What should your firm consider before purchasing an SEO product or service?
Twice this week, I have been approached by lawyers who contacted me to request Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services. Both lawyers operate a sole proprietorship and are looking to tap into new markets in hopes of obtaining “first mover advantage”.
After a consultation, I relayed advice to them that I have given to most lawyers in their position. This advice is echoed in the Law Marketing Monitor blog.
1. Do not waste your money on “quick fix” online legal marketing gimmicks.
The creation of a website is a part of the bare minimum required to run your business. It is vital to your law firm’s success to invest in an online marketing strategy. Unfortunately, many law firms have invested in products that fail to install an effective long term strategy. This results in a short burst of online visibility which is directly interlinked to a diluted company brand and message.
The primary issue with “quick fix” marketing schemes online is that in order to fulfill their grandiose promises, they force firms to become a “jack of all trades and master of none”. A more effective approach would be to focus on your strengths as a firm and emphasize the services/skills that you offer that is better than your competition.
Before you invest in legal marketing services or products, it would be prudent to do an effective analysis of your position on the Web. Research online marketing strategies and gain a basic understanding of what you actually need.
Some companies offer affordable packages that include a free consultation and market analysis.
2. SEO does not create a demand in non-existent markets.
With regards to the case of my clients, I emphasized that search engine optimization is effective for terms that people are already searching for. In new or non-existent markets, the general trend would be that no one is searching for your company.
Just like a billboard placed along an inaccessible road, the exposure of your site is rendered irrelevant if no one is typing in keywords that may set them on the path to you.
There are a number of ways to overcome this issue and facilitate a strong introduction into a new market, but in my professional opinion, SEO is not one of them.
3. If other lawyers are not in the market, then it may be a negative sign rather than a positive.
The fact that other lawyers are not targeting the “new market” that you have your eye on is not always a good thing. Online, people gravitate to where money and opportunity lies. Creating a new market is requires an extraordinary amount of vision and time. Don’t bother re-inventing the wheel, as the cliche goes, simply improve on it.
A better strategy would be to emphasize and focus on providing the best client service and representation that you possibly can. In the long term, this will be a far more stable and effective strategy.
4. 10 is your lucky number
In Malcolm Gladwell’s bestseller Outliers, he indicated that in order to succeed, one must provide 10% better service in order to obtain a competitive edge in any given market. The same rings true in the legal industry.
Your SEO strategy will much more robust if you can identify what your firm does best and what makes it truly unique in a niche market. Emphasize these strengths and mold your SEO to highlight these services. Not only will you attract clients who will appreciate your service, but you will be establishing a more robust and stable long-term plan.
Author: Reem A., Hons. B.A., LLB