▷ Refer to a Law Firm: SEO vs SEA

As of 2014, lawyers have access to the full advertising range of most other companies. If they have permission to do so, it is rare for them to offer their services in a bus shelter or on television: they quickly fall for advertisements by Saul Goodman…

On the other hand, lawyers threw themselves at Google Ads. He is right. CPC (Cost Per Click) payments, ease of access for independent and local businesses and campaign appreciation make it a formidable ally.

However, some questions arise. Does the attorney simply want to gain clients or develop them? Is Google Ads still the El Dorado we promised? Do attorneys still have an interest in exercising paid references? Should they not rather favor natural and organic references, based on a solid editorial line, closer to the habits of their ancestors as experts?


SEA simply means search engine advertising: ads on search engines. Google Adwords, which is well known to local businesses, allows you to easily publish an effective campaign and many agencies will offer you their services at a low cost.

Why is SEA interesting to a lawyer?

This marketing action offers you multiple targeting and visibility benefits. You provide your legal services to people who are looking for them and target the potential client’s interest in your legal matter according to your location.

  • Instant Customer Acquisition: Instant keyword purchase. You set up your ads, link your bank account and earn new files.
  • Very accurate targeting : You can target potential customers very precisely by the keyword they type in the search engine and where they live.
  • Easy to create budget : This point will depend on the company and its size, but for independent and local companies it is very simple. If you’re targeting your niche only for your bar, you don’t even need an agency. To understand the ads, you can watch Bruno Guyot’s videos.
  • Contact Ads Website Link, Phone Number, Opening Hours, Address, Price, Call to Action: Google Ads allows you to integrate a suite of marketing tools that facilitate communication with your practice.

What are the SEA limits for an attorney?

The lawyers in Google Ads links are clones: Sponsored links located in the same city offer the same specialty, similar websites and services, all provided by slaying web marketing agencies.

The competition is tough. The ads will attract customers for a while, but the cost of clicks is increasing every day. In Montpellier, for example, we found a price that nearly doubled in two years for some legal subjects. Each file acquired becomes less profitable.

Optimize search engines or natural references

The lawyer is a legal professional: he is an authority in his market and has a monopoly on litigation. He is an expert. If only traffic acquisition is counted in 2014, differentiation is required today. You are an expert and you need to show your expertise.

Your potential customers ask themselves a question, find a solution to a problem and discover your web page. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an update to the old attorney acquisition for clients. Conference Participation, Teaching, Participation in Legal Journals: All this editorial and educational work is now available to every attorney and directly from their website.

What are the benefits of SEO for a lawyer?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is like building a customer base, as it is seen in the long run and gives you more flexibility in targeting than Google Ads.

You can gain clients by using business keywords, called “short tail” like “Lyon Law Firm”. This strategy is ideal for creating an automatic “file machine”.

In addition, you have the opportunity to go ahead and work on a so-called “long-tail” keyword strategy on your website. In such a strategy, you would target keywords like this: “What action should be taken to hide inheritance?” In this case, unlike Google Ads, you are looking for specific topics and customers:

  • legal professionals
  • professionals in a particular sector;
  • Social and occupational category of prospect.

A strong SEO strategy uses both types of strategies: a short and a long tail. You link the acquisition of many diverse profiles with the creation of a future client base, professional and specialized, ready to contact you for specific needs. By the way, I wrote an article about it.

  • Show your expertise: By working on your SEO strategy on specific customer segments, you can create a true expert editing streak. You answer all of your customers’ questions on a very specific topic. Thanks to Google, you have been identified as the specialist in this topic.
  • Maximum profitability : If the initial costs are higher than in advertising, then each job acquired will not cost you more for several years: you automatically reduce the cost of each file acquired each day.
  • Sustainability Earned positions in SEO are so volatile that Google sees you as its champion. Since then, it has remained at number one for several years.
  • Enhance your brand image By placing yourself on the business keywords of your city, you are establishing your authority on your bar in the eyes of your customers. Google transfers its own authority to you.
  • gain fame : In SEO, you can create a network of articles outside your site and benefit from increasing your reputation.
  • Accuracy in targeting : By working on certain keywords, you can target specific types of customers thanks to the induced intent of the request as well as its semantic domain. Read this article to find out more.

What are the limits of SEO for a lawyer?

SEO can also be complex to implement. It takes at least 3-4 months to get the first results and only if you apply all the right actions: optimized content, backlinks, technical SEO, keyword strategy. It is much more demanding than Google Ads.

Even if the CPC increase in SEA increasingly falsifies this argument, SEO is generally more expensive at launch. On the other hand, every passing day increases the profitability of the position obtained in Google search results. SEO is one of the most profitable marketing channels.

I recommend that lawyers understand how referral works, which is an integral part of the new practice of the profession: legal advice begins now free of charge on the Internet.

Can you combine the two?

Each stock has strengths and weaknesses. If I would gladly recommend SEA to some of my clients, particularly in real estate development, I would recommend that attorneys combine the two.

Google Ads allows you to test keywords and measure their benefits for a few days or even a few weeks. Depending on your feedback, you may decide to start a longer SEO strategy.

By combining the two, you take up more space in the SERP and increase your chances of converting your potential customers into customers. You combine the speed of Google Ads implementation with profitability as well as the wave of traffic inherent with the SEO snowball effect.

The best of both worlds

There is no perfect solution. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. However, I see a lot of independent companies ignoring SEO. A paradoxical situation when we know that it is a display of a lawyer’s expertise at its peak: legal expertise is linked to mass distribution. full circle.

The next time you’re thinking of growing your customer base, joining a business network, having another lunch, or launching a Google Ads campaign, take the time to work on an article.

About the author

Guilhem Delachapelle (SEO Consultant): I am a natural reference consultant for attorneys. I support national companies with multiple partners and even individual independent companies.


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