Organic Search Results Are A Marketplace

Jeff Berman
June 15, 2011

I was speaking with a personal injury lawyer the other day about his search marketing campaign. The lawyer practices in a very large, extremely competitive market for personal injury. He explained to me that he wasn't getting a lot of results with his current efforts. He had hired a company and was spending approximately $400 total a month on his organic search marketing. He asked if I could take a look at his campaign as well as the competition in the area and make some recommendations.

Understanding The Competitive Landscape

I performed a thorough competitive analysis to assess what the leading personal injury firms in the area were doing online. I looked at the back link profiles of the firms, the various websites and blogs each had, the legal marketing companies they used, the link networks they were accessing, directories they were in, the content strategy for each, etc.

Once I had performed this analysis, I could begin to make recommendations for what it would take to compete in the area.

Understanding That This Is A Marketplace

The first step in structuring a campaign is understanding that the organic search results are a marketplace. For any given search, there are only 10 available spots on the first page of Google. Of those 10 spots, the lions share of the clicks are going to the first 3 organic spots (with over 50% of going to the first result). In short, this is a winner-take-all game.

This is important because when assessing the competitive landscape, if we determine that the top 5-10 competitors in an area are spending on average $5k - $7k a month on their search marketing efforts, we aren't going to be able to compete with them at $400 a month. This doesn't mean that some company isn't willing to sell you on the idea that you can. It simply means that you shouldn't be surprised when the results are lackluster at best.

More Investment Means Access To More Resources

Many firms are surprised when we break down the investments that others are making. When you see that a firm is paying for an in-house content writer, listings in all the top legal directories, blogs with 2 different legal blogging networks, a top notch SEO firm, etc. you get a better idea of the totality of the investment.

The most important takeaway is that if you want to truly compete in the organic search results, you need to be willing to invest appropriately to do so. If you are trying to get the results of the top performers at a discounted rate, you are only fooling yourself. You will not get the results you desire and frankly you are probably better off investing in some other form of advertising or marketing.

Photo by decade_null (https://www.flickr.com/photos/decade_null/)

Jeff Berman
Jeff Berman, is co-founder of AttorneySync. "Properly marketing a law firm online is about producing relevant content that helps a prospective client understand your expertise and how you are able to help them. Finally, it’s about getting that content found by the people you are trying to help."
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
1 Comment
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Alex
13 years ago

Great Post Jeff.  This is a true statement. Competeing organically takes time and is smart  investment in your law firms future.

Let's Discuss Your Growth

Helping law firms grow profitably with digital marketing and can prove it.

Barry Conybeare

We are so impressed with AttorneySync and their digital marketing services. We started with an audit of our digital presence and hired them thereafter. Fixes to the website and other platforms quickly followed and we have seen a substantial increase in online traffic, new client calls, and new client contracts. Strongly recommend AttorneySync!

Let's Talk

How can we help?

More From Our Blog

June 8, 2023
On Local Law Firm SEO Rank Tracking and Reporting

Over the years, law firm prospects have sent us reports from just about all of our competitors. Unfortunately, even today, some law firm marketing agencies still mislead their clients via "reporting." One particularly egregious example comes in the form of ranking reports. Which prompted this LinkedIn post. To my surprise, I received a lot of […]

Read More
June 7, 2023
On Attribution

John Wanamaker supposedly said "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half." In an an effort to figure out "what half is working," attribution was born. Coupled with a transition from traditional, offline ads to digital media, attribution became the holy grail for analyzing advertising spends. But […]

Read More
March 22, 2023
I asked ChatGPT to Recommend a Personal Injury Law Firm

I recently asked ChatGPT, "What are some of the top personal injury law firms in Chicago?? Actually, first I ask "who are some of the top personal injury lawyers in Chicago?" ChatGPT couldn't handle that one, so I modified the prompt. ChatGPT listed five very well-known firms downtown. Can you guess the other four? That's […]

Read More
February 17, 2023
My Take on Google Search's Guidance on AI-Generated Content & Law Firm SEO

If you're like me, you have some degree of AI, ChatGBT, Bard, exhaustion. Now don't get me wrong, this is stuff is remarkable and is changing, well, a lot. But before you hook up the ChatGPT API to your WordPress API and crank out 10,000 pages, here are a few things to think about. Let's […]

Read More
February 16, 2023
Google Adds New SEO Best Practices for Links

If you know me, you know my opinions about links and SEO advice from Google. If you don't, here's the TL;DR: Meh, links! Meaning, all things being equal, links still remain a competitive difference maker for ranking. Take Google's SEO advice with several grains of salt. Google has no economic incentive to help your site […]

Read More
February 1, 2023
Authenticity & Engagement

The best marketing advice I can give you is to be authentic. Of course, you don't find that very helpful in terms of meeting your growth goals. So, you might decide to game the system. As I'm writing this, one of the more popular ways to gain the system is to pay for engagement. This […]

Read More
January 19, 2023
ChatGPT for Legal Marketing

The following post was written by ChatGPT. ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, is a state-of-the-art language model that can generate human-like text based on a given prompt or context. This technology has the potential to revolutionize the way that businesses, including law firms, market themselves to potential clients. One way that a law firm could use […]

Read More
May 26, 2022
SEO Expectations for Law Firms

How long does SEO take? When can I expect to see results? What results should I expect to see? These are all reasonable questions that we field from lawyers every day. And, like many legal answers, the answer is: It depends. Yes, I know that's not the answer you wanted. But it's the most honest […]

Read More
May 6, 2022
Who Should Do Marketing?

And how much time should they spend doing it? I recently had the privilege of chatting with Tyson, Jim, and Conrad for an upcoming episode of The Maximum Lawyer Podcast. If you're not familiar with The Maximum Lawyer community, you should definitely check it out. Jim asked a really great question about who should do […]

Read More

Let's Discuss

Questions or comments? Let's discuss on social!
envelope
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram