/CEPACLaw.com – Kevin Quinlan: Lawyer Marketing on Internet marketing for personal injury lawyers.
With all the buzz around lawyer and marketing, it is incredibly difficult for many attorneys to tell the difference between a true expert and a smooth talker that just knows the buzzwords. Even with a basic understanding of the principles of SEO, many injury lawyers / law firms end up trying to make their decision based strictly on price and they are often not really clear as to what SEO can do for their marketing program.
Unfortunately making a determination as to which SEO company to hire strictly based on the cost will program your efforts to fail. Most law firms would never consider hiring a new associate strictly because their salary request was the lowest. Typically, the decision to hire the associate is made based on education, achievements and references. Once the decision to hire is made only then is an appropriate compensation negotiated. This approach is standard business practice and makes just as much sense when hiring an SEO firm as it does for any new additions to your firm.
The correct SEO partner to market your law practice requires an understanding of your business and who your target market is. A consultation with the SEO professional should cover what areas of practice your firm would like to either grow or add, how competitive those areas may be in your geographic sphere of influence, the methodology they plan to employ and ultimately what their vision of a successful outcome is. A seasoned veteran is worth their price when it comes to experience in the personal injury category.
They should be able to clearly and concisely explain to you what their plan is both on and off-page. You should be informed as to what modifications, if any, will be required to make your personal injury lawyer web site more user & spider friendly, whether their services includes content creation, does your web host provide the best environment to achieve the work, and what type of analytics will be used to evaluate and refine the work.
When it comes to off-page methodology, you should know if your program will include a social media campaign consisting of (blogs, news, press releases) and what the overall strategy for link building is. How will social media be incorporated into your marketing plan? Adding links is extremely important, but they must be from sites that are authorities in the eyes of the search engines. Buying inexpensive links from “link farms” and other less than reputable sources could actually derail your efforts.
Naturally, the most important criteria are the results. Ask to be shown page ranking for key words that are competitive and meaningful. It is far easier to show results for obscure terms. It is also critical to work with ethical SEO professionals. Cutting corners and using “tricks” to achieve a higher ranking may yield short-term results, but can cause your web site to be penalized by Google and other search engines. The reputation of the firm you hire and how highly other attorneys regard their work goes a long way towards ensuring that their ethical standards are high and that they are committed to the success of their work for your law firm.
There are valid reasons why there is such a huge range in price between various SEO companies. A seasoned veteran with a successful track record and years of experience working with personal injury firms commands a much higher price than someone just starting out. That is not entirely different from hiring an associate at the top of their Ivy League class compared to a graduate of a lesser institution.
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