When it comes to attorney marketing, SEO is one of the most effective tools to help your law firm gain new clients. SEO offers your law firm the ability to push your website to the top of the rankings in order to attract the attention of more consumers. But when it comes to obtaining SEO help, there are a lot of myths out there that unfortunately sucker in many law firms. The problem is that if your law firm falls for bad SEO promises, your attorney marketing could be suffering.
What your law firm doesn’t know could actually hurt it. If your law firm doesn’t know these common SEO myths, you could fall for a pitch by a less than reputable SEO company which will ultimately drive your law firm’s rankings down and cause your attorney marketing to land like a lead balloon. Worse, your attorney marketing could incur penalties from search engines because of shady SEO practices. In order to protect yourself, your law firm should be aware of and able to recognize the following SEO myths.
SEO Myths That Could Hurt Your Law Firm
There are hundreds, if not thousands of SEO firms that are constantly vying for the attention of business owners. Just do one Google search for SEO and you’ll find tons of SEO firms. But are you sure they have your best interests at heart? Do they know the strict guidelines attorneys have to operate in to avoid being penalized by the Bar? As attorney marketers, we are aware that your law firm needs to be acutely aware of how it presents itself to consumers. But many SEO companies do not understand nor take into account your unique attorney marketing guidelines. Before you take a call from some persuasive salesperson that tells you Google is holding a front page spot for your law firm (which doesn’t happen- it’s a lie) educate yourself on the SEO myths that could hurt your law firm:
• Only SEO matters. Many SEO practitioners will pitch law firms on the overwhelming need for SEO by telling you that the only thing that will matter in gaining new clients is SEO. While this isn’t true, it is a helpful tool of your attorney marketing. SEO can help your website shoot to the top of search engine rankings to appear to more consumers. But it won’t be present in the many offline areas where consumers read, view, or congregate. And SEO isn’t a knowledge leader that people trust to advocate your law firm over another. While SEO is important, your law firm needs to pursue a variety of attorney marketing tools to be successful. Only with a cohesive attorney marketing strategy can your law firm gain the variety of potential clients it needs to grow your firm.
• Social media doesn’t matter. Some SEO firms will actively tell clients that social media doesn’t work, that it doesn’t matter. The truth is, that if your SEO company is buying likes for your social media page, those aren’t real people that your content is reaching but fake bots. Fake likes don’t convert into paying clients. When your law firm pursues organic social media in conjunction with SEO, your firm is better able to not only attract higher rankings, but also to attract more clients organically. Social media is one of the tools that search engines are increasingly using to inform their algorithm of what consumers find valuable. The popularity of these networks increasingly helps to drive attorney marketing content higher in rankings, exposing law firms to more consumers.
• Page rank is the only thing that matters. SEO practitioners that don’t know anything about marketing in general like to say that page rank is the only thing that matters. At a recent conference, we had an SEO practitioner try to tell us that things like public relations, social media, and advertising all didn’t matter because page rank was the only thing that mattered. Page rank is important, but it isn’t the be all end all. If your law firm turns down press because the page rank isn’t as high as you’d like, you’re missing out on opportunities to expose your business to potential clients. If your law firm is deciding against advertising because the page rank isn’t high enough, you’re missing out on potential exposure to consumers. Page rank shouldn’t be the only measurement your law firm uses to guide your attorney marketing efforts.
• .Edu or .Gov sites are the best to target for SEO. Some SEO practitioners will tell you that you need to target .edu and .gov sites exclusively for coveted links to your law firm. However, the truth is that while some of these sites rank very well, others are obscure and not frequently visited by consumers. So essentially, links from these sites mean little. Instead, you should be targeting a variety of sites for back links, not just one style of domain.
• Links are better than content. Shady SEO companies like to say that back links are the only thing that matters, that they’re better than your attorney marketing content. But the reality is that if your law firm isn’t producing quality attorney marketing content, no amount of back links that you court will convert the traffic to your website into paying clients. With poor quality content, you could attract the traffic your website needs, but if that’s not translating into cases, then your law firm should seriously examine the quality of your attorney marketing content.
• SEO guarantees results. If an SEO practitioner tells you that they can guarantee results, they’re lying. If they try to pitch you on a search engine like Google holding a place for your law firm on the front page, they’re lying. The truth is, it’s hard work to propel your law firm’s website to the top of search engine rankings. If anyone promises this to your law firm, they’re charlatans at best. The truth is, any good SEO firm can promise you increased rankings and they can work hard to get you to the top of the rankings. But it’s not easy and it’s a daily struggle to compete with tons of people in your specific practice area.
There are literally dozens of SEO myths that many reputable law firms fall for on a regular basis. However, if your law firm falls for these obvious myths, you could be in trouble. Your attorney marketing needs a variety of tools to propel your sites to greater heights including SEO. And SEO results are not easily achieved. If you’re confused about SEO or your attorney marketing, call the team at eLaw Attorney Marketing. We’ll help your law firm determine a strategy that propels your law firm to the top.