SEO vs PPC: Which Is Best for Law Firms?

As of 2019, only 47% of law firms reported having a marketing budget. Without using best practices for law firm marketing, you could be missing a huge opportunity to find new clients. People looking for law firms usually need help, and they need it fast. Marketing allows you to cut through the competition and show up to the clients who need you the most.

Two of the best methods to gain new clients are Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click advertising (PPC). Chances are, you’ve heard these acronyms said a lot throughout the marketing space, but you’re not too sure what they mean. We’ll break down SEO vs. PPC and help you understand which method is best for your law firm.

Understanding Organic Search vs. Paid Search

Before we can dive into SEO vs. PPC, you’ll need to understand the differences between paid and organic search. They sound intuitive, but each requires different strategies and goals.

Through paid search like PPC advertising, you’re essentially buying space on someone else’s website. The most common way to use paid search is through Google, where you can bid on spots at the top of any search results page. You’re charged based on clicks, so the amount you pay usually aligns with the resulting clicks.

Through organic search, you’re still fighting for space on Google or another search domain. Instead of paying for these spots, you’re using content creation and best practices on the web. The amount of effort you put into your website will usually align with higher rankings and better spots on search result pages.

PPC: Creating Awareness and Urgency

Pay-Per-Click ads are best used for creating awareness and urgency among potential clients. It’s a great way to meet your clients halfway and show up when they’re already searching for help.

Through a digital ad platform, you can set up PPC campaigns to bid on terms like “lawyer near me,” “family attorney,” “local legal help,” or any other terms that are relevant to your services. You can also set up urgency ads relevant to new or limited offers. A PPC ad works great to advertise new services you have and that you know people are searching for in your area.

Developing a PPC Strategy

To develop a PPC strategy, start by understanding your audiences and services. Who are your current clients? Where do they live? When it comes to your services, which ones do you value the most? Do your values align with your clients’? Asking these questions can help you develop an audience persona and understand the services that you should be promoting.

From there, conduct some keyword research to find out what people are searching for. Your services should align with relevant keywords – just make sure they have a relatively low cost-per-click (CPC). Keep in mind that CPC can change according to your website, ads, competition, and other factors.

Be sure to pay attention to your local market. Clients in your area might be searching for different services than the rest of the state or country. Using a targeted approach means your ads will be more relevant to your audiences.

SEO: Creating Long-Term Results

SEO is better used for a long-term approach toward cultivating clients. Unlike PPC, you usually won’t see immediate results. However, the traffic you get from SEO could be of higher quality.

SEO involves creating credible content that search engines and users recognize as credible. It also includes some technical expertise in making sure your website is easy to use and provides a good user experience.

Through content, you should target similar keywords that you would use in PPC campaigns. Other than keywords, technical SEO also includes the following:

  • Page load speed
  • Mobile optimization
  • Optimized URLs
  • Page metadata
  • Page schema

Lawyers who run PPC campaigns may notice that they’re getting inquiries from clients who need quick fixes or short-term assistance. Through an SEO strategy, you’ll develop an online community and more sustained traffic. The clients that come through engaging with your content may be looking for long-term legal assistance and may be more willing to work with you on a retainer contract.

Developing an SEO Strategy

An SEO strategy should include content creation and continual optimization.

As a lawyer, the easiest place to start is by addressing your frequently asked questions. What are clients confused about? Why do they come to you for legal advice?

Use your blog to answer these questions, but leave enough questions unanswered so users are incentivized to schedule an appointment.

Another great aspect of SEO should include local marketing. Attorneys offer very localized services, especially since the local bar affects where you can practice.

Local marketing may include optimizing your reviews. Ask your clients to review your services on Google, Facebook, Avvo, or other websites. You can also reach local review sites to have your firm listed in a directory.

The ultimate goal of SEO is to grow your rankings so you’re on the first page of searches that are relevant to your business. Achieving this will give you sustained traffic with no need to pay for a better spot.

SEO vs. PPC: Why Both Matter

When it comes to SEO vs. PPC, which one is better? The truth is that both should matter to your business for increasing clientele and creating a presence online. PPC can help you reach prospective clients instantly, while SEO helps you cultivate trust and credibility. By using both, you’ll be top-of-mind when your relevant audiences are thinking about legal services.

Keep in mind that you should use SEO and PPC as part of a more comprehensive law firm marketing strategy. Use both traditional and digital methods to increase your clients.

Contact us today for help building up your digital marketing strategy. We offer marketing for lawyers to grow your business across different platforms.

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