Search engine optimization (SEO) is a form of advertising that local businesses across the country are only beginning to discover. SEO is the ability to rank a website at the top of search engines such as Google for important keywords for the related business. For a law practice that wants to accelerate its growth, hiring a law firm SEO expert can be an excellent investment.
Search engines are essentially the modern version of the yellow pages. When people want to find a lawyer they are more likely to let their fingers do the typing on a keyboard in front of a search engine than letting them walk through a phone book. The internet simply makes too much information available for people not to use it. If someone searches for “law firm New York,” then those businesses with their search results appearing first are at a distinct advantage to their competitors.
One can buy ads on search engines such as Google and Bing to attempt to gain access to this traffic. However, these services charge a fee every time someone clicks on an ad. Many of those clicks advertisers are charged for might even be coming from automated bots instead of real human visitors. Moreover, people have a tendency to try to ignore the ads and click on the search results themselves which are perceived as having high quality because Google selected them.
A law practice could try to optimize the page themselves; however, Google changes their algorithm constantly, making it very hard for anyone other than a law firm SEO expert to keep up with the relevant changes. These algorithm updates can be quite substantial and detrimental to your business if you are not aware of them.
It is also important to hire a quality SEO firm in order to make sure that Google does not penalize your site. Google does not like its algorithm being manipulated and will actively penalize sites that it believes are trying to artificially game its system. A good SEO expert will carefully construct the links he is building to make them high quality while appearing to be natural. In contrast, countless less skilled SEOs had their sites’ rankings destroyed after Penguin and Panda updates because they took shortcuts to rank fast with cheap automated link building tools.
Hiring an SEO expert to get your site positioned best to jump to page one of the search results is one of the best investments you can make. Just about anyone looking for a lawyer is eventually going to do some research online. You owe it to your practice to make sure that they find your business before they stumble across your competitor.