In the last few years, legal marketing has taken center stage as competition has increased and technology has advanced. And yet, many law firms still rely on historically traditional methods of marketing, including FindLaw online services. FindLaw has been a trusted name in the legal industry for over two decades. In addition to their well known lawyer directories, they offer a variety of services to legal clients, including web design, paid search, and SEO optimization. However, as many law firms have found out, FindLaw may not be the best option for the modern legal practice.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss FindLaw’s dirty little secrets and offer a better path to marketing success.
Five Topics to Challenge Your FindLaw Rep About
1) Overpriced Services that aren’t portable
The services that FindLaw offers are comprehensive and can help law firms build a strong enough web presence, but the cost of doing so is very high. Other companies may offer similar services at lower prices, making it difficult for firms to justify the use of FindLaw’s services.
Moreover, after paying a large upfront fee for web design, FindLaw continues to increase its fees with additional charges for maintenance and updates at every contract renewal. We have seen them double the prices year over year on listings and other web services! This means that clients end up paying more over time as their websites require more upkeep or features upgrading. In addition, their website files are not portable (despite their claims) and even with Find law’s provided website files, they are unable to be actually hosted on other web hosts. You are in essence renting your website and SEO from them.
Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to use FindLaw will depend on a firm’s budgets and goals. Your firms goals should rooted in success, which comes from signing up new clients. But when the costs constantly rise, and the service deteriorates, the benefit of staying with Findlaw begins to take a toll. Remember, you cannot take your website with you. So what can you do? We are able to take your Findlaw website and rebuild it pixel by pixel to look exactly as it does right now on FindLaw’s servers. Do NOT feel handcuffed to Findlaw, as there are agencies that can rescue you and set you up for controlled long term success.
Although FindLaw provides marketing services, you will want to avoid their pitfalls.
2) Questionable SEO Practices You Want to Ask Your FindLaw Rep About Now
FindLaw is also suspected of utilizing a lot of “gray/black hat” SEO tactics that can lead to negative effects on SERPs (Search Engine Results Page). One potential example is keyword stuffing, which involves the overuse of specific keywords in content in an effort to boost rankings. This old school practice often leads to low-quality webpages with irrelevant information and search engine algorithms actively penalize these pages for their lack of quality.
Another questionable SEO practice to ask your FindLaw rep about is link buying or selling. This involves purchasing links from other sites, usually ones with a higher domain authority than your own website. While this may seem like it would bring more traffic to your site, Google sees this as a form of manipulation and will penalize you for it in its SERPs rankings. What sites do they have links built on for your firm? They should be able to send you a list. Most of their links they build tend to be on their own network, probably to help mitigate their costs.
In addition, you’ll want to ask about whether they create doorway pages. These are web pages created solely for the purpose of manipulating SERPs rankings, often by targeting specific keywords or phrases. Google has recently started penalizing websites that use this strategy, so it’s important to avoid these tactics when optimizing your website for SEO.
For law firms looking to optimize their website for search engine results, it’s important to make sure your marketing agency is not engaging in any questionable SEO practices. While some of these tactics may seem like quick fixes to improve rankings, they can ultimately lead to long-term negative effects on a site’s visibility and credibility in search engines. Instead, focus on building quality content that effectively communicates the value and message of your legal services. With the right long-term SEO strategy, law firms can be sure to achieve better rankings in SERPs without engaging in questionable tactics.
3) Lack of Flexibility
The inability to make changes quickly can put a law firm at a competitive disadvantage. Sometimes just adding a new lawyer with new pictures can take weeks. With other online marketing providers (like us), many firms are able to adjust their strategies on the fly in order to stay ahead of their competitors. Additionally, when firms sign up for FindLaw services they often receive limited access to analytics data or SEO tools that can help them determine the effectiveness of their campaigns. As a result, they may not be able to monitor their progress or make informed decisions about how best to use their resources.
FindLaw’s lack of flexibility also makes it difficult for firms to develop a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that is tailored to their needs. FindLaw is a one-size-fits-all solution that does not allow for customization. This can make it difficult for firms to differentiate themselves from their competition and reach the right audience with the right message.
Finally, this lack of flexibility makes it hard for law firms to switch over from FindLaw services if they are unsatisfied with the results they are receiving. Firms may find themselves locked into long-term contracts with no way out, leaving them stuck in an unfavorable situation. Do yourself a favor and only sign one year contracts with them, and not the 3 year your rep will most likely push on you.
Overall, FindLaw’s lack of flexibility can be detrimental to law firms looking to maximize their digital marketing efforts and stay competitive in today’s rapidly evolving online market.
4) Poor Quality Website Designs
FindLaw’s poor website designs are consistently criticized by SEO experts. Their websites are often found to be filled with outdated code, making optimization difficult and increasing the time it takes for a page to load. In addition, these sites fail to follow basic SEO practices such as having unique titles and meta descriptions, which can result in reduced visibility on search engine results pages. And, because these website designs are so similar to other FindLaw clients, the sites have difficulty standing out from the competition and competing for search engine visibility.
FindLaw’s lack of innovation has resulted in a noticeable decline in their popularity among law firms seeking website design services. With more modern and customizable website design options now available from independent providers, many law firms are choosing to go elsewhere for their website design needs. As a result, FindLaw’s sites have become increasingly outdated and difficult to navigate on both desktop and mobile devices.
In order to remain competitive in the online legal sector, it is essential that FindLaw redesigns its websites to meet modern standards of design and user experience. This will require an investment of time and resources from FindLaw as well as input from web designers who understand the nuances of SEO, web accessibility, usability, and branding. Until then, law firms looking for professional website design services may be better off seeking independent providers who can offer more personalized solutions that accurately reflect their firm’s brand identity.
5) Other Options
Law firms can also take advantage of social media to boost their online marketing efforts. Social media provides an opportunity to reach a large and engaged audience, as well as build relationships with potential clients or referral sources. With the right strategy, law firms can use social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to share content and engage with followers and prospects in meaningful ways. Additionally, running targeted advertising campaigns on social media can be an effective way to bring visibility to a firm’s services.
Overall, there are many strategies available to law firms looking to improve their online marketing efforts. From working with legal-specific agencies to leveraging social media platforms and email campaigns, these methods provide a variety of ways for firms to reach their desired audience and grow their business. Ultimately, it is up to each firm to determine which strategy or combination of strategies will be most effective for them in achieving their goals. With careful consideration and planning, law firms can create an effective online presence that helps bring visibility to their services.
While FindLaw has been a trusted name in the legal industry for many years, they may not be the best option for law firms looking to improve their online marketing efforts today. Poor quality website designs, overpriced services, questionable SEO practices, and a lack of flexibility are just a few reasons why law firms may want to explore other options. Instead, law firms should consider legal-specific marketing agencies that can offer a more personalized approach to marketing and better adapt to changing market conditions. By doing so, law firms can unlock a better path to legal success and achieve the marketing results they need to stay competitive.
Legal Marketing Done Right
Are you a law firm that recently left FindLaw, or are ready to leave FindLaw? Is your law firm struggling with your marketing strategy? Precision Legal Marketing is here to help! Our team of experts specialize in helping law firms generate more leads, increase their visibility, and grow their client base through innovative marketing strategies. We understand the challenges that come with making the transition from FindLaw, but we’re here to make it seamless and easy. Don’t wait – contact us today to learn how we can help you achieve your marketing goals and take your law firm to the next level!