Creating an online marketing strategy is important. With so many bankruptcy lawyers moving into the online space, you have to stand out from the competition in order to get more business. There are two different forms of online marketing, which are SEO and PPC for bankruptcy attorneys. SEO, also known as search engine optimization, is a strategy that is best for the long term because you can limit the amount of money you have to spend and still maximize your potential for long-term search engine placement. PPC, or pay per click, is a short-term strategy and can cost more.
The Basics of SEO
When you are working on SEO, it refers to any action you take with the hopes of improving your organic listings within the major search engines. Organic search results in Google appear in the center of the page and these results have more value to an average viewer, especially in the legal industry. You aren’t able to pay for these placements and it’s determined by the algorithms of the search engine. The search engine chooses placement based on how relevant your website is to the keywords searched. There are many different things you can do to improve your organic rankings, including having fast website speed and relevant, authoritative content.
The Basics of PPC
PPC is paid advertising. These listings show up right around the organic search listings but aren’t mixed together. They will be marked with an ad box. You need to bid on certain keywords and, depending on the competition for that keyword, it can be expensive.
Differences between the Two to Consider
Both SEO and PPC can give you results and work well for bankruptcy lawyers.
PPC gives you fast results. When an ad campaign launches, the ads will appear right away and calls and clicks can follow. You will start to see a return on your investment likely within the first month. Working on SEO takes time and it’s a long-term approach. Success with SEO takes months. Measurement improvements usually show after three to six months. If you want clients right away then PPC can be a better choice. If you are able to be patient to build long-term results then SEO can be a good strategy.
If you want to be at the top of the search results, especially if you are newer to online marketing, then PPC is the only way to do this. A search that has a commercial intent, such as someone looking to hire a lawyer, will show advertisements and these advertisements display in the first spots before the organic results. Even though ads are at the top of the search results, you can still use SEO to organically appear in search results but know that depending on what a user is typing in, ads will likely show first.
A concern many lawyers have with PPC advertising is that a user will skip the ads and use the organic listings since these appear more trustworthy. While this has been true in the past, there are studies that show paid traffic is also gaining some trust. Organic results and search advertisements look similar. Since more people are searching on mobile, they don’t want to scroll down in order to get to the organic listings.
If you want to show up on page one, whether it’s with organic listings or paid listings, there is going to be some expense involved. For PPC, there is the cost of paying for clicks. On the SEO side, you have to pay to produce website content and the work it takes to earn a ranking for desired keywords. With your paid search, every click is going to cost you money and, over time, costs will likely get more expensive. Since you are able to target your advertisement, searchers may be more likely to become clients so the cost per lead can be reasonable. With SEO, the cost per visitor starts out higher and then works its way down. For example, a blog post can be expensive to produce but then, over time, that blog post can continue to generate traffic and then drive the cost per visitor expense down.
PPC allows you to have more targeted options. A lawyer can advertise on time of day, day of week, demographic of the searcher, age, geographic region, and more. Ads can even be triggered on external events, such as stock market performance. It’s also much easier to turn on and off ads. With SEO, effort is more directed toward topics, geographies, and search phrases that generate the most traffic, but filtering is not easy. There is some uncertainty with organic rankings because of changing algorithms.
With PPC, lawyers are able to specify what geographic areas they want to target or exclude. With SEO, the content on the website needs to justify the rankings. A firm won’t show for bankruptcy in Los Angeles if there is no reference to bankruptcy or Los Angeles on the website.
When a lawyer is using SEO, there is a long-term investment. The website is an authority on the Internet and there is momentum once it gets to a leading status. Traffic from PPC is paid for on an ongoing basis. Once the ads stop then the traffic stops.
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