How Much Should I Spend on My Legal Marketing Campaign?

A realistic marketing budget for a law firm will depend on the following variables:

  • The size of your demographic market
  • The number of competing law firms for the same market
  • The number of practice areas you’re trying to target

Let’s go over each of these to see how they affect your marketing campaign.

Size of Market

This one is pretty straightforward: if you’re in a large city, you’re going to have to spend more than if you’re in a small town. For instance, if we do a keyword analysis of “Divorce lawyer in Seattle,” we find that AdWords clicks (PPC) are going to cost roughly $62.53 each; if you search “Divorce lawyer Spokane,” however, you’ll pay about $13.00. A larger city will have more people searching for specific key phrases, there’ll be more attorneys in the area, and it’s going to cost you more to rank well for those search terms.

Number of Competing Law Firms

This is also pretty straightforward: the more law firms you are competing with, the harder it’s going to be to rank well in Google.

Here are two searches that demonstrate this:

Search Term,Monthly Searches,# of Competitors,CPC Cost
Toledo Personal Injury Attorney,40,92,$30.46
Cleveland Personal Injury Attorney,90,124,$93.76

As we can see, a 25% increase in the number of competitors in these two markets results in a threefold increase in PPC costs. If you’re not prepared to move to a small town with no competition, you’re going to have to plan to invest in your web presence to compete. PPC costs are a fairly good indicator of the challenges associated with building organic ranking: if there are a lot of PPC competitors, you can assume that each of those firms in investing in content marketing, as well.

Number of Niches

First of all, it’s easier to target a narrow, specific niche than a general keyphrase. For instance, it’s much easier to rank well for “Peoria maritime lawyer” than it is for “Peoria lawyer.” This is the concept of long-tail search optimization, and it gives you an opportunity to start ranking your site in the search engines for very specific (but less competitive) keywords.

Secondly, if your firm has many different practice areas, you’ll need to focus content on each of those. If you work with divorce, personal injury, estate planning, and family law clients, you’ll need to build a section for each of those on your site with their own unique, keyword targeted content. This obviously becomes more difficult if you’re targeting multiple practice areas in a large city.

Starting Your Marketing Plan

Because of all the variables that go into developing a marketing plan for your firm, you’ll first need a careful analysis of areas of opportunity and an idea of how much work is involved.

The experts at Waxwing Legal are here to help you with that with our Complimentary Legal Marketing Analysis. This analysis provides you with a solid overview of what you’ll need to succeed.

If you have any questions about your legal marketing, give us a call or contact us here for more information.


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