You’re ready to invest in SEO, but another partner is hitting the brakes. Frustration is at an all-time high. Despite your conviction that now is the time to grow your law firm through SEO, you’re stymied by their reluctance and you can’t seem to break through.
We often hear from firms facing this exact situation—and we empathize!
Many times, a partner’s hesitation about SEO is rooted in sheer misunderstanding of how SEO works. They may have also been burned by a bad experience with an agency in the past. In some situations, they’re actually correct and now is not the right time to invest in SEO.
Either way, this article will help you work through this tough conversation.
Here’s how to approach a conversation with a suspicious partner about investing in SEO, including four arguments and rebuttals to help you earn their buy-in.
Argument #1: We get most of our traffic through word of mouth
Rebuttal: A strong web presence plays a critical role in the attorney selection process, whether for new client discovery or referral validation for word of mouth clients.
Today, attorney selection happens online. Even if someone hears about your firm from a friend, they will turn to the Internet to look you up.
Although there are some generational differences between the attorney selection process for Gen Z, Millennials, and Boomers, nearly all your potential clients use the Internet as part of their hunt for legal advice.
The bottom line is that your firm needs a web presence that can gain someone’s trust when they Google you—and this means your website actually needs to appear when they look for you on Google. SEO can help with this.
Argument #2: Our marketing budget is too limited for SEO
Rebuttal: If you’re spending any money on marketing, then you should be spending some money on SEO—and you can get results even with a limited marketing budget.
We understand the impulse to tighten the purse-strings. In a time when inflation is sky-high and money is limited, it’s wise to spend carefully.
The truth is that you can’t afford not to invest in SEO if you want to grow your business and stay competitive. Furthermore, SEO doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg—and the ROI with targeted SEO could be far higher than for more traditional marketing campaigns.
Argument #3: SEO is time-consuming and uncertain
Rebuttal: SEO is as guaranteed as any other marketing tactic—and as with everything, you’ll get better results if you get professional help.
Yes, SEO is a big task that requires an investment of time and labor. Figuring out what Google really wants is time-consuming and it can feel like the worst kind of slot machine, plopping in coins and waiting for a payout that never comes.
However, there are proven tactics that experts employ to help you rank higher and get in front of your target audience.
If there are concerns about devoting precious staff hours to SEO, hire it out to an external law firm SEO agency rather than saddle an in-house marketer with the task.
If you haven’t gotten results with SEO in the past and there are concerns about ROI, it’s probably a question of understanding how SEO works. Someone who has seen success in the past with traditional marketing methods is likely to prefer the way it’s always been done.
Here’s what you can say: Fear of change and risk aversion can be healthy, but not if we let them become barriers to our firm’s evolution. Then send them this link to our SEO guide for lawyers.
Argument #4: The firm has more urgent priorities
This one is a fair point. You do need to have a strong enough business to actually benefit from the traffic that SEO will send your way.
If you’re still in the process of launching your new firm, if you urgently need to expand your physical office space, or if you’re woefully understaffed, then it might not make sense to invest heavily in SEO right now.
On the other hand, it can take three to six months to start seeing results from your SEO efforts. It might be worth starting now so that you’re flush with new business once you’re all staffed up and ready to go.
Consider what’s currently on your firm’s plate and then explore how and when it makes sense to begin investing in SEO to support our firm’s long-term growth. Don’t let SEO become a future to-do list item that never gets done.
Rebuttal / Discuss: SEO takes time, so we should start prioritizing SEO as soon as we can. When is that?
Review and next steps
SEO is non-negotiable for law firms who want to succeed in today’s market. But that doesn’t mean you have to do the job yourself!
Get buy-in from a partner with these four points:
- A strong web presence (achieved through SEO) helps validate referrals and attract new leads
- You can get results with SEO even with a limited marketing budget
- Get expert help to demystify SEO, put in the hours, and track ROI so you don’t have to
- SEO takes time to be effective; if it’s not at the top of your list, it should be near the top
Start by getting a quote based on your firm’s needs. Don’t invest in SEO without a clear and custom strategy that is tailored to your business. We are the marketing partner of choice for law firms and legal professionals across the country, and we can help you get started.