Why you should take SEO advice with skepticism

Law firm search engine optimizationIf you have a law firm webpage, you are probably concerned about where your webpage ranks organically.  Where your webpage ranks organically can have a big effect on the success of your law firm.

If your webpage shows at the top of relevant searches for your practice of law, this can be a huge boom for your law firm.  A webpage that ranks high generally gets more hits.  More hits on a webpage generally results in more leads.  And more leads generally results in more new clients.

So, SEO (search engine optimization) experts engage in all kinds of speculative prognostication about what makes a webpage rank high, what makes a webpage rank low and what can result in a penalty from the search engines that causes a webpage to be kicked into oblivion.

So, just like a lawyer may worry about malpractice risks, SEO experts worry about giving their clients advice that can result in a webpage being penalized.  When a webpage gets penalized or doesn’t rank high, what most law firms do is fire their SEO experts (or webpage company) in the hopes that a new company can do something different.

Of course, a new SEO company can come up with all kinds of reasons and rationale for why their SEO techniques work better than the techniques of X company.  In some ways, this is no different from the financial planning or stock industry where so-called experts look at various indicators to try to predict how the market, and your portfolio, may look in the future.  Of course, different experts can have different theories, different worries and different approaches.

At the end of the day, if you look at the advice of enough SEO experts, it can become terribly confusing.  Who should I believe?  Who shouldn’t I believe?  And who is simply giving fear-based advice akin to the false Y2K disaster that never was by continually focusing on what you shouldn’t do?  Or who is giving black hat advice that could result in an actual penalty from the search engines?

In the end, if you own a law firm webpage, you probably want to focus on the basics.  The basics are developing a really nice webpage with really nice content that causes the search engines to like it, visitors to stay a while and then come back in the future.  And, of course, it can be helpful to have your webpage listed in various places throughout the web that aren’t spammy.

And versus leaving one stock broker only to go to another with a different theory or sales pitch on SEO (when almost all advice given is prognostication on some level), perhaps it’s wise to find somebody good who you trust from the beginning — and stick with them –versus jumping from one SEO expert/company to another based on the frustration over your ranking or a different theory or sales pitch?

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

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