Do you want to increase your traffic from search engines? If you are considering hiring an SEO company for your law firm, there are several things to consider. In this post, we have a guide on how to choose the best SEO company for lawyers and law firms.
Your Options for Improving SEO
Is an SEO company your only choice when it comes to getting help to improve your search engine optimization? Not necessarily. Some law firms choose the following options.
The first option is likely the least appealing, and that’s doing it yourself. If you’re just starting out, have zero clients, and have a huge interest in all things digital marketing, this might an avenue you might want to pursue to get things started.
This would entail setting up your own website, creating your website content, and optimizing it for search. From there, you would have to branch out and create your social media profiles, pages, and groups (if applicable). You would then need to claim your local listings and start answering questions from your local community.
While you can learn and do all of these things – especially if nothing else is going on – it’s important to note the time it all takes to maintain. Especially if you get into content creation, social media, influencer outreach, link building, and other tactics that involve daily maintenance.
One option for improving your website’s SEO is to hire an in-house employee. SEO Specialists, according to Glassdoor, make an average of $49,589 per year.
Depending on whether you choose to hire a contract, part-time, or full-time employee, you may also have to include benefits, training, and other HR costs. This would make your annual SEO costs the cost of your employee’s salary plus any additional SEO tools, continuing education, and other expenses.
Another route, if you only want to hire someone on contract, is to hire a freelance consultant. This will allow you to only have to pay the hourly costs of the consultant themselves as they work on your law firm’s SEO.
Working with a freelance consultant gives you the flexibility of having someone on-call for when you want to work on your law firm’s marketing. If it’s been a good quarter, you can invest more. If it’s been bad, you can cut back – something you can’t do with an in-house employee.
Why do people end up choosing an SEO company over an in-house employee or freelance consultant? With an SEO company, you’re not just working with one person.
You may luck out and have an SEO savant in-house or as a consultant. But ultimately, if you hire someone, you will be relying solely on their SEO knowledge, experience, and judgment calls.
With an SEO company, your law firm’s SEO is typically handled by multiple people. You will have people who specialize in specific aspects of digital marketing working hard on your SEO campaign. Depending on the size of the SEO company (and your budget) there will be a myriad of people working on your campaign who specialize in:
- Keyword and competitor research
- Technical SEO and audits
- Link building
- Local search marketing
- PR and outreach
- Content creation and marketing
- Social media marketing
- Online advertising (PPC, display, video, native, social media, search, etc.)
- Email marketing
What do all of these things have to do with SEO? Everything. Ultimately, if you aren’t trying to convert every visitor from organic into a customer, lead, or email subscriber, why are you trying to get traffic to your law firm’s website in the first place?
Each social media profile, local search profile, legal professional listing, piece of content, and advertisement for your business will boost your law firm’s visibility in search engines. This includes search engines like Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Yelp, and any other network that you create a profile, listing, and content in.
The goal of any SEO company is to make your law firm discoverable everywhere your clients go online.
Also, you can’t rely solely on one source of traffic. Every business should use a mix of search, social, email, content, and advertising to reach the most potential customers possible. Law firms are no exception. SEO companies that want to help their clients succeed typically help them by ensuring they have multiple sources of traffic entering their sales funnel.
How to Choose the Best SEO Company for Lawyers
Ready to choose an SEO company for your law firm? There are plenty of SEO companies to choose from. Here are some things to consider when making your final decision.
Does the SEO company have experience working with law firms?
This is an important question, whether you are hiring an SEO company, consultant, or in-house employee. Do they have experience working with law firms or attorneys?
The first thing you want to ensure is that the SEO company or solution you choose knows the rules for around attorney advertising. Some of the standard marketing tactics SEO companies use for other brands may violate the ABA or local rules of professional conduct in regards to advertising.
An easy way to check before you contact an SEO company is to look at how they brand themselves. Are they just an SEO company or are they an SEO company for law firms?
If they are an SEO company that works with a variety of industries, look at their case studies and blog content categories. If they don’t have sections devoted to law firms or legal businesses, ask. Ask specifically if they have any experience working with law firms and if they know the rules of attorney advertising in your state?
Does the SEO company have good ratings?
You know that your clients judge your law firm based on client testimonials and ratings on local review networks. You can do the same with SEO companies. Many will have their testimonials, reviews, and ratings listed on their homepage or a specific page devoted to reviews.
Ideally, if the SEO company works with companies in a variety of different industries, they will have a testimonial from a law firm. Use the CTRL-F on your keyboard to find it if the page has a long collection of reviews to read.
Does the SEO company have good results?
In addition to (hopefully) glowing reviews from past law firm clients, look for case studies by the SEO company. If you can find some from their law firm clients, you will get an idea of the kind of results you can expect from the SEO company.
What KPIs (key performance indicators) can you expect from this SEO company if you choose them? The answers should be in the SEO company’s case studies.
- Have clients seen an increase in search engine traffic?
- Have they experienced an increase in cases?
- Have they received an increase in clients?
If you can’t find any, you might want to look for an SEO company that has some to share.
Does the SEO company have experienced ownership and employees?
The cumulative experience and knowledge of those at the SEO company you choose will be put into your law firm’s SEO and digital marketing campaign. So it’s important to find out who is running the company as well as who might be running your SEO campaign.
One way to find out is to find the company on LinkedIn. Linkedin places a link to all employees for a company on the company’s page. This will let you get to know the people behind the marketing agency, as well as some of their credentials.
Does the SEO company have happy employees?
This one may not sound completely important, but it is if you want the best quality of work from your outsourced SEO team. Sites like Glassdoor allow employees to rate their employers, thereby allowing you to check out employee satisfaction levels at an SEO company.
Happy employees, according to Harvard Business Review, are more productive, more loyal, more healthy, and less stressed. This will translate to a stronger focus on your campaigns, higher quality content, and overall better results.
Does the SEO company’s name come up in search results?
Here’s a big one. Of course, not every SEO company can rank number one for SEO company, link building company, marketing company, or the other search terms commonly used to find them.
If the SEO company you want to work with does come up first for these kinds of coveted terms, then yes, you’ll want to work with them. But be prepared to pay top dollar for their services.
Keep in mind that the top SEO companies aren’t just the ones that rank first organically. The ones that are getting the best results for their clients will pay to get listed above organic search results. Those are the companies that have all the angles covered in their marketing strategy. They demonstrate that they can do the same for you.
Does the SEO company have a strong local presence?
We mentioned ratings and reviews earlier as a part of the SEO company’s website. But now, let’s take a look at the ratings and reviews they have outside of their website on sites like Google, Facebook, and Yelp.
- Has your potential SEO company built a strong local search presence for their brand?
- Do they have good reviews?
- Do they respond to their reviews as you would respond to your client’s reviews?
Chances are, if an SEO company can build up and can maintain positive local listings for their company, they can help you build the same for your law firm. Since you know the value of positive ratings and reviews in client acquisition, you know just how important it is to find an SEO company that can manage local marketing.
The easiest way to see if the SEO company has a good local search presence is to do a Google search for their name. Adding reviews to their company name should result in any local directory listing or social network profile with reviews for that company.
What if your SEO company doesn’t have a local search presence? Some companies don’t since they work from a virtual office and they offer their services to companies worldwide.
If that’s the case, take a look at the reviews and testimonials they have on their website. Then do some local searches to see if their clients rank well in the local 3-pack. If the SEO company can rank their clients in local search, they should be able to get similar results for yours. See if you can get case studies.
Does the SEO company produce solid content?
Take a look at the SEO company’s content. Do they have a lot of basic pages on their websites that explain who they are? What services do they offer? How well do they explain those services and the results you can expect from those services?
Can the SEO company explain their services to you like you explain your practice areas to your clients? If the answer is yes, they can likely explain your practice areas in a way that will convert website visitors into clients and cases for your law firm and attorneys.
Before you contact the SEO company, browse their blog, listen to their podcast, and peruse their other content resources. Listen to the tone they use and hear what they have to say about the latest news in search and digital marketing.
Once you review the company’s content, it should give you a better idea if your philosophies match and if you will be a good fit.
Does the SEO company produce solid content for its clients?
There are two types of SEO companies: companies that outsource their content and get bad results, and companies that outsource their content and get good results. You want SEO companies that do the latter.
For the legal industry (and other sensitive industries like medical and insurance), you will want an SEO company that quality checks the content they produce with an industry professional.
The last thing you need is to spend time editing content before it goes live on your website. Or worse, after it’s gone live and caused a problem.
Does the SEO company have an effective email marketing campaign?
As you are reading the SEO company’s blog, take a look around the website to see if there is a way to subscribe to an email list. Most SEO companies have an opt-in box on their blog posts, guides, or other key landing pages to get visitors to become email subscribers.
As an email subscriber, watch how the SEO company uses email to get you to remember their brand and possibly retain them for their services. They may use a variety of tactics including:
- Weekly or monthly newsletters.
- Static email campaigns that are set up to send a series of emails until you convert into a customer.
- Automated email campaigns that will trigger additional email sequences when you click on specific links or engage with other elements within the email.
If their conversion style works on you, they can apply conversion optimization methods that will work on your website visitors to increase your number of cases.
Does the SEO company have a strong presence on social media?
Another aspect of digital marketing that is important to SEO is social media marketing. Does the SEO company you want to choose to have a solid presence on the top social networks?
Law firms are typically active on networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. If you want your law firm to have content and activity on those networks, you may want your SEO company to show they have experience in those areas.
You can also look for the SEO company’s in-depth knowledge of SEO by seeing how they optimize their social profiles for search. Are they using the same keywords on their social bios as they are their homepage?
If so, they have demonstrated a strong awareness for search optimization on all platforms, and they’ll likely do everything they can to ensure your law firm is discoverable everywhere as well.
Does the SEO company use remarketing advertising?
Once you are through researching SEO companies for the day, which ones continue to pop up as you read our favorite news sites? What about the ones that appear as you watch YouTube videos on your phone or on your TV? Or are they appearing in your social news feeds?
These are the SEO companies that have active remarketing advertising campaigns through Google Ads, Facebook, and other PPC ad platforms. If you’re seeing them everywhere you go, they should be able to help you run similar campaigns for your law firm. This will allow you to create advertising campaigns that target only the people who have shown interest in your law firm by visiting your website or specific pages on your website.
Does the SEO company fit your budget?
At the end of the day, you need to choose an SEO company that can get you the results you want at a budget your law firm can afford. If you’re unsure of what the “right” dollar amount to budget is, you’re not alone. The Small Business Administration found multiple reports of businesses spending averages of 1.08% to 11.8% of their revenue on marketing and advertising.
To determine what’s right for your law firm, look at the services the SEO company has to offer. Consider what additional marketing and advertising services (if any) you would have to either do on your own, purchase tools for, or seek outside assistance to complete. Then determine what kind of results you think you will get from these efforts.
Once you have these things in mind, budget accordingly. If you have a solid prediction of what kind of revenue your law firm will make this year, it will be easier to set a budget for your marketing and advertising, and thus easier to determine how much to spend with an SEO company.
Next Steps Once You Pick the Best SEO for Your Law Firm
Have you chosen the best SEO for your law firm? Your choice should guide you through everything you need to give them to get your SEO campaign underway. To get prepared, you can read up on how to share access to your Google Analytics, Google Console, and other website analytics data. If you don’t have these set up yet, your SEO will guide you through the process.
If you have any written, audio, or visual content that you haven’t used yet, let your SEO know. They will be able to help you turn into multiple valuable assets for your digital marketing and advertising campaign.
Do you have questions about how to choose the right SEO for your law firm? Ask us below – we’re here to help!