“Whatever the facts and circumstances of your new law office, you need clients walking through your door, calling your office, emailing your inbox or otherwise soliciting your services and assistance. In order to do so, former, current and prospective clients alike need to be able to find you…And the first place they are likely going to look is Google, Bing or Yahoo.”
– Jared K. Nelson, Oklahoma Bar Association
Your law firm’s success hinges in great part upon your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. With thousands of people in the United States advertising SEO services, it can be challenging to find an SEO specialist with expertise in your field of law. Fortunately, there are some measures you can take to ensure that you choose a provider who will deliver outstanding SEO results. With Below is your eight-step guide to finding a law firm SEO expert.
1) Seek an expert who specializes in law firm SEO
As you dive into a deep pool of SEO providers, the first step to take is to whittle the number of prospective SEO specialists. The best way to accomplish this is to restrict your search to SEO providers with a proven history of success working with law firms. This will ensure that you hire a provider who is truly an expert in law firm SEO.
2) Ask your friends and colleagues who they use for SEO services
“Ask your friends who they use and if they’re happy with the company. If they’re pleased with it, odds are good you will be, too. Referrals from trusted sources are the best way to find a good company.”
– Sharon Nelson and John Simek, Law Practice Magazine
Referrals can be instrumental in helping you further narrow the field of eligible SEO experts. Friends, family members, and colleagues can often lend valuable guidance regarding their personal experiences with SEO firms. Remember to target friends and family members who are lawyers or who work in the legal field to ensure that you receive a list of providers who can hit the ground running.
3) Avoid providers who are unresponsive to your inquiries
As you contact prospective SEO specialists, you will likely find that they vary greatly in terms of their degree of responsiveness to your inquiries. Some will respond promptly and enthusiastically while others may fail to return your phone calls or e-mails. In general, it is a good idea to steer clear of prospects who are uncommunicative or who fail to provide you with a quote.
4) Find out which specific SEO tasks will be provided
“SEO encompasses a lot of different tasks. You need to have a clear understanding of what the firm will be responsible for and what tasks are left for you. Which technical, off-page and on-page tasks are they prepared to handle? And since SEO, content marketing and PPC (Pay-Per-Click) are so interconnected, you might want to find a firm that’s set up to help you out with all three.”
– Andrew Raso, Co-Founder and Director of the Online Marketing Gurus
The SEO process is complex and involves many tasks and techniques. As you evaluate prospective specialists, make sure you ask what services they offer and whether there are any limitations or restrictions on the services they provide.
5) Request a written quotation
Affordability is a top consideration for many law firms, especially those that are in their formative years. After your initial discussion with each prospective SEO expert, be sure to request a written quote that outlines the services provided along with the cost of each. Make sure the quote contains the following details:
- The date the quote was prepared and an expiration date
- Acceptable modes of payment and an explanation of payment terms
- The signature of the individual who provided the pricing
- Details regarding any guarantees that are offered
6) Choose an SEO specialist who is a good fit with your law firm
“The personality, integrity and communication style of the SEO needs to match the organization or progress will be hard.”
– Rand Fishkin, Entrepreneur and Founder of SparkToro
Finding an SEO specialist who is a good fit with the work culture at your law firm is vital to producing top results. The expert you hire will be interfacing with your marketing, IT staff, and lawyers to develop content, highlighting the need to hire an SEO specialist who is similar to your law firm employees in terms of values and work ethic.
7) Request a list of current and past clients in the legal field
References can prove to be invaluable assets as you evaluate SEO specialists. While current and past clients may not be able to offer specific details related to Google analytics or specific techniques employed by an SEO specialist, they can offer useful insight regarding the following:
- The SEO expert’s impact on their search engine rankings
- Any notable increases in their conversion rates
- Feedback about their overall experience with the SEO provider
8) Consider your ongoing SEO needs
“Remember, SEO is an ongoing process, so ask the firm or consultant how much it will cost to maintain the site once the major changes have been made.”
– Issie Lapowsky, Wired
SEO does not occur in a vacuum. While the majority of the effort will likely occur on the front end, you should look for an SEO expert who recognizes that SEO is an ongoing process. In addition to asking prospective providers to outline a current SEO strategy for your law firm, you should also ask them to outline their proposed long-term strategies for success along with estimated costs.
The Bottom Line
Hiring a true law firm SEO expert is the surest way to drive traffic to your law firm’s website. As you evaluate potential SEO providers, you can follow the steps above to help ensure that you choose the best provider for your law firm. By seeking a responsive law firm SEO expert who is a good fit with your law firm’s culture, you will be on your way to higher search engine rankings and increased conversions.