The decision to take the leap into the 21st century and hire an SEO professional to market your law firm’s website may be one of the most important steps in your marketing program. Securing the right SEO team can make all the difference between improving your site and its ranking on the search engines and causing major headaches to your site and to your reputation.
As in any other field of endeavor, there are SEO professionals that are at the top of their game and are uncompromising in their dedication to adhering to the best practices as outlined by Google, and there are those irresponsible practitioners that cut corners to achieve quick, but fleeting success. These quick and dirty methods are referred to as “black hat” tactics and ultimately will do more damage than good to your Internet marketing program.
The following information is excerpted from Google’s own guidelines to provide you with a useful outline of some of the criteria to consider when you are in the process of hiring a web-marketing group for your law firm.
It is important to realize that Google offers both organic search results and paid advertisements which are displayed as “Sponsored Links”. Participation in the pay-per-click advertising program has absolutely no influence on how your website performs in the organic search results. Google never accepts compensation for ranking websites in the search results. That is why the results are referred to as organic or natural.
Although a skilled SEO professional can greatly improve the page ranking of an existing site, if you are considering the redesign of your current attorney web site or the construction of a new site for your law firm, now is the time to also begin the search for an SEO marketing partner. Designing and constructing a site with an eye towards making the site as search engine friendly as possible is the optimum way to achieve your goals as quickly as possible. Making the investment at the design stage will pay dividends for as long as you have your website.
The following are some of the areas of expertise that SEO consultants can provide to attorneys with existing websites:
- Site architecture & content analysis
- Technical advice on website development
- Content creation
- Management of online business development campaigns
- Keyword research
- Market specific targeting
While many of the techniques that a highly trained SEO utilizes may be proprietary, there are certain questions that will be helpful in your search for the best web-marketing partner for your law firm.
Here are a few examples:
- Can you provide some case studies of your past successes and examples of your design work?
- Do you follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines?
- How do you measure your success? Unique visitors? Conversions?
- How long will it take to see results and what do you project?
- What’s your experience with law firms and attorneys?
- What’s your experience in my city/state?
- What is your overall SEO philosophy?
- How long have you been in business?
- Will you keep me abreast of all the changes you make to my site, and provide detailed information about your recommendations and the reasoning behind them?
In addition to obtaining answers to the questions above, there are certain warning signs to be aware of since efforts to “fool” the search engine algorithms or techniques that violate any of Google’s guidelines can result in an unfavorable listing or even a delisting of your website.
- Be wary of SEO firms and web consultants that send you unsolicited email and make promises that are too good to be true.
- Be cautious if you are promised a #1 ranking on Google.
- Be cautious if a firm is unwilling to explain their program and any modifications to your website.
- Know how your money is being spent. Don’t be fooled by pay-for-inclusion results on search engines other than Google. Pay-per-click is not the same as natural searches.
- Be cautious of any SEO that promises a special relationship with Google or other search engines. Results are based on a very complex algorithm, not who you know.
- More than anything else trust your intuition as an attorney. If it feels wrong, it probably is.
As is true for all of your other law firm marketing efforts, if you do your due diligence on and off the Internet, ask the right questions and find an SEO marketing partner you trust, growing your practice is within your reach. Take the time to find the right professionals with a clear plan and strategy, as there are many out there who are only interested in making a fast buck at the expense of attorneys and others that only want to advance their business.
Press Release Contact Information:Kevin Quinlan –
Lawyer Marketing 101 (A Division of Cepac Lawyer Search Engine Marketing) 208 East 51st Street
New York NY 10022