When it comes to advertising your law firm online, there are a few different routes you can take. Two of the most popular methods are search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC advertising. But which strategy will work best for your law firm?
The complicated answer? It depends on your goals.
The simpler answer? Both strategies working in tandem is ideal.
Read on to learn more about SEO and PPC and the ways they can help advertise your law firm online.
SEO for Your Law Firm
Search engine optimization is the practice of “optimizing” your website and its content to give it the best chance possible of showing up in search engine results pages (SERPs)—especially at the top of the first page.
The Benefits of SEO
By optimizing your law firm’s website and its content, you make it more likely that search engine users will click on your links when they show up in the SERPs. And unlike other digital advertising strategies, these clicks don’t cost anything. Instead, your time, money, and effort is put into creating the best content you can in order to move your firm up the search engine ranks. You’ll have to make an investment, but the cost of SEO is typically much less than if you were to rely on PPC completely.
To the average internet user, organic (unpaid) results are viewed as more trustworthy than ads—and since trust is a huge part of hiring a lawyer, the importance of organic search results can’t be understated. Current search engine algorithms are based on how helpful and relevant your website seems like it will be to a user’s search. The better your content, the more likely the search engine will approve of it and suggest it as a result to its users—which serves as an instant vote of confidence to many searchers.
SEO is also great for driving traffic to your law firm’s website. The higher your site appears in search results, the more clicks it will get. And by creating relevant content—for instance, blog posts about the types of law you practice, case studies, or FAQs that address common legal misconceptions—you attract more potential clients who come to your firm’s website for help, guidance, and representation.
The Drawbacks of SEO
Because much of SEO is based in content creation and website optimization, it takes a very long time to implement effectively. Seeing results from an SEO campaign can takes months at minimum. It’s all about building up your law firm’s credibility by producing content that’s helpful to searchers.
However, quality content doesn’t just happen. It takes a lot of work to create material that’s accurate, helpful, and accessible. What’s more, you’ll need to create great content often to see an impact on your firm’s search engine results. If you’re too busy for content creation, you may need to hire someone to produce blogs, FAQ pages, videos, and more for your law firm.
SEO Tips for Your Law Firm
Some ways to optimize your law firm’s website to show up in relevant search results include:
- Using long-tail keywords relevant to your practice area
- Implementing local SEO best practices, including local intent
- Utilizing HTML tags and schema markup
- Having a well-made, fast-loading website (especially on mobile)
- Link building and backlinking
As you can see, SEO takes a lot of time, effort, know-how, and creativity to implement. If you need help optimizing your law firm’s website for search engines, you may want to consider hiring an experienced firm to handle it for you. (We’re happy to help!)
PPC for Your Law Firm
On search engine results pages, pay-per-click (PPC) ads show up above the organic results. By crafting a campaign around your ideal demographic and bidding on specific keywords, your law firm can pay to be one of those top results. The search engine will then charge you when someone clicks on your ad.
The Benefits of PPC
Digital advertising platforms like Google allow robust targeting, meaning you can choose to only show your ads to the people that are most likely to hire you. You can target by age, gender, location, parental status, income, and more.
It’s also much easier to switch gears using PPC than it is to change or update an SEO campaign. It’s simple to adjust your budget as necessary, and since you don’t have to wait months to see results, PPC is great for getting up-to-date data to base your firm’s advertising decisions on.
The Drawbacks of PPC
Depending on your law firm’s market, PPC advertising can get expensive fast. Especially in larger, more competitive markets, PPC requires you to constantly pay into the system in order to get that top spot. This can get costly if you only rely on PPC to advertise your law firm.
While paid ads are great for attracting attention, keep in mind that there are plenty of internet users who completely ignore them when making a search. It’s best to know your audience: are they more likely to click on an ad that seems trustworthy and relevant to their needs, or are they the type who will just scroll past the ads to get to the organic listings?
Finally, PPC can be a constant investment or it can be used short-term—it’s up to you, and it depends on your law firm’s current goals. Just keep in mind that if you rely on it, you’ll have to check and fine-tune your ads on a weekly—sometimes even daily—basis.
PPC Tips for Your Law Firm
PPC takes a lot of strategy—it’s much more hands-on than SEO in that regard. There’s no hard-and-fast rulebook for law firm PPC advertising because markets vary by size, location, types of law, and many other factors.
That being said, here are some general tips every law firm can use to ensure they’re making the most out of their PPC advertising strategy:
- Regularly perform extensive keyword research
- Focus on the demographics of your law firm’s ideal clients
- Monitor and update ad copy and parameters frequently
- Research your market to determine what will make you stand out from the competition
Why Your Law Firm Should Use Both SEO & PPC
SEO and PPC work well together. In fact, using both increases traffic to your law firm’s website and the chances of conversion.
“Surveys conducted by Google and Nielsen suggest that brands get more combined clicks on ads and organic results when both are present on a SERP,” explains digital advertiser Andrew Miller. “Sharing insights and integrating your paid and organic search strategies will yield more growth than focusing all of your resources on one versus the other.”
Your particular digital advertising balance depends on your firm’s specific strengths, needs, and goals. Here are some ways you might integrate SEO and PPC for the best results:
- Test keyword response. Create PPC ads using a new keyword to see if SEO content based on that topic would perform well with your target audience.
- Give new pages a boost. Using PPC ads, send traffic to pages on your law firm’s website that you’re optimizing for SEO to help build authority with search engines.
- Conserve ad budgets. Reduce spend in one method to invest your budget in the other as needed. For example, you can halt bidding on keywords you start ranking high organically for.
- Be unforgettable. Utilize PPC retargeting techniques to show ads to previous visitors who found you organically.
- Expand on what converts. Create SEO content based on PPC keywords, headlines, copy, etc. that led to people hiring your firm.
Start Using SEO & PPC Today
Using pay-per click advertising in tandem with search engine optimization is a fantastic way to gather data on your market, your prospects, and more. Content development, strategy, and data analysis are essential to whichever method you choose—especially if you choose a blend of both.
Ready to start utilizing SEO and PPC tactics to the benefit of your law firm? Contact Kirkpatrick Creative today.