SEO and a New Law Firm Website

Gyi Tsakalakis
September 5, 2013

If you're thinking about hiring an SEO, the earlier the better. A great time to hire is when you're considering a site redesign or planning to launch a new site. That way, you and your SEO can ensure that your site is designed to be search engine-friendly from the bottom up. However, a good SEO can also help improve an existing site.

- Google Webmaster Tools Help on Search Engine Optimization

There's no doubt, if you plan on attracting internet users via search, the time to start thinking about SEO is from the very beginning.

In fact, they should really be the first person you add to your new law firm website project.

Sure, you can fix SEO issues after launch. However, in many cases, fixing those issues really means rebuilding your site from the ground up.

That's why, even if your designer and developers don't know SEO, you should probably build on WordPress.

In an ideal world, your legal web marketing agency has expertise in:

  • Design
  • User Experience (UX)
  • Development
  • Photography
  • Video Production
  • Copywriting
  • Conversion Rate Optimization
  • AND Search Engine Optimization

In many cases, that's a tall order. You might find a designer who creates beautiful designs but doesn't know the first thing about development and is completely clueless about SEO. And some designs can have significant negative consequences on your site's performance in search.

If you don't have an SEO involved from the very start, you might need to back track even at the earliest stages of the project.

Even if you're not planning to competing in an aggressive online search landscape, you want to get the basics right. Things like site architecture, speed, and the major on-page HTML factors are really lay-ups to get right for any SEO of moderate competence.

In fact, if you do choose WordPress, most of these issues can be resolved with some basic configuration settings and some trusted plugins.

But even the design and development of your WordPress Theme can have SEO implications. For example, bad code can significantly slow a site down and speed is a factor.

But aside from the basics, there's a whole other side to search engine optimization that should be considered from the start.

You see, things like marketing messaging can have a real impact on your site's ability to earn off-page search signals.

After all, unless it's in jest, who wants to link to an attorney advertisement?

Getting an experienced SEO involved from the beginning can help you craft your site in a way that will attract visitors, subscribers, links, social shares and mentions around the web.

That's one of the reasons that real blogs and informational portal sites often perform so much better than static law firm websites that are primarily promotional.

Low Budget Law Firm Websites

If you're trying to keep the costs of your law firm website project down, you might be reluctant to add the additional expense of a law firm SEO consultant. That leaves you with two options:

  • Learn SEO yourself.
  • Find a T-Shaped person who knows design, development and SEO.

As previously mentioned, Google puts out a ton of great information about the technical aspects of search.

In addition to the technical stuff, I would also encourage you to spend some time investigating inbound marketing concepts. and would be good places to start.

As with any outsourcing decision, you'll have to balance the value of your time with the costs of hiring someone who knows what they're doing.

Of course, you could also completely ignore the search channel and hope you can generate enough business without it. But then why bother with a website at all?

Oh, you think people are going to find it without search... Good luck with that...

Gyi Tsakalakis
Co-Founder of AttorneySync
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