PPC vs SEO for Lawyers in 2017: When is Paid Search better than SEO?

We often get asked by law firms if they should be using Pay Per Click (PPC) or search engine optimization (SEO) for their law firm marketing campaign. If budget allows, we always recommend running both PPC and SEO simultaneously as that is what is providing our clients best results. However, that’s not always practical for all law firms. Given that we started out 10 years ago specializing in SEO, we have always been big believers in organic search optimization but that doesn’t mean that’s the right way to market your firm in 2017. What’s right for one attorney may not be the smart choice for another. Here are 5 situations where a Google Adwords campaign (or other PPC campaign) may be the right choice for your law firm

1. When you need leads right away

With a PPC campaign, you can have a campaign up and running and generating leads in as little as 24 hours! As a Google Adwords Premier Partner, we have a personal rep at Google that provides us great insight as well as data and metrics that most other providers do not have. That’s a pretty big deal. While SEO is often highly effective, a search engine optimization campaign will take time (several months to over a year depending on the level of competition). When you need business right away, running a smart PPC campaign is the way to go.

2. You want to test before engaging in SEO

You may be considering testing out a new geographic market place or a new type of case to go after and are unsure whether it will work or not. Before engaging in a long term SEO project, running a Pay Per Click campaign can often be a great way to experiment and find out if this is something you want to pursue.

3. You need keyword data

Several years ago, Google removed keyword level data from Google Analytics so these days you can’t see the keywords that send traffic to your website. Running a Google Adwords campaign can be a great way to get valuable keyword level impression data that can help to prioritize the most important keywords in your SEO efforts.

4. You want to generate more calls

Google now offers a type of ad called Call Extensions on mobile devices where instead of visiting your website the user calls your law firm. For law firms that prefer call-leads over form-leads, this can be a great way to quickly generate more phone call leads for your law firm. Given that mobile traffic numbers continues to climb every single year, that can be a great way to market your law firm.

5. When you want to target very specifically

If you have very specific keywords that you want to be found for, running an “Exact Match” AdWords campaign can achieve exactly that. This allows you to serve your ads to potential clients who search for your exact keyword or very close variants. You may also want to target a specific geo-area for where your ads display. This is known as radius targeting. Running Facebook ads, you can even target specific business addresses like hospitals, chiropractors, etc.

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