SEO, SEM, PPC: What’s The Difference?

Fuel Web Marketing | SEO | August 1, 2022

The legal industry continues to be more competitive with each passing year, while traditional advertising goes the way of the dinosaur. As a lawyer, your website is the key ingredient to getting you in front of the clients you are looking for. But if these clients can’t find your site, your website does you little good. How does legal internet marketing work to enhance your visibility in a sea of thousands of other attorneys looking for that same set of clients?

Internet Marketing

The internet has become our source for nearly everything in today’s digital world. When we look for answers to a question, a product, or a service, the place most of us start is with a web search query. The web then serves up answers to our questions or listings for companies that provide the services we are looking for. We get this information in order of importance, depending on how that search engine ranks various websites. Internet marketing is developing strategies to move a site closer to the top of that list to increase its visibility.

What is SEM?

SEM, or search engine marketing, is the umbrella under which many different internet marketing strategies fall. The goal of SEM, through both paid and unpaid tactics, is to increase the visibility of a website on a search engine. Research has repeatedly found the same thing over the years: most people never go to the second page of a web search.

SEM management are processes site owners use to optimize their website or ads to get as high in position as possible toward and onto that first search page. SEO and PPC are methods by which a site owner can do this.

What is SEO?

SEO, or search engine optimization, is how a website organically ranks on a search engine considering multiple factors. It implements various techniques to increase a website’s rankings to get on the first page of search results. The primary objective of SEO management is to get more traffic by getting it to that first page of search results. But in addition to more traffic, good legal SEO management also offers site recognition and trust. Competition is fierce and first page results have proven themselves to be worthy in the eyes of the search engine.

Because it is organic, SEO management looks at the long-term big picture. It takes time and skill to build first-page-worthy results and is not a short-term quick fix.

What is PPC?

PPC stands for pay-per-click listings. This is a form of paid advertising that offers better page position for a fee. Search engines determine how valuable a targeted keyword is. Based on that value, the listing owner targeting that specific keyword will pay a fee each time someone clicks on their listing, no matter the outcome of that click. Consequently, although it does offer better page position, PPC can be a more costly option without a guarantee of client conversions.

While SEO takes time to build organic results, PPC marketing can offer a law firm quicker access to clients. Because of the cost, professional PPC management must weigh the potential competition, profitability, and conversion rate of keywords to understand how effective it may be.

Professional Legal Search Engine Marketing

Law firms are all vying for visibility and traffic, and professional marketing assistance can be key in a competitive environment. With a professionally developed search engine marketing campaign, PPC and SEO can complement each other well, offering both short-term and long-term solutions for your law firm marketing efforts.

At Fuel Web Marketing, we are expert internet marketing professionals focused on the legal industry. We offer our clients some of the most advanced search engine marketing management tools available to help them obtain the visibility they need. Call us at (888) 375-3835 or contact us online to speak with one of our client development consultants to understand how we can help your law firm marketing strategies.