Law firms often look at their SEO investment in terms of increased rankings, web leads, phone calls, and other measurable improvements. But there is another way to look at your SEO investment, the pay-per-click value.
The pay-per-click (PPC) value looks at these elements:
1) Your search engine rankings in Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
2) The cost-per-click (CPC) for those keywords at their current position (i.e., if the website is ranked number five for “Boston divorce lawyer,” the CPC would be based on a sponsored listing at position five). That is calculated for all three search engines.
3) The amount of money it would cost to run ads 24/7 on all three search engines with no daily maximum. This is essentially the level of exposure you are receiving with your search engine placement.
We ran a report on a small handful of websites in various practice areas and cities to show a comparison of what firms are spending for their search engine optimization and the pay-per-click value of their natural rankings. The numbers are based on averages for multiple firms within a practice area. The SEO rate is based on a monthly fee and PPC rate is how much the firm would spend each month in click charges to get the same exposure as they are getting with their natural placement.
SEO and PPC costs and values are per month.
In most cases, the pay-per-click equivalent was 10 times greater than the SEO fee. Of course, the fee and return are based on averages. Some personal injury firms may be paying far below the average, because they are in a smaller market or are focused on a niche practice area. Others may be paying far above the average in a major metro area. However, the PPC charges are calculated based on the value in that region so the return is relative to local market rates.
When considering whether to do search engine optimization or pay-per-click marketing, SEO delivers the value.
*85 percent of the websites reviewed in this study were SEO | Law Firm clients. Rankings and keyword value data based on results achieved in February 2013.