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How Much Should A Law Firm Budget for Google Search Ads?

Search ads (previously AdWords) have become an exceptionally popular approach for law firms to get in front of prospective clients searching for lawyers, with 96% of consumers using search engines when seeking legal advice

It’s easier and faster to get listed on Google’s first page than SEO. Search ads, unlike SEO, can be costly for law firms because it is one of the most competitive areas in internet advertising and marketing.

What should a lawyer’s Ad budget be? Lawyers’ search ad budgets vary depending on their practice area. Firms may expect to start with $2,000 per month on average. Start with $3,000 per month in more competitive sectors like personal injury. Wills and Estates might cost as little as $500 per month.

Your firm’s budget will be determined by factors such as the type of law practiced and the level of competition in your local market. As a result, we’ll look at some of the more popular fields of law and talk about the ranges of minimum starting budgets that are appropriate for the area and market. Moreover, you’ll also learn where to find an agency that offers Google Ads management in Toronto. 

What Should Lawyers Spend On Google Ads?

Not budgeting enough for Search Advertising is arguably just as bad, if not worse, than not running ads at all in Google Search.


The CPC (cost per click) differs depending on the keyword. Keywords are the phrases that people type into the search field. The sum you bid on personal injury search phrases will certainly be orders of magnitude higher than the amount you bid on wills or probate cases. Not every click will result in a lead or a call. 

In truth, just a small percentage of bought clicks will be successful. Even fewer people will become eligible and paying customers.

As a result, if you don’t budget appropriately for this, your company’s search advertisements and marketing activities are unlikely to yield noticeable benefits. If you don’t budget properly, you may not receive a return on your investment and might be better off not spending the money.

We’ll look at budgeting for certain areas of practice and marketplaces in the sections below.

High Competition in Personal Injury and Criminal Law

Personal injury (and insurance claims) and criminal law are the most competitive areas of practice to market for in Google Search. 

Keywords related to these areas of law have high prices per click. The cost of any keyword will vary depending on a variety of criteria. The fundamentals, on the other hand, include the specific keyword and the market competitiveness (e.g., city or state advertising).

To illustrate these consequences more clearly, let’s compare two areas of law in two markets. There are two points to consider when comparing the price differences between the two cities.

  1. The cost of criminal law keywords versus personal injury keywords. Personal injury and accident keywords cost around twice as much as criminal law keywords in both marketplaces.
  2. The cost per click in New York is 2.5–3 times higher than in Toronto for the identical terms.

Competition in the Search Ad Market 

A personal injury business with a $3,000 budget would earn between 42 and 87 clicks on their ad for the keyword “vehicle accident lawyer.” For users seeking a “criminal defense lawyer,” the equivalent budget for a criminal lawyer in Toronto would garner between 76 and 254 clicks on their ad.

Medium-High Competition in Family Law, Employment, and Immigration

In Google Ads, law sectors such as family & divorce, employment, and immigration fall into the next tier of competition. The following data is for Toronto once more to provide a fair comparison to the injury and criminal law data presented before.

The competition column indicates that these keywords have a medium to a high level of competition, but the bid columns are more important (e.g., cost per click).

Medium-High Competition

While the average CPC (the average of the two bid columns) for family and divorce law is the highest, these tend to convert well, and there is always a robust market for these cases.

Immigration and employment law aren’t far behind, but remember that a good AdWords strategy will pay extra attention to these keywords because search and conversion intent may vary substantially based on the search terms used. Many searches may come from within the target market but are also likely to originate outside the country.

As a novice on Google Ads optimization in Toronto, it’s generally recommended that you start with a monthly budget of $1,000 to $2,000 at the very least. 

Family law, in particular, will thrive in virtually any market. As a result, family and divorce lawyers in smaller cities and regions might occasionally start at $500 or $750 per month.

Moderate Competition Corporate & Business Law Firms

Firms specializing in business and corporate law will not encounter as much competition as those specializing in the abovementioned fields. The cost per click is significantly lower. However, this is partly due to the wide range of services that business and corporate lawyers can provide and the users’ search purpose.

Larger, more established businesses usually retain counsel. They’ll occasionally switch lawyers after conducting a Google search. Rather than searching for a new firm, they’re more likely to be recommended to one by word of mouth or through other channels such as LinkedIn.

Smaller businesses or individuals wishing to incorporate and produce contracts, NDAs, or other low-cost services should use business law searches. While this may result in more business for the firm in the future as their clients’ firms grow, it is less likely to result in substantial sales on the first transaction.

Low to Moderate Competition

As a result, competition for business and commercial law keywords is decreased, resulting in a cheaper CPC. 

For cost reference, the data is compared to previously discussed keywords. While the competition and CPC are lower, business and corporate legal businesses should set up $1,000 – $2,000 per month, the same amount for family law, employment, and immigration. 

This is because of the lower ticket items and possibly lower conversion rates. As a result, in contrast to the CPC, a greater budget should be set aside to build up additional, smaller casework.

Low to Moderate Competition in Property, Probate, Wills, and Estates

For Google Search Ads, the Ads budget for Wills & Estates is on the low end of the competition. However, this figure may be closer to $1,000 in some areas and markets. In small cities and locations, a minimum budget of $500 per month can provide results in real estate and wills & estates, just as it can in family law.

Low to Moderate Competition

While Google’s Keyword Planner indicates that the wills and estates keyword has a high level of competition, this is due to the low search volume compared to the other keywords. 

Because there are so many other keywords for legal companies that practice property, wills, and probate law to target, the competition isn’t as fierce as Google suggests. 

Furthermore, of the keywords examined, the CPC is the lowest.


Your ad, keyword, and budget tolerance are entered into an automated blind auction, with every other advertiser bidding for the same term. When someone searches for a keyword you’re advertising for, you compete with other law firms advertising for that keyword in this auction. 

The auction method is more complicated than it appears, but it is well thought out. The crucial thing to remember is that the cost per click is determined by both the market (i.e., your competitors) and you.

Personal injury and criminal defense lawyers, for example, are willing to pay a substantially higher CPC because they believe they can still make a profit at that price. The same may be said for all other fields of expertise. Lastly, if you want to know more about search ad strategies, it’s best to work with a Google Ads agency.

New Digital Marketing Firm is a renowned Google ads agency that can help your company build interesting advertisements that get results and manage them to make sure they’re working for you. Get in touch with our team today to see how we can help!

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