SEO’s Role in Law Firm Crisis Management

Date: May 26, 2022

Law firms are often great at handling a crisis—when it is not their own. As with most organizations, law firms are too close to the problem when dealing with internal issues. Not only does that make it difficult for them to make objective decisions, but it also makes it nearly impossible to see the situation as outsiders would view it. The situational awareness just isn’t there. That’s why it’s so important to surround yourself with a team of crisis management professionals.

Among your crisis management team, it’s vital that you have an SEO expert. When misinformation floats around, your law firm can suffer more than necessary, mainly when that misinformation is being spread on the internet. Fortunately, an SEO agency can assist with that, so we encourage you to read more to learn about SEO’s role in crisis management.

Types of Crises Law Firms Often Face

Before we can discuss how to mitigate any damage to your reputation, we must first cover some of the crises that can occur. If your law firm has been around for a while, you might have already experienced a few different incidents. You also probably know that the type and severity of crises can vary drastically. Some might be more detrimental than others, but the following are some of the most common crises that law firms face. 

Partnership Splits

Though partnership splits can be amicable, they can also be messy. If you had a falling out with your partner, you might find yourself playing damage control with your clients. It’s vital that you get ahead of any bad publicity that could cause you to lose existing clients to your former partner or another firm that seems more stable.

Mishandling Information

Mishandling of information is no minor offense, whether it’s been done intentionally by someone within your firm or by accident. After all, clients come to you and expect confidentiality. If data or case information has been leaked into the wrong hands, it can leave a permanent stain on your firm’s reputation unless you can get out ahead of it. 

Management Transitions

If someone in management has been asked to step down, rumors will fly. Clients may wonder what happened to cause such a transition. If you utilize SEO to your benefit, you can publish a press release to explain everything and ease client concerns.

Acquisitions and Layoffs

As your law firm grows, you might find yourself in a position to acquire a smaller practice. Unfortunately, with acquisitions often come layoffs. While they are a necessary part of doing business, they can also rub people the wrong way, so you might need some PR assistance to boost the public’s perception of your firm.

Managing Bad Press Online

SEO is typically the last thing you are thinking about when you are in the middle of a crisis, but it can actually help you mitigate the spread of bad press online. While you can’t control what others will say about the situation, you can ensure that people have better access to more accurate information.

How does SEO do that? 

Many people are under the impression that Google is all about search engine results pages, but it’s also primarily focused on user experience. That means that you can use SEO to target clients and send them to your website for the most accurate information. 

If you rank low in SERPs, other websites and media outlets will get to control the narrative of your crisis. When you make sure that your website and press releases are the first results to appear in a related search, you can make sure your clients see the crisis through your lens.

It’s important to know that you can’t wait until a crisis strikes to try to implement this strategy. It takes time to optimize your website, but once you start to see results, you can increase your website credibility and create trust with your clients.

Other Professionals Firms May Want to Involve in the Event of a Crisis

In addition to hiring an SEO agency to assist you with your crisis management, you will need to add several other professionals to your team. The specific team members will largely depend on the type of crisis you’re dealing with. Not to mention, the size of your team will depend on the scope of your problem. In general, however, it is best if you have the following professionals available to work with your law firm: 

  • PR Professionals: A PR professional will help you to make a strategy for relaying information amid a crisis. They will make sure that you work press releases carefully, and they will also let you know if there is anything you should avoid saying or doing for a while. 
  • Attorneys: Depending on the type and severity of the crisis, it might be a conflict of interest to have attorneys at your firm representing you. Even when this isn’t the case, law firms of all sizes should hire a third-party to assist with crisis management. 
  • Crisis Advisors: Did you know that there are professionals whose sole job is to handle crises? Crisis advisors play a critical role in overseeing all the management strategies. They can help to manage the communication between your overall team.
  • Other Professional Firms: As you can tell from the types of crises that we mentioned earlier, you could be dealing with a wide range of problems. For that reason, you might need to hire additional professionals to assist you, depending on the specific crisis your firm is dealing with. As an example, you might need to hire a data specialist or HR advisor to offer more specific training.

Learn More About How Law Firms Benefit from an SEO Strategy

Is your law firm currently facing a crisis? Do you want to put together a crisis management team ahead of any incidents? No matter the case, you don’t have to look far to find an SEO agency that understands your unique needs. While many agencies offer SEO strategies, few specialize in law firms, and even fewer know how to leverage SEO to mitigate crises like 9Sail does. 

Our agency has all of your SEO needs covered. We have worked with several law firms of all sizes, so we are confident that we can find an effective strategy for your practice. If you would like to learn more about the services we offer, we encourage you to contact us right away.

You can easily reach us by phone if you have any questions, or you can submit your contact details through our simple online form. We also offer free, no-obligation site audits so that you can get a better idea of your current SEO standing. If you are interested in this offer, you can simply submit your website information, and we will schedule a consultation to go over our findings.