Should lawyers do SEO or PPC?
This is the age-old question…Well I guess I should rephrase that to “the internet age old question” since the internet has not really been around that long. So many lawyers ask me this question and I always give pretty much the same answer (actually I answer with another question).
Are you looking for a long term marketing strategy or short term?
Simply put, SEO (search engine optimization) is for the long term. It is about consistently building your website’s ranking and reputation with the search engines. Long term this is the absolute best return on investment on the internet. However, it must be done correctly! SEO has two main components that will determine its success. The two main components are relevance and reputation. Relevance comes from the content on the website, as well as the title and Meta tags on each page. Several years ago, websites that had good content would rank very well automatically. This is not the case anymore, especially in competitive practice areas like personal injury, divorce or criminal law. Content is great but alone it is not enough, your website MUST have a reputation! Reputation comes from other website domains that link to yours. This is called “link building” or “back linking”. For example, if your website is being linked to by other websites that are relevant to your area of practice and those websites also have a good reputation with the search engines, then you will automatically have a much higher ranking. Think of this as a voting system in that these other websites are telling the search engines that you have a credible site. There are several other factors that determine ranking such as social media and blogging for lawyers. I could write pages upon pages about SEO but I won’t put you to sleep with all that. Just know that SEO is the best way to LONG TERM market your law firm online, but it takes time and it’s not easy. So be patient and use a good SEO company that specializes in law firms!
Now, as for PPC (pay-per-click) marketing-
PPC marketing has many advantages and is definitely the best return on investment for the short term. Many times a good strategy is to run a strong PPC campaign for 3-6 months while starting an SEO campaign. This way you can get business coming in now while your website is climbing in the ranks organically. There are several advantages to doing pay-per-click marketing that I wanted to point out. First, ads go live the same day in most cases and can start bringing in leads right away. Second, you can target very specific geographies to maximize your ROI. Third, you can set a specific budget so you don’t overspend. Finally, you can be very specific with targeting niche practice areas such as “brain injury lawyers” or “mesothelioma lawyers” of course some of these terms can be quite expensive so make sure your budget is large enough to be competitive. These attributes are the basics of getting started with your online marketing, but of course it is not as simple as that. There are many more things to consider when doing PPC marketing and you can get a lot of this information from reading my blog on pay-per-click marketing for lawyers.
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