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6 Red Flags to Watch for When Choosing a Law Firm Marketing Agency

6 Red Flags to Watch for When Choosing a Law Firm Marketing Agency

It's not easy finding the right legal marketing partner. You to find a company that is a good fit for your firm’s style and personality. You will also need an agency that is responsive and whose communication methods are in sync with yours. And, of course, you want your agency to be successful and able to provide measurable results for your firm.

With all these considerations, it is helpful to know there are certain things you can be looking for that indicate from the start an agency is likely not the right fit. As you research law firm marketing companies, beware of these red flags.

1. They don’t show their work.

Your digital marketing company should offer you unfiltered access to data about your firm’s performance with clear reporting. A lack of transparency in disclosing results is a big red flag.

You should be able to see your own analytics, which will include things like performance of targeted keywords and phrases. If your agency is managing PPC campaigns, you should understand your spend and be able to break down your cost per click and per lead. You should also own your Google Ads account. By having access to your account, you can make sure they're proactively managing it... after all, that's what you pay them for.

Agencies that are open about their processes will be able to answer questions about the thinking behind their actions. And they will be able to change course if a tactic isn’t working.

Honesty is a big part of transparency. Your reports may show that something has gone wrong — and something likely will — but a good agency will admit to dips in performance and be able to explain how it is addressing the issue.

2. They say they're experts but they can't prove it.

An agency should be able to provide case studies that show how they have achieved measurable results for firms like yours. For example, a case study may show a certain percent increase in organic traffic or leads, or it may highlight a lowering of paid ad spend for high-value clicks.

Ask for references and call them. Your marketing agency should have clients that are willing to sing their praises.

5 Star Rating digital marketing review for Custom Legal Marketing

3. They claim to know secrets other agencies don’t.

Salesman selling SEO

Digital marketing isn’t magic, and any agency that claims to have a secret sauce no one else can make is just trying to entice you into a contract it can’t fulfill.

Getting search results from digital marketing takes time and hard work. If an agency cannot be honest about that from the beginning of a relationship, then it is setting you up for disappointment. Always ask for evidence of past successes and the methodology behind them.

Some marketing agencies will try to hide their lack of real knowledge behind a veneer of catchy buzzwords. Don’t be fooled. Ask them to explain their work in plain language.

4. They don’t ask questions.

SEO agencies should ask questions

You probably have plenty of questions for a potential marketing partner. And any agency you talk to should also have plenty of questions for you.

For example, before putting together a proposal for a potential new client, our team performs a competitive analysis on their website and the websites of their competitors. Such an examination would be impossible without asking the right questions.

The complexity of Google’s algorithm guarantees that no one-size-fits-all marketing plan exists. A good agency will be curious about your past efforts, future goals and plans. It will ask questions consistently before and while you work together.

5. They work for your competition.

SEO Company Cheating

Depending on the size of your market, you may be one of many law firms offering the same services. Agencies that do not offer exclusive partnerships in any market are actively working against you. An agency, for example, that works with six personal injury firms in the same metro area will never be able to get the best results for all six clients. Conflict of interest is built in.

Your marketing agency should be able to guarantee they are only working for you that's why Custom Legal Marketing gives you a No Competition® Guarantee.


6. They aren’t proactive or willing to change.

Stubborn SEO companies are doomed to fail

Marketers that are data driven are better able to spot potential opportunities. A great legal marketing firm will be on top of developments in the legal space as well those in the technical, SEO and design industries. Google is open about beta releases of major algorithm changes, and your marketing team should be on top of that information.

Be careful of companies that provide pre-built packages or those that only stick to a certain formula. Successful plans require constant testing and agility, and your agency should proactively work to achieve the right strategic balance.

Success in marketing requires the same diligence and attention to detail as success in any other field. There is no magic, just a willingness to follow the data toward measurable results.


Kristen Friend
Kristen Friend holds two bachelors degrees from Indiana University and an associates degreee from the International Academy of Design. As Art Director for Custom Legal Marketing, her work has been awarded Webby Honorees, WebAwards, Davey Awards, Muse Awards, W3 Awards, and many others. She is also a contributor to Entrpreneur Magazine through the Entrepreneur Leadership Network.