SEO has become a huge industry in recent years, and today, most law firms report that they are using some type of search engine optimization strategy. If you've been having difficulty implementing these strategies and are on a budget, you may be thinking of hiring a cheap SEO service to help you figure out what else you can do to enhance your web traffic. While not all cheap SEO services are worth the money, hiring the right service can greatly enhance your ability to drive new clicks to your website. Keep reading to find out how to tell the difference between a cheap SEO service that works and one that doesn't.
Does “Cheap SEO Service” Mean Poor Quality?
It doesn't necessarily have to, but the truth is, you should be very careful about the quality of cheap SEO services. Remember, those cost savings have to come from somewhere. Because of this, you should always be skeptical about any cheap SEO service that is offering a much lower price than you've seen advertised anywhere else.
Of course, you may think, if you can get such cheap SEO services, it may be worth the risk—after all, isn't the worst that could happen that your traffic stays the same? The sad truth is that this isn't even close to the worst that could happen. If your cheap SEO service decides to use practices that violate Google's terms of service or their quality guidelines, you could actually see steep declines in your traffic.
Where Can a Cheap SEO Service Save Money?
There are places where cheap SEO services can reasonably be expected to conserve some money without having it affect their quality of service too much. For example, your cheap SEO service probably should avoid paying for any links. In addition to costing additional money, paid links are usually considered to be low quality links by search engines.
You may also be able to save money by writing a lot of your own content instead of having cheap SEO services draw your content up from scratch. Even if your cheap SEO service has to edit and rephrase some of the content you've written, this will usually take less time and money—and your words will have what is unmistakably your voice.
Don't Skimp on These Parts of Your SEO Strategy
No matter what, though, there are some parts of search engine optimization that are much tougher for a cheap SEO service to manage. For example, if you do want original content created for your law firm's website, cheap SEO services may be a really bad idea.
Why? Because in order to get such inexpensive content, a cheap SEO service is very likely to be using non-native speakers of English who are writing your content from halfway around the world. Cheap SEO services can't usually afford the rates of professional writers who can make polished, error-free content. While some types of websites might be able to get away with internationally outsourced content, attorneys are expected to present a very professional image at all times.
Mobile is an increasingly big part of SEO strategy. If your cheap SEO service hasn't learned much about mobile and isn't planning to help you implement mobile search engine optimization, you should consider looking for a better service. Great SEO services today are focused on the mobile traffic revolution, which will be responsible for over fifty percent of total web traffic in less than 18 months.
Signs A Cheap SEO Service Isn't Worth It
Cheap SEO services can be very different from one another, but there are some signs that should tell you that your working relationship wouldn't be very productive. One of these signs should be whether they're aware of new changes to Google and other search engines, and how those changes will affect search engine optimization strategies for 2012 and 2013.
You can also tell that a cheap SEO service isn't worth your time if the people working for the service are unwilling to provide you with case studies showing how their search engine optimization strategies have benefited other law firms like yours. SEO for law firms is substantially different than SEO in other industries, and it's critical that the cheap SEO services you're looking at know how to get legal clients clicking.
Finally, a cheap SEO service should probably get crossed off your list if they focus their work on creating reciprocal linking. This “you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours” philosophy helped a lot of cheap SEO services create links that got search engine attention, but new algorithm changes have limited how helpful reciprocal linking can be.
Monitoring the Progress of Your Cheap SEO Service
When you hire cheap SEO services to handle your search engine optimization account, you should have a regular schedule for updates. Your cheap SEO service can help you understand the data that has been gathered by your website for the purpose of analysis, and what the trends in those data are saying now.
If you're not happy with how much progress cheap SEO services are making after several months have passed, you may want an analytics professional to take a look at your website's data. The analytics pro can tell you whether what's failing you is your content itself or your search engine optimization strategies.
Is Doing It Yourself Better?
With some cheap SEO services having definite negatives, you may be wondering if you should just buckle down and study on your own. While this may seem like a good idea initially, even a cheap SEO service is putting a great deal of time into research into techniques. Keep in mind that any time you're spending (or having an employee spend) looking into SEO is time that isn't being spent attending to other firm business.
Doing it yourself should usually only be attempted if you haven't been able to find a cheap SEO service that meets your needs. You should also have a strong background in computers or statistical analysis (and preferably both) before you start handling all of your search engine optimization needs.