How Long Will My Law Firm’s SEO Take To Show Results?
It’s one of the most often-asked questions in a digital marketing company. We understand why. You’re investing your law firm’s marketing dollars into the sometimes-nebulous world of search engine optimization (SEO), and you want to know when you’ll get a return on that investment.
“It depends.” While this is true, it is not always met with enthusiasm. Few other marketing tactics work this way, so investing time and resources in something that won’t produce instant benefits might be difficult.
For most law firms, a comprehensive SEO plan should take roughly 3-6 months to get momentum, with full results realized in nine months to a year. In year two, most law firm websites can rely on SEO for a constant stream of new cases each month.
Although this is what we typically see, it is not always guaranteed and impossible to predict at the onset. If you want to establish a strong SEO for your law firm, you must accept that the results will not be immediate.
Even though we provide SEO services, this is why we occasionally recommend against it. If you need to generate more cases in the next three months to stay profitable, we recommend strategies like paid search that take less time to ramp up. SEO is a marathon, but to be effective, you must invest appropriately and have a consistent caseload from other marketing activities while your SEO efforts are underway.
Numerous factors influence how quickly your website appears in Google’s organic search results. The main elements will be discussed in this blog post.
Domain Age & History
Your domain age and history are important factors that determine your website’s ability to rank well in search engines. Google search results are generated using a proprietary algorithm that is designed to give higher rankings to trusted, authoritative websites.
As a result, it takes time for a brand-new website to establish authority. This will take time if your law firm has never had a website (or if your website has never had any SEO work done on it). Your website will compete with hundreds of thousands of others, many of which have been around for far longer. Your authority and rankings should slowly rise as you expand your website and add more content.
If you currently have a domain for your law firm’s website, one of the first considerations our digital marketing agency typically makes is whether or not to keep your domain or move to a new one. This decision is highly dependent on the history of your domain. If your domain has a history of manual or algorithmic penalties from Google, recovering rankings may be more challenging, even if your law firm did not own the domain at the time of the penalty.
Law firm SEO is a competitive field, and how long your company takes to get to the top of the rankings depends on your competitors’ performance. In general, competition is higher in larger metro areas, so it may take more time and money to build an SEO presence there.
Establishing realistic goals for your SEO strategy in relation to your competition is essential. In a highly competitive market, ranking first in all your practice areas could take more than a year. That doesn’t mean you can’t be successful before then, but you should have a short-term and long-term strategy.
Assume you practice personal injury law in a highly competitive market. Understanding the competition will help you identify gaps and tailor your strategy accordingly. While ranking #1 for vehicle accident and general personal injury-related keywords may be your long-term aim, ranking for medical malpractice queries may be more achievable within the first six months.
The higher your goals, the longer it may take to achieve them. In a highly competitive market, expecting a brand-new website to dominate search results in three months is unrealistic. Before you set your goals, ensure that you understand their feasibility and the resources needed to achieve them.
Budget & Tactics
Because of the complexity of Google’s algorithm, an efficient SEO strategy will necessitate a multifaceted approach. The best results will be obtained by combining local SEO optimization, content development, technical SEO, and link building.
Some SEO companies specialize in a specific area of SEO. You may, for example, receive emails promising greater results through link building or content creation. While this is less expensive, a more focused strategy for SEO will take longer to provide results. For example, link-building efforts will be ineffective if your website developers do not follow SEO best practices. Similarly, your content efforts will fall short if you aren’t also working on techniques to help your law firm acquire backlinks.
Higher budgets, in general, allow your SEO strategists to diversify their tactics. Again, it’s critical to be realistic about the amount of work required to attain your SEO goals; thus, your SEO agency must be transparent and trustworthy.
But What if Someone Promises Fast Results?
It typically is when something appears too good to be true. Anyone who claims to be able to significantly boost your law firm’s SEO presence in a month is most certainly using spammy tactics that will put your website at risk of a penalty. SEO takes time, and anyone who tells you otherwise is not operating in your law firm’s best interests.
What About Algorithm Updates?
While Google’s algorithm is always changing, it is quite unlikely that it will significantly impact the time it takes for you to see results from your SEO efforts. However, there is one exception.
An algorithm update can derail your results if you or your SEO experts engage in any action that violates Google’s guidelines. Google’s algorithm rewards websites that invest in quality content while avoiding spammy, “black hat” techniques with higher ranks. As long as you avoid practices like buying links, algorithm updates should not affect your progress.
What Type of Traffic Growth Can I Expect?
You will not wake up one morning and have an avalanche of calls to your firm due to your SEO presence. While SEO may take some time, you may expect steady progress. If you start implementing your content strategy, link building, and addressing technical SEO, rankings will increase.
Once you get first-page rankings for several business-related keywords, your website traffic will increase. You should always continually work on your website’s SEO strategy, as SEO is never complete. As long as you invest the necessary resources and time in SEO, you should notice a steady increase in traffic and new cases.
Leave it to the Experts
Understanding SEO and perfecting it to see results takes time, which you may not have. Because of the necessary knowledge and time, lawyers and firms should outsource their SEO management to a reputable expert team. There is a lot that goes into SEO, and you want to work with someone who keeps their finger on the pulse of what’s working in SEO and is up to date on the latest updates.
An SEO management team, such as our digital marketing company, can tailor an SEO plan to your law firm based on your firm’s specific goals and vision. They can execute that plan, making necessary changes based on your results and further Google algorithm updates. Your SEO management team can also keep track of your metrics and results to show you what is working.
Regardless of whether you hire an SEO management team or not, be prepared for a time lag between your efforts and your results. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is an effective SEO strategy.
Call Us Today
If you have any further questions about developing an SEO strategy for your law firm’s website, please contact us at 832 694 1145.