There are so many companies and freelancers today, legit and otherwise trying to sell SEO services and we see a range of prices being thrown around. Many lawyers see value in pursuing SEO and search as a way to seriously step up their law firm’s marketing and growth. However, with so much noise and confusion in the market, it can be difficult to know how much to pay and what you’re paying for.
How much should SEO cost for lawyers and law firms? Generally, it will range between $2,000 and $10,000 per month in most cases. Smaller markets with less competitive areas of practice may pay less than $2,000 for results while large cities and competitive areas of law can cost far north of $10k per month.
There are a number of factors that go into determining how much you should pay in order to see results and not all search engine optimization service providers and agencies are the same. So, in the rest of this article, we’ll discuss more how much you should expect to pay, why it’s so expensive and what you should get from a solid SEO provider to get your desired rankings and money’s worth.
How much Should my law firm pay for SEO?
The area of law makes a huge difference when it comes to how valuable SEO is as a marketing strategy. All of the areas of law have been run through the organic search mill and it’s clear how the market values certain keywords more than others.
#1 – Area of Practice
The screenshot taken from our search engine keyword research tool shows us keywords like “personal injury lawyer” and “dui lawyer” along with their respective “keyword difficulty” scores and other attributes. The Keyword Difficulty is a way of measuring how competitive a keyword is and how difficult it is to rank on page 1 organically whenever people search for that keyword.
So the area of law has the most impact on the competitiveness and potential value of optimizing your site for organic search traffic. Here’s a more comprehensive list to see how difficult it is to rank organically for your area of practice:
#2 – Size of your Law Firm’s Market
The size of your market is going to contribute approximately the same amount of input to the final price you pay for search optimization. The bigger the city or state you’re targeting, the more lawyers there are. Bigger markets don’t just mean more law firms, but bigger firms with deeper pockets.
By ranking for a highly valued keyword (regardless of area of practice) on the first page of Google or Bing search results, you’ll see a serious uptick in business. However, when you rank on page 1, you’ve knocked someone else off and they’re certainly going to fight to take that search real estate back. So getting the search traffic is only the first part, of the struggle. Then you have to fight to maintain and defend your increased exposure.
#3 – The Details
Then, there are a lot of finer details that are going to depend on what you want to accomplish with search and organic traffic.
Law Firm Location in Regards to Target Area
We’ve worked with law offices that were located up to an hour away from the main city or region they were trying to target. We recommended to them that they should seriously consider having at least a by-appointment or virtual office with an address in the city.
Because legal SEO is so localized (clients search for a lawyer nearby), that search engines like Google are going to put a heavy emphasis on only return a list of lawyers IN the target city. After all, there are more than enough of them to fill the first 10 pages of search results.
So… Why would Google show a law firm that’s an hour outside of that city?
It can be done, but it’s going to tack on a hefty additional fee to your monthly SEO services if you won’t even set up a virtual office because it is less genuine. I get it and I’m typically with our clients on the issues from a philosophical perspective, but we don’t get paid to ponder. We’re paid to get the result.
Scope of the contract and collaboration
The best SEO money can buy is known as “white-hat” or legitimate practices. Typically this works best when your law firm and attorneys are engaged in activities, sponsorships and notable events that spark a lot of buzz about your practice. That requires your firm’s time and attention.
Many lawyers don’t like this as it is counterproductive to how they think marketing and SEO should work. They pay a lot of money and in return, they see more clients from their investments and search visibility. In reality, the more involved your firm is, the easier it is to earn links and build authority for your firm and your website.
These activities are things like:
writing blog posts
contributing to other publications
sponsoring events, local groups, etc.