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Law Firm SEO

Is this the year that you take your law firm online? If so, one of the decisions you will face is whether to perform your law firm seo in-house, or hire someone to assist you.

Unfortunately, as anyone who has started to look for local search consultants online, it’s an ugly world out there. Here are some quick tips that can help you understand whether your prospective SEO is worth her salt, and whether you need outside help at all.

Is this the year that you take your law firm online? If so, one of the decisions you will face is whether to perform your law firm seo in-house, or hire someone to assist you.

Should I Hire an SEO for My Law Firm?

Frankly, there are a lot of pieces of search engine optimization that you might be able to sufficiently handle yourself. If you know a little bit about html, how search engines work, data analysis and you’re committed to developing content and sharing it, you may have some success in generating new qualified search traffic to your site. Some of this traffic may even turn into potential client prospects.

On the other hand, if you don’t know a paragraph tag from a title tag, you’re probably going to make some pretty big mistakes that may prevent search engines from crawling and indexing your site altogether.

Here is a quick list of some of the skills you will likely need to launch a successful SEO campaign:

  • Technical Knowledge – While you don’t need to be a codewarrior to have success in search engines, some basic fundamental knowledge of HTML, CSS and probably Javascript is pretty critical. Consequences from code mistakes can range from sub-optimal web pages all the way to getting penalized and even completely blocked from search engines. If you’re going to handle the heavy-lifting on your own, learn some code first.
  • Creativity – Creative skills are probably the most important attribute of a good SEO. If you’re creating content that looks like everybody else’s people probably aren’t going to link to it and share with other people they know. In order to separate yourself from the pack, you will need to develop web content that makes people really say wow and further link to and share it.
  • Patience – SEO is not advertising. This is a common misconception that many lawyers have. They are accustomed to paying for a yellow book, television, or radio advertisement. SEO is not advertising. If you’re launching a brand new site, it’s going to take time to get your site indexed in search engines, and an even longer time to get it to generate significant search traffic and rank for high volume competitive keywords.
  • Writing – While web content can take a variety of forms, the overwhelming majority of web content is still the written word. And let’s face it, writing is a skill that many people simply don’t have. If you’re going to handle your own search strategy, you will need to be able to write frequently and effectively. Emphasis on the effectively. And by effectively, I don’t mean regurgitating the latest local news stories. Again, you will need to consistently publish quality content that makes your readers want to come back, link to, and share your content with other people that they know.
  • Design – Having solid design skills is also very helpful to a good SEO. The use of images, videos, infographics, and a variety of other types of content will help distinguish your site’s content from that of others. And as effective as good design can be in attracting visitors and links, sloppy or otherwise poor quality design work can have a negative impact on your visitors and your ability to attract strong search signals.
  • Time – Finally, running an effective search engine optimization strategy takes time. Time which most lawyers simply don’t have. Sure, you can dabble in SEO. Depending on your skills, you may even have some limited success. But if you’re not committed to the day-in-day-out work of building authority to your law firm’s website, you’re not going to be able to compete with those firms that have hired full-time search consultants to help them.

You are likely to read things about how “content is king” and all you have to do is “write” to have success in search engines. And in some cases, for some very talented and committed writers with a little technical know-how, this may be true. But for the overwhelming majority of lawyers out there, adopting the “if you write it, they will come” mantra simply won’t pay off. Which is why many legal bloggers resort to the advice that if you write blog posts for any other reason than a love for blogging, you’re wasting your time.

There’s no doubt that being passionate about writing is helpful in content development. However, passionate writing alone will not get you qualified search traffic for highly-competitive keywords and search phrases. Ultimately, you will have to decide whether you have the skills and time to execute your own search marketing strategy or whether to get the assistance of someone with experience to guide you.

Who Should I Hire to Do SEO for My Law Firm?

Once you’ve conceded that you need some help, the next step is trying to figure out who you should hire. This is a very important decision that you shouldn’t try to decide in a half-hour. It’s not like buying a cell phone or a new pair of running shoes. It’s likely that you’ll need to develop a working professional relationship with this person. So, you should be able to effectively communicate with them. You should also consider whether or not they possess the skills that I have described above. You also should find a digital marketing agency or strategist that’s willing to work with you. Quality search engine optimization isn’t a one-size-fits-all. For example, perhaps you understand the basics but just want someone watching over your shoulder to make sure you’re not making some the most significant and common mistakes. On the other hand, you might be looking for something more turn-key. Meaning that you prefer a marketing agency to handle all aspects of your search campaign. If this is the case, you better focus on hiring someone that you trust with your professional reputation and perhaps even your license to practice. You don’t want to get into any ethics violations or issues because you turned your internet marketing over to someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing.

The truth is, there’s no magic to law firm SEO. Like most other things, it’s a combination of experience, leg-work, and skill.

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