The Truth About Lawyer Referral Services
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We have many problems with how the standard Lawyer Referral Services operate. Listed below is an itemized list of the issues that we have with Lawyer Referral Services.
Lawyer Referral Services:
- Charge Very High Fees: Lawyer Referral Services have been known to charge up to $1300.00 or more a MONTH for a single heading listing on their website; such as a single link on their website on the auto accident page of their website. For multiple packages of page links the cost goes up considerably. If you are a Personal Injury Attorney, if you do not subscribe to a specific heading, you will not be listed on that page of their website. We have taken over accounts for clients that were paying over $6000.00 a year, or even a month. This is outrageous to us. And the rates for their service continues escalate almost every year, making it harder for your to maintain even the same participation level than what you had the year before.
- To Many Clients: We just logged onto one of the Lawyer Referral Websites and looked for an Auto Accident Attorney in Orlando, Florida. This lawyer referral website had 5 pages of Auto Accident Attorneys listed containing 25 attorney listings on each of these 5 pages. That is 125 attorney listings in one city for that same area of law. If there are only 10 ranking positions on Google's First Page in the General Search Result Section, how can this Lawyer Referral Service get all of their client's websites into the Top 10 (first page) of the Search Engine Rankings. It is impossible. With so many clients, these attorneys are paying high fees to still compete with virtually every auto accident law firm in town. In our opinion, this make the Lawyer Referral Service a directory instead of a Lawyer Referral Service. If you do not provide the same quality of service to each client, we believe you are doing a disservice to your clients.
- Self Promotion Over Client Website Promotion: With the exception of premium clients, these Lawyer Referral Services put very little effort in putting their clients website into the Top 10 (first page) of the Search Engines. There is a reason for this. These companies put their effort into making their own website rank high in the Search Engines because they want a law firm's potential client to find an attorney by visiting the Lawyer Referral Website instead of finding the law firm's website in the General Search Engine Results. Why would a company do this? The answer is simple: This makes law firms dependent on the Lawyer Referral Service Website for new potential clients via the internet.
So how do Lawyer Referral Services promote their own website over their clients website. When they provide the link from their Lawyer Referral Service Websites specific HEADING of LAW page that points to their clients website, they also get the participating law firm to add a link from their law firm website to the Lawyer Referral Service Website. This gives the Lawyer Referral Service Website thousands and thousands of links from other legally based websites throughout the country that provides additional support their own Lawyer Referral Website. The client only gets credit for the reciprocal link (shared link) coming in from the Lawyer Referral Service's Website. So in essence, law firms all over the country are paying to support the Lawyer Referral Websites Search Engine Popularity and Relevance, not their own website.
- Poor Quality Websites: With the exception of their premium clients (who subscribe and pay a premium fee), most of the websites that these Lawyer Referral Services develop for their clients are template websites that may result in various law firms having the same design as other law firms in the same geographic region.
- Made Up Rating System: Saying your the best is one thing. But to make up a Rating System when you are not the official governing body of an industry and pass that rating system off as an industry standard, it is simply a joke. Before we started working with attorneys, lawyers, and law firms, we never heard of these Lawyer Referral Services. For the most part, only Attorneys, Lawyers, and Law Firms know who these companies are. These companies make up a rating system, make it seem like it is a big deal, and actually think someone that is not in the legal profession cares about what other attorneys think of another attorney. It is a popularity contest at best. If your popular, you get a high rating. If your not well known or a group of attorneys simply don't like you, you do not get a high rating. Making up your own rating system and passing it off as the industry standard is a complete joke to us. We see these rating systems as... "So what... and Who Cares!"
- Owning Your Domain (website address.URL): We cannot count the number of times we have taken over the Design and Maintenance of a website for a client that was using a Lawyer Referral Service for their website, only to find out that the Lawyer Referral Service purchased the client's Domain Name (website address/URL) under their own companies name, not the clients. Then we have to go through the process of setting up a new account with GoDaddy and have the domain transfered into the client's new GoDaddy Account so the Hosting Package and Domain Name is with the same company. This also often becomes an issue with the email account for the company as well, because of the IP Address for the emails being with the Lawyer Referral Service.
When we set up a client's Domain Name and Hosting Account, we ALWAYS tell them to NEVER let another company control your domain name (website address/URL). We tell them to control it, so no-one will ever be able to hold your domain name hostage. If the Lawyer Referral Service purchases your Domain Name under their company, make no mistake about it... They own your domain name, not you. We have had situations where our new client has had to take the company that purchased their domain to court in order to gain control of what the client should have owned all along. Purchasing your Domain Name under their own company name is a common practice of Lawyer Referral Services.
- Copyrighted Content: When you purchase a website from a company, you would expect to be able to use the information on your website as you see fit. This is not always the case. With few exceptions, the Lawyer Referral Service owns all the content on your website, not you. That means, you cannot develop your own additional website using part or all of the content without the Lawyer Referral Service's consent. If your do not renew your contract with them, you loose all rights to use the content that was contained in the website. This includes text, pictures, designs... You loose the rights to everything.
- Contract and Quality of Service: Lawyer Referral Services always work with clients on a contract basis. The contract always is written to protect them, not you. The can make any claim of the quality of service they want, but if it is not in the contract, they do not have to live up to anything that is not in the contract that you sign. Regardless if they produce the number of calls they promise you or not, if you do not pay, your account will be suspended, your account will be sent to collections, and they WILL sue you to get their money. We have seen clients that went out of business that were still getting sued by these companies.
- Common Problem Solution: When we take over an attorney, lawyer, or law firm's website account, we always ask them about their experiences with the companies they previously used for their website and optimization needs. One of the questions we always ask is, "when you voiced your concerns with your previous company that you worked with, what was their response and recommendations to improve your websites performance and ranking position in the Search Engines?" The common answer that we get is "You need to spend more money to get more support to drive your website higher into the search engines." Some of our client's have actually had this same discussion and response multiple times with these Lawyer Referral Services, even after already forking over the extra money that the Lawyer Referral Service asked for previously. We believe that if you make a claim or present and expectation of service, you live up to that standard, and it should not cost you an extra dime.
- Virtually One Website for The Lawyer Referral Service Program: The most popular Lawyer Referral Services only have One website to provide their service on (in most cases). We believe this limits their ability to properly provide the external support necessary to drive a client's website into the First Page of the Search Engines. But then again, if your business platform is to make your website dominant in the Search Engines, and NOT your clients, is guess this makes sense as a business practice.
Why Tiger Prey Chose to Develop a Search Engine Optimization Platform for Lawyers, instead of the typical Lawyer Referral Service:
This is a topic near and dear to our heart. Tiger Prey developed, owns and operates our own Lawyer Referral Service because of the what we perceived as shortcomings of other Lawyer Referral Services.
When I first started my own advertising company, I sat in a meeting with my first client and a representative from one of the larger Lawyer Referral Service Companies. When we told the representative we did not have the budget for the services that they were recommending, the Lawyer Referral Service Representative actually told us that "If we did not sign up for their services, my client's website would not get the traffic needed to produce results for his law firm".
That was the day I decided to look into these companies, what they charge, what their services really were, how they conducted their business, and how I could do it better at an affordable rate.
About Our Search Engin Optimization Platform of Lawyers:
We developed a Search Engine Optimization Platform for Lawyers that is based on pushing our Law Firm Clients Websites into the Top 10 (first page) of the Search Engines, not our own websites. We accomplish this because our platform consists of MANY separate legally based websites that provides links to our client's home page, specific are of practice page, and their contact us page. We do not have our clients website link back to ours. This provides MANY nonreciprocal links (one way links) from multiple websites which carry more weight in the Search Engines than the reciprocal links (shared link) provided by our competitors. Examples of our Individual Lawyer Referral Service Platform Websites include: Auto Accident Lawyer Go, Personal Injury Lawyer Go, Criminal Defense Lawyer Go, DUI Lawyer Go, Divorce Lawyer Go, Child Custody Lawyer Go, and many more.
We also sell our placement positions based on legal "Category" instead of single "Headings." This means if a law firm participates in the "Criminal Defense Category of Law", the law firm gets identical placement positions on every Criminal Defense related website (such as DUI, Drug Charges, Probation Violations, Assault, Robbery, and do on.) that we own and operate. Our rate for participation in a "Category of Law" is often less FOR THE WHOLE YEAR, than what our competitors may charge for a SINGLE HEADING PER MONTH.
We also limit the number of law firms we can work with in a given county based on each counties population, and how many law firms we can fit into the Top 10 of Google and other Search Engines. This ensures we are able to provide the same aggressive and personalized service to every client that we represent.
Each website we design for our legal clients are custom made with each law firm's visual and functional website needs, goals, and desires in mind. This also includes ensuring every law firm in a geographic area is provided with unique website content that discusses each individual area of law that they provide. We also ensure that our client's are in full control of their domain name (website address/URL) and hosting account (where your website files are stored).
We also do not sign you up by use of single or multi-year contracts. We still believe in the "Gentleman's Hand Shake." We sign you up in our program by invoice (that clearly states the participation field and all the services we provide). We do this because if we do not live up to your expectations, you are not contractually locked into a relationship you no longer wish to continue. If you are unhappy with our service, you can simply fire us.
Another choice we made is to NEVER increase our rates for participation in our Lawyer Search Engin Optimization Program. Whatever you pay this year, will be the same price you will pay for as long as you continue to participate in our Lawyer Referral Service Program. That is a Guarantee we put in EVERY invoice.
To sum up why were are a much better alternative to the other Lawyer Referral Services, we provide the same aggressive and professional service to each end every client. We provide a better product and service at a lower cost, for fewer clients, and with the goal of putting every one of our clients websites into the Top 10 (first page) of the Search Engines without regard to where our own websites Rank in the Search Engines. Our Lawyer Referral Service Platform is intended to support your internet goals and needs, not to promote ourselves or to simply take money from whoever is willing to pay us money.
A better product, better service and support, better price, less competition, and with your success as our only priority! That is the the only way we conduct business!
TO DISCUSS YOUR WEBSITE DESIGN AND SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION NEEDS - CALL 419.574.2050.
Professional Website Design Company providing Website and Mobile Website Design, Search Engine Optimization, Blog, and Social Media Services.