▷ Referencing Law Firm: SEO vs. SEA

Since 2014, lawyers have had access to the full range of advertising offered by most other companies. If they are allowed to do so, they rarely show their services in a bus shelter or on television: they very quickly get caught up in advertisements with the Saul Goodman name…

On the other hand, lawyers threw themselves on Google Ads. It’s right. CPC payments (cost-per-click), easy access for independent and local companies and campaign discretion make it an excellent ally.

However, some questions arise. Does the lawyer just want to win clients or build up a client base? Is Google Ads still the promised Eldorado? Are lawyers still interested in practicing paid referrals? Shouldn’t they prefer natural and organic referencing, based on a solid editorial line, closer to their ancestral habits as experts?


SEA simply stands for Search Engine Advertising: ads in search engines. Popular with local businesses, Google Adwords allows you to easily deploy an effective campaign, and many agencies offer you their services at low cost.

Why is the SUP interesting for the lawyer?

This marketing promotion gives you multiple targeting and visibility benefits. You present your legal services to the searchers and arouse the interest of your prospective customers in your legal matter in a location-related manner.

  • Immediate customer acquisition: Keyword buying is instantaneous. You prepare your ads, link your bank account and win new files.
  • Very precise targeting : You can target your prospects very specifically based on the keyword they typed into the search engine and their city of residence.
  • Easy to create budget : This point depends on the company and its size, but for independent and local companies it is very easy. If your specialization is just your bar, you don’t even need an agency. To understand ads, you can watch Bruno Guyot’s videos.
  • contact ads Site link, phone number, hours of operation, address, price, call-to-action: Google Ads lets you integrate a range of marketing tools that make it easier to connect with your practice.

What are the limits of the SUP for the lawyer?

The lawyers present in the Google Ads links are clones: the sponsored links present in the same city present the same specialization, similar websites and services, all offered by slaughter web marketing agencies.

The competition is tough. Ads will bring you customers for a while, but CPCs are increasing every day. In Montpellier, for example, we find a price for certain legal issues that has almost doubled in two years. Each received file becomes less and less profitable.

SEO or natural referencing

The lawyer is a jurist: he is an authority in his market and has a monopoly on litigation. He’s an expert. Whereas in 2014 only traffic recording was counted, differentiation is required today. You are an expert and you need to demonstrate your expertise.

Your prospects ask a question, look for a solution to a problem, and discover your website. SEO is a modernization of the old lawyer’s prospecting. Participation in conferences, teaching, participation in legal journals: all these editorial and educational works are now accessible to any lawyer and directly from his website.

What are the benefits of SEO for the lawyer?

SEO is like building a customer base, it’s seen over the long term and gives you more flexibility in targeting than Google Ads.

You can attract customers with commercial keywords known as “short tail” such as B. “Lyon Law Firm”. This strategy is ideal for creating an automatic “file machine”.

In addition, you have the opportunity to go even further and work on a so-called “long tail” keyword strategy on your website. With such a strategy, you will target keywords such as: “What method of concealing legacy?” “. In contrast to Google Ads, in this case you search specifically for topics and customers:

  • lawyers;
  • professionals in a specific sector;
  • Socio-occupational category of a prospect.

A solid SEO strategy uses both types of strategies: short tail and long tail. They combine the acquisition of many different files and create the basis for a future professional and specialized customer base ready to call you for specific needs. By the way, I wrote an article about it.

  • Proof of your professional competence: By applying an SEO strategy to specific customer segments, you can create a true expert editorial line. You answer all of your customers’ questions on a very specific topic. Thanks to Google, you will be identified as THE specialist on the subject.
  • Maximum profitability : If the initial cost is higher than Ads, each position won will cost you nothing for several years: you automatically reduce the cost per file purchased every day.
  • sustainability : Positions won in SEO are volatile until Google sees you as their champion. From then on you stay in the first position for several years.
  • Strengthening of your brand image : By positioning yourself on your city’s commercial keywords, you establish your authority in the eyes of your customers. Google delegates its own authority to you.
  • gain in notoriety : With SEO, you create a network of articles outside your website and benefit from increasing your visibility.
  • Precision in targeting : By working on specific keywords, you can target specific types of customers thanks to the induced intent of the query as well as its semantic field. Read this article to learn more.

What are the limits of SEO for the lawyer?

SEO can also be complicated to implement. It takes time, at least 3-4 months, to get first results and only if you have taken all the right actions: optimized content, backlinks, technical SEO, keyword strategy. It’s much more sophisticated than Google Ads.

Even if the CPC increase in the SEA increasingly refutes this argument, SEO is generally more expensive at launch. On the other hand, each day increases the profitability of the position achieved in Google search results. SEO is one of the most profitable marketing channels out there.

I encourage lawyers to understand how referencing works, an integral part of the new practice of law: legal advice starts now for free on the web.

Can you combine both?

Both stocks have their strengths and weaknesses. If I’m happy to recommend SEA to some of my clients, particularly in real estate development, I would recommend lawyers to combine the two.

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

By combining the two, you take up more space in the SERPs and increase your chances of converting your prospects into customers. They combine the speed of Google Ads execution with the profitability and traffic surge inherent in the snowball effect of SEO.

The best from both worlds

No solution is perfect. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. However, I see too many independent companies ignoring SEO. Paradoxical situation when we know that it represents the demonstration of the lawyer’s expertise at its peak: legal expertise is associated with mass dissemination. The circle is complete.

Next time you’re thinking about expanding your customer base, joining a business network, having another lunch, or starting a Google Ads campaign, take a moment to work on an article.

About the author

Guilhem Delachapelle (SEO Consultant): I am a natural referencing consultant for lawyers. I support national companies with multiple partners and even single independent companies.

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