Monday, February 18, 2013

What to Look for in an SEO Company-- For Law Firms

You get about 25 emails a week from companies trying to sell you on their SEO services for lawyers.

Most of the time you ignore them, but at some point you may actually need to take a look at your search engine optimization.  If you are building a new website or trying to improve dismal performance in attracting online clients, then you very well may need SEO help.  Does that mean that it is time to actually read those emails instead of automatically deleting them?  Maybe.

Because were were all attorneys first and online-marketing types second, we often get asked by clients about which SEO firms they should hire.  To be honest, we struggle answering the question.  We do not have affiliate relationships with SEO folk.  We have worked with a wide range of SEO teams in the past (and still do), some seemingly better than others.  However, there is not necessarily a one-size-fits-all approach to SEO.  Depending on geography, budget, and certain personal preferences, one search engine optimization team may be better for you than others.

Our legal content writers can offer targeted help with SEO--and all of our blogs incorporate SEO best practices.  However, we are focused on the small niche of actually writing content, not necessarily conducting comprehensive efforts to improve current design and content functioning or strategize on additional approaches to draw in clients online.  In short: some of our clients hire other SEO experts to compliments our work, some do not.  While we work hard to assist with online marketing, we recognize that the aid of outside SEO experts can be a very positive addition.

Who to Hire?

A video was posted over a SEOMoz last week that provides a very helpful summary of how you might want to go about searching for an SEO company.  If you or your firm is looking at how to select an SEO, it is worth listening to this brief video or reading the transcript.  Besides the obvious tips (i.e. get advice from trusted colleagues), there are various other insights which might be helpful when conducting your search.  Two of the more unique thoughts:

Then, I'll add this important caveat, very important caveat, which it's okay to get a couple of references that are not great. It really is. [...] There is no way that you're going to do SEO consulting or agency work, any kind of consulting or agency work or services work and not have a few unhappy people in the past. I think that 100% happiness ratio is extremely rare, and even if they were happy at the time, oftentimes people become dissatisfied over time with things, and that could be not the agency's fault, the consultant's fault. 

That is something we have come to appreciate since making the switch from practicing law to helping other attorneys with online marketing.  Obviously, if you receive consistent questionable references, then something is amiss.  But every dissatisfied client does not equal bad service.

Be very careful about choosing exclusively on price or experience. Now, price is an obvious one. You sort of go, "Yeah. I'll get what I pay for and choosing the lowest price vendor might not be a great idea," and those kind of things. 

The inverse of this is also true.  When it comes to legal work--even outsourced legal blog writing--some firms cannot get over the idea that if they pay more, they must be getting more value.  Some of our writing competitors literally charge 300% more for the same service.  Be cautious about buying on the cheap, but don't assume that spending more will get you more.


  1. I think a good place to start is to look for companies run by people who actually speak fluent English. There are tons of "SEO professionals" in places like India and Bangladesh who will just spam your site with Scrapebox, get you a nice penalty, and then charge you for it!

    Fred | SEO Dominator

  2. Does that mean that it is time to actually read those emails instead of automatically deleting them? Maybe. ​new york seo company


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