Stoddard Digital Marketing Agency

What To Do Before Hiring an SEO Agency for Your Law Firm

You can get a lot of information before you bother talking to an SEO Company and digital marketers or Pay Per Click campaign managers. It's easy for you to get educated in this area to make a better buying decision.

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As a law firm partner or owner, how will you prepare yourself before hiring an SEO Company for your digital marketing needs? What are the free tools you can use to raise important questions during the consultation meeting with them?

Here are some really good tips on what you should do personally before you go and hire a search engine optimization company, or any digital marketing doing Pay Per Click or General SEO, or any other thing that they’re doing for you in the digital marketing realm.

What To Do Before Hiring an SEO Agency for Your Law Firm

Jesse Stoddard here and I am going to be doing this “live” and I am with Stoddard Agency. We do small business marketing, but now I’m happy to announce this, we are doing more marketing for personal injury attorneys and law firms. I wanted to go over today some really good tips on what you should do personally as a partner, or the owner of your law firm before you go and hire an SEO company, a search engine optimization company, or any digital marketing agency for that matter, especially if they’re doing Pay Per Click or General SEO, or any other thing that they’re doing for you in the digital marketing realm. You’re going to find out that this is really cool because it affects offline marketing as well, whether it be digital or print marketing or broadcast media.

The first thing you need to know is about these tools. Now when you are working with an SEO company, they’re going to show you some charts and graphs and it all looks really impressive, but what’s really funny now is that most of the stuff is available to you for FREE.

Free Tools You Can Use for Keyword Research

1.) SEM Rush

If you just know where to look, they’re probably going to use some kind of a tool like SEMrush. I’m not even logged in, this was just going to SEMrush.  I looked up one of my clients’ websites, Rusell and Hill. By the way, they are great and I don’t want to go into detail because I don’t know how much of this information they would really want us to be talking about, but it’s available to anybody and it’s public.

It’s easy to find yourself. So there’s not much worry about being too secretive here. They’ve got a fantastic website and they’ve got some information here that would dazzle you and you don’t want to get too confused with this, but before you go and even talk to an SEO company or if you already have one, here’s how you familiarize yourself with what they’re doing a little bit so that you can speak more intelligently with them and you can make better buying decisions or help guide them, make sure they’re doing a good job.

What SEM Rush does:

A.) It shows your organic search or paid search backlinks, display advertising.

B.) It shows you what kind of traffic you’re getting.

These guys are heavy on organic and not really doing paid traffic quite yet. They will be soon and you can see what the top organic keywords are that they’re showing up for.

Obviously, Russell and Hill are showing up pretty well for “malpractice lawyers near me”, “medical malpractice attorney near me” and “injury lawyer in Everett, Washington” and their positions and the amount of volume. You can see that there’s a higher volume, but they have a lower position for this “malpractice lawyers near me” and their cost per click is $33. You can also see that the main organic competitors, which is very important- it’s who are the other websites that are competing for their keywords and what is their competition level? And you can see there’s a few of them in the area that is competing for their keywords. Now, what’s interesting about this as it may not even be the law firms that are concerned with because what it’s doing is it’s looking at all the keywords that Russell and Hill here are competing for and who is in competition for those.

Well, it might not even be an attorney they care about. And the reason why this is important to note is that they are – when we know this from other work that their previous SEO Company did, is that they’re competitive on a lot of keywords that people will search for in Google, but not all of them necessarily apply to what they really care about. In fact, 80 percent or 90 percent of their businesses coming from less than 20 percent of the keywords that they ranked for. In other words, they’re getting a lot of return on investment for just a handful of keywords, even though they’re competitive on lots of them. In other words, they’re wasting effort, which usually translates into wasting money. That might be why they’ve recently decided to make a change. I want you as an attorney or maybe a marketing manager for a law firm to at least be aware of this, even if you’re not an analytics person.

Most business owners I know and attorneys, they’re not really into this stuff nor will they really want to get into it. But what’s cool about this website is you can just take a glance at this and you can see. You can get an idea of how the website’s currently doing.

Now there’s a ton of other tools. I’ve got other tools I use and my business has other deeper, but this is available for your free. Just take a quick look at it. You don’t even need to get a paid subscription, although that would allow you to do fancy stuff like compare competitors and a little bit more closely and do some cool things. But here’s what I wanted to get at next.


I want you to be able to look at this and go to Google Trends. And so I’m surprised at how few people know this exists. What I did here is I just took a few common – what I know is a very competitive keyword, a key terms and they’re not even really long-tail keywords. These are just typical search terms like “personal injury attorney”, “personal injury lawyer”, “accident attorney”, “accident lawyer” and “crash and attorney”. There’s more, but I can just easily on this chart, show you five at a time. And the reason why I put these up there is that this is a way for you to look up what are the search terms that are going to be the most popular and therefore the most competitive. And these are some of the big boys. Now I could look upon others. For example, I might be interested in “traumatic brain injury lawyer”. And what I’m going to get is you’re going to see, oh, so it’s there, but it’s, and it’s ticked up, which is nice, but it’s pretty low.

There’s not a lot of volumes. Now, that doesn’t mean that that’s not going to be profitable for you because if there’s a very little search, but the intent to buy is very high. It could be worth looking at. But right now what we want to do is if you’re getting going in this game, you want to make sure you’re competitive in your region for the best keywords, the highly popular ones. If you’re starting out, it’s gonna be a little trickier. You’re going to have found a foothold with keywords that maybe aren’t as popular that your competitors aren’t ranking for as well. Well, they’re not buying, on Pay Per Click. So that’s an example right there.  Let’s look at the different car accidents. Let’s try “car accident lawyer”.

Whoa. It jumps up a lot, right? This purple one. And let’s look at “car accident attorney”. You know, this is probably another good one. Not quite as high, but it’s still pretty high. So here just by plugging in some different terms, you can see not only which ones are popular but also see what their trends are and that’s what’s really important. We can look at this entire year and we can see that this “accident lawyer” is really a hot search term, but we can also do it by state and this is so cool. Like I’m in Washington State and I can look at Washington and see which ones are the highest compared breakdown by sub-region. Obviously right now “accident lawyer” and “personal injury lawyer” are really high. All five of these are pretty high.

There is interest in a “personal injury attorney” right now. I could pick one, and I could also do this by sub-region, metro, or city. So right now I’ve got State so we can look where is in the overall ranking. Washington is eight in it and obviously not too bad. You can see it beats out by quite a few States. Oklahoma being really high, interestingly enough overall for all of these search terms, I can also look at them by the individual term and related inquiries. So I can do “personal injury attorney” and I can look at how that ranks overall. Now obviously Oregon’s really high. There’s a lot of people look in there. Washington. Not Bad, but see over here where it’s gray, don’t even have enough data. There’s hardly anybody searching right now over the last year.

Now, right here, I’m looking at what’s on the rise, “personal injury attorney Torrance”, “Oregon law”, “Austin, Texas personal injury attorney”, the increase, the rise over this period of time, but I can also look at what are the top ones? Well, there it is, “personal injury lawyer”, “personal injury lawyer attorney”, “accident attorney”.

So why do you want to know this stuff? You want to be aware of what’s trending and what’s popular and relevant in order to talk to an SEO company to make sure that they’re even focusing on the right keywords. They might do what they call keyword research and give you a list, but you don’t know what went into that keyword research. Their research might have comprised of a guy going online for five minutes pulling off some top keywords and saying, here’s what we have found. You might think they spent four hours on it and they really spent five minutes. You need to at least spend the five minutes to see what you’re going to come up with here and trends to know what’s on the rise and what are the top keywords right now in my area too, because obviously if you’re an attorney, you’re probably a local business unless you’re a chain with law firms all over the place, but you need to know what is hot, where you are by region and specifically by regional, when I click just now when I clicked on was Washington State and look how it changes. So now we’ve switched over here. We’ve gone from the United States to Washington state and you’re going to see that there’s a few peaks and valleys here depending on the time and what’s going on with this.

So we know that depending on the region, which of these are going to be hot right here, “Washington accident lawyers”, “Western Washington”. Now here down, not enough “car accident lawyer”. Pretty high. So you can do a lot of research right here.


Here’s another cool step you could do. So you have an idea of which ones are really trending and which ones are ranking. And then you can go to this other cool free tool. Now you have to have an AdWords account which is free, which means you have to have a google either Gmail address or you have to tie your – you have to have an account, you can tie your work email to it. And you can go to Keyword planner.

Just do a search for “Google’s keyword planner” and you go into your keyword ideas and you type in some ideas. So what I did is I typed in, the ones that we’ve been talking about in a few extra. And what I got was a study of these keywords. Now this is relevant more for Pay Per Click and not for just organic, but it does affect – it’s usually correlated at least loosely with organic because we can look at what is, what is the average number of searches, what’s the competition? And how much you’re going to have to pay in Google Pay Per Click in order to get a top-of-page bid.  So we can see accident attorney gets anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 average monthly searches. This is in the United States. We could change that for our State, but just to give you a general for everybody in the US, this is the total number of searches, highly competitive.

And you’re going to pay just to be up there, you’re going to have to pay anywhere from $47 to $206 to be top to get that bid, in order to get that click at the top of the page. You need to know this because it affects your SEO and also affects Pay Per Click. What are the ones that are the hottest that you want to target? And how are you going to do that? Well, you got to know what they are first. So what we could do here is let’s do Washington State. Let’s do the State here and then let’s get out of the US, and save the difference. So now we’re just going to focus on one state. It’s going to change obviously “accident attorney”. I’m now we’re looking at more like a thousand searches, or a 100. But, they are obviously making attorneys money or they wouldn’t want to pay for it, right?

So here’s a good average amount of money you would pay for. Down here, you can see that this one is interesting. It doesn’t get very much search volume and it’s low competition. Now that might mean that it’s a waste of money for you, but it might be the opposite. It might mean, well, it’s also really expensive to get the top-of-page bid. But if you were able to do some SEO work on this one where you didn’t have to pay for that, then you might be able to get some volume there that makes you free money in business or it may be worth it. If you could get somebody who’s really good at Pay Per Click, who could dial it in, and if you know of anybody that’s combining real big data, and doing using machine learning to figure out which there are new systems out there that will actually figure out when someone’s in the market for something and you only target to those people, then this top of page bid is relevant.

It’s going to go way down if this is, if you’re using Google’s targeting, there are other ways to target. But anyway, you at least need to know this stuff. what is high in terms of competition, but more importantly, what’s high in volume because you need enough volume in order to even make it worthwhile to make, to get customers in most cases like “truck crash attorney”, it’s so low that it’s really not. I mean, it would probably, it might be a fun experiment if you want to try to see if can get some Pay Per Click, but it’s so low. Nobody’s typing it in, but they are typing these in and some of them a lot more than others. So I hope that helps you today. I just wanted you to say, again, the websites or SEM Rush, Google Trends and type in google trends or Then within Adwords, you’ve got to actually set up your Adwords account, which is free. Then you can use Google Keyword Planner for free and type in keywords and get ideas for other keywords as well as find out what the average monthly searches are in the competition. You can get a lot of information before you bother talking to an SEO Company and before you bother talking to digital marketers or pay-per-click campaign managers. It’s easy for you to get educated in this area to make a better buying decision. So I hope that helped you today. And if you’re interested in finding out more about this, subscribe to my channel and like my Facebook Page and we’ll go on from there, and hopefully we’ll be able to help you out. We’ve got a free analysis for you that we do as well. And some fantastic data-focused methods for improving your results on Pay Per Click. Alright, this is Jesse Stoddard. Have a great day and we will see you next time.

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