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Deciphering Lawyer SEO Prices

Sep 15, 2015

Deciphering SEO pricing is one of the craziest things possible. If you’re a lawyer, or frankly any other business, figuring out whether the cost of SEO services you’re getting are realistic, or not – is difficult.

When you buy a piece of furniture, you see it – you know it’s there, and you know you’re getting it, if you pay for it. That’s not the case though, with SEO. Search engine optimization is an abstract service. It’s not something as simple as doing a press release. You can’t just buy, “good rankings,” in search engines. SEO consist of a number of “sub-services,” such as creating local listings, creating content, creating high quality backlinks via: press releases, manual out-reach to other websites. SEO, and consequently, high rankings, is the result of doing numerous services.

So invariably, because of how generic that sounded – the question becomes: how do I know what to pay for SEO?

In our experience, most legal seo vendors price based on two things

  • Results based pricing – this is the vendor, knowing the competition, and trying to equate the “amount,” of work needed into tangible dollar spend which will generate the results desired in a likely and reasonable period of time. Vendors who price based on realistic estimates of quantity of work needed – will always throw a higher dollar amount at you. Assuming they do whatever they claim they will – you’ll get the results you desire.
  • Let’s see what we can get – This is the type of pricing most legal SEO companies charge. They are only focused on closing the deal, and will try to get whatever they can out of you. While they will take into account the competition, they’ll realize that the budget the client can afford versus what they need to spend are very different. If the difference is too big – the SEO company will try to get the most possible + pray for the best. This is the class of SEO vendors that give the industry a bad name, to be frank.
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If you’re in a competitive sphere, such as Los Angeles, NYC, it doesn’t matter what type of law you practice – it’s going to cost you a pretty penny. Simply put, these markets are over-saturated, with there being hundreds of thousands of lawyers in bigger cities. With cities like Los Angeles have a population of 4-5 million, it’s not unreasonable to assume there will be increased competition. In order to be king of the hill, your budget will need to match the scale and ferociousness of other competitors. That means, if an SEO vendor says, “For $500 i’ll get you to page 1 of Google for Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer,” – run immediately.

tip: if your competition has been spending $4000 per month, for 24 months, he/she has spent an aggregate amount of $96,000 on SEO services. Regardless of how long you spend $500 per month, there’s no chance you’ll ever be able to come to the amount of spend(which is correlated to amount of work) the other law firm has performed.

Typically, law firms in competitive cities like NYC, Los Angeles, and Chicago, pay anywhere from $2500 – $5000 per month on SEO services. Why the big range? Well, personal injury – for example, is easier than bankruptcy. In many cases, if you work with a bigger firm like Lexus Nexus, Justia, or FindLaw, your monthly bill will be higher than $5000

Why? – Well that brings me to my next point


The Firm You Hire

The firm you hire will greatly influence the amount of money you spend every month on SEO efforts. Bigger firms, like FindLaw – have more salaries, and more expenses to pay. That directly translates into bigger monthly retainers they HAVE to charge clients in order to not only cover expenses, but also be profitable. Bigger firms, servicing lawyers in bigger cities, often charge an additional 25-40% on top of the $2500-$5000 estimate we gave above. It’s typical for lawyers to have hefty bills, especially in a city like NYC.

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The Caliber of Work Being Done

Not all firms can deliver the same quality of work. For example, writing an article and submitting it to, versus cultivating a relationship and getting a backlink from – are two very different tasks. The difference in quality of work, not only translates into higher search engine rankings – but translates into higher, or lower spend. If the legal SEO vendor you’re looking to hire sends you examples of work that have low quality links, then you should expect a lower retainer. But, if a firm says they can help you get featured in places like Forbes, or quoted in Entrepreneur – now you’re in a totally different ballpark.