▷ Legislation agency advice: search engine optimization vs SEA

Since 2014, lawyers have had access to the full spectrum of advertising of most other companies. If they have permission to do so, they rarely show their services at the bus station or on television: they very quickly fall into advertisements in which Saul Goodman typed …

Lawyers, on the other hand, have thrown themselves into Google Ads. That’s right. CPC (cost-per-click) payments, easy access for independent and local businesses, and campaign discretion make it a great ally.

However, some questions arise. Does the lawyer simply want to gain clients or develop a clientele? Is Google Ads still the El Dorado promised to us? Are lawyers still interested in practicing paid referencing? Shouldn’t they rather favor natural and organic referencing, based on a solid editorial line, closer to the habits of their ancestors as experts?


SEA is simply an abbreviation of Search Engine Advertising: search engine advertising. Popular with local businesses, Google Adwords allows you to easily set up an effective campaign, and many agencies will offer you their services at a low cost.

Why is SEA interesting for a lawyer?

This marketing campaign offers you multiple benefits of targeting and visibility. You present your legal services to people who seek them out and target your potential client’s interest in your legal matter according to your location.

  • Current customer acquisition: Keyword purchases are current. Prepare your ads, link your bank account and win new files.
  • Very precise targeting : You can very precisely target your potential customers according to the keyword they type in the search engine and their place of residence.
  • Easily create a budget : This point will depend on the company and its size, but for independent and local companies it is very simple. If you’re only targeting your specialization for your bar, you don’t even need an agency. To understand the ads, you can watch Bruno Guyota’s videos.
  • Contact ads Website link, phone number, opening hours, address, price, call to action: Google Ads allows you to integrate a set of marketing tools that make it easier to contact your business.

What are the limitations of an SEA for a lawyer?

Lawyers present in Google Ads links are clones: sponsored links present in the same city have the same specialization, similar websites and services, all suggested by slaughter webmarketing agencies.

The competition is tough. Your ads will attract customers for a while, but your CPC increases every day. In Montpellier, for example, we find a price almost doubled in two years for certain legal entities. Each resulting file becomes less and less profitable.

SEO or natural referencing

A lawyer is a legal professional: he is an authority in his market and has a monopoly in litigation. He is an expert. If in 2014 only the acquisition of turnover was counted, today differentiation is needed. You are an expert and you have to show your expertise.

Your potential customers ask themselves a question, look for a solution to a problem, and discover your website. SEO is the modernization of the legal acquisition of old clients. Participation in conferences, lectures, participation in legal journals: all this editorial and educational work is now available to every lawyer and directly from his website.

What are the benefits of SEO for a lawyer?

SEO is like building a user base, looking at the long term and giving you more flexibility in targeting than Google Ads.

You can win over customers with commercial keywords, which are called “short tail”, such as “Lyon Law Firm”. This strategy is ideal for creating an automatic “file machine”.

In addition, you have the opportunity to go further and work on a so-called “long tail” keyword strategy on your website. In such a strategy, you will target keywords like this: “what process to take to conceal an inheritance?” In this case, and unlike Google AdS, you’re looking for specific topics and customers:

  • Legal experts;
  • Professionals in a particular sector;
  • Socio-professional category of potential client.

A solid SEO strategy uses both types of strategies: short and long tail. You combine the procurement of various files and create a base of future clientele, professional and specialized, ready to contact you for specific needs. By the way, I wrote an article about it.

  • Demonstration of your expertise: By doing an SEO strategy on specific customer segments, you can create the right professional newsroom. You answer all your customers’ questions on a very specific topic. Thanks to Google, you have been identified as the REAL on this topic.
  • Maximum profitability : If the initial costs are higher than in Ads, each position you get costs you nothing more in a few years: you automatically reduce the price per acquired file every day.
  • Sustainability : Positions gained in SEO are changeable until Google sees you as its champion. You have remained in the top position for several years since then.
  • Strengthen your brand image : By positioning yourself on the commercial keywords of your city, you establish your authority in your bar in the eyes of your customers. Google transfers its own authority to you.
  • Gaining notoriety : In SEO, you create a network of articles outside of your site and benefit from increasing your notoriety.
  • Accuracy in targeting : By working on specific keywords, you can target specific types of customers thanks to the induced intent of the request as well as its semantic field. Read this article to know more.

What are the limitations of SEO for a lawyer?

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

Even if the increase in CPC in the SEA increasingly falsifies this argument, SEO is generally more expensive to launch. On the other hand, each passing day increases the profitability of the position obtained in Google search results. SEO is one of the most profitable marketing channels.

I recommend lawyers to understand how referencing works, an integral part of the profession’s new practice: legal advice is now starting for free online.

Can you combine the two?

Both stocks have their strengths and weaknesses. If I am happy to recommend SEA to any of my clients, especially in the field of real estate development, I would recommend lawyers to combine the two.

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

By combining these two, you take up more space in the SERP and increase your chances of turning your potential customers into customers. You combine the speed of Google Ads execution with profitability as well as the wave of traffic that is inherent in the snowball effect of SEO.

The best of both worlds

Neither solution is perfect. Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages. However, I see that too many independent firms ignore SEO. A paradoxical situation when we know that it represents a demonstration of the expertise of lawyers at its peak: legal expertise is associated with mass distribution. The round is over.

Next time you’re thinking about growing your user base, joining a business network, having lunch again, or launching a Google Ads campaign, take a moment to work on your article.

about the author

Guilhem Delachapelle (SEO consultant): I am a natural consultant for lawyers. I support national companies with several partners, and even individual independent companies.


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