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Organic or Paid Marketing? Deciding the Best Strategy for Your Law Firm

Paid vs Organic Marketing

As a law firm, you know that where you spend your advertising money is vitally important to growth and success. However, deciding between paid or organic advertising requires a lot of research your firm doesn’t have the hours for. 

Luckily, EverSpark is here to help you discover the best strategy for your law firm.

92% of all search traffic goes to the Top 10 spots on Google

How it Works

You’re searching for something on Google. When the first page of results come up, you see the usual ten websites with descriptions beneath them. At the top, you see several listings with the bolded word Ad next to them.

PPC ad on search engine results pageOrganic results on a search engine results page

 

 

Imagine that you’re searching for something on Google. When the first page of results come up, you see the usual five to ten websites, all of them with a little bit of information listed underneath. At the top of the results, you see two to three listings with the bolded word ad next to them.

Now, look at the page as a whole, including both paid and organic results. What they have in common is their placement on the first page of search results — that’s huge for any law firm.  Up to 80% of people ignore those first paid ads, and about 33% of all traffic will end up clicking on that #1 spot. 

You might ask yourself:

  • How do those results get to the first page? 
  • What page is my law firm on right now? 
  • How do I get to the #1 spot on Google?

But before you start paying Google for those expensive top spots, you need to understand the difference between paid and organic marketing. From there, you can decide which method is best to grow your law firm and bring in more clients.

You should also keep in mind that you can use both paid and organic search marketing strategies together. However, every law firm is different, so make sure to evaluate your goals, budget, and timeline after reading this.

Differences Between Paid and Organic Search Marketing

We know that two types of search results appear when you enter a query in Google. The first paid ads are often referred to as pay-per-click (PPC) ads. They appear at the top of the page above organic results, which are influenced by SEO. 

As the name suggests, with PPC ads you pay Google, Facebook, or whatever network you decide to use each time your ad is clicked. This cost can be pennies for low volume keywords or thousands of dollars for more popular keywords. 

Other than paying to boost your ad, here are a few other differences between paid and organic search marketing:

  • Time –  PPC will yield results much faster than organic search strategy. The main difference is the upfront cost. You start PPC strategies by paying and end up paying more. With organic search, the traffic you gain will only be a benefit. Give it 4-6 months and you’ll see a gradual, cost-efficient increase in organic traffic. 
  • Google updatesGoogle’s search algorithms change frequently and require sites using organic marketing practices to constantly optimize their content so they will rank higher. PPC marketing is immune to this frequent change, which is a considerable benefit.

3,234: the number of times Google updated their algorithm in 2018

  • User experience –  Although ad design and placement is improving, many users still ignore paid ads in search results, choosing to skip over them for the organic results. On average, annual PPC costs fall between $108,000 and $120,000. PPC can earn you instant results, but organic search marketing simply draws in more users.

 

  • Lasting effects –  Due to SEO practices, organic search marketing takes time, but it will serve your firm for years after you implement it. PPC marketing results appear faster but also disappear just as quickly. The moment you stop pouring in money, your campaign loses its momentum.

The Nitty-Gritty: Paid Marketing (PPC)

PPC marketing

Paid Marketing (PPC)

Every law firm should consider using PPC ads. Before choosing PPC over organic search, sit down and establish what your firm’s unique goals are. 

PPC can be beneficial for law firms since the legal industry is so competitive online. Personal injury and other popular practices always have a high monthly search volume and traffic, which results in a high PPC.

The Advantages of PPC

Despite its cost, PPC marketing boasts many advantages for law firms. Namely, potential clients will notice your firm without searching for it. That’s because users will always see the top of the results page first, even if they choose to scroll past it. 

In other words, PPC gives your firm more exposure and generates brand awareness.

52% of people are more likely to click on an ad that is on the top page of Google’s results.

Many marketers avoided PPC ads in the past, when they considered it an outbound marketing method. However, this type of advertising is becoming increasingly popular, especially with website designs where ads flow seamlessly and don’t look clunky or ostentatious.

Increasing popularity means increasing clients. PPC marketing can be extremely effective for bringing in clients, possibly because this method is concurrent with psychological tendencies in consumers.

A 2017 survey by Clutch reports that 90% of consumers say ads influence their purchase decisions.

Combine that statistic with the fact that 75% of users say paid search ads make it easier to find information, and you have a strong case for PPC marketing.    

Choosing a PPC Platform

Google is the most popular search engine in the world and provides the most visibility. Therefore, it makes sense that many users decide to utilize Google’s in-house advertising platform, Google Ads, for their PPC marketing strategy. 

Google Ads (aka Google AdWords) tops the market as the digital world’s leading advertising program. If your firm decides to adopt a PPC-centered marketing strategy, Google Ads may be the way to go.

The Nitty-Gritty: Organic Search Marketing

Organic search traffic

Organic Search Marketing (SEO)

If you’re new to the SEO world, organic search has nothing to do with GMOs. Unlike PPC marketing, you do not pay for search engine results, which are regulated by algorithms. These algorithms match a user’s search query with a result based on relevance, links, domain authority, and many other factors.

Because Google has gotten so good at matching results with a user’s intent, most users trust Google’s algorithm.

75% of people never go past the first page of search results

Of course, businesses and law firms have caught on to this fact. According to Junto, 57% of B2B marketers reveal that SEO brings more leads than any other marketing effort. If your law firm takes the time to build a solid, effective organic search strategy, you can reap the rewards of long-term traffic to your site. That’s the caveat – organic search marketing takes time.

It also takes energy, knowledge, and an experienced SEO firm to achieve effectively and correctly. There are many moving parts in an organic marketing strategy, so don’t make the mistake of trying to do it all on your own. 

If you do decide to adopt an SEO-centered approach to online marketing, contact a professional. EverSpark has over a decade of experience crafting and integrating digital marketing strategies with a focus on SEO and organic search.

The Advantages of Organic Search

Organic search increasing

Results for organic search marketing don’t happen overnight. They usually don’t even happen in a month. Typically, it takes up to a year to truly see the difference that this method can make for your law firm. However, don’t let that scare you — there are several advantages of organic search marketing that will open your eyes to what you can accomplish.

 

  • Organic search brings in quality traffic. Any user that searches for something online has a clear and specific intent. Maybe they need a car accident lawyer immediately or want to know who can be held accountable for their grandmother’s slip and fall in the nursing home. 

 

Whatever the intent, potential clients will choose your website over your competitors’ if your law firm’s website answers their questions.

 

  • Organic traffic means higher credibility for your firm. Put yourself in a client’s shoes. If they’re looking for legal help or advice, they’re going to try and find the most trustworthy, legitimate firm they can. But potential clients won’t even get the chance to figure out if your firm is trustworthy if Google doesn’t think so first.

 

That’s why organic search is so important. With careful, intelligent attention to best SEO practices, your firm will ascend the rankings and land where you want it to be. Because Google is extremely particular about how they rank websites, the position of your website in the search results will indicate to potential clients that your site is reliable and your content is high-quality.

 

  • Return on investment (ROI). Numerous studies have shown that organic search marketing can provide a massive ROI.

 

93% of web traffic comes from search engines (mostly Google) and 70-80% of search engine users only focus on organic results

In its Economic Impact Report, Google reported that organic search is 5x more valuable than Google Ads. By prioritizing organic search, your law firm has the opportunity to drastically increase your ROI. However, remember that it will take time.

So Which Should I Choose for My Firm?

Ultimately, this is a difficult question. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for improving your rankings or driving more traffic to your website. Every law firm is unique in its practices, style, and goals. 

That’s why it’s imperative that you discuss your law firm’s needs with the rest of the firm. Also, you may not have a budget for PPC right now. In summary, when selecting an online marketing method, consider the following:

 

  • Budget
  • Resources: For example, are you able to create copy in-house or will you need to hire someone
  • Your timeline for results
  • Your firm’s short and long-term goals

With our combined 30 years of experience in SEO and online marketing, EverSpark will help you decide which marketing method is best for your law firm. It takes time, industry knowledge, and experience to craft an unstoppable marketing strategy that will place you ahead of your competitors, impress Google, and bring you more clients. 

If you’re ready to go beyond what you thought was possible for your law firm, contact us today. Trust EverSpark – when we say we deliver, we do.