Bankruptcy lawyers are in a competitive space when it comes to attracting new clients and growing their business. Google ads is one of the best ways for attorneys to generate new leads and sign up more cases.


Google Ads is one of the fastest ways for bankruptcy attorneys to get highly-relevant traffic that yields new leads. After your law firm’s ad campaign is properly set up, it can act like a faucet that can be turned on or off, scale your budget up or down and control which locations where you advertise.

Below, we’ll go into the tips and tricks you can use to optimize your Google Ads and get the most out of your budget.

7 Google Ads Tips for Bankruptcy Lawyers

Here is a list of our top 7 Google Ads tips for bankruptcy attorneys:

  1. Control your bidding strategy effectively
  2. Use negative keywords to cut wasted spend
  3. Use Local Service Ads
  4. Plan where and when to advertise
  5. Structure your campaigns for success
  6. Use device bid adjustments
  7. Optimize Quality Score to improve Ad Rank

1. Control your bidding strategy effectively

Google has a number of different keyword bidding strategies available within your campaign settings. Each one optimizes for a different goal. In general, I recommend that law firms steer clear of maximize clicks.

Depending on your strategy, you can use either one of the automated bidding strategies or Manual CPC.

If your firm has a substantial budget, consider taking advantage of one of the following:

  1. Maximize conversions
  2. Maximize conversion value
  3. Target impression share
  4. Target CPA

Target CPA is a great option for letting Google optimize your ads to reach a target cost per action (an action that in turn produces a lead), that you can specify. 

Target impression share is perfect if you want to dominate your local market and have your ads appear more than your competitors’. You can also specify where you want ads to rank (i.e. top of page or bottom of page). 

If you have your Goals and conversions set up with specified values (e.g. a phone call is worth $500 and a form lead is worth $250), then Maximize conversion value is preferred to Maximize conversions.

For most small bankruptcy law firms and solo practitioners, my recommendation is to use a Manual CPC strategy. This can be done with or without Enhanced CPC (ECPC), but for novice Google search advertisers, stick with strictly Manual. This way you can control your bids at the Ad Group and Keyword levels.

2. Use negative keywords to cut wasted spend

One of the most powerful features that you absolutely want to take advantage of is Negative Keywords. If you’re not careful, Google will take liberties on which searches that you appear in, even if you never selected that keyword.

For instance, you could show up on brand searches when someone types in the name of a specific law firm. You may have never targeted that particular competitor branded keyword, but Google will infer that “ABC Bankruptcy Attorneys at Law” is a bankruptcy-related keyword and hence you could end up wasting a lot of your budget on wasted clicks if you’re not careful.

Competitor keywords are only one example of searches you want to block. There are many times where a Google user will search for info or type a bankruptcy question into the search box, which in turn will trigger one of your ad group’s keywords. The problem is these types of searches are indicative that a user is looking for information, rather than looking to call a lawyer. This translates into a lower conversion rate and diminished ad campaign performance.

3. Use Local Services Ads

One of Google’s latest advertising product offerings is Local Service Ads (LSAs).

This is a great alternative or complementary ad strategy to search ads (formerly AdWords), since it is technically not PPC (pay per click). Instead you pay per lead. Google is aggressively pushing this feature and many times clicks will go to these ads rather than the standard, text-based search ads. 

Keep in mind that this is an entirely separate ad product from Search ads, which is the focal point of the rest of the tips and tactics listed here.

4. Plan where and when to advertise

Google allows you to get very granular with your ad targeting strategy. Geographically, you have a lot of control on where ads do and don’t appear. This doesn’t always work perfectly, but it will work well enough in most cases to sign up clients in your target area.

You can choose whether to target a specific area (down to a zip code!) or you can target a desired radius (e.g. 10 miles) around a particular area. You also have the ability to specify areas where you do NOT want ads to appear. 

Once you’ve selected your target locations, you can choose how Google Ads will handle your ads in location-specific bid auctions. This lets Google know explicitly if your ads will appear to people that include a keyword for one of your targeted location, or whether your campaign’s audience must be physically located in the areas you’ve selected to target.

You can also set up ad schedules so that ads only run on certain days of the week or certain hours of the day. This is particularly useful if you want to focus on getting phone calls, between Monday to Friday, from 9 to 5, for instance.

5. Structure your campaigns for success

Ad campaigns can get messy, disorganized and increase costs and chaos if they are not structured properly.

Here’s the best thing to do:

  • Name your campaigns based on your types of cases you want to attract, the campaign objective, campaign type and, optionally, the bid strategy. So for instance, your Google ads campaign name might be “Bankruptcy – Leads – Search – Manual CPC”
  • Organize your Ads and Keywords into logical Ad Groups by location and service/sub-practice area. For instance, you can name one ad group “Chapter 13 – Dallas”, which will only contain keywords that are related to chapter 13 bankruptcy and the city of Dallas. An example keyword here would be “bankruptcy attorney dallas for chapter 13”. 
  • Write Ads specific to each Ad Group. So for your “Chapter 7 – Dallas” ad group, all of your ad copy and headlines can be hyper relevant container keywords like “Bankruptcy Attorney Dallas” and “Chapter 7” that are governed by the parent ad group.

This grouping technique is very effective for most law firms and will allow you to raise or lower your manual CPC bids at the Ad Group level easily and as needed. 

As an example, your ads in City #1 may perform well at $30 Max CPC, but underperform in City #2. Therefore, you can raise the max bid for Ad Groups specific to keywords targeting City 2 to $40 per click.

6. Use device bid adjustments

Just as you can specify an ad schedule for time of day and days of the week you want your ads to run, you can select the type of devices to which you want to advertise. Google allows you to control and adjust bids for:

  • Computers
  • Tablets
  • Mobile phones

Very rarely do people convert on Tablet devices like iPads. They just don’t drive nearly as much traffic and conversion rates are usually dismal. 

To get around this, you disable ads to tablet devices altogether by creating a Bid adjustment of 100% decrease as shown in the image above.

You can also increase bids for a device type. Suppose that you want to drive phone calls and since phones can initiate calls directly from tapping a button on your bankruptcy attorney services landing page, you can increase your bid by a desired percentage to bid more competitively on searches performed on a smartphone. 

7. Optimize Quality Score to improve Ad Rank

Many people think that if you have the highest Maximum CPC (you’re willing to outspend your competition), you will automatically show up as the first ad in the search results. Sometimes, but not always.

Google Ads’ bidding auction takes 2 components into account to decide which ads appear in which order. The first component is your Max Cost per Click. The second is called Quality Score.

Ad Rank = Max CPC x Quality Score

The ad rank score alone determines the order of ads from top to bottom on the search results page. So, you could outspend your competitors in order to have the highest ad rank, but you can save more money or generate more clicks and leads if you optimize your quality score.

Quality score is a score out of 10 and is broken down into 3 components:

  • Landing Page Experience
  • Ad relevance
  • Expected CTR (click through rate)

Work on each of these components to maximize your quality score to squeeze the most potential out of your Ad rank and ad spend.