Search engine optimization and pay-per-click are closely related. The goal of both the channels is to drive traffic to your website, gain visibility and build a brand.
Key concepts to understand in this article:
SEO is a method of earning exposure at all phases of your law firm clients’ journey. It takes time to achieve visibility on the search engine results page for the targeted keywords.
PPC is a channel that offers your law firm immediate exposure for the keywords targeted. This opens a wide door to draw your potential clients in. it involves spending money, so you lose visibility once you stop paying.
Both channels play a complementary role in your legal marketing strategy. To understand better, here are the key benefits and challenges of each.
- Free Clicks
- Exposure for every level of your sales funnel queries – top, mid and bottom
- Credibility for beating competitors and ranking on the first page of the SERP
- Instant exposure on the first page of search engine results
- Visibility is based on the amount of money spent. So you get to decide the amount of exposure your website gets.
- Assured converting keywords
- It takes a long time to show results and they are not guaranteed.
- Fewer attribution data in Google Analytics
- With several SERP features in place, some queries have a little organic opportunity
- Constant monetary expenditure
- Some users intentionally skip the paid ads and focus on the organic search results
- Difficult to gain exposure for informational queries
The above benefits and challenges of each channel show how they work complementary to each other. They are two key channels of digital advertising for any business looking to gain a foothold on the internet. It is essential to integrate both to felicitate the maximum benefit of digital marketing for your law firm.
Some real-time statistics:
According to a behavioral statistic by Moz, 2-3% of Google searches result in PPC clicks, whereas 40-62% goes to organic traffic.
Insight: People are drawn to organic traffic generated by SEO. SEO generates informational queries which show that people research before making a purchase decision. PPC clicks generate transactional queries resulting in a quick purchase.
According to a survey by VARN, 60% of searchers cannot distinguish between PPC ads and organic results on the search results page.
Insight: Majority of the searchers will click on the result that best matches what they are looking for, regardless of it being a paid ad or organic result.
According to a survey by BrightLocal, organic search results receive the highest amount of clicks for local-commercial queries.
For example, [city] + [service]
Organic search results receive 50.8% clicks
Local/map pack results receive 32.3% clicks
PPC ads receive 14.1% clicks
Insight: Even when paid ads were shown on transactional queries, people prefer organic and map results over PPC ads.
The above data proves SEO & PPC are equally important for any law firm marketing. For firms who are just starting out or are actively looking for leads, paid ads are recommended. Also, the firms who have just started working on SEO and are yet to see results can invest in paid ads to drive qualified leads quickly.
Local businesses that aim to rank organically outside their physical location can use paid ads. When the searchers are looking for a firm close to their location, your law firm will rank and be visible. But when people outside your city search for a law firm, it is unlikely for Google to show a result that is not local. Your website can be made visible to this section of the audience using paid ads.
How PPC & SEO work together
Each channel has its merits, but PPC and SEO actually make each other better.
Various studies reveal that click-through rates are higher on both organic and paid results when both an ad and an organic result are shown on the same page.
If you are looking to get the maximum amount of traffic out of your page one visibility, it can be done by combining SEO and PPC. Since more SERP features are being added every day, the chance to gain this exposure is increasing, almost to the rate of multiple times in a single result.
Query: “San Francisco personal injury attorney”
- 4 PPC ads
- 3 map results
- 10 organic results (4 of which are directories)
- 3 more PPC ads
Your marketing efforts should be directed to gain visibility on ads, map, organic and on page 1 of the directories that are ranking for the main keywords. By following this strategy, you can get more traffic from search than focusing only on each of these features in isolation.
Indirect benefits PPC and SEO have on each other:
Searchers tend to be biased to the law firms that have multiple listings on page 1 of search results
When PPC and SEO are combined, it produces multiple results on the search page. People are more inclined to choose your law firm over other firms that are visible only once on the results page.
Previous exposure to a brand through any marketing channel inclines the searcher towards the business
People who have previously seen an organic result for your law firm are more likely to click on your paid ads. Also, searchers who have seen ads for your law firm on other platforms or have been familiar with your law firm’s name on through a guest post or any other medium are more likely to click on your organic result.
Paid ads increase brand awareness that leads to more attention/familiarity with organic results
Even if you do not get an expected amount of clicks for a keyword on your paid ads, you garner more eyeballs than the tool can calculate. This gets your law firm a good exposure. When a searcher views organic result for your website, the brand name is familiar to them and draws them to take action.
This article outlines the merits of each channel and the outcome of marketing via each channel, the benefits they have on each other and how they work best when they are together. Using SEO & PPC as an integrated approach to your law firm marketing will take your law firm to the next level.