We’re often asked by clients whether Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is worth it, especially in the context of professional service firm marketing.

They say something along the lines of:

“As a solicitor/accountant, our business often comes from uncommon sources – word of mouth, the high street, and traditional marketing methods like fliers and leaflets – so why bother optimising our website for SEO?”

However, gone are the days when firms could rely simply on word of mouth.

The high street is no longer the burgeoning hub of business it once was, and paper-based marketing efforts simply don’t cut it anymore.

We’re in a distinctly digital age now. Professional service providers are increasingly getting their clients through online channels and those that don’t quickly fall behind.

This brings us to the question we’re hoping to address in this article: “Is SEO really worth it for your firm?”

What is SEO – The quick version

Essentially, SEO is the practice of improving a website to increase its visibility in search engine results.

It involves optimising site content, structure, and technical elements to rank higher for relevant search queries, aiming to attract more organic (non-paid) traffic.

In other words, when you type in a search query into Google, you’re greeted with a range of results and the top one, usually, is the most SEO optimised.

You can get your website moved up the ranking through SEO efforts, which is important because the top three results on the page get 54.4 per cent of all clicks.

As you might imagine, if your website is in the eleventh position you’ll get far fewer clicks than if you were in second or first place.

In fact, the top result is 10 times more likely to receive a click than the one in the tenth spot.

(If you’d like more in-depth information about SEO, we’re running a free session as part of our Magpie CPD campaign. Sign up here!)

How does our SEO team make changes to your website?

Several of our clients have been having focused SEO help from our team recently.

In practice, this means that our SEO experts log into the backend of your website and begin by auditing your current content to find areas for improvement.

(This won’t affect the usability of your website or result in any outages, by the way).

Then we go through your current pages, adding meta descriptions, keywords and improving the ‘on-page SEO’ – A.K.A. the readability and factors of your content that search engines like to see.

Our web team may also change certain technical aspects of your page, optimising for load speed, mobile responsiveness, efficiency, and navigation structure.

All of this is done whilst working in close partnership with the client and we never make changes without ensuring they are happy – it’s their website after all!

We may also offer suggestions when it comes to the text used on the main pages (home, about, contact pages, etc.) to optimise for search engines in the integral parts of the site.

Is it worth it?

Now comes the important question but we’d like to address this through the eyes of our clients who are – mostly – accountants and solicitors.

We believe that SEO is worthwhile for professional service firms for four key reasons:

  1. Targeted client acquisition: Both accountants and solicitors offer services that people and businesses actively search for, often as a distress purchase. SEO allows professionals to target specific keywords related to their services (e.g., “tax advice for small businesses” or “family law solicitors”) ensuring they appear in search results precisely when potential clients are seeking their expertise. This targeted approach to marketing is more cost-effective and efficient than broad-spectrum advertising methods.
  2. Building trust and credibility: High rankings in search results signal to potential clients that a firm is reputable and authoritative in its field. Moreover, SEO strategies that enhance online content (such as informative blog posts or guides on relevant topics) can further establish an accountant or solicitor as an expert in their domain.
  3. Local search visibility: Many clients prefer to work with accountants and solicitors within their local area. SEO techniques, particularly local/geographic SEO, can optimise a firm’s visibility in local search results, making it easier for nearby clients to discover their services. This includes optimisation for “near me” searches and ensuring the firm appears in local business listings and maps, crucial for attracting clients who are likely to convert.
  4. Competitive edge: A robust SEO strategy can give you an edge over your competitors by ensuring your services rank highly in search engine results. Being visible in top search results can significantly impact market share, especially as many clients rarely look beyond the first page of search results when selecting a service provider.

The other factor that you are no doubt considering is the cost, both to your time and monetarily.

If you undertake SEO work by yourself, both can be taxing.

You will undoubtedly spend many hours working on just the on-page aspects of the task, let alone the technical elements of the project.

Employing your own in-house SEO specialist will also incur a major expense on your firm and they will only be required sporadically when new content is added or in the initial optimisation stages.

Your best option is to outsource to a professional and experienced marketing agency with specialists at hand who understand the nuances of SEO, web design, coding, and the operational side of websites.

We can optimise your current site and then perform regular audits to determine the efficacy of our efforts over a long period – without taking up your time unnecessarily or causing you undue costs.

If you’d like to discuss SEO with one of our experts, please get in touch.

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