There are lots of online marketing companies out there. Many may claim they can help with search engine optimization. Many may claim they can help with webpage design. If you have a law firm webpage, you likely get unsolicited emails and calls from these folks all the time.
Many will claim to have SEO advice for you. They might claim that with their ideas, they can get your law firm webpage ranking high. They might claim that they can design a webpage that look substantially better than what you have now. They might claim that they can help create great webpage content.
Certainly some legitimate marketing companies can help your your law firm. Obviously, you want to thoroughly vet any marketing company before you enlist them to help you. What other law firms have they helped? How have those law firms done? How long has the company been around? These and other questions are all important ones to ask.
However, if you already have a law firm webpage, and the webpage has been up for a while and is performing well, do not fall unwittingly for the tip that you pull your existing webpage and create a whole new one. The reality is that some marketing companies are known for giving this advice. When advice like this is given, it ought to be a major red flag.
Instead of simply adding more content on your webpage, refreshing the design or working on off-site tips like building content rich backlinks to your existing webpage, some marketing companies are known for advising law firms that they should scrap the entire webpage that they have and create a whole new one.
If you think about it, the reality is that if a marketing company can convince you that you need a new webpage, they can make a lot more money than if they simply spruce up what you already have. The advice is similar to a dealer selling you a brand new car (or a brand new anything) versus simply tuning up or fixing the one you have. Before you ever take this advice, be sure to get a second and even a third opinion.
Further, if the new proposed new webpage is going to be on an entirely new domain (or URL address), this advice is extremely problematic. The reality is webpages can often take a long time to achieve a healthy ranking in the search engines. If you pulled down your old webpage address, and created a new webpage on a different domain (or URL address), it would literally be likely starting over from scratch online.
In other words, the law firm webpage will be taken down. Your new webpage will then take considerable time to be re-indexed by the search engines. This means that may suddenly lose all or most of your online traffic and leads.
Some marketing companies might argue that there are so many problems with your existing webpage (i.e. spammy links or other content issues), that it might be easier, simpler or better for a law firm to create w whole new webpage on a different domain versus enhancing the current one. However, if your webpage is doing well, and has not been penalized by the search engines in a significant way, pulling down an existing webpage and putting up a new one is almost always catastrophic advice.
If, on the other hand the company is proposing that you keep the webpage you have, but create a second webpage, there are potential problems here as well. In other words, if the content is duplicative, you might end up with your two of your own webpages competing with each other for search engine placement. But the search engines generally do not like duplicative content and may end up suppressing the rankings of both pages.
Thus, if you are creating a second webpage, you want to be careful that the new webpage has different content or perhaps is focused on a specific niche in the law that your prior webpage does not address. Perhaps your new webpage is an off-site blog for example, which is often oaky. But past that, a second, duplicative webpage is almost always unnecessary and even counter-productive.
Ultimately, webpages might need a design refresh from time-to-time. A webpage might also need some new content or off-site backlinks brought into the webpage. But pulling down an existing webpage and creating a new one on a different domain is almost always a bad move. If you ever get this advice from a marketing company, you likely want to run as fast as you can.
If you have any thoughts, feel free to share them below.