimore area, they have occasionally struggled with the seasonality of their business model.Historically, S.H. Block has been overwhelmed with clients through tax season and then struggled to generate leads (much less acquire clients) during the rest of the year, especially the summer months.
“Every summer, we would have three or four days with no leads and no appointments at all,” says Marcy A. Block, the firm’s client service representative. “It’s so boring sitting at a desk with no leads.”
Marcy, who has also handled S.H. Block’s in-house marketing for years, had considered augmenting their existing marketing strategy with a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaign before, but she remained hesitant due to her lack of experience with the PPC medium. Other members of the S.H. Block team were even more skeptical than Marcy.
“We were afraid of pay-per-click,” Marcy says. “We’d been kind of old school in terms of our marketing approach, and we envisioned someone sitting at their computer clicking our [PPC] ad and the bill just running up. I personally understood it a little more than that, but it was still a little scary and new to all of us.”
A Tailored, Targeted Approach to PPC
After some productive initial conversations with the LaFleur sales team, S.H. Block began working with LaFleur in late December of 2015. Our project management team worked quickly to onboard S.H. Block and learn the details of their business, brand, and unique selling points. This allowed our PPC personnel to craft a paid advertising campaign that maintained consistent branding and worked in tandem with the firm’s core messaging.
“The team at LaFleur got to know our business quickly, and the PPC campaign was very fast to get up and going,” Marcy says. “There was no lag, and that’s important to us. We’re a typical business with our own flows, and they got us up and running quickly when we needed it.”
Search terms related to tax representation are some of the most competitive and expensive that exist on the Google AdWords platform, and since S.H. Block is a boutique law firm with a distinct niche, the team at LaFleur knew we had to devise a pay-per-click strategy that would minimize inefficient spending.
In order to compete with larger firms and big-box tax service brands, every cent of the PPC budget had to be optimized and accounted for. To accomplish this, we targeted search terms that would create a high rate of conversions rather than a flood of unproductive clicks, and we made sure to advertise during dates and times in which we knew S.H. Block’s ideal clients would be searching for tax representation.
Rather than pursuing broad, costly search terms with no keyword match types (e.g., “Tax Representation,” “Fresh Start Initiative,” “Help with the IRS”), we conducted in-depth research to discover targeted, affordable terms with exact match types that would only attract S.H. Block’s ideal client base (e.g., “+Unfiled +Taxes,” “+I +Owe +Back +Taxes,” “+Tax +Wage +Garnishment”). We used several third-party search marketing tools that allowed us to gain an objective view of the market, compare our strategy with S.H. Block’s competitors’, and discover popular search term roots. We then altered these roots based on S.H. Block’s business model and ideal client personas to create an effective, affordable keyword list that aligned with our client’s strengths, objectives, and goals.
A Long-Term Strategy for Success
In most instances, PPC campaigns take several weeks or even months to produce desired results, but we were able to achieve nearly immediate success with S.H. Block due to our attention to detail, consumer need, and the firm’s established brand and effective messaging.
Compared to the same nine-month period the previous year, the firm saw an 82.5% increase in website user sessions and an additional 612 phone calls to their dedicated digital marketing phone number — a 446.72% increase in call volume.
“[The pay-per-click campaign] has increased our action in areas that we weren’t even expecting,” Marcy says. “We’re constantly getting two or three leads a day, and we’re in what is typically our slow season right now.”
And, she says, the S.H. Block team has also left their old inhibitions about pay-per-click advertising in the rearview mirror.
“We understand now that PPC is a necessary part of marketing for our firm,” she says. “We realized there were safeguards in place in terms of IP address tracking as well as daily and monthly spending, and so we understand now that some malicious person can’t come along and just run up a bill by clicking.”
“[Pay-per-click] is firmly a part of our marketing now,” Marcy adds, “and we’re definitely not going to change it.”
Changes in Client Acquisition
S.H. Block’s PPC campaign has generated so many leads that the firm has decided to re-evaluate their lead follow-up process as a result. In the past, Marcy and her fellow staff members would wait until they were physically present in the office to print out a lead review and then follow up later.
Now that leads were coming in as part of a paid advertising campaign, Marcy says, she and the rest of the team felt compelled to follow up on them as soon as possible, letting no paid click go to waste.
Today, the moment a lead comes through, Marcy and her team respond by sending a brief email thanking the potential client for their interest and letting them know that someone will be reaching out soon to offer a free consultation. The lead is then placed in the firm’s customer relationship management (CRM) tool as a prospect until they eventually sign and become a client.
To increase and optimize these efforts, S.H. Block is currently exploring the possibility of a drip email campaign with LaFleur Legal Marketing in order to follow up on the higher volume of leads that they are now seeing. This way, the LaFleur team can continue working with S.H. block to ensure that our efforts are not only generating leads, but actually leading to more clients and more revenue through calculated and consistent follow up.
LaFleur Legal Marketing: Your Full-Service Digital Marketing Partner
To view the PDF version of our client case study detailing our approach, process, and results in creating and executing a successful PPC campaign on behalf of S.H. Block, please click here.
If you would like to discuss implementing a paid advertising strategy of your own, please contact us directly today by calling (888) 222-1512 or complete our online contact form today to learn more. We’re happy to discuss your business, talk about your options for a successful pay-per-click strategy, and answer any questions you might have ― especially those that pertain to how PPC relates to your firm’s existing marketing strategies. We also offer a full range of digital marketing services, including website builds, content management, email marketing, social media management, and more.