Should a law firm worry about search engine optimization?

Law firm webpageMany law firms enlist a marketing firm of some variety to put together and manage their webpage.  The hope is the marketing company can handle the webpage marketing.  The law firm’s attorney can then go back to the practice of law.

If the webpage ranks high on the organic search rankings, and the phone is ringing, the law firm is usually quite happy.  On the other hand, if the webpage is far down in the rankings (or not where the law firm wants it), and the phone lines are not ringing, most law firms are quite upset with the marketing company handling their webpage.  Many law firms will jump from webpage company to webpage company when their webpage isn’t generating the business they expect.

Many law firm owners wrongly think: “Isn’t it their job to make sure my webpage is ranking high?”  That’s the thought most law firm owners have when they’ve paid somebody to put up a webpage.  After all, most lawyers want to be lawyers.  They are not webpage developers.  They don’t think it’s their responsibility.  They don’t even understand it.  Many probably are not even familiar with the acronym for search engine optimization known as SEO.

If you have a marketing company handling your webpage, you have to ask yourself whether you simply hired them to put up your webpage or to handle search engine optimization as well?  If you only paid them to put up the webpage, and not optimize it, you can’t expect your webpage to show up high in the organic rankings.  Having a webpage show up high organically usually is the result of a lot of time, money and effort.  It doesn’t just happen in most instances.

Additionally, even if you paid a marketing company to handle the SEO, do you even know what SEO is?  Do you understand how it works?  If you don’t, it’s hard to even understand the SEO services available and whether what you’ve purchased, you’ve purchased wisely.

There is no question with many of the recent Google updated to their search engine algorithm (like Penguin and Panda), that many of the SEO tactics some companies might employ, could be counter-productive and harm your rankings (black hat).  So, hiring a SEO company to help you might actually harm your law firm’s webpage if you hire the wrong person to do it — or you hire somebody who engages in black hat tactics.

At the end of the day, having a webpage is a great marketing tool for most law firms.  However, having a webpage, and having that webpage rank high, are two totally different concepts.  And, ultimately, having a webpage that ranks high is what results in the phone ringing at your law office.  Wasn’t that the point of putting up a webpage in the first place?

If you have any thoughts, feel free to share them below.

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