Every attorney or agency knows someone who has had a nightmare experience with FindLaw. If you're wondering how to get out of an unfair FindLaw contract, you're certainly not alone. About once a month, we get a call from a former Findlaw client who is having difficulty accessing digital properties that Findlaw was paid to build or own prior to their relationship with Findlaw. Many of these law firms are shocked when they discover that they were essentially renting their website from Findlaw.
As one of the nation's leadersSEO Agencies for Law Firms, we see this all the time and can help you to part ways with FindLaw if needed. Read on for our full overview of FindLaw services, and contact us if you'd like to chat.
Should Your Law Firm Use FindLaw?
Our position is that no, you should not register with a Findlaw website, use its marketing services, or pay for PPC ads in its directory. Below, we will explore in depth, among other topics, the following:
- FindLaw is holding your website hostage, it's not your property
- FindLaw's SEO and PPC services are poorly managed and don't deliver results
- FindLaw has a large number of conflicts of interest
We'll also show you how to safely exit FindLaw without losing your digital boost.
Should You Use FindLaw Legal Reference Material?
FindLaw was founded as a legal reference, so yes, the informational material is helpful. Many accident and injury victims use FindLaw's resources to find out whether they should hire a lawyer, and the legal reference material is accurate, up-to-date, and well worth reading.
Should you register with the FindLaw directory?
In fact, the main value that a FindLaw directory listing can provide is the backlink you will receive to your website.Backlinking de abogadoIt's a challenging and competitive field, so this backlink can help you rank higher on Google. However, it is expensive to have a profile! It costs $158 per month to host a premium profile on the FindLaw website; With the premium option, you can add multiple lawyers, practice areas, links and content. So if you have a big investment in SEO and have the budget for it, it might be worth signing up for a profile.
Should I pay for clicks on ads in the FindLaw directory?
FindLaw also sells ad space at the top of your search results, and while the clicks must be relevant to your industry, they cost the same as a Google click ($150+ per click). You might not believe it, but we've seen FindLaw display over 19 ads above its organic search results.
For reference, one of our largest clients received 80 site referrals from FindLaw PPC ads over a six month period in 2022. We track approximately 20 conversion actions in Google Analytics (click activity, so we actually need to remove some of the that are out). Based on cost per click, the actual cost per lead was probably over $900. We have no idea if they converted to cases or not, but it's unlikely that more than 25% of them were cases.
Should you hire FindLaw to build your website?
No, under no circumstances should you hire FindLaw to build your website. They'll set you up with a template that looks exactly like the websites of thousands of other companies, you'll pay a monthly fee just to host and maintain the website, and they'll own your creative assets. It's best if you work with an agency or specialist that provideslaw firm web design.
How much does a FindLaw website cost?
Some companies only pay $500 a month for the FindLaw site, but they get what they pay for. That price would include about 5 pages, no additional services or support, and it would never rank in Google or generate leads. Lawyers who opt for a stronger package on FindLaw will pay upwards of $5,000 per month. You can hire a real SEO agency that will generate significant income for you for this price.
You don't own your FindLaw website
So you want to terminate your contract, what about your image files, photographs, infographics and website design? Do these just disappear? Unfortunately, you're often prepared to lose it all unless you pay a fee to FindLaw (see your contract for specifics).
There are several horror stories available online about people trying to get out of their contracts with Findlaw and wanting to take their websites with them. Many Findlaw contracts are structured so that FindLaw owns your company's website for as long as you are under contract. Content is impermanent. This means that once you stop paying for the service, your content and links on high domain authority properties will be removed.
This has resulted in many attorneys having a significant amount of trouble transferring website content after their contract is over. On the other hand, having your own website is essentially permanent and relatively inexpensive these days, with no need to tie yourself into a payment plan for the foreseeable future of your business, and any gains in rankings and web visits won't go away anytime soon. early. how to stop doing this by paying high service fees.
FindLaw can own and control your domain name
Many FindLaw customers don't realize that if you don't buy your own domain name and host it on your own hosting account (GoDaddy, Dreampress, etc.), FindLaw has probably purchased your domain and is hosting it on its own. servers. Even worse, your email address might also be hosted there and obviously you can't be without it for long.
It's an almost immoral practice (in our opinion) and often keeps companies locked into contracts because if you leave, you could lose your domain name.
What can you do:If Findlaw owns your domain name, ask them to add your company and their registered IT or marketing consultants to the account. This will allow you to transfer the domain to a hosting account that you own. Depending on your contract, you may have to pay a fee to do this, but you may not have a choice.
However, if your site is relatively new and you don't have many backlinks pointing to your domain name, we recommend simply starting from scratch. Buy a similar domain name yourself and have your new agency or consultant link your new website to that domain.
Should you let FindLaw manage your SEO, PPC ads and content strategy?
No, you should not let FindLaw manage your marketing. Lawyers who buy a FindLaw website are usually sold onSEO Services for Personal Injury Lawyers,PPC management for law firms, it's includedcontent marketing for lawyers.
The problem is threefold:
- They rely on their own network of backlinks to try and help you rank, so if you stop using them after getting little results, you'll lose all those backlinks.
- They have thousands of customers so once you sign up you will rarely hear from them; frankly, they don't care about your success.
- They are more incentivized to rank their own web directory instead of ranking their site.
FindLaw's SEO services are notoriously basic and you won't be able to compete in a serious market with them as your "agency". They'll list you in a handful of directories that all your competitors have, do some basic SEO work on your site, and add links from your directory to your site. Your PPC management and content writing are very similar.
More recently, FindLaw's agreements state that if you've purchased content written specifically for you (like blog posts, for example), that content is yours to own. The same does not necessarily apply to homepage content, general practice area content, and the copy that accompanies your site.
The good news is that a company like ours can very quickly rebuild the content that was on their FindLaw site, and the new content will be exponentially better than the old. We have several proprietary methods for conducting keyword research, and we've tested these methods on dozens of sites; It is often better not to have content created by FindLaw as they sometimes use duplicate, low quality or manipulated content.
FindLaw has serious conflicts of interest with your company
FindLaw needs to sort its own directory
FindLaw is only of value if your directory ranks in Google search for phrases like “Cincinnati slip and fall lawyer”. If they get that organic traffic, they can charge law firms a premium for digital real estate in their directory.
But wait, you also want your site to rank for these phrases!
So if you hire FindLaw to run your SEO strategy, they will be directly competing with their own directory to rank your website. Either that or they measure the results they are willing to produce for your website.
FindLaw is part of a competing network
FindLaw was acquired by Thomson Reuters, joining SuperLawyers, Abogado.com and LawInfo.com under one umbrella. If you rely on FindLaw for your marketing, they are cannibalizing your digital visibility. Here is an example:
FindLaw lists the law firm of Lauren Clark, LLC, a bankruptcy law firm, as a "success story" on the FindLaw website. However, if you google “Charleston Bankruptcy Lawyer”, The Law Office of Lauren Clark, LLCis superseded by superlawyers.com.
FindLaw deals with suspicious backlinking practices
First, you will lose all backlinks to your FindLaw properties website if you stop your ongoing SEO service. This in itself qualifies as Paid Link Spam, byGoogle guidelines. It is highly unlikely that Google will rank and backlink from FindLaw.com, as the search giant is obviously aware of FindLaw and its practices.
Second, FindLaw has engaged in explicit link spam in the past. Thatblog postby Kevin O'Keefe shows how FindLaw literally charged law firms thousands of dollars for placing links on their blogs and other pages on their website.
Truth be told, you don't want to get caught up in that web of ethical dilemmas and marketing mediocrity.
How to Exit FindLaw
If you've finally come to an end due to high non-return costs, absent account managers, poorly written content, or some other issue with FindLaw, then you'll need to tread carefully when canceling your contract.
Read your contract carefully
We already know that FindLaw is holding your site hostage, but you can own your own domain name and even some of your content. Read your contract again to make sure you know what belongs to you and what doesn't. You'll also want to see what the purchase package is for website design files: FindLaw generally charges 4% of the "annual website value" for a purchase.
Call Majux or another law firm marketing agency 2-3 months in advance
We've helped many companies through the process of leaving FindLaw, but if you terminate your contract and lose your content, website, and other web properties before you let us know, there's very little we can do about it.
First, we would assess whether there is any ransom value to your current domain name, website, and content. There may not be, this is common on FindLaw sites!
We will help you migrate your web properties to your property or we recommend you start from scratch. This is usually the best option.
FindLaw Reviews: Who's Leaving Those Good Reviews?
While doing research for this blog, we read over 100 comments about FindLaw. The good reviews came almost exclusively from:
- People using the search tool, which is perfectly normal
- The employees, of course.
- Consumers who found an attorney
After scouring review platforms and Reddit, we couldn't find more than one or two reviews from law firms claiming that web design and marketing services helped them make money.
See these links to some FindLaw reviews:
Life is Better on the Other Side: Take This Opportunity to Leave FindLaw
From a marketing perspective, leaving FindLaw is a great opportunity to start over. Majux, like many other reputable agencies, does not want to own your website, Google accounts, hosting or content. We build them for you and make sure you have ownership credentials.
Furthermore, we do not lock customers into 12, 24 or 36 month contracts. This is an irresponsible business practice that most of the industry has moved away from, and we believe you have the right to steer clear if you choose.
If you have any questions about leaving FindLaw and finding a new marketing partner, please callseo law firmMajux experts - we'd love to help.