Marketing a law firm online presents unique challenges from marketing other businesses on the web. What works in other industries, doesn't necessarily work for law firm marketing. Also, there are many ethical considerations that are unique to law firm marketing the rules for which vary from state to state.
Due to the unique challenges of marketing a law firm online, it is that much more important to seek out professionals that specialize in internet marketing for law firms.
Like the practice of law, there can be no substitute for experience. SEO for law firms is part technical science and part technique. For most law firm SEO's, these skills are developed by working with clients and producing results. Again, experienced specialists in SEO for law firms know how to navigate many of the obstacles, pitfalls, and challenges associated with web-based practice growth.
From keywords to linkerati resources, to content production and publication, those that specialize in online law firm marketing have a competitive advantage over other legal-specific marketing consultants that don't have experience handling legal specific web campaigns.
One great way to distinguish specialists from more general search engine optimization consultants is through the use of targeted searches. For example, searches for "search engine optimization consultants" won't produce as targeted results as searches for "law firm search engine optimization consultants". Using legal modifiers like lawyer, attorney, and law firm in your searches for search engine optimization companies will help you find those that specialize in working with law firms.
Since a large part of law firm internet marketing is about "getting found" in various search engines, like Google, law firm SEO firms that rank-well in the organic listings for these types of terms provide good empirical evidence that they "know what they're doing". Keep in mind that this is more of a guideline than a rule.
Some law firm search engine optimization companies will push the envelope of acceptable practices. So, while these companies may enjoy short term success in the search engines, over time their rankings begin to diminish. Performing multiple searches for targeted relevant terms is a good way of weeding out some of these more short-minded firms.
If you're in the market for a law firm SEO company, be sure to check out their online reviews and ask around. Quite frankly, there are a lot more questionable firms than any of us in the industry would probably like to admit.