Law Firm SEO Services and Rankings

Gyi Tsakalakis
March 14, 2013

No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.

Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a "special relationship" with Google, or advertise a "priority submit" to Google. There is no priority submit for Google. In fact, the only way to submit a site to Google directly is through our Add URL page or by submitting a Sitemap and you can do this yourself at no cost whatsoever.

- Google Webmaster Tools help on Search Engine Optimization

I don't know how long we're going to have to talk about this. Probably forever. At least as long as you keep buying it...

Let's make this simple: If an SEO is selling rankings, they don't get it.

That's at best, they don't get. At worst, they know exactly what they're doing. They're making a guarantee they can't keep.

And even if they tie their compensation to a guaranteed ranking, you still shouldn't pay for rankings.

Rankings ≠ Clients

At the risk of stating the obvious, rankings in search engines does not equal getting new clients. I know some of you think it does, but it doesn't.

For example, if your law firm SEO service guarantees that they can get you to rank for obscure search queries that no one uses, you're not going to get any search traffic, let alone, traffic that is likely to convert into a paying client.

But what if they guarantee that I can rank for an extremely popular term? Something like: "chicago personal injury lawyer".

First, they can't. Second, even if they can, chances are that they're doing something that won't last (search for google penguin update, panda update, link schemes, web spam, google penalty, etc). And for whatever amount of time that it does last, it's likely to harm your reputation and get you in trouble with your state bar.

But here's the part you might not have considered:

Those highly competitive head terms that everyone is optimizing for make up only a very small percentage of the search traffic that's relevant to actually attracting new clients.

What? How can this be? Surely everyone that is looking for a lawyer online performs some variation of:

City Practice Area Lawyer/Attorney/Law Firm


As it pertains to your practice, most people are using the internet to research something. They're searching for information about their problems and answers to their questions.

After research, and depending upon your reputation in-real-life, people are using the internet to look you up. So they're searching on variations of your name or maybe firm's name.

Then there are all the people who aren't currently in need of your services, but that make up your professional network. So that when they do need a lawyer, they think of you.

None of these people fit the City Practice Area Lawyer/Attorney/Law Firm search pattern.

So even if your law firm SEO service successfully delivers on their guarantee to get you to rank for the keywords you want, they're missing the bigger picture.

What Should Law Firm SEO Services Sell?

SEO is an acronym for "search engine optimization" or "search engine optimizer." Deciding to hire an SEO is a big decision that can potentially improve your site and save time, but you can also risk damage to your site and reputation. Make sure to research the potential advantages as well as the damage that an irresponsible SEO can do to your site. Many SEOs and other agencies and consultants provide useful services for website owners, including:

Review of your site content or structure

Technical advice on website development: for example, hosting, redirects, error pages, use of JavaScript

Content development

Management of online business development campaigns

Keyword research

SEO training

Expertise in specific markets and geographies.

- Google Webmaster Tools help on Search Engine Optimization

Perhaps this list oversimplifies and understates some of the things that an SEO can do for you. And undoubtedly, some of you who read this will chuckle to yourselves that none of this applies to you because, "you have Google beat." Good luck to you.

But for those of you who don't want to throw time and money down the SEO rabbit hole, ask these questions:

Law Firm SEO Questions from Gyi Tsakalakis from Gyi Tsakalakis
Gyi Tsakalakis
Co-Founder of AttorneySync
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