5 Reasons You Need SEO To Reach Your Goals
Have you ever wondered what the most successful firms in every major metro in the U.S. have in common?
With very few exceptions, they’ve all invested in building a dominant presence in online search results by finding the best SEO company for lawyers, and partnering with them on a high-powered search engine optimization campaign.
Since you’re reading this article, I assume you want to join the ranks of the most successful practitioners in your market.
So I’m going to lay out why you need SEO to build a more profitable business – and why working with a typical ‘jack-of-all-trades’ digital marketing agency isn’t likely to deliver the results you need.
REASON #1: Almost all of your potential clients are using a search engine to find representation.
Referrals from previous clients are awesome, but you can’t build a high-growth practice by relying on word-of-mouth. If you want to generate a steady stream of leads that turn into new clients, you have to be visible at the top of online search results – because that is where people are looking when they need representation.
96% of people seeking legal advice use a search engine.
Google still has roughly 90% share of the mobile search market.
If you had to go fishing to catch your dinner, you’d want to cast your net in the pond with the most fish, right?
Google has almost all the fish.
Let’s look at an example of how much potential this adds up to for a typical practice.
If Your primary practice area was DUI cases, and you were located in Denver… just the top three keywords you’d want to rank for get over 1,000 searches a month.
You can see in the screenshot below that this keyword phrase has a search volume of 720 searches per month.
That’s an average of 30 opportunities a day for a prospective client to contact you.
If we add in just the top three keywords for that same practice area in Denver, we now have almost 60 local searches for your services being performed every day.
Remember, that’s only the top 6 keywords searched for in the Denver market.
The total number of searches per day related to just that one practice area climbs to well over 100 when we add in more of the keywords you’d want to rank for.
REASON #2: You have a TON of competition for new cases.
There are over 179,000 attorneys in the state of New York.
That’s almost 92 for every 10,000 people.
Let’s use a little high-level math to break this down to the number in other major metro areas…
New York City has a population of over 8 million people.
8 million divided by 10,000 = 800
800 x 92 = 73,600 attorneys in New York City
There are 47,310 attorneys in the Chicago metro area.
Minneapolis has 16,200.
The Denver metro area has at least 10,730.
So what does all this competition mean…
REASON #3: The cost of PPC (Adwords) clicks for legal searches is outrageously expensive.
Running an Adwords campaign essentially makes Google a partner in your firm.
In exchange for clicks, you can be certain the search engine is going to take a healthy share of the profits – regardless of how many new cases your campaign produces.
That’s because the cost-per-click (CPC) for legal-related searches on Google’s Adwords platform are among the most expensive of any vertical online.
Check out this list of the 20 most expensive PPC keywords for legal-related searches…
There are several components to a successful pay-per-click campaign:
- keyword research
- your bids on those keywords
- your quality score
- your ad copy
- landing pages (yes, you need these!)
- conversion optimization for those landing pages
- call tracking
- a big budget
First, you have to find a really good PPC specialist to setup and manage your campaign, then find a different specialist to design your keyword targeted landing pages.
Then you need someone who is an expert at conversion optimization to analyze, and tweak those landing pages so you can maximize your ROI from your campaign.
Why do you have to go to such great lengths to develop a successful pay-per-click campaign?
Even when you consider the average cost-per-click (CPC) across a broader range of keywords, lawyer-related clicks are still the 4th most expensive category on Adwords.
While you can certainly produce a return-on-investment (ROI) from pay-per-click, it requires an enormous commitment of time, effort, and resources (money) to get any Adwords campaign to the point that you’re making money from it.
#4 SEO is a zero-sum game.
For every 100 people that contact an attorney, 87 of them will in fact go on to hire someone.
Here’s the important part of the statistic above…
72% of the people who go on to hire someone to represent them only contact only one attorney.
There is no ‘growing the pie’ in online search.
If there are 2,900 Google searches a month for a specific keyword phrase in los angeles, the practices that rank in the top three spots of search results have already won the battle for those online leads.
If your SEO campaign allows you to knock one of your competitors out of the top three spots, you’re going to take those leads from them.
And they’ll be left fighting for scraps.
The fact that generating leads from online searches is a zero-sum endeavor is exactly why you should avoid hiring a ‘jack-of-all-trades’ digital marketing company.
If you want to compete for online leads for legal searches, you need to work with someone who is a top expert in the legal field.
#5 If you aren’t in the Top 5 search results – you might as well be invisible.
The first 5 websites in the organic results (the listings below the local Maps 3-pack) capture 67% of all the clicks from the 1st page of Google search results.
The websites in positions 6 through 10 (combined) garner less than 4% of the clicks.
NOTE: There is a caveat to ranking in the top five spots when it comes to the organic listings (below the local Maps 3-Pack)…
Google Gives Preference To Brands And Authority Sites
Since authority sites like Avvo, Findlaw, SuperLawyers.com, and Justia have essentially taken over so many spots on the 1st page for lawyer-related searches, your goal should be to rank as one of the top 3 local listings in the organic results.
When it comes to ranking in the Maps 3-Pack, you must rank in the top three spots to get any phone calls or website traffic from the local search results.
That’s why it’s called the 3-Pack.
Very few people ever click the ‘More Results’ button to look beyond the top three listings in Maps.
So let’s recap the five reasons you need search engine optimization… if you want to bring in new cases from online leads.
- Most people search online when they need legal services.
- With over 1.3 million attorneys in the U.S., the competition for new clients is intense.
- The competition for online leads for legal services makes the cost pf pay-per-click (Adwords) campaigns outrageously expensive.
- Search engine rankings is a zero-sum game.
- Just ranking on the 1st page of Google isn’t enough – you need to in the Top 5 organic results to generate leads from online searches.
I hope this article helped make a clear-cut case for why hiring a specialist in the legal field is so critical to your plans for growth.
If you want to develop (and maintain) a steady flow of online leads, and new cases, search engine optimization is the best way – in fact, it’s the only way to do that.