Are Google Ads Better Than Facebook Ads for Law Firms?

Which advertising platform is right for your legal practice?

Situation: Your legal practice needs more clients. Traditional media is overpriced, requires long commitments, and is difficult to gauge success. You’ve researched and decided that digital advertising provides the best ROI. There seem to be two major players: Google and Meta (formally Facebook) so which one is best for legal professionals?

There are multiple factors to help you decide which advertising platform is best for your legal practice, they include:

  • Condition of the company website – if one exists
  • Google Analytics + Tag Manager or Meta “Pixel” already set up?
  • Target area 
  • Ad budget 
  • Available media (Banners, video, pictures)
  • Legal practice size and areas of focus  
  • Existing social media footprint 
  • Push Vs Pull delivery method
  • Easy access to web development and creative services?

Knowing the answers to the above will guide your decision regarding which advertising platform is best for your legal practice.

Google Ads vs Facebook Ads Pros & Cons?

Google Ads Pros


Google Ads can run many types of campaigns, simultaneously. This means you can target multiple groups looking for multiple types of legal services. With each campaign, you can create, import, or duplicate audiences that focus on specific data points, attributes, and search terms they use.

Fast Results

Google’s approval process is incredibly fast which means your campaigns are usually up and running within an hour. This in turn provides an instant stream of web visitors eager to learn more about your legal services and how to book a consultation.


Google Ads does not have minimums. They have recommendations that’ll make your ads more competitive but it’s completely up to you to implement them or not. If you want to begin with a $200 a month budget to see what kind of results you get, that’s fine.


The tracking is quite robust with Google Ads. All keywords, bids, and metrics are easily presented for analysis. Connect Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager to see the entire customer journey from search to conversion.

Location Targeting

Target by Zip Code/Postal Code, City, State, Country, Pin Drop Location, whatever you wish. Set a radius from that point usually up to 50 Miles. 

Pro Tip: Criminal Lawyers can target courthouses so when someone searches for legal assistance your ad is front and center. Want to get aggressive? Place a Mobile Bid adjustment +50% to make sure you dominate competitors.

Variety of Advertising Methods

Search Ads are text-only and placed right at the very top of SERPs. Display Ads are visual ads which can have video or GIFs, these come in many shapes and sizes. Display ads also get exposure on the Google Ad Network, a network of over 2 Million websites worldwide, Youtube, Gmail and many other Google-owned sites.

Millions of Keywords to Bid on

The combinations are endless. Some have high CPC due to their intent, but you can always come up with creative solutions to get results.

Positions Based on Relevance

It’s not simply: Bid the most and Win the #1 spot. The ads that get to the top of the podium have Relevance. Their destination pages are completely aligned with the verbiage and messaging in the ads, which are as close as a match to the query. The conversion rates (or bounce/retention rate) on those pages also indicate whether that was indeed a page that fulfilled the query, if so Google will be inclined to show it more frequently, even if the advertiser isn’t the top bidder.

PPC For Lawyers - Google Search Ads
Google Search Ads on SERPs

Google Ads Cons

Cost Can Add Up Quickly

On SERPs, there is limited space for ads. That means if there are more lawyers in your area (bidding on the keywords in the search query) than locations on top of the SERPs – which are usually 3 or 4, then you will have competing bids for these valuable spots. Like any auction house, they are more than happy to see the bid amounts go up.

High Maintenance

You cannot “walk away” from these types of campaigns. Runaway costs, flatlines, updates to format, regulations, and new competitors are all reasons these campaigns fluctuate, some more wildly than others. Once a campaign reaches a positive ROI it is somewhat predictable. Allot roughly 3-5 hours per week to optimization and maintenance.

Steep Learning Curve

Google ads are certainly robust. Search Authority recommends utilizing the free education courses offered by Google, now called SkillShop. You can focus on specific campaign types: Search, Display, Shopping, etc. Going in blind with no reference will result in mistakes, mistakes that’ll cost you time and money.

Optimization Takes Time

Don’t feel down because your campaigns aren’t sending tons of awesome clients on day 2. Campaigns take time, optimization, and patience. Also, be careful of blindly following Google Ad’s recommendations. These are great suggestions and in the early stages will focus on the important fundamentals. However, over time the recommendations are geared towards increasing ad budgets. So if you need better results, before you start throwing money at the problem, ensure you have exhausted all free optimization options first.

High-Value Keywords are Competitive and Expensive

The legal profession has the honour of having some of the highest CPC costs of any profession. Generally, the rule goes: the larger the margin of profit per client, the more a business is willing to spend to acquire them. This also applies to certain areas of practice within the legal system itself, compounding costs.

It can get…..complicated.

Facebook Ads Pros


Facebook ads do offer an abundance of methods to advertisers that increase the likelihood of a conversion. It is important to distinguish the difference between remarketing and retargeting because they often get confused. 

Facebook Ads Retargeting is the most relevant because Meta utilizes their “Pixel” to help with tracking on the website (after someone has clicked an ad or link). This tracking pixel helps identify trends and can help create custom audiences that tailored messaging and calls to action can be designed. The best example of this approach is custom ads with abandoned cart items shown as display ads shortly after visiting a site. 

Remarketing on the other hand refers to more traditional outreach methods like email campaigns that would be designed and sent through CRM software like Mailchimp, Hubspot, or Salesforce. These marketing messages would be more generic and serve as reminders for upcoming sales, special offers, and re-ordering.

Quick Results

Facebook Ads, and by association Facebook do offer quick results. The approval process is usually quick, within the same day and your campaign will be off and running. User data will begin to populate as soon as there is data available which enables digital marketers to make adjustments to optimize results.

Good CPC for Budgets

Facebook ads offer affordable rates when compared to larger platforms like Google. However, this is due to lower user numbers. Google blasts away any competition with 8.5 Billion searches per day. Facebook on the other hand only has 1.96 Billion users per month. If you take that number and divide it by 30 (days in a month) you have roughly 65 million users on Facebook every day.

Flexible Ad Creation

You can create an ad with a single photo, a carousel of images, and videos. You can also integrate retargeting and automatically populate those images with past items the user displayed interest in. This robust set of options allows advertisers to create endless combinations to entice users.

Push Ads instantly to Instagram

With a single toggle click, you can push your entire Facebook campaign to Instagram. Just be sure to link the accounts beforehand.

Quality Data

Facebook’s Ad platform offers all the typical data you would expect of a major advertiser. The number of impressions, clicks, engagement rates, demographic and geographic breakdowns. If utilizing the “Pixel” tracking code on your website you can get website user data too. This can help you identify highly receptive targets and then tailor campaigns for them.

Lookalike Audiences

This can help advertisers expand their reach. Let’s assume you are the owner of a coffee shop in a medium-sized town with a heavy summer tourist population. You always targeted coffee lovers (Audience A), but recently Facebook suggested you target the hiking community (Audience B) because they share many of the same traits. Facebook also suggests a custom schedule because they want to hit the trails earlier before it gets busy and hot. You target Audience B and have your bids run from 530 AM to 10 AM and use very scenic shots of people enjoying coffee at lookouts and in the forests – maybe even use photos you took of those locations to really drive the point across. You could also point out you happily refill to-go cups and sell coffee Thermos to promote eco-friendliness.

Facebook Ads Cons

Ads & Audience Fatigue

Fatigue is a serious problem with digital advertising. All ads lose their effectiveness over time. New variations are always needed to catch our attention. However, even this technique has a limited shelf life. For retailers selling hard goods, this is a bit easier, especially if those goods have a limited life themselves; clothes, groceries, and supplies are a good example of this. However, if you’re a lawyer offering criminal defense services then they are only going to call you when they need you. This leads us to this next point.

Limited to Facebook Users

Are people going to be on Facebook or Instagram when they are most in need or receptive to your calls to action and messaging? Maybe, but perhaps not. A trust factor is at play when seeking professional services, and a social media platform might not be the best place to find those services. Most people want referrals from trusted circles of family, friends, or colleagues. 

Steep Learning Curve

Running effective ads is a bit like driving a car. Sure you can get a learner’s permit when you’re a teenager, get a decent car, and hit the road with everyone else. But that doesn’t mean you’re a good driver. It means you’re adequate. Advertising can be the same. You can get an ad campaign setup, use a bunch of good graphics and images and perhaps get a click or two. But to effectively design, target, track and optimize you have to have a strategy at play – not a paint-by-number approach, otherwise everyone would be crushing it with their Facebook ads. It also comes down to the available time you have. Most digital marketing professionals have invested hundreds if not thousands of hours on client campaigns and gained valuable insights to help you save time and money.

When to Use Google Ads for My Law Firm?

Google Ads provides the best ROI when you have a large budget ($5000 / Month +) and possess a website that has been optimized for SEO. 

This means all technical errors have been addressed, pages load very fast, all service landing pages have easy-to-find forms and calls to action, tracking is enabled, and it includes robust blog articles with useful information that focuses on your industry and area. 

If you have a 5-page website that has never been optimized and is only a year or two old you simply will not win against more established competitors with larger budgets.

When to Use Facebook Ads for My Law Firm?

If you are a young firm or starting your practice it’s probably safe to assume you have less than $1000 per month to invest in advertising. If so then Meta Ads might be the best choice, there’s virtually no minimum ad spend and you can target very precise locations to ensure your budget doesn’t go to waste. 

As with any marketing campaign, it’s always a good idea to go to the platform you’re considering and search for your services to see what the competition looks like. Review the design, and calls to action, visit their destination pages and use those best examples as a roadmap for your campaigns.  


We advise speaking to a marketing professional before launching a new campaign. If you do not know any marketing pros, the internet has much advice to bestow. Each option, Google and Meta both offer education and training on their ad networks to give first-time users more confidence. 

Meta Blueprint Education

Google Skillshop 

We recommend familiarizing yourself with each platform you plan on participating in to maximize the likelihood of success. If you have any questions, seriously any at all, contact us, we’d be happy to assist.

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