The hunt for legal assistance, much like other services, begins with an online search. In many cases, it ends there as well. Consider that 96% of people who need legal advice use a search engine, and 87% of people who contact a lawyer go on to hire that lawyer. The first page of results for any legal query is prized real estate that’s incredibly competitive. Getting there takes a lot of work and technical expertise. This is where agencies specializing in law firm SEO come in.
Finding the right SEO company for lawyers isn’t unlike researching a legal case. You want to be as thorough and meticulous as possible, and analyze how well the agency stacks up against a broad set of criteria. Even the small details matter and should feed into your overall evaluation of their competence.
We’ve gone ahead and simplified this process for you in this blog. Here’s everything you should take into account when hiring an SEO company for lawyers.
Be Clear On Your Objectives
Before you go ahead and hire an SEO agency for your law firm, it’s a good idea to identify your present and future goals. The most important among these include the market you’re trying to target and the area of law you want to rank for. To put it in perspective, location-specific queries — typically phrased as “…near me” — grew by over 250% from 2017-2019. Furthermore, Google’s focus on the E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) concept ensures that specialization is rewarded. “Personal injury lawyer LA” is a typical legal search query. Identifying the niche you want to focus on helps you, your clients, and your SEO. It heavily informs keyword strategy, which feeds into the content created for your website and the queries you get ranked for.
Also, give some thought to the kind of deliverables you’re expecting from your SEO company for lawyers. Do you want to focus on on-page SEO for your website, external backlinking, or a guaranteed improvement in your search ranking? Alternatively, is generating better quality leads your ultimate bottom line? Clarity on these things will help you find a better SEO partner for your firm and negotiate a more productive contract with them too.
Put in the Research
An SEO agency able to rank your law firm should be able to rank itself on SERPs as well. Try variations of “lawyer SEO company” + your location and see what pops up. Another sure-fire way of knowing you’ve got a good SEO company is through results you can see for yourself. Think like a customer and look for law firms in your locality that specialize in areas other than yours. If you specialize in criminal defense, look up results for family lawyers and the like near you. Identify the ones that rank best for each query and then ring them up to see if they’re willing to give you the name of their SEO agency. Given the degree of specialization prevalent in law circles, there’s not much chance of you competing with them in any case. You can also just ring up friendly law firms and businesses in your area and ask for a referral.
Investigate Your Picks
Once you’ve prepared a shortlist of SEO companies for lawyers, start checking them out and the work they’ve done. Prep a list of questions before you reach out to them. Once you do, listen closely to everything they promise you. Competent SEO agencies will take time to understand your law firm and the current state of your SEO before they even think about putting together a proposal. An agency that’s willing to talk specifics and explain the process of ranking your website is always worth your time. Be sure to ask them for a list of past and present clients. Ring up as many of them as possible to understand their experience and level of satisfaction. Don’t hesitate to ask for a meeting with their junior team members — especially the ones who’ll go on to work on your project — to assess their level of expertise. That’ll help you weed out the top-heavy companies and know that your website is in good hands through and through.
Do They Offer the Quadfecta?
Pay careful attention to the list of services your lawyer SEO company advertises. SEO is a nuanced art and good organic ranking comes from a well-rounded technical skillset. The best agencies know that to implement quality SEO, you have to perfect the quadfecta:
- Technical Optimization: User experience is one of the most important things, not just for your SEO, but also to positively influence user journey once they’re on your website.
- Content Creation: Does their content amount to a pleasant and informative read? Clunky keyword usage and generic copy are medieval practices, digitally speaking.
- Link Building: A robust backlinking operation is crucial to building trust and domain authority for your website. Most top-ranked pages get 5%-14.5% new backlinks every month.
- Local Optimization: As lawyers, you want an SEO company that understands the local market and can target customers that are most likely to source your services.
Are They Willing to Personalize Their Approach?
How well your SEO agency gets on with your law firm and the amount of work they put in to maintain a seamless relationship with you is an indicator of their quality. This begins with the kind of SEO plan they put together and whether it’s customized to your needs. A standard “booster” package is probably great business for your agency but does very little for you. Also, look at how transparent they are with you. A lot of companies will be secretive to try and “protect their know-how.” It’s also a great way of concealing missteps, or worse, an unethical approach to SEO. As lawyers, you’ll want an SEO company that’s entirely above board and forthcoming about its methods. If they’re not, it’s maybe a sign that you should change your agency.
Finding the right SEO agency for your law firm may seem like a lot of work, but it pays rich dividends. Statista reveals that only a meager 38% of consumers trust ads on search engines. If you want to promote your firm online, SEO is your best bet. For more questions on how to find the best SEO company for lawyers in your area, reach out to us. We’re happy to share our insights with you.