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Our clients, as with every other attorney with a website, get bombarded with phone calls and emails from companies offering their “SEO services” and promising them incredible results. So if you’re actually considering finding a search engine marketing company, how do you tell who is legit and who’s an amateur? The first thing that may come to mind is to ask your attorney friends who have a website that are consistently generating new leads for them and to see what what they recommend. The problem is, if they are competing with you for the same type clients, do you really expect them to tell you what’s working for them when may well just mean added competition? Probably not. So, that leaves it up to you to do some research yourself and do your due diligence. Let’s talk about which SEO companies you should be avoiding since you (just like us) receive daily emails from so called SEO companies offering their services.

1. Avoid dealing with any organization that emails you offering Internet marketing services if the sender is using a Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail (or any free web email service) e-mail address. Be assured that 99% of the time if a person is attempting to hide their identity by using an email address that can’t be traced, they cannot be trusted. There is a reason they need to hide their identity. Here’s an example of what to watch out for:

Note the highlighted email address above and the email address. Do not even bother responding to someone who hides their identity. That should automatically eliminate them from your consideration. If they don’t provide a company name or website then do not waste your time. What you do want to see is the company website URL after the @ sign (such as which obviously belongs to the domain. Besides it’s just not professional to correspond with potential business partners without at least investing in a domain name that represents you company. Free accounts simply don’t do this.

2. Avoid engaging with a company if they won’t properly use the English language. Receiving an email message filled with spelling or grammatical errors should instantly eliminate that person from consideration. If a person is going to be doing SEO for you, they have to possess a complete grasp on the language. This is crucial to performing proper SEO and understanding how to generate quality links for your law firm.

3. Avoid speaking with a company if they can’t even get their own site to rank on Google. For example if I’m trying to sell you on our SEO services for lawyers, we should be able to get our very own site to rank for a search like “search engine optimization for lawyers” or “SEO for lawyers” on the 1st page of Google. So if you are unsure, simply do some tests on Google and find out if that company appears on Google.

4. Avoid dealing with a company if their website design is poor. Any organization that knows how to successfully market a law firm’s practice realizes that a web site is often the first impression a visitor gets regarding your firm. A poor, outdated design immediately puts those same thoughts in the mind of the visitor with regards to your skills as a lawyer. Very seldom is that true but it’s absolutely what website visitors think. Poorly design websites will not convert visitors into clients and losing potential clients is not something you can afford.

5. Avoid any Search engine optimization firm if they cannot show you 1st page Google results of their other clients. Not just for random search terms but the most obvious search phrases that you (and all your competitors) want to rank for. If you are a personal injury law firm in Houston, you obviously want to rank on the 1st page for “Houston personal injury lawyer”. Can they show you 1st page ORGANIC rankings for searches like that? If the answer is no, you shouldn’t expect that you will be the 1st of their clients to make it to the top. Let someone else be their guinea pig and waste their own money. Not only should they show you one example, ask for several examples so that you know they’re able to do this with consistency on Google, where it matters most.

When it comes to finding a good SEO company for your law practice, it’s important to use common sense. As competetive as the Legal Industry is, someone offering you Internet marketing services for $500 a month and promising 1st page results is probably full of it. It is too good to be true and it’s not realistic. Remember there’s limited “real estate” on Google’s first page. The first page of results for competitive search terms is tough competition and trust me, your competitors who are there are not doing it for cheap. It takes a company with proven results to get you to the top of the mountain. So, be smart and know that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

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