[Author: Noreen Fishman]
If you’ve ever dabbled in digital marketing in today’s business environment, Term SEO. SEO (or search engine optimization) is a complex and ever-changing science, but it can offer great rewards to those who do it right. The problem is that most marketers don’t really have the skill set or background to make a real impact in SEO. In that case, finding the right partner is key and can go a long way in getting you a better spot in searches and getting more clients.
New to SEO?
Search engine optimization is the practice of optimizing online content to appear in a more prominent position in search results. This is important because most people do their research online. Landing on the first page of results makes a huge difference.
The next step is to actually drive users to your site from these search results. Most marketers don’t have the time or words to achieve first page results. That’s where agencies can play an active role. Literally thousands of companies claim they can help with SEO. Finding the right one takes time and effort, but you’ll be glad you did.
Why use an SEO agency
SEO is a broad type of strategy that often requires a fair amount of background knowledge to get results. Not only that, but SEO best practices are constantly changing. At any moment, a search engine such as Google could change their ranking factors and overnight he could be embroiled in an SEO disaster.
That said, SEO is often a timely process and requires real expertise to get it right.
For law firms that don’t have the bandwidth to hire an in-house SEO expert or leverage their current team to meet these needs, it may be time to hire an SEO agency.
Ultimately, having someone else handle your search needs can save you a lot of time, resources, and even money. Because you don’t have to pay for experts or buy a bunch of tools to find SEO success. .
Questions for a potential SEO agency
- What kind of experience do you have? Can you share your references and loyal clients?
- How long have you been working in-house? How much do you outsource?
- Do you have a dedicated account manager and how much attention do you get from them?
- what do you need from me How do you let me know about those expectations?
- what definite How long can I expect results?*
- How are the keywords chosen? Are you focusing on broad phrases or more targeted words to get conversions?
- What other types of marketing do you do?
*Please note that no agency can guarantee quantifiable results, especially since Google’s algorithms are constantly changing. Results will be unique to each client, but potential vendors should be able to share some specific metrics that can move the needle. Beware of agencies who claim they can ‘get you to the top’.
Any reputable agency that has been in business for some time and has had success will be happy to answer these questions. If the answer is vague, don’t be shy to ask. SEO is an area that many people don’t understand and, sadly, there are companies trying to take advantage of it. Having all the information you need will help you make better decisions.
red flags in progress
Unsettling events may occur. There are some potential mines. If any of these occur, dig deeper into the investigative process or move on to the next potential agency.
- A significantly lower or higher price based on other prices we’ve seen in our research.
- Promise a timeframe like “Your site will be indexed in 2 days!” Or “Top page ranking guarantee in 1 week!”.
- Oversubmit your site to search engines.
- Improper reverse linking practices, such as thousands of links to your site.
- SEO and metadata copyright claims.
- Claiming that you have a special position or relationship with Google that can help you (for example, “I know someone who works at Google”).
Any of these items are reasons to reconsider your agency. Some actually slow down search engine performance and give you the opposite result of what you are looking for. Also, be aware of black hat SEO practices. Agencies participating in black hat SEO are seen as a bit shady at best and outright criminals at worst. Their methods are considered unethical and often use loopholes found in programming or search algorithms to get better results. When sites using these methods are found by search engines, they are usually penalized, sometimes severely.
Choosing the right SEO agency for your law firm can be a difficult task. It can be a very personal and important investment for your company.
This post has been edited and republished from October 23, 2018.