Why Is SEO for Law Firms So Expensive? | Omnizant

Attorneys often have sticker shock when they realize just how much good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) costs. The truth is that SEO, when done the ethical way in accordance with Google’s best practices, is time-intensive. It’s not just adding some keywords to your web page titles and meta descriptions. 

However, plenty of agencies charge high prices—and price is not always correlated to quality. So, why is SEO so darn expensive? And how can you tell the good legal SEO agencies from the bad, if the pricing is the same?

Here’s why SEO costs so much, including a breakdown of set-up and ongoing SEO activities, the skills and training required to successfully execute on SEO, and timelines for actually getting results.

Ethical, effective SEO is time-intensive 

Let’s say you want to grow your law firm as quickly as possible. 

You create a new website on Wix, cramming as many relevant keywords as you can fit. 
You throw up some content on Instagram and Facebook and pay for some backlinks.
You dump a ton of money into Pay-Per-Click (PPC) to generate immediate leads. 

After four weeks, your get-rich-quick scheme may be sending you traffic via PPC. But after two months, you probably still won’t be ranking on Google or in the Map Pack. You’ll be left with digital assets that may need to be completely reworked, and now you have less money to make it happen.

Instead, let’s consider ethical, effective SEO. 

This involves creating a comprehensive SEO approach that includes all your online platforms, producing valuable content to help you rank organically, earning backlinks, and tweaking as you go along. 

It will take a bit longer, but the result is a well-built SEO machine with a solid online reputation and real authority with your audience and with Google.

No amount of money or black hat techniques can trick the algorithm (not for long, at least). If you want to continue to grow your business past the first flush, embrace the algorithm’s natural SEO limits with organic, ethical link-building and valuable content. 

First, you need to set up: research and craft a strategy

You need to craft an SEO strategy that is completely customized for your business. 

This research process must be thoroughly completed before the launch of any SEO campaigns, otherwise you’re just dumping money down the drain.

Keyword research
Extensive research of your specific market
Competitor research

The key is to dig into your unique niche, then find out who is already ranking well in your target market. Now you can unpack their strategies to rival and surpass them with your own unique approach. 

It’s also critical to know your firm’s capacity to execute. There’s no point in creating an SEO plan that requires people-power or money that you simply can’t allocate right now.

This set-up process can take several weeks, depending on your niche, your location, your current digital assets, and your goals.

Next, you need to execute on your SEO strategy … consistently and skillfully

Now it’s time to execute on your legal SEO strategy. This means building a website and everything below.

Technical skills: Search intent analysis; keyword research; coding; report pulling with Google Search Console; forecasting; website management and rebuilds; conversion tracking

Content skills: Content writing and editing for practice area pages, blog articles, long-form content pages; social media content creation; industry expertise (and hiring attorneys like we do adds a premium cost)

Off-site optimization: Earning links from reputable publications; creating guest posts for third-parties

Skill and consistency are the two most important elements of a successful SEO strategy. 

From crafting a review-generation strategy to creating content and managing technical website issues, SEO requires consistent effort over a long period of time. This includes daily, weekly, and monthly activities. SEO can take between three to six months to see organic results.

Most firms hire an SEO agency because the work is too specialized and too extensive for existing staff to manage. In other words, you can get great results with a skilled team and consistent effort—but it does come at a cost.

Maintenance and ongoing improvements are non-negotiable to keep your ranking

Set-up is only half the battle with SEO. Do not be fooled by an agency that promises to set you up for success with a high fee up-front and no maintenance!

Ongoing maintenance is necessary for every single part of your digital presence.

While it’s relatively quick to set up a Google Business Profile, you need to post updates and monitor reviews to optimize your visibility. This takes time.

You also need to review your reports to learn what works and what doesn’t work. Then, you need to pivot your optimization strategy as needed. This means ongoing site enhancements and A/B testing of landing pages, CTAs, and other messaging. 

As the algorithm changes and your competitors adapt, you need to change, too. Did you know that Google makes thousands of changes every year.?

SEO requires a diverse skill-set and a devoted team

As you can see, managing SEO with a dynamic content strategy requires a ton of time and commitment. It also requires a diverse team—not just one jack-of-all-trades. 

SEO success is possible. Your goals are not too big! You just need to spend some money.

Hire a team that’s capable of executing on your vision, rather than expecting top results from an overworked, non-expert team. 

Review and next steps

Without a comprehensive digital presence built with SEO in mind—and without a skilled, devoted team to manage your SEO strategy—any initially exciting results will fizzle out. 

Instead, invest in skilled help and ongoing support from a legal SEO agency.

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