The Cost of Internet Search Engine Optimization for Legal Sites
By Bob Schwartz, CRS, GRI ©2007 Promotions Unlimited All rights reserved.
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Five years is a while to manage cost in any industry. With Search engine optimization, payroll costs are high to secure high-tech employees who can work with new and continuously changing Internet landscape. The last two years have seen a stepped up frequency of search engine algorithm changes, especially with Google. Needless to say, with our increased costs and work load, we instituted our first ever ad cost increase.
There are many Internet advertisement choices for law firms. Personally, I think the vast majority are less effective that putting out flyers on windshields in a supermarket parking lot. A good looking site with a fancy name will NOT be effective unless it also has many city specific legal keyword phrases in the Ďorganicí results on the major search engines.
Traffic figures can be easily manipulated and short term top pay-per-click positions can be instantly purchased. To the non-tech layperson, these strategies can be effectively utilized to fool one into thinking they are making a very good Internet advertising purchase, when in reality, just the reverse is true!
Totally reputable national firms have by omission, left out important facts that have caused potential ad purchasers to believe they are utilizing the full value of the Internetís new client potential by signing up with such a major player. Though the major firms may generate huge traffic, how much of this traffic will benefit a regional small law firm? Plus, will ranking high for terms like law, legal cases, court rulings, Supreme Court decisions, etc. really drive ANY traffic that will convert to a solid paying client for a San Diego criminal defense firm?
On the other hand, will terms like San Diego attourneys, San Diego criminal defense, San Diego lawyers and San Diego defense lawyers offer a much better probability of attracting a paying client?
Itís not so much the traffic a legal site generates, but the highly targeted traffic that can only be secured from page one, or page two, of the organic results of a major search engine search. As an example, just for our Houston directory, we are currently on page one on MSN for the following search phrases: Houston lawyers, TX lawyers, Houston attorneys, Houston TX lawyers, Houston TX attorneys, Houston Texas lawyers, Houston Texas attorneys, Houston estate lawyers, Houston probate, Houston divorce lawyers, Houston family lawyers, Houston family attorneys, Houston DUI, Houston DUI lawyers, Houston DUI attorneys, Houston accident lawyers, Houston social security lawyers, Houston labor lawyers, Houston employment lawyers, Houston labor attorneys and Houston employment attorneys. In August, this directory had 3,110 unique visitors, 100% from high organic legal keyword standings!
The major legal directory firms surely generate much more traffic. Even our total August traffic for our fifteen sites was 39,289. However, it is the 3,110 visitor number that is actually important here. Since we hold more page one standings on the top search engines, we must be receiving more directed traffic when compared to any other similar operation.
I hope you see my point! High organic placement for city specific legal phrases should be your tip-off to maximization of the true potential of the Internet
ÖBack to our modest rate increase. When is an advertising rate increase not an actual increase? With the Internet, itís when you are serving more visitors for a cost that is LESS than the original cost per visitor. This is exactly what we are doing! For the time from January 2005 through July 2006 our legal site traffic saw an increase of 84%! A small sampling for a few directories showed San Diego up 160%, Los Angeles up 33% and Houston up 22%.
With top pay-per-click legal phrases going for up to $15 per click, excessive local newspaper costs and unbelievable monthly phone book ad costs, we firmly believe our directories offer the most cost effective new client acquisition cost out there!
Copyright 2007 Promotions Unlimited. All rights reserved.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bob Schwartz runs 15 legal directory sites, a few of which are: Houston lawyers, Dallas lawyers, Riverside lawyers, Sacramento lawyers, Fresno lawyers Promotions Unlimited started out as a general search engine optimization firm but has morphed into a specialized search engine optimization service. Our attorney clientís results through our directories have proven to be far more cost effective compared to Yellow Pages advertising. What is surprising to us is the amount of skepticism still prevalent among legal practitioners about the effectiveness of the Internet to generate new business. Some times old habits die hard!In August 2006 Bob's legal websites generated over 39,289 unique visitors.
In August 2006 Bob's legal websites generated over 39,289 unique visitors.
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