SEO Guys: My Clicks are Better than Your Clicks

Who do you trust more?

A server?


or your friend Julio?


This article explains why search engine traffic (“SEO”) and Pay Per Click (“PPC”) are not completely worthless, just in fact worth LESS than social media driven traffic.

How much would you pay to have someone visit your website?  Most of you would reply, “nothing.”  But there is actually a market for visitors.  Through google adwords lawyers and other professionals are buying visitors ever minute of every day.  This is also known as PPC.  I ran a search to see how much the going rate is for a few types of law.


How about for a personal injury attorney?  If a personal injury attorney wants their website to come up when somebody types “automobile accident lawyers” they have to pay $30.44 PER CLICK- and there is a TON of competition.  To get on the first page with SEO it would likely cost even more because the top personal injury firms are literally throwing money at search terms to bring in more business.

How many clicks does it take for them to actually get a client?  From my interviewing various firms we will use the number 1,000.  It takes 1,000 visitors to a particular law firm site through SEO and PPC to sign up a client.  So basically, to use PPC it costs the average personal injury firm $30,440 to bring in a single client through PPC advertising.

Well here is the crazy part- Mesothelioma (the type of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos) is a search term worth $400 PER CLICK.  At the same close rate, this costs a law firm $400,000 to sign up ONE new client. That is some crazy competition driving the prices up- and no guarantee that the case will be successful.


I generate free clicks from social media sites like Twitter.  I am going to explain why the traffic is BETTER, and how even busy attorneys can afford to spend time blogging.  You see, the social media generated traffic is better for two reasons: (1) the individuals are interested in the subject matter of the title, or they wouldn’t have clicked on it. (2) they click on the link with a higher level of trust because they know the author of the article, or at least the reputation of the individual sharing the link.

Who do you trust for quality articles?  An algorithim, or the friend you just got done talking football or cooking with?

I could write an article about Mesothelioma if I like, and tweet it out to drive traffic.  In fact, just by placing the term in my headline, I can get some of that sweet $400 per click traffic at a significantly lower price.  It isn’t actually FREE, it does require my time to write an article, but how long does it take to write a blog post? Not long.

Here is just one more way that blogging is worth an attorney’s time.  Say the attorney bills out at $250 per hour, and they generate traffic somewhere in the range of 100 unique visitors to each blog post, and assume the blog post takes 1 hour to write.  Check the PPC pricing.  How much would it cost to generate related traffic on the open market?  If the price is higher than $2.50 per click, than it is a good use of the attorney’s time to blog for an hour each week, or even every day.  Here is the PPC for just a few search terms according to adwords:

tax attorney $26.20 per click

malpractice lawyers $17.04 per click

bankruptcy lawyer $8.46 per click

But keep in mind, this is ASSUMING that the PPC visitors are the same as the visitors from social media sites like Twitter.  They aren’t- the clicks from social media sites are MORE valuable.  To explain this, lets take a quick look at the funnel.  For those that have been to my Social Media Boot Camp, you have heard all about the funnel.

funnelTop of the funnel- EXPOSURE- SEO or PPC puts your name in front of those searching.

CLICKS- Those people who have seen your site in the search click on it, and in an instant decide to stay on your site or to leave.

SITE VISITORS- Those who stay for more than 5 seconds become visitors.  Keep in mind that only a small fraction of people who see your site in their search will actually click on it, and a small percentage of those will actually read your site.

ACTION- For my site about 1 in ever 120 visitors takes an action.  Either they grab a free chapter of my book, sign up for my free conference call, or call me on the phone.  For most law firm websites, the conversion rates are even lower- because they don’t have a site designed to convert, they have a site designed to generate traffic. (Read more about this at Street Fight Between SEO and Bloggers)  They have it all backwards- why spend so much time, energy, and money on traffic – when you can’t convert the visitors into action takers?


The big advantage for social media clicks is that they come referred with some serious street cred.  This wasn’t an algorithim or some attorney’s credit card that put my link in your face- it was likely one of your peers.  In a few moments when I finish writing this post I will blast it out to 36,000 Twitter followers, about 800 Facebook friends, and my LinkedIn people.  This means that nearly 100% of those who click on my site through social media, are REAL visitors.  They know me, or at least have some level of familiarity with me.  I get to skip a couple of steps- my CLICKS enter the funnel as qualified visitors.

If you want to keep paying thousands of dollars for random clicks from complete strangers, be my guest- but why not just take the time to share your knowledge of acccidents, mesothelioma law,  or tax law through social media and blogging.  You will get a higher return on investment, plus you can tell all your hipster friends that you are busting out some mad tweets to bring in business.

Join the conversation! We would love to have you join us on our call this coming Friday at 10:00 AM EST entitled, “Twitter Etiquette: Play Nice, Make Money”.


Click HERE to sign up for the next call.


13 Responses to “SEO Guys: My Clicks are Better than Your Clicks”

  1. Hey, nice picture! Adrian, this is such a great post, even with my ugly mug. But it is so true: the shift from the old way of Internet Marketing (automatic, passive click engagement, I would even argue as being lazy) to the new way of marketing (social media, active engagement, personal branding, true connection) has already begun and those that realize the power of this tidal wave and ride in front of it, will greatly benefit. Nice post, my friend.

  2. Excellent article, Adrian – but I’m not so sure I can call social media clicks better than SEO clicks or PPC clicks. They are different clicks, neither better nor worse.

    If you’re selling a product or service, PPC clicks stem from searchers with a commercial intent. They’re online to search for something they can buy to cure what ails them, and their click is not a casual one.

    SEO clicks are people who have self-identified as having a question or a problem. They may not be in a buying mood quite yet, and perhaps are merely doing the research prior to making a buying decision. By having a solid SEO strategy in place, a lawyer gets to be the one who provides the information. In so doing, the lawyer establishes himself or herself as the most reliable expert on the topic at hand.

    Social media traffic, however, comes from those who have already taken the step of stepping into your circle. They may be friends, colleagues, prospective clients, or passers-by. Their clicks are valuable because they have qualified themselves in different ways than searchers.

    Your article presupposes that Julio will pass along your blog post to someone else, or that he will care enough about this particular post to click and read it. Maybe he will, maybe he won’t. The reality is that we just don’t know, and can’t glean searcher intent (commercial v. non-commercial) on the basis of social networking clicks. Yet.

    For now, real time search is without a filter. Therefore, those seeking help with legal problems need to wade through the spam results, which is frustrating and counter-productive. Until such time as a good filtering algorithm is developed and implemented, the real time web will be less likely to produce a “better” or “worse” click than SEO and PPC.

    • Great points John.

      PPC clicks are commercial, and they are targeted for a person looking for that particular term, however they come with a certain level of distrust- they need to be sold by the content on the page and they only have the quality of the site design to get them there.

      Social media traffic arrives on a different level of confidence, and the personal relationships make the creators of the site far more approachable, and more likely to engage.

      I disagree that there is no filter, I think the filter is your network. The individuals I follow closely – pass on good content. Doing a real time search on Twitter is another story.

      Your comment is much appreciated.

  3. Slavica says:

    I am glad for you beat that famous PPC Pay Per Clicks;i didn’t use it../have no need,because i wasn’t in business online;it /PPC/seemed to me like goods without proper advertising,something so usual and without attraction to make me stop by and look at/it happened by error to click to PPC and went back immediately/.Thank you for disclosure what value of PPC is.I liked your opinions and share them.As you can see by my comment you earned my Trust ,you are one of the first persons online i really have confidence ;it is no by accident that Julio is also a trustful person and i follow him/his blog is connected to my one/.And that familiarity has been gained by Twitter as well,that is you right;spending much time together and making some relationships.I am sorry for having no possibility to be more involved in your activities/known i am abroad/ but all is important t to me and i like being present as much as it is possible. thank you for great article.

    • Slavica,

      It is my pleasure to have a visitor representing Eastern Europe on the blog. This is a big compliment. I hope I can share with you information that can help you build your business and achieve your goals.

      Thanks for the comment!

  4. Greg George says:

    Several excellent points… key I think is the trust and credibility you establish by interacting with your Twitter friends and LinkedIn colleagues – and I do mean taking the time to personally interact; answer questions, and help others, or its not going to work. And, I agree with Adrian on his “filter” comment – I have learned your friends are the filter, they will ignore the bs, and only push quality content of other friends –

    One note on building trust and credibility, and it does disturb me as I review profiles and various posts – there are many (many, many) out there claiming to be experts, guru’s, master coaches etc etc… you know the drill –

    1. I would never hire anyone that stated that… 2. Let others position you as an expert in your field. If you are truly an expert – this will happen in due course, and happen often.

  5. MLTSam says:

    Wow, great points! Like you, I would argue that PPC is not a complete waste of money, but there are much more cost effective methods for attracting interested visitors. It is amazing that mesothelioma costs $400 per click. If more businesses realized the high cost of PPC campaigns, they would see the value in investing in organic results and taking the time to engage in social media.

    Thanks for the insight!

  6. Nick LeRoy says:

    I just RT you on Twitter 🙂

    The only problem I have with social media clicks is that in my opinion are not nearly as “targeted” as SEO or PPC. Yes SEO and PPC are considerably more expensive but if it costs me $100 to get 50 visitors in which 5 might buy the product I think that it is better than spending a couple hours writing a fantastic article in which 1000 people see it but only 1 person actually buys.

    SEO and PPC is targeted for people who are looking for your product/service. Social Media will get you the clicks but these people might have zero interest in any of your products.

    • I get that, I do.

      Random articles will truly get you random traffic, and that isn’t good for anybody.

      My article “7 Levels of Twitter Followers” got my 2,000 visitors in 2 days, but the lowest conversion rate I have ever seen. It wasn’t topical, so obviously not a big help to business.

      A fantastic article, in my opinion would help solve a problem that MY prospective customer has. In that way the articles- and the traffic – would be very targeted.

  7. Donna Krstec says:

    Some good advice, especially trying to help lawyers understand they do not need to throw their $$ away w/PPCs! I will never understand that. But, one area that you did neglect to mention regarding SEO are the organic results. Using a combination of the old tried and true SEO Basics, incoming links and Social Media continues to garner high organic results for all of my clients — and I’m talking Google here. For a mere fraction of the tens of thousands NJ lawyers spend yearly on AdWords and the like, I get my clients top organics !

    Thanks for letting me speak my mind, and pls continue to do what you do — no better way to hone our skills than by sparring ideas off each other 🙂


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