Pros and Cons of Lawyer Website Development and SEO

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Internet usage has grown so quickly over the past few years that firms which have not developed a website have been left behind. The internet has become the new Yellow Pages, and your website is your ad. Lawyer website development and search engine optimization, or SEO, are important and potentially effective ways for law firms to generate new clients, but website development and SEO pose some challenges. Here are the major pros and cons of focusing on website development and SEO for lawyer marketing.

Pros of Website Development and SEO

  1. Websites can positively impact all your online marketing efforts
    While a website isn’t required for most online lawyer marketing services, you will get more value from your marketing campaign if you have one. Many potential clients will want to peruse websites before deciding which firm to contact. A professional-looking website that makes a favorable impression may prompt more people to contact your firm..
  2. Websites can eventually generate free leads
    The longer your website is online and the more time you spend promoting it, the higher it will move you in search results. Lawyers who are able to get their website to the first page of Google for specific search phrases relating to their market and areas of practice often by attracting free leads, potential clients who come across your website as they search the internet.
  3. Websites are highly customizable and can be updated to reflect changes in your firm
    Websites are usually easy to update. A professional established website will last for years, no matter how often your practice changes. Unlike print or video advertisements, your website can be updated quickly, even if you change addresses or add associates who practice in different areas of law.

Cons of Website Development & SEO

  1. Website development and SEO can be expensive
    You can develop your own website and SEO, if you have the time and knowledge, but if you outsource them, expect to pay thousands of dollars upfront. You also may be charged a sizeable monthly maintenance fee for ongoing SEO efforts made on your firm’s behalf. Sometime this cost is justified, other times it’s not. Make sure you know exactly what you are paying for.
  2. Websites can take a long time before any showing up in organic search results
    Some firms expect that just because they put up a website, it will be found. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. While your site might get indexed in Google search results and could be found with search engines, it can take as long as a year to move up in search results enough to be found with useful search phrases. If your site is not within the top 3 pages of search results, it is not likely to be found under any circumstances.
  3. Website Search Engine Optimization is highly competitive
    Even with time, there’s no guarantee that your website will get to the top of the search results you want. Hundreds of law firms in your area may have been working and spending on their websites for years, trying to land themselves on that coveted first-page of search results.

In summary, putting up a website is not a sure way to generate business for your firm, but it is necessary to build business. Any other marketing you do will be impacted by your website, so it pays to spend time and effort developing a professional-looking and strategically sound site.

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