Lawyers and the legal industry, in general, has a big problem. Most lawyers and their law firms in the United States has been taken advantaged by fly-by-night SEO agencies. These so-called “SEO Experts” promised law firms, big results for a lower price compared to established SEO agencies. Most of these companies keep on getting money from lawyers and law firms until their clients realize that their website hasn’t improved since they hire “experts.” We all know good SEO is not cheap and cheap SEO is not good. If you want your website to rank higher using organic search results with competitive keywords, you have to spend at least $1000. If someone offers you a service for less than $1000 per month, link building, SEO and content, that’s is most probably a scam. You will be throwing away your money with that kind of deal. The question is why do people still bite this kind of fraud? There are reasons why law firms are looking for a new SEO partner. Here are some of the biggest reasons why they decided to drop their SEO partners or avoid fly-by-night agencies.
Find someone passionate about SEO
There’s a big difference between someone who likes to do SEO, and someone who does it for money and most lawyers and law firms can’t distinguish the difference between the two. There’s also a big difference between SEO specialist and web developers. And they don’t recognize it either. Most people in the legal industry hire people to build them their website at the same time they let those people do the SEO for them. Developers don’t know anything about the SEO world or anything about link building. Your SEO experts should know how to write or edit content, diagnose or fix SEO related problems or have experience on how to do search engine marketing. Some web developers, for the love of money, claims that they know SEO or link building, but knowing a little bit of SEO won’t cut it.A real SEO expert should know how to show what a good SEO strategy is and they should have before, and after case studies of the clients, they are handling. They should know how to answer any questions regarding link building and especially about Search Engine Optimization. They should know how to demonstrate and grow organic followers or traffic and can make their client’s website keyword rank over time. They should also know how to show their clients the actual data from analytic tools like Alexa. If they can’t show you how it works, stay away from them. Web design and SEO is not the same. Hiring a web designer or developer to do SEO for your law firm is not a good idea.
Mismanagement and poor communication between client and partners
Most big law firms who pay $1000-10,000 for SEO services and gets a monthly update using Google Analytic don’t know anything about the reports their SEO partners are giving them. Many of the lawyers don’t know what the charts and terms in the report mean. One of the main problems is the lack of communication between law firms and their Search Engine Optimization partners. That’s the reason why most firms and lawyers are looking for a more trusted SEO partner. Monthly reports are not enough. A trusted SEO partner should make their client feel comfortable by giving them a small walk-through of the SEO process. Show their clients everything they are doing with their website and how to improve the site’s rankings. Weekly meeting with the client is a must. Either face-to-face, phone call or video chat meetings, it gives the clients assurance that their partners are doing what they are paid to do and clients can see their money’s worth.
Tracking is a must
The first thing a good SEO partner do for their client is set-up tracking like Google Analytic goal and events, call monitoring, etc. If we do SEO campaign for a client, we have to know if what we are doing is working. For example, if a law firm is getting 10 phone calls a day, and after six months of doing link building and SEO campaigns they are still getting 10 phone calls a day or worse, then we have to understand that the job we are doing for that law firm is not working and we have to adjust our tactics and strategies. Setting goals for the website to meet or exceed are one of the reasons why tracking is essential in doing SEO. Partners should have data and evidence to show law firms about how their site is doing and adjust if there’s a problem. Experts should put up a proper tracking code so that they can point out which pages on their website are not converting. For example, by setting up phone call tracking, SEO partners can know if the contents they are posting or publishing are generating calls for the client. SEO experts should remember, anything that is not measured cannot be improved. If they have no data on hand, they will be just guessing.
(To know more about page rank and how Google ranking works, visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PageRank)
Stop switching agencies too often. Switching SEO partner every six months is insane and bound to fail. If you are a practicing lawyer or in a legal industry and planning to hire an SEO or marketing partner you have to remember some pointers:
Find someone who has experience in Search Engine Optimization or digital marketing.
Always ask for references from other lawyers or law firms.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, especially things that you don’t understand
Communicate with your SEO partners.
And lastly, educate yourself.