How Much Does Law Firm SEO Cost??
This article talks about the cost of law firm SEO and the things an attorney must keep in mind before paying any certain amount for search engine optimization.
Law firms should have a strong online presence if they want to boost the popularity of their practice. Irrespective of where you are geographically located, you must have a website that is top-rated and highly ranked. You need to tick the to-do checklist of “how to manage a good law firm website” before starting. So, where does it all begin? It all starts with SEO or search engine optimization – the backbone of how well your law firm is presented on the world wide web.
When it comes to law firm SEO, there are a lot of companies as well as freelancers offering their expertise. There is a range of prices for SEO services, so much so that it can get confusing for someone who is thinking of it for the first time. If your thoughts are muddled too amidst so much noise, the blog is an attempt to clear some of your doubts.
Generally, digital marketing agencies charge anything between $2000 to $10,000 per month for SEO. This is not a definitive price range because for less competitive law practice areas (and/or locations), agencies can charge less while for more competitive markets & practice areas, they can charge more than the $10k figure per month.
The cost of SEO depends on several things. The search engine optimization provider and marketing agency you are hiring will largely decide the cost, but there are other factors at play too. If you want your law firm SEO to pay dividends, you should know what you are paying your money for. Simply allocating the budget isn’t enough. In this blog, we will attempt to highlight some of the factors that play a role in deciding the cost of Law Firm SEO.
What Should Be My Law Firm SEO Cost?
There are varying factors that will determine the amount you will spend on SEO for your law firm.
# 1 Area of Expertise
The area of law you practice makes a lot of difference in SEO. Some areas (such as personal injury lawyers and DUI lawyers) are highly competitive and hence expensive. But certain other areas of law (such as real estate lawyers and patent attorneys) may not require much work and can cost less.
Typically, an SEO agency will run your area of expertise on an organic search mill to see how keywords are ranked. They take special note of a term called “Keyword difficulty” and see their scores in different areas of law. Keyword difficulty is one of the standard methods used in SEO to measure the competitiveness of a keyword. It also determines the level of difficulty there is in using a certain keyword to rank on the first search page organically.
So, before any Legal SEO agency signs up with you, they will assess the level of expertise they will require to improve your search engine rankings organically. They will also see if there is any potential value in doing all the hard work.
Below we list the common area of law and how difficult organic rankings are in these areas.
- Personal Injury & Accidents – Organic Competition HIGH
- Criminal & DUI – Organic Competition HIGH
- Family Law – Organic Competition MEDIUM
- Employment – Organic Competition MEDIUM
- Corporate, Business & Commercial – Organic Competition MEDIUM
- Bankruptcy – Organic Competition MEDIUM
- Tax – Organic Competition MEDIUM
- Immigration – Organic Competition LOW MEDIUM
- Patent & IP – Organic Competition LOW MEDIUM
- Real Estate and Property – Organic Competition LOW
- Property Disclosure – Organic Competition LOW
# 2 Your Area of Operations
How large your business operations are will determine the amount of work the SEO agency will have to put in for your law firm. If you are operating from a big city with many lawyers under the payroll, your operations are undoubtedly big. This will mean that you face stiff competition which will automatically increase the need for intensive search engine optimization. You will have to dig deeper into your pockets to remunerate such kind of work.
For a big firm, the number of highly valued keywords (regardless of your area of operations) will be more. This means that ranking highly on search engines will always be an uphill task. But that’s not all. Ranking favorably is just the first part of the struggle, maintaining that position (irrespective of the fact that your competitors will be working equally harder to oust you) is always the tougher job.
# 3 Working with Other Details
Other things are equally important in determining the price for law firm SEO. The following things will help you decide the cost.
Your Geographical Location and Target Audience
Where you are located also determines your search engine ranking fortunes. If you are located in the city center, it becomes easier for an SEO agency to geo-tag you along with your competitors. On the other hand, if you are an hour away from downtown but your targeted clients live in the city, rankings on search engines may dip.
Legal SEO is mostly localized since prospective clients look for lawyers nearby. That’s the reason search engines put heavy emphasis on showing law firms IN a target city. If not for this, it is easy to get a ranking in the other 10 pages of a search engine results page.
Does that mean that if your law firm isn’t centrally located you won’t get listed by Google? No, it doesn’t mean so. It simply means that to still feature on the first page of a search engine, your law firm SEO needs to be solid and more aggressive. You may even need to set up a virtual office to improve your visibility. If you work with the best lawyer SEO agencies, you will get results irrespective of where you are located.
Your Level of Involvement in the Process
Search engine optimization is as much the agency’s efforts as it is about your interest and involvement. A firm that is constantly in the front, participating in events, sponsoring events, and is generally seen as likely to create more buzz on the Internet. But if you believe in devoting more time to files and cases, it might hamper your SEO prospects.
In SEO, there is something known as “white hat” which is the practice of using legitimate means to create buzz. Also, if you are more involved in the process, it is easier for agencies to improve their rankings.
Unfortunately, many lawyers think that this is counterproductive. They think that since they are paying money for SEO, they should automatically see more prospective clients and have easy ROI. But the reality is that the more involved your firm is, the easier it is to build authority and earn links. Some of the common activities that can catch other’s attention are –
- Posting blogs regularly,
- Writing for other publications,
- Giving interviews,
- Sponsoring events.
If you are resistant to involvement, your SEO will also suffer.
Quality of Work You Are Looking For
There are two kinds of SEO – white hat SEO and black hat SEO. In the latter, tricks and spam are used to cheat search engine algorithms. Earlier, injecting target keywords into a website a bunch of times was considered a way of improving rankings. Backlinking, buying links are all part of black hat SEO. However, search engines have caught up with these tricks and are constantly updating their algorithms to challenge these malpractices. Allowing an SEO agency to practice these tricks means you pay less but you constantly risk the reputation of your firm. In worst-case scenarios, you can also be blacklisted.
In white hat SEO, only accepted and legal practices of search engine optimization are used. SEO experts do not try to cheat the system in any way. They stay constantly updated with the latest algorithms and maneuver their moves according to what’s accepted.
So, if one agency is charging you $5000 per month for SEO while another quotes $15,000 per month, understand the difference. The quality of work will greatly differ between the two. In the first instance, you may see immediate results but with a lot of red flags. In the second instance, the agency takes more time (in planning and execution) and thus in showing results. But the results are long-lasting and effective.
What Do You Aim to Accomplish?
What you want to accomplish with search engine optimization is also a deciding factor. Do you want to grow your business at a promising rate through law firm SEO? Or do you want to dominate the market with your presence?
Different law firms have different aims – some want 10 more clients to sign up every month while some others want as many as 50 more clients per month.
Depending on your goals, you can decide on your spending. You must plan your budget according to your aims. If you want to rank higher on search engines, build your authority and yet seek to get more clients every month, you will also need a bigger budget for it. No SEO firm will give you a discount when you aim for the sky.
Paying a Premium Boutique Agency
We have all shopped brands and overpaid for them but have done so knowingly. We do that because we trust the brand, its quality, and its assurance. This is exactly what happens when you hire a boutique premium agency. You may not just for the services but also their experience, experience and simply, their name.
What Should You Really Be Paying For?
It is difficult to argue that you SHOULD pay a certain amount to an SEO agency for offering X number of services. Each agency brings something new or unique to the table and all cannot be judged in the same manner. But, having said so there are certain services that you should be paying for.
- Local SEO – One of your top priorities should be local SEO. Few things that the agency must do for you are –
- Setting up your Google My Business and Bing Places account,
- Setting up accounts in local directories and citations. This helps in improving Google rankings for your targeted search terms,
- NAP Optimization (Business Name, Address, and Phone number),
- Service area and location pages
- Keyword Optimization – Again, keyword optimization is one of the basic things that your agency must fulfill for you.
- They should be ranking your targeted keywords. They should have worked out the CPC of every targeted keyword so that they can properly estimate how much you will have to spend to generate more leads and clients.
- Additionally, they should be sharing weekly tracking data with you so that you stay informed throughout.
- On-Page SEO – The overall SEO of your law firm will improve when the on-page SEO has been properly done. The agency must take care of –
- Site Architecture
- Performance and Speed Optimization
- Markup Optimization and HTML Best Practices
- Auditing Content Quality
- Schema Markup
You should also look for a law firm SEO agency that offers content management services (including blogging) and legitimate link-building services.
Competition and Complexity of Your Industry Determines SEO Price
Unlike many other services, the cost of law firm SEO services doesn’t scale down linearly. In fact, the more goals you have to reach, the more it can cost.
The math in SEO is simple. The more you pay, the more you get. In fact, any legitimate, whitehat practicing SEO agency will offer you these things –
- They will build your web presence and facilitate link building,
- They will ensure that content is continuously updated through blog posts, general website content, evergreen articles, and so on.
Remember that content is the backbone of strong law firm SEO. This means that you will have to pay more if you want new blogs posted every week. For example, if you get four 1000-word blogs posted on your blog, you will be paying anything between $500 to $1500 additionally.
You may think that blog posting for your niche isn’t a good idea (after all, how many people read boring legal stuff, right?), but here is where your website has the chance to be different.
- Earning backlinks through legitimate sources. It is an expensive process – earning links that can improve your site’s authority, trust, and credibility. But as the authority of your site increases, Google and other search engines become more confident in improving your search rankings. If you want to beat the competition, you must take this costly route.
Understanding Scope of Involvement with the SEO Agency
How much you want to be involved in the process will finally decide the cost you bear. Though there may not be any necessary correlation between the two, but you may pay more if you want to be less involved in the process. But if your level of involvement is more, you could end up paying a lot less.
Two operational models are most popular among agencies.
- Done for You – In this process, everything is done by the agency. All you do at the end is approve and ask for changes when needed.
- Done with You – The agency will do most of the work, yet you will be involved in the process. Certain tasks such as participating in local events, sponsoring events, and communicating with local bloggers will require your involvement. Also, since law can be tricky for a common man, demystifying terms and technicalities will need your participation.
Law firm marketing is one of the most difficult areas of operations in digital marketing. The reason is simple – law isn’t easy to understand. To make it interesting is a task for the experts. Every SEO agency cannot work on a law firm’s SEO without having the necessary expertise and experience.
We have worked with numerous law firms and have helped them build their web presence from scratch. We have developed a full-proof strategy that helps law firms become visible on the web. From improved rankings to greater dominance in your niche, we help you achieve all your goals. We have different pricing for different levels of SEO. Talk to us today to know more.