Search engine optimization is a pretty new career choice. In fact, just 25 years ago such a job wouldn’t even have existed. Because of this there are no regulations or oversight on the industry, making it something of a wild-west. With that being the case, how can you be sure when searching for a lawyer SEO marketing firm, that you won’t be taken advantage of and pay for service that never get delivered. There are some characteristics and factors you can look for to help you determine if an SEO agency or individual really knows what they’re doing and can get you superior results.
Look for Referrals
Just like when searching for lawyers, referrals from people you already know will be your best source when looking for an SEO firm for lawyers. These referrals could come from friends or family, but there is a good chance that another lawyer or firm that you have a relationship with has already had good results with an SEO firm. Mine your professional contacts to quickly put together a short list of potential candidates and avoid the time consuming labor of researching dozens of SEO firms yourself. When you use referrals you already know what kind of results you can expect from each firm and how long it will take. You can also get an idea of what it’s like to work with each particular SEO agency and how knowledgeable they are about the SEO process. Of course other methods can also be successful in finding a good agency, but by going the referral route you remove a good deal of the research and work involved in vetting each agency.
Contact and Interview References
If you find an SEO firm for lawyers through your own efforts you’ll want to be sure to get a list of at least 3 references and take the time to contact and interview them. The references are of no use if you don’t actually get in contact with them. These references should clients that the firm has worked with in the past year. While it’s a definite bonus if they are also legal firms or attorneys, that isn’t strictly necessary. Make sure to do your due diligence at this step, even if you already have very good feeling about the SEO firm. As they say, you can never judge a book by its cover, and sometimes an agency may look good initially, but later you find they can be extremely difficult to work with on a long term basis.
Watch out for Guarantees
This is another area that is similar to the law field. If you find an agency that guarantees you results like “first page of Google” you should completely avoid that firm. There is no way an SEO firm can guarantee anything to you. Search engines such as Google change their algorithms (which no one outside the company knows) nearly every single day. There are probably hundreds, if not thousands of other law firms who are also conducting SEO campaigns to target the same keywords and customers as you. Each website brings a unique set of factors that will make it easier or harder to rank for certain phrases and keywords. There are simply too many changing variables for any agency to guarantee results of any kind. What you should look for instead is the SEO firm that has curiosity and a realistic point of view. They should want to know about your goals and be sincere about helping you to achieve them. At the same time they should also be realistic about how long it will take, how much effort they will need to expend, and how much it will cost on an ongoing basis.
Of course you don’t want to overpay for your SEO services, but you don’t want to underpay either. There are several factors that can influence the price an SEO agency charges for their services. One is the existing client base of the firm. An SEO firm that is used to working on large projects for multi-million dollar companies won’t be likely to accept a local business client, nor would they be within your price range.
Another pricing factor is the experience of the SEO agency or team. An experienced SEO won’t come cheap, so watch out for agencies that appear to be reputable, but are able to discount their services significantly versus competitors. Chances are such a firm will cost you far more in the long term as you continue to pay them for results that never materialize and finally end up switching to a higher priced SEO firm to repair the damage that has been done by the low cost provider. In the SEO world there is definitely some truth to the saying “you get what you pay for”.
Think of Going Local
Some SEO firms specialize in targeting local search results and these may be your best choice. Great care has to be taken here however as many new SEO’s begin by offering local search optimization. This means you often won’t get a highly experienced SEO, but there are still some gems to be found. There are experienced local SEO firms out there, but they are typically small and harder to find. The benefit is that local search has some differences from the broader global search, so finding an SEO familiar with these differences can really pay off. If you are doing your due diligence by contacting references and watching out for red flags such as guarantees you may be able to find a really good SEO that can bring you excellent local search results.