Law firm SEO is a highly nuanced and complicated process, which is why it’s so important to hire the right company for your needs.

There are many factors that can affect the cost of SEO services for a law firm, including scope, market(s), practice area, services, expertise and experience of the provider, and desired ROI.

If you really want to see a great return on your investment (ROI) in law firm SEO, then it’s important to not let cost drive your decision when it comes to hiring a law firm marketing company.

Cost, of course, should be a factor. However, know that, like everything else in life, you’ll get what you pay for.

So, let’s take a look at what actually drives the cost of search engine optimization services for lawyers.

Your Desired Return on Investment

One thing to ask yourself before you start an SEO campaign is:

“How much do I want to make out of this?”

For example, let’s say you want to gross $1M in revenue from a marketing campaign. 

In other words, you brought in $1M in revenue from leads that you can directly attribute to your marketing campaign.

Now, let’s say that you wanted to spend no more than $500 a month for SEO (yes, we hear that often). 

That means that you’re spending $6,000 per year on marketing ($500 x 12 months) for a return on investment of $1,000,000.

That’s a 16,566.67% ROI. (source: https://www.calculator.net/roi-calculator.html)

Does that sound too good to be true? Probably. 

To see a meaningful return, you don’t just need any law firm SEO company. You need a top law firm SEO company. You’ll need a company that genuinely understands what’s necessary to take your project and bring it to the next level – and ultimately get you the results you want.

You might find less expensive marketing companies that promise top results for low prices. But, caveat emptor (buyer beware). Companies that undercut prices will likely undercut services, too. 

They might charge low prices and take on a ton of clients – but not have the infrastructure or systems in place to actually give each and every client’s SEO campaign the attention it deserves. 

As a result, you’ll pay a lower price, but you won’t see a real return on your investment – and you might even end up with a loss.

Agencies that charge more – especially those with demonstrated results and transparency about their projects – know what it will take to get you to rank. That means their pricing is likely calculated to actually reflect what you’ll be getting: expertise, a depth of knowledge, the intent to get your project to rank, and the resources to get it there. 

Consider: Things That Might Affect ROI

Inside ROI itself, there are a lot of different things that can play a factor. 

That includes:

  • The company you hire
  • Your budget
  • Your market and competition
  • Your intake process

You might have done a double-take on that last one, but it’s true. 

Your intake process will absolutely affect your ROI. A marketing company can get you of the high-quality leads in the world, but if you don’t have an intake system that’s set up to convert those leads into paying clients… then you won’t see a return on your investment.

That’s why LawRank doesn’t just want to help you get leads… we want to help your law firm optimize your intake system to convert leads into clients, too. At the end of the day, traffic and clicks mean nothing if you’re not getting cases – and the kinds of cases – you want.

The SEO Agency’s Expertise and Experience

Search engine optimization is a highly-competitive field. 

Being the best at law firm SEO requires extensive, specialized knowledge of:

  • Website structure
  • Optimization techniques, and
  • Search engine algorithms. 

High-quality SEO is time-consuming.

Therefore, you are paying an SEO agency for its expertise, knowledge, and time. However, you are also paying the agency based on its results. 

Consider: Results

All marketing companies have a show pony or two (or three) – clients they’ve ranked and look good on paper. But, can the marketing company show you a diversified portfolio of successful projects?

Can they show you that they’ve ranked clients for competitive keywords in genuinely competitive markets? 

Pro Tip: Don’t be fooled by a list of non-competitive keywords. Those keywords won’t drive any business to your office. 

Ask for results based on keywords like:

  • NYC Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Houston Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney
  • Miami Personal Injury Lawyer

Then, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do those clients rank organically?
  • Do those clients rank in the local pack?
  • Do they appear to dominate their market when you search for other relevant keywords
  • Can you verify these results for yourself? 

And, can they show you results for a client like you – a firm that practices the same type of law in a similar size market? 

Results speak volumes about what an agency can do for you. So, results and expertise will definitely drive the cost of SEO.  An agency with a proven ability to get legitimate results for their clients will probably cost a bit more – but you can rest assured that you won’t get burned like you have by other agencies that cost less and promised the world.

Consider: Testimonials

Anyone can tell you they’re an expert. But, are others willing to stand up and say “yeah, that company really knows what they’re doing and really helped me take my law firm business to the next level”?

Consider: Answers to Your Questions

When you interview a prospective marketing company there are certain questions you absolutely have to ask

SEO experts will be able to give you answers without hesitation or thought. Why? Because they know the world of SEO like the back of their hand. They’re immersed in it and they’re passionate about it. 

They’ll be able to answer your questions and provide explanations that help you understand more about SEO and what it’ll take to rank your project on the first page of a Google search engine results page (SERP).

Agencies with a successful track record and demonstrated expertise on all things SEO might charge more for their services because clients receive a higher return on their investment.

The Type of Law You Practice

Law firm SEO is incredibly competitive. However, not all practices face the same challenges in ranking. Personal injury lawyers, criminal defense lawyers, and family law attorneys – particularly those in large markets – will generally see a higher average cost for SEO services than probate attorneys or tax lawyers. 

Based on organic competition, here’s a quick overview of how competitive it is for different types of lawyers to rank (Source: Ahrefs.com)

Keyword Difficulty (KD) gives an estimate of how hard it is to rank organically on the first page, volume reflects monthly searches, and CPC indicates how much it generally costs for each click on a paid ad.

SEO companies for law firms will certainly take these metrics into consideration when pricing their services. The more challenging the landscape, the more the company will have to invest – both in time, effort, and resources – to get your law firm to the top. 

Consider: Specialization

If you practice personal injury law, be prepared to budget for quality SEO services – it’s among the toughest niches in digital marketing. Criminal defense and family law are extremely competitive, as well. 

Do you want to make a genuine impression in your market and take your practice to the next level? If so, you’ll need to team up with a company that will work just as hard as you do. Your SEO company doesn’t just need to be good at marketing and business – it needs to know your specific industry.

LawRank exclusively works with law firms and attorneys – typically small-to-medium-sized firms that practice personal injury law, criminal defense, or family law. Law firm SEO is our area of expertise – and we’re passionate about what we do. Our team includes marketing experts, legal professionals, and SEO specialists with extensive experience helping clients like you. Don’t settle for less.

Your Target Market(s)

It’s not just about what type of law you practice, it’s about where you practice, too. 

Market is an important consideration in pricing SEO services for lawyers.

Big markets like New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, or Miami will have larger populations and more law firms than smaller markets in suburbs and rural parts of the country. 

That means more people potentially searching for legal assistance, and more lawyers vying for their business. As a result, competition is more fierce – leading to greater challenges in ranking in the local pack and organically.

If you have more than one location – or are considering opening additional law offices or expanding to other markets – you’ll also see the cost of SEO rise. 

Content

Your SEO agency should have a plan to drive traffic to your law firm’s website. A strategic content marketing funnel needs to be the heart of that plan. In order to rank, you’ll need to have content that’s worthy of ranking. 

So, not just any content – good content. Informational content and commercial content

  • Informational content: answering questions and providing quality information
  • Commercial content: selling your brand and services to people looking to hire a lawyer

Content that’s designed to answer questions your prospective clients have. Content that’s designed to demonstrate your authority on the law. Content that’s designed to get users to contact you and get help.

Good, high-quality content will certainly drive the cost of SEO. 

You want a marketing company that’s an expert in law firm SEO, right? Well, someone asking a legal question or searching for a lawyer wants an expert on the law. And, when someone searches for a lawyer or makes a law-related query, Google wants to match users with the best possible information. That is, information provided by a source that’s an authority on the subject matter at hand. 

But, Google’s not a legal scholar. The information on your website might be best in class and the most helpful stuff out there. But how can Google know that – outside of you telling them? Other people – or, in this case, websites –  have to tell Google, too. That’s accomplished through backlinks.

When other websites link to your law firm’s website, Google takes notice. If another website is pointing users to your content, that’s a good signal.

However, it’s not just about the number of links you have. You can have 1,000 links, but if they’re all from the same referring domain, that doesn’t necessarily mean a whole lot. It means that there’s one website out singing your praises. But, for you to rank, there have to be a lot of different websites out there sending links your way. Preferably sites that are already established as authorities themselves.

So it really boils down to this: a link-building strategy to acquire high-quality backlinks from a range of referring domains will affect how much you’re paying for SEO.

If you’re paying less for SEO and not seeing results, it could be due to substandard and mediocre content marketing and link-building strategies and execution.

What You’ve Done (or Haven’t Done) For Law Firm SEO in the Past 

Another factor in the cost of services is your past SEO strategy. If you’ve never done SEO before, haven’t really given much thought to what it takes to rank, or worked with a company that just didn’t know what it was doing – then a marketing agency may need to correct technical errors and solve problems. 

Companies should run a diagnostic to get a sense of where your project currently stands – and what kind of work it’ll take to get you to where you want to be. 

Think of it this way: pricing your project without an in-depth look at where you currently stand is like a criminal defense lawyer pricing a felony case with no understanding of the facts. 

You are paying for the groundwork that must be done before the agency can optimize your website content and perform other services to get your law firm to rank.

What You Want to Achieve With SEO

Your goals for search engine optimization and the types of services you choose are significant factors in the cost of SEO for law firms. Of course, the more services you choose, the more you will pay.

The types of SEO services you need are based on your goals.

  • Do you want to focus efforts exclusively on organic results or is local SEO important to you, too?
  • Do you want to launch a PPC campaign to give you short-term results while you wait for the organic strategy to pay off? 
  • Do you need a new law firm website that’s built to convert?
  • How many locations do you want to target?

Each law firm’s needs are unique. A digital marketing agency for lawyers should be able to discuss your goals and provide guidance on how specific SEO goals can benefit your law firm in the long term. Your clients come to you for your legal guidance. Likewise, an SEO firm should provide guidance to help you identify your SEO goals.

A reputable SEO firm provides an analysis of your law firm’s current SEO strategy. The analysis should include the services that could benefit your firm and how they translate into increased revenue for the practice. 

The Right SEO Services Require the Right Investment

Like SEO itself, the cost of SEO is complex. There are a lot of different factors that influence what a service provider might charge its clients. 

If you’ve been burned by a marketing agency (or two, or three…) in the past, you’re probably really frustrated. You’ve invested good money in a service, but companies just haven’t gotten you the results you’ve wanted. 

Consider the factors discussed above. Consider the SEO services you’ve worked with in the past.

If you’re not getting results, there’s a good chance that the provider (a) didn’t have the expertise needed to get results or (b) offered cut-rate services for cut-rate pricing and never actually had the intent to rank your law firm.

If you want to see results and grow your firm, you need the best SEO company for lawyers you can find. You need LawRank. Give our SEO specialists a call or get in touch with us online to discover how we can help you take control of your future.