First off, if you are reading this, I assume you already have a website for your law firm. If you don’t, stop here and have one created.
I don’t feel the need to go into the logistics of why you should have a website. Chances are, since you are here you already know the answer.
The question on every law firms mind is “do I pay for Google advertising, or do I hire an SEO company”? It’s a valid question, and one that I hope you will be able to answer for your business by the time you read through the statistics.
I want to talk about ad-blockers for just a moment. Trust me, it will make sense in a moment.
What Is an Ad-Blocker?
An ad-blocker is a software that many internet searchers install on their internet browsers to make sure that they never have to look at another paid advertisement. In fact, millennials are so much more advanced in technology than their parents (most of us), that they know the ins and outs of the internet when it comes to getting what they want. I mean let’s face it, in my opinion, isn’t that what a millennial is defined as. A bit spoiled. (I can say that because I have one). Back to the ad-blockers. They use them, and they could care less about a paid advertisement.
By 2017, it is estimated that 86.6 million people will have an ad blocker installed.
For the record, as of 2016, there are nearly 287 million internet users. Almost 1/3rd of the U.S. population will be blocking ads by next year. Those are pretty astonishing numbers to say the least.
Did you know that this year alone, online searchers aged 25 to 34 took the lead in the highest monthly average of internet use?
I know we still want to think of them as “kids”, but the reality is, they are adults. Not only are they adults, but they are the adults that will be needing your services.
According to statistics, people aged 15-24 account for approximately 40% of arrests, although they only equate to about 14% of the U.S. population. If you are a defense attorney, you should have already made up your mind on how to market your business.
I hope I have your attention now. These are the internet searchers needing your services, and they are using ad-blockers to make sure they don’t have to look at your paid advertisement.
So, let’s get back to the real question. PPC vs. organic?
Pay Per Click Statistics
The average pay-per-click cost for an ad on Google for legal keyword terms is $5.88. Yes, every time a person clicks your ad, it is going to cost you upwards of $6.00. While this number does not sound like much, think about terms that get 6,000 searches per month (which is not over-estimated for attorney keywords). Paid ads only receive about 6% of that traffic, so you are leaving thousands of potential customers behind.
I probably don’t have to do the math for you, but I will:
6,000 x 6% CTR= 360 Searchers Clicking on Paid Ads 360 Searchers x $5.88 PPC = $2,116.80
The numbers above represent monthly traffic. Oh, and that’s just for ONE keyword.
Can you imagine paying over two thousand dollars for one keyword? Most paid advertisers bid on a minimum of 10-20 keywords. So let’s look at those numbers:
Not all keywords are going to get 6,000 searches per month, so let’s reduce the number to an average of approximately 1250 searches per keyword (this number was taken from real searches for one of our lawyer SEO clients). I should also add that not all keywords have an average of $5.88 per click. We currently have a DUI attorney in a mid-size city, and the PPC for the keyword “DUI Attorney” is almost $60.00.
The chart above shows us that “Attorney Keywords” are in the top 5 most expensive categories for paid advertising. This represents the idea I mentioned earlier with the average PPC at $5.88, and that there are many keywords that cost quite a bit more, in fact upwards of $40.00 per click.
So, back to the numbers:
1,250 x 20 keywords = 25,000 searches
25,000 x 6% = 1,500 clicks
1,500 clicks x $5.88 CPC = $8,820
In this scenario, we have raised the number of keywords and raised our monthly budget to nearly $9,000 dollars, more than triple than for just one keyword.
So now let’s get real. Are you really willing to pay $9,000 per month until the day you retire in order to get these results.
Let’s assume you are 45 years old, and let us assume that you want to retire early at 60. That is 15 years of $9,000 per month, or to make it easier, that is $1,620,000!!!
First, let’s talk about organic traffic. There are 10 positions on the 1st page of Google, and if you’re not positioned in one of them, you are out of the equation.
Image Source: Chitika
The chart above represents data collected from a research done by Chitika.
Let’s look at this a little closer. For every 100 searchers, the #1 position will receive approximately 32.5% of the clicks, or 33 clicks to your website.
If you are ranking in position 1 for a keyword that gets 6,000 searches per month, you should expect an average of 198 clicks for that particular keyword. In PPC, this would cost you approximately $1,164.24 per month using the average cost-per-click of $5.88 that we used earlier.
You do not have to be in the top spot to get traffic, but for every position you are down the page, the traffic decreases.
We want to focus on Google traffic, as that is where the majority of internet users perform searches. If you can rank in Google, you will naturally rank in the other search engines.
As you can see from the chart above, Google receives 67.78% of the traffic, so obviously, this is where you want to be. Ranking on the first page of Google is where you will get the most “bang for your buck”, and a SEO campaign does not have to be a monthly expense once you are ranking. The way our services work is this: you pay us a monthly fee until your rankings are where you want them (let’s say a year of SEO). At that point, you can either stop paying, or you may decide to have us keep working to target more keywords. The choice is yours. If you choose to have us stop working, your rankings may begin to slide, which is just part of the way the internet works, and if this happens, simply call us to begin another campaign. This may be necessary once or twice a year for most campaigns. Even if your SEO expenses were $20,000 for the first year, and $4,000 for every year after, it would never equate to the expense of paid advertising, and you are getting 94% of the traffic organically vs. only 6% if you were to pay for an ad.
What would you need to get a ROI? One client per month? Every client after would be profit for your law firm.
In summary, for your attorney marketing campaign, are you going to pay a lawyer seo expert, or are you going to pay every single month until you retire for paid ads?