Not seeing results from your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts? There are a million reasons why your current SEO strategy might not be working. If you’ve tried a DIY-SEO approach, it’s probably time to turn to experts for help. If you’ve hired an SEO company for lawyers, it might be time to consider a change.
Whether you’re hiring an SEO company for the first time or looking to shift gears, you need to do your homework. There are scores of digital marketing companies out there – the trick is finding the one that’s best suited for your law firm and legal practice.
So, it’s important to know what questions to ask as you interview a law firm SEO agency. Let’s look at nine things you should definitely discuss with a prospective SEO partner.
The answers you get will shed some light on the company’s experience and true knowledge of SEO and help you make one of the most important decisions you’ll make as an attorney: hiring the best law firm SEO agency for your business.
Table of Contents
1. What Has Your Law Firm SEO Agency Accomplished for Other Law Firms?
The SEO agency should provide references for their work. Most agencies provide a list of previous or current clients. You can assume that the list is the best of the best because the agency wants to impress you.
However, you need “proof” to back up the references. Therefore, don’t rely on the written references the agency provides. Instead, do your own research.
If an agency tells you they’ve got a client ranking for a competitive keyword like “NYC personal injury lawyer” – run a Google search and verify it for yourself.
2. What’s Your Focus or Specialty?
Just because a company does SEO doesn’t mean that they’ll be the best fit for you and your needs. Attorney SEO is an incredibly competitive landscape – and you need a company that knows law firm SEO, and knows it well.
A digital marketing company might run paid ads saying that it “specializes in SEO for lawyers” – but that might not mean what you think. It could mean that the agency has some law firm and attorney clients – and has a little bit of experience in the realm. The bulk of their work and expertise, however, could be spread across a dozen or more different industries.
There’s simply too much at stake for you to go with a big company that dabbles in law firm SEO. To get the results you want, the best choice will be an agency whose clients are exclusively attorneys and law firms like you.
So, ask a company what kind of SEO they do. The best first answer is “law firm SEO.”
Then, press on, asking if they have a particular area of specialization. If you’re a personal injury lawyer, you might want a firm that works exclusively with personal injury law firms. If you’re a criminal defense lawyer, you might want an agency that does a lot of SEO for defense attorneys.
Ask about what other types of clients they’ve had like you – and to see the kind of results they were able to achieve for them. Consider things like practice area, market, and firm size. The more you know about what a company has a history of doing successfully, the better informed you can be when choosing a marketing partner.
3. What Do You Look For When You Do Keyword Research?
Things like keyword density, keyword use, and search volumes once controlled how content was optimized for search engines like Google. However, keyword research has evolved as search engines have become more sophisticated and updated their parameters, algorithms, and ranking policies.
Now, you need to understand what people search for and how they use keywords to optimize law firm content. Developing law firm SEO strategies for content includes using keyword tools and technology, but it also includes knowing how your target audience thinks and how to determine the value of specific keywords.
The best SEO agency for law firms will not only demonstrate proven keyword research strategies but discuss how user intent factors into their content marketing funnel. Companies that don’t discuss the changes in how keywords are identified and used may not know the latest trends. A company that doesn’t stay on top of SEO trends and adapt its strategies accordingly could hurt your law firm’s rankings.
4. What SEO Tools Do You Use?
It is important to know what tools a marketing agency uses to conduct keyword research and develop an SEO strategy for your law firm. However, you need more than a list of technology the firm uses in its process to improve law firm rankings.
So, ask the company why they chose the specific tools they use. Do these tools have advantages that other tools and resources do not offer? What specific elements make the tools that the agency uses better than other tools?
Follow-up questions that you may want to ask include:
- How do you generate backlinks, and why does your method work better than other methods?
- What keyword research tools do you use, and why do they work better than other tools?
- How do you monitor rankings and backlinks?
- Do you monitor competitor websites, and how do you analyze what they do to rank high in searches?
You don’t need to understand the tools, but you want the company to be able to explain and justify why they choose those specific programs and systems. If the agency can’t explain their process, it’s a good indication that they haven’t really done their homework on what tools will help them get their clients to rank – or that they understand the importance of detail in a competitive industry like law firm SEO.
5. How Can Your Agency Increase Our Law Firm’s Page Authority?
If a digital marketing company only focuses on optimizing content, move on to the next agency on your list. Ranking high on Google search engine result pages (SERPs) requires more than optimizing law firm content. It requires increasing the law firm’s page authority (PA).
Some agencies may purchase or arrange for low-quality links to increase the number of links. However, it is not the number of links but the quality of those links that can increase page authority. An SEO agency needs to have a strategy for building quality links to combine with quality content.
Ask the SEO agency questions such as:
- How do you build relationships with high authority pages?
- What do you do to create backlink signals?
- What is your process for link building?
- How do you use internal linking to build page authority across a website?
- How do you monitor for and remove harmful links to our website?
- How do you track page authority?
Creating high-quality content that is relevant to your brand should not be the only element of page authority. If the marketer hammers away at content development without discussing how to get links to that content, they might not be the best choice for your law firm.
6. What is Your Plan to Achieve a Particular SEO Outcome?
As with any project, there should be specific goals and a way to measure those goals. Additionally, there must be a detailed plan for achieving those goals. Promising to improve your law firm’s ranking without telling you how they intend to accomplish that goal isn’t sufficient.
However, an SEO agency cannot develop a plan unless you have clearly defined goals. The agency should help you identify your law firm’s SEO goals.
For example, do you want to improve your law firm’s mobile conversions, local traffic to your website, or user interactions with your website? Different goals require different strategies and processes. Ask the law firm SEO agency to explain the process for achieving each goal.
Remember, you must be realistic about results. For example, if you demand page one ranking within a short period, some SEO companies may use techniques that get you on page one but cause trouble in the long term. Some of these tactics could result in penalties and drops in rankings.
SEO results – done right – take time. A reputable SEO company for lawyers should be clear about this when you discuss the potential of working together. If anyone promises you quick results – or says they can make you rank organically in a very short period of time – consider that a red flag.
7. How Do You Customize SEO Services for Law Firms?
Large SEO companies might have thousands of clients covering a wide range of businesses and industries. Instead of customizing their services, they may use one standard process.
However, SEO is not a one-size-fits-all type of service.
You want a company that customizes services to meet your goals and needs.
Otherwise, you may pay for SEO services that you do not need.
Examples of SEO services for law firms include, but are not limited to:
- Content creation
- Link building
- Website audit
- Local SEO
- Technical SEO
- On-site optimization
- Social media marketing
- Responsive website design
Ideally, you want an SEO agency that can customize an SEO plan that includes the services you need without adding services that do not benefit your company or align with your goals.
8. How Much Do You Charge for Law Firm SEO?
It is important to understand what the agency will charge for different services – and what you should expect to pay to get the results you want. Depending on the agency and the services you choose, you might be looking at spending hundreds of dollars to upwards of $30,000 (or more) per month.
Some agencies may offer packages of SEO services. However, a package might not be the best choice for a smaller law firm because they do not need all of the services that a large law firm may require. Ask the SEO firm whether they charge for individual services so that you can choose which services you need.
Like everything else in life, you’ll get what you pay for. That’s not necessarily to say that a company charging tens of thousands of dollars a month is the best one out there – or even a good one.
Consider the answers to the questions you ask. Did they demonstrate knowledge of the industry? Can they show you successes that can be verified independently? Did you get a sense that they are on top of SEO trends and eager to provide a customized SEO strategy just for you? If they’re a reputable company and they’re charging higher fees, it might be because the service they offer is exceptional and truly worth the investment.
9. What Happens Once I’m Ranking and Getting Traffic?
An agency might have a good track record of getting clients to rank. But, dig into what those companies do once they get their clients in the local pack and rank organically on SERPs.
Do they take their foot off the gas pedal, or do they continue to put in the time and effort to keep their clients atop the search engine results page?
Do they offer any help with client intake services so that traffic becomes more meaningful? Getting leads is one thing – converting them into paying clients is another. Does the company’s assistance stop at rankings, or does the service focus on conversion, as well?
Consider the answer – and take a look at your intake processes – as you search for an SEO partner.
Additional Tips for Hiring an Attorney SEO Agency
Once you decide to hire a law firm SEO agency or company, there are several steps you can take before you begin interviews to help you find the best fit:
- Determine your budget
- Ask other lawyers for references
- Always check the companies’ qualifications and experience
- Watch for red flags, such as not explaining their process, guaranteeing results, or focusing solely on keywords
- Create a prioritized list of your SEO goals and expectations
When you have a shortlist of potential SEO companies, you can schedule interviews and ask the nine questions above to make your final decision.
A Law Firm Website Alone is Not Enough to Attract Clients
If you want to remain competitive with other law firms, you must have a website that attracts potential clients and encourages them to contact your office for a consultation. However, having a website is not enough.
Hiring an SEO company is an effective solution to the problem. The best law firm SEO company for you will have the tools and knowledge necessary to take your law firm’s website to the next level. You can grow and expand your business with the help of an SEO partner.
That’s where LawRank can help. We specialize in helping small and medium-sized law firms rank organically and in the local pack. Our goal is to give you control of your future – by getting you more traffic and valuable leads and then helping you convert those leads into clients through your intake system.