Remember – Not All Law Firm SEO Agencies Were Created Equal – Here’s How You Can Level the Playing Field
Hiring a Law firm SEO Agency is not quite as simple as you might imagine, particularly given the sheer number of agencies out there . . and the tendency for some to gild the lily with outrageous claims of SEO success.
But you can level that agency playing field by knowing which questions you need to ask about your SEO objectives and what you need from the agency in return for your investment.
One thing about law firm SEO is that everyone anywhere near the booming SEO business has every reason to suggest why they are the ones you need to hire.
But, there is also something that many overlook when it comes to hiring an SEO marketing agency to get your law firm to the top of the Google rankings.
Thus, to choose and onboard an SEO agency that’s right for you, you need to do some smart thinking, including:
==> Knowing precisely what your goal is
==> Knowing why you want to achieve the goal – the outcome you’re seeking, in other words
There are Different Types of SEO Agency
Your SEO requirements will depend upon the nature of the SEO help you’re seeking to achieve – and those outcomes you want.
One of the areas we discuss regularly in LawFuel is the need to work hard on content marketing for your law firm, because lawyers write plenty and focusing that content on an SEO goal helps you achieve a major SEO objective – ie high rankings on Google.
So when choosing an SEO agency for your law firm you need to have a clear idea about your desire – in this case – for high Google rankings.
It may be something quite different, of course. You may wish to build links, or get a higher local SEO ranking, in which case your SEO agency requirements may be different and may require different questions to be asked.
But, for this illustration, let’s start with the content marketing SEO optimization goal.
Question 1: Ask What Work Your ‘Law Firm SEO Agency’ Has Done for Other Law Firms
Ask for their roster of law firm SEO ‘successes’
It’s an obvious one, but one that has to be asked.
You need to check what the agency has actually done for other law firms and look at the proof in the pudding. They will have references and other material they can refer to, but you should do your own research.
That means you should not just rely on Google’s ‘best SEO agency’ searches, but rather do some real word-of-mouth checking and verification for the best law firm SEO agency recommended by others.
You need to ask other firms how they fared and what their attitude towards the agency is.
You can also check their rankings, their page authority and other factors that go into creating a decent ranking for the firms.
The agency should have a great client list to show you. Check them. Read them. Ring them. Go through them carefully and be satisfied that the results are the sort of results you’re expecting yourself.
Question 2 – Ask What The Answer Is To What Your SEO Agency Specializes In?
There are multiple agencies . . and multiple SEO outcomes
The different areas of expertise mean that different agencies will have different levels of focus and experience.
Keep in mind that many SEO agencies are small operations. They have begun with a specific focus and background.
Many will also have begun before Google made many of its more recent updates, that have changed the SEO landscape for law firms and everyone else too.
Have the changes left the SEO agency behind? Are they up-to-date with the latest changes? Have they altered their focus or level of expertise somehow.
These are all questions you need to ask.
Then, once you’ve identified your agency of choice, you have more questions to ask.
Question 3: Can You Increase Our Page Authority?
‘Authority’ is one of the keys that will determine SEO success
Remember that part of achieving top Google rankings for your law firm requires more than JUST great content.
It also requires authority.
You may be publishing great content, but if the website for your law firm continues to languish down on page 13 (how unlucky is that?), then you need to improve your page authority.
Getting quality links is much more important than simply getting lots of links. Buying or arranging low quality links is hardly going to help you in the current climate, you need to have a plan to develop quality links with quality content.
Modern link building tactics involve both quality, relevant content and also building good relationships with those authority pages and influencers who can help lift your law firm rankings. A good law firm SEO agency will build links and good relationships.
Make sure your agency is able to achieve those outcomes in a manner designed to build your rankings and your authority.
Find out exactly what the agency intends doing and how.
Question 4: What Is The Process By Which You Will Achieve Your Desired SEO Outcome?
After all, you need a clear and defined process to see exactly how your legal firm’s SEO agency is going to do the job for you.
That means you need specific goals you are desiring to achieve. Keep that very clearly front-of-mind because it should determine exactly which agency you will run with.
But this can be something of a tricky one, because different clients and agencies will have different ways of calculating what ‘success’ or ‘desired SEO outcome’ may be.
You need to ensure that their definition of SEO success is also aligning with what you are looking to achieve for your law firm
You need to be realistic about your SEO expectations. An SEO agency that guarantees Page 1 Google rankings is not one you need to run with – those tactics will often use some black hat technique that will give you more headaches than clients.
The last thing you need is to be penalized by Google and to experience a drop in Google rankings.
A good legal SEO agency looking to give your law firm good rankings will plan their program around what you are seeking to achieve. For instance, if you’re looking for more traffic to your law firm site then it will be around content and keywords.
You may be looking to increase your mobile conversions – which is a vital part of good SEO rankings for lawyers (or any business) these days. You will therefore want to ensure your website is appropriately optimized for mobile.
You may be looking for more local SEO traffic, which will involve optimizing your local law firm profiles on directories and review sites among other things like getting your Google My Business listing properly set up and optimized.
Whatever you’re looking to achieve you need to have an SEO agency that is aligned with your objectives. The SEO agency’s success parameters should be aligned with yours, based on the goals you are seeking for your law firm the and sort of web traffic you’re looking for.
Question 5. How do you conduct keyword research?
There’s more than one way to skin the keyword cat . . make sure it’s the right way
It used to be easy this keyword research business, but no longer. There are certainly great tools to use, but developing quality content with keywords at the right place is now something that requires more effort and smarts.
The need to understand user intent and what people are actually searching for is key to the keywords you use. And that’s a more complex issue that it used to be in terms of developing the right strategies for optimizing great content.
So you need to ask your SEO agency how they go about using technology and the tolls necessary to determining what searchers are actually looking for and how those techniques and tools will be employed to ensure you get the results you’re looking for.
Remember, it used to be about keyword usage, keyword density and search volume for keywords, but things have changed. Watch how the agency talks to you and if they’re talking all that stuff then you know maybe you’re not speaking with the right people.
Question 6: What SEO and Keyword Tools Do You Use?
Don’t be blinded by science and BS . .
Part of the development of the SEO agency is the use of some smart and powerful tools to help in the process of getting your law firm up the rankings.
A degree of understanding of what is available is important because understanding why the agency uses different tools is important. Don’t be blinded by science with some fancy explanation of what tools will be great and achieve massive results with their magical power.
You need to know what they are using for their keyword research, for instance, but also why they’re using that or those tools.
You need to know how they generate backlinks and what tools – and why? – they use to get the results desired.
You want to know how they monitor rankings to assess the success of your law firm SEO efforts. Although you don’t need to know exactly what the SEO tools are, you need them to be able to tell you why they use those tools.
So ask them –
- what tools do you use for your keyword research – and why do you use them?
- how do you monitor backlinks?
- what do you do to monitor competitors and analyze what they are doing?
- how do you monitor rankings and what tools do you use?
Question 7: How Big Is Your SEO Agency? And How Much Will My Law Firm SEO Cost?
It’s not a one-size-fits-all business
Now this is more a bit of market analysis than a question as such, but remember that there are ‘horses for courses’ in the law firm SEO agency business and you need to get an agency that fits your law firm in terms of size, cost and deliverables.
Large SEO firms will have 100 or more employees and will tend towards the all-encompassing, one-size-fits-all services, handling a variety of different businesses.
Those law firms with a limited budget can well use such businesses (mostly, but not exclusively) as smaller firms handling SEO work will often offer customized services at a higher cost.
Keep in mind the following considerations:
However, whatever the size of the SEO agency, you need to know the team or individuals who will be working on your legal SEO work so that you know exactly what they’re doing and who to talk with.
The Target Market
The market you’re seeking to enter will depend upon how much you will be paying. If you’re in a large city aiming at a corporate or commercial market you will be paying a lot more than if you are in a smaller town seeking local profile. If you’re looking to have a national services you may be paying a great deal more than the local, geographically restricted market.
$250-$500 per month. This would be what a smaller law firm might expect to pay, but beware the over-the-top promises from SEO operators promising the moon and delivering a pile of dirt.
$600-$1 500 per month. A budget within these parameters could let you potentially work towards a geographically larger ‘spread’ as well as your local market. If you have a tightly focused legal specialty then you could fit within this limit.
$2 000-$5000 per month. If you are looking for a regional or national or even an international audience then anywhere upwards of $2000 a month is open, with four or five times that amount for a niche audience that you are seeking to reach.
Conclusion – Sealing The Law Firm SEO Deal
When you have found some firm that is not simply trying to ‘magic up’ some abstract SEO answers, but appears to know precisely what you are trying to achieve and also able to communicate effectively with you, then you are well on the SEO way that is going to get your law firm achieving the SEO results you seek.
It takes time. It takes some hard research. And it takes some good questions.
Hopefully the above can help you track down just the SEO agency your law firm needs.