Should You Use SEO or Paid Advertising? Try a Little of Both
The internet has proven to be an invaluable source of ongoing leads for law firms. That said, online marketing for law firms spans a wide range of strategies and channels. It can be challenging to figure out where to focus your limited attention and resources.
Two of the largest strategies include SEO and paid advertising. Both will get your law firm’s website and name in front of potential clients who are searching for legal assistance on Google. But these are two different types of search marketing strategies for attorneys, so you will want to evaluate which one makes the most sense for your law firm.
The Basics of SEO and Paid Ads
- Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process in which a business makes changes to, or “optimizes,” its website to achieve better organic (free) placement on search engine pages and deliver a better user experience. Search engines, namely Google, index websites regularly and use complex algorithms to rank those sites. There are hundreds of factors used to rank a website, and SEO aims to achieve the highest long-term rankings possible.
- Paid advertising for law firms generally refers to pay-per-click (PPC) ads. Businesses pay an advertiser, also usually Google, for each click on its ads. The fees charged are based on a variety of factors, such as the value of the keyword and the quality of the ad and target website.
The Benefits of SEO for Law Firms
For consumers, finding anything today often involves a computer or mobile device and a visit to a search engine. Even people who have received a personal recommendation will follow it up with a quick Google search to confirm that the recommendation is legitimate before picking up the phone or making an email contact.
This is why every business needs an SEO strategy – especially law firms. But, if you’re still unsure about committing to SEO, here are just a few of the specific things that this strategy can do for your legal practice:
SEO Establishes Authority and Credibility
Clients looking for help with a legal issue are seeking a law firm with the knowledge and experience necessary to resolve their concerns. Done right, SEO can establish your firm as a leading authority in its practice area. On the other hand, people instinctively know that you are targeting them through paid ads and don’t trust their intentions as much. In general, people find organic search results more credible.
SEO Evens the Playing Field With Competitors
When you use paid ads, the effectiveness of your efforts often hinges on your budget. The more money you’re willing to spend on an ad, the greater the chance of getting top results. Bigger firms can often outspend smaller ones and attract more clients. But SEO makes it a fair fight for organic search results. Small, medium, and large firms alike will compete based on the quality of their website and other SEO efforts.
SEO Generates Quality, Consistent Organic Traffic
When you stop paying for PPC ads, the traffic stops coming in immediately. But quality content that targets the right keywords on your website will continue to rank well in organic search results and generate a consistent flow of free qualified traffic to your site. You can even repurpose older content on your website and boost your traffic by up to 106%.
SEO Increases Confidence and Conversion Rates
Organic searches produce higher dwell times and click-through rates (CTRs), boosting potential conversions. When you post informational content on your website that potential clients are searching for, it engages these visitors and creates awareness for your brand. Whether those clients need legal services today or in the future, they will identify your firm as a trusted resource.
SEO Costs Less and Offers Higher ROI
Research reveals that as many as 80% of users ignore paid ads and only focus on organic search results. With the majority of your website’s traffic coming from free, organic search, the value of SEO is obvious. This is a long-term marketing strategy that will offer the highest ROI to your law firm.
Are PPC Ads Still a Good Idea?
When evaluating between an SEO and a paid ads strategy, there may not always be a simple black and white answer. If your firm needs quick results and is willing to pay for the ads, you may wish to devote some of your digital marketing budget to PPC ads.
But it’s important to understand that legal services are one of the most competitive and costly industries for paid search. If you invest in this channel, it takes continuous analysis and careful planning to ensure you aren’t overspending your ad dollars.
Legal SEO for Long-Term Success
If you’re torn between SEO and paid advertising, SEO is generally the best strategy for attracting new clients to your firm at the most affordable price. While it might take longer for your law firm’s website to appear on the first page of Google, the benefits to your business will be substantial and long-lasting.
It’s equally important that law firms have a traditional SEO strategy as well as a strategy for local SEO. These are similar, but local SEO will help your law firm appear in multiple places in the organic search results. When a person searches for a “divorce lawyer near me” or a “car accident attorney in Mobile,” your local SEO efforts can help your law firm appear in Google’s map listings.
Law firm SEO can be complex, and your ongoing strategy should include a thorough competitive analysis, website optimization, content strategy, link building, and reporting. There aren’t quick results as with paid ads, but the efforts will help your firm achieve long-term success.
Still Have Questions About SEO vs. Paid Advertising for Law Firms? Contact Us Today
Whether you use paid advertising, SEO, or some combination of the two, optimizing your law firm’s website should be a vital part of your digital marketing strategy. This allows you to improve the user experience and set your firm up for long-term success.
Sundown Marketing Group specializes in creating results-driven digital marketing solutions for law firms. We are a client-focused firm with a strong track record of success. Contact us today to learn more about our services at (800) 649-1764 or through our online contact form.