When it comes to investing in SEO, lawyers and legal firms are not always the first in line.
And it’s not hard to blame them. Many legal firms favour traditional media over digital marketing, given their familiarity with these more conventional channels.
But today’s world is vastly different from the world before. And if you don’t keep up, you’ll be left behind by those who do.
As the world becomes more digital, SEO is no longer an option for lawyers and legal firm – it’s a must.
Here are three simple reasons why:
1. Be found online
The legal industry is notoriously one of the most competitive industries in the world. And in an extremely competitive market like this, every advantage counts.
In today’s world, that means being found online easily.
If people can’t find you or your firm online, then you’re losing potential business. It’s as simple as that.
Unfortunately, having a website isn’t enough to get you through. You also need to rank highly on search results. That’s because most users don’t scroll past the first few pages of search results when they’re doing their research.
In fact, 75% of online users don’t even scroll past the first page. (Hubspot)
So if you don’t show up in the first few pages of search results, then it’s like you don’t exist to people who don’t know about your firm. That’s a lot of potential business lost.
And when it comes to showing up on top of organic search results (i.e. unpaid listing), there’s no better or more cost-effective solution than SEO.
(Sure, you can pay for search ads to show up on top of search results. But that will cost a fortune – the legal industry has one of the most expensive keyword categories for paid search ads.)
2. Build a solid online presence
Having a solid online presence is one of the keys to success in today’s digital world.
But a strong online presence goes beyond just ranking highly on search results. It also requires having a consistent and integrated presence across different online channels.
The great news is that today’s SEO is more holistic than ever. Ranking highly on Google is now just one of the objectives of SEO. A strategic SEO campaign will consider your presence in different online channels and identify things to improve.
That’s because Google considers hundreds of factors when ranking websites in search results. This includes your presence in your Google My Business profile, social media, customer reviews, and more.
So when you invest in good SEO for your legal firm, you can rest assured that you’re also investing in other parts of your digital marketing that will expand your online presence.
And the stronger your presence online, the better you can rank in search results.
3. Set up for the future
You’ve probably heard that SEO is a long-term investment, and it is.
Unlike social media or Google Ads, SEO is designed for the long term. It’s also often more sustainable.
A quality SEO campaign is designed to build a solid foundation for digital marketing success, setting it up so your business can adapt to Google’s ever-changing search algorithm.
We’re not saying you can’t get positive results in the short term with SEO, because you absolutely can with the right strategy. What we are saying is that a good SEO campaign is designed to prepare and improve your business for the future as well. That’s why it’s often considered an investment, not an expense.
And in a highly competitive market like the legal industry, building for the future is what separates the superstars from the one-hit wonders.
In-house SEO vs Working with an Agency
Now that you know why you should invest in SEO for your legal firm, you might be wondering whether to do it yourself or hire an agency.
There’s no right answer for everyone, and a lot of it will depend on your circumstances.
To make the right decision, it always helps to answer the following questions:
- Do I know how to do it?
The goal of SEO is simple, but the ways to achieve it are far more complicated. SEO is a highly technical and specialised industry, and the guidelines and best practices for it are always changing. If you don’t know what you’re doing, then you could end up doing more harm than good to your site and search rankings.
- Do I have the time and resources to do it well?
There’s no way to around it: SEO requires a lot of time and resources. A half-hearted approach will achieve little – if any – results. That’s why many lawyers and legal firms prefer hiring agencies instead. Because even if they know what to do and how to do it, they simply don’t have the time or tools to do it well.
- How soon do I want results?
Yes, SEO is a long game. But it can be even longer if you don’t know what you’re doing or not doing the right things to build momentum. For many lawyers and legal firms, working with specialists achieves better results far faster than if they did it on their own.
Ultimately, the decision is up to you. Be honest about your capabilities with SEO and determine which option can get you the best results in the timeframe you want.
But one thing’s for sure: No matter which option you choose, you can bet your top competitors have started already.