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SEO vs PPC for Immigration Law Firms: Which To Use and How

Nanato Media

Does your law firm handle Immigration cases? Investing in PPC is the best decision you can make to get in front of your local market and sign more cases.

Everything digital has been on the rise in recent years, and this has been even more prominent nowadays, amid COVID-19. The days of social distancing and caution are not over, and the vast majority of people have moved their personal and professional lives online. If you’d ask us even before the pandemic, we’d explicitly tell you that traditional media (TV, Radio, Billboards, etc.) are not the option that will yield the maximum ROI for your law firm. This is more evident now, with people being more cautious, and less on the streets. Additionally, most events have been canceled and with them the opportunities for in-person community outreach. In today’s article, we’ll uncover the potential of bilingual PPC for Immigration attorneys, backing it up with actionable steps that can lead you to success.  

  • Let’s start by comparing TV and digital marketing for Immigration law firms. 

With television, you need to commit to a certain media buy, most of the time involving long-term commitment and hefty fees. Additionally, what you get is a spot without any immediate CTA (call to action). Viewers watch your ad, and if interested they have to write down your phone and then call you. With digital marketing, and especially PPC, on the other hand, you get to target high intent keywords coming from prospective clients that are actively searching for the services you provide. Someone might stop us here and say that TV is great for brand awareness, that can be true, but PPC can be effective in that area too; we’ll dig deeper into it later in the article.   

By now, you should already know that your law firm’s Return On Marketing Investment lies with digital marketing, but what should you opt for first? SEO or SEM?

  • Search Engine Marketing vs Search Engine Optimization for Immigration Law Firms

If you are getting familiar with the world of digital marketing for Immigration lawyers, the first consideration you have to make is about your strategy. The first path you can take is that of growing organic traffic with an SEO strategy. Showing up on the very top on the SERPs (or even position 0 with featured snippets) sounds great, but it comes with a long-term commitment and results that require time and constant efforts. Experienced SEOs insist that there is no shortcut to organic traffic, and you might start seeing results after six months, or even longer. That’s different if you invest in SEM; with carefully optimized PPC campaigns for your Immigration law firm, you can start getting traffic from the first day that you turn on your campaigns. Campaigns that target high intent keywords and follow all the best practices, can help you sign more cases from day one, and for as long as your ads stay active. 

Another point that differentiates PPC from SEO is intent. Organic traffic often means that your Immigration website will receive visitors that are in the informational phase, meaning that they are not ready to convert. This, of course, can be positive for the future, but won’t yield a countable ROI. PPC for Immigration law firms, on the other hand, can get you in front of the people who are in immediate need of your services. With highly relevant keywords, you can target people who are searching for an immigration attorney and are ready to call and sign. Let’s look at DACA cases, for example, that are back after the SCOTUS decision on June 18. With PPC, you can setup, and optimize your campaigns and in a few days, become visible to your prospective clients. If, for example, your law firm is located in Austin, TX, and you decide to invest in Google Ads for the keyword “attorney for DACA renewal near me”, your law firm can appear first, over any organic result. Additionally, with a fully optimized campaign, you will direct your clicks to relevant DACA landing pages that ensure to convey the right message without any distractions, bringing you one step closer to your next signed case.

If that’s not enough to opt for PPC before SEO for your Immigration digital marketing, we have more for you. Google Ads, allows you to add device-level targeting. If you follow this strategy, you can choose to split your campaigns between mobile and desktop. Mobile queries are known for higher intent, meaning that such a search can result in an immediate phone call with a simple tap on the searcher’s phone. This doesn’t mean that you should forget about the desktop though, it has been gaining ground lately, and with the right approach, it can prove to be a crucial component of your success with attorney digital marketing.  

Finally, let’s explore branded ads. Have you ever searched your law firm’s name on Google? If you perform such a query, you might be surprised to see your competitors showing ads over your organic results. What does this mean? You might be missing out on opportunities for new cases, and the worst is that these searchers showed initial intent to connect with you, probably coming from some of your complimentary marketing activities. This doesn’t violate Google’s terms (unless they are showing an ad pretending they are you), and the only way to stop bleeding leads is by showing branded ads for your Immigration law firm

  • Investing in Spanish Google Ads for your Immigration law firm can prove to be your best decision. 

According to the previous census, the Latinx population represents over 18% in the US. Hispanics are often bilingual or prefer Spanish as their primary language, and they often do it for cultural and emotional reasons. Moreover, they are a growing demographic, with increased spending power, and they use their mobile devices, on average, more than English speakers. If these aren’t enough, combine them with the fact that queries in Spanish have relatively cheaper CPC than in English. Taking all these into consideration, it’s safe to say that Spanish speakers represent the ideal audience for your Immigration law firm’s PPC. If you need help with your bilingual Immigration PPC, don’t hesitate to contact us.  We speak to Hispanics culturally, and we help your law firm create the necessary emotional bonds with them through various optimizations, keyword research, content transcreation, and highly relevant landing pages that convert.   

Below you will find the statistics from the most recent census:

  • The Display Network and Facebook Ads can contribute to your success.

Law firms often concentrate on the Search Network with Google Ads and forget about the added value of the Display Network and Facebook Ads. We don’t suggest that they can be standalone strategies, without the solid foundation Google Ads provide, but if you research and digest the benefits they offer, then you can get a lot in return for your Immigration law firm with a lower CPA. Based on our experience, they are both effective as tools for remarketing/retargeting and brand awareness (remember we talked about it earlier in the article?). We’ll try to explain it with two results.

Facebook Ads, can help you with specific location targeting for your campaigns. If next to that you add the matching interests, you can create a customer profile that fits your needs. Let’s imagine that you are an attorney based in Houston, and you want to retarget people who can potentially be interested in your Immigration services. With a simple Google Search, you can identify places of interest, such as the Houston Immigration Department, and add it as your desired location. Additionally, you can include interests, for example, immigration, and/or immigration law. That way, you improve your chances of targeting the right Facebook users, getting in front of them when they need you the most.    

Remember: The #StopHateForProfit initiative is ongoing during July. You might want to consider your strategy and your alternatives before proceeding. 

Google Display Ads, can help you retarget people who have already visited your website (organically, paid ad), but haven’t converted yet. If you set up your tracking, you will be able to identify former visitors and show your banner ads on other websites they enjoy browsing. This means that you are not leaving anything on the plate, you get to appear to searchers who are already familiar with your Immigration law services and your law firm and might just need a little more time before they convert to signed clients.  


What are the key takeaways?

  • PPC, can yield immediate ROI for your Immigration law firm. If you are looking for cases from the day you turn on your campaigns, then this is your obvious choice.
  • Google Ads in Spanish is an opportunity that some Immigration law firms disregard. If you don’t start investing in bilingual PPC, then you might be missing out on your biggest opportunity. 
  • Don’t forget that PPC includes the Display Network and Facebook Ads. 
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