Law Quill | Digital Marketing Agency Horror Stories

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When it comes time to implement a marketing and SEO strategy, many things can go wrong. Some mistakes can lead to genuinely frightening horror stories that will put a shiver down your spine. Over the years, many digital marketers have heard countless stories of SEO woes. These stories result from inexperienced individuals looking to take a shortcut with their client’s marketing. Take a look at a few of those digital marketing agency horror stories. Working with a reputable and experienced digital marketing agency can prevent experiencing your own horror story. Speaking of reputable digital marketing agencies: schedule your free consultation with Law Quill today!

Unscrupulous Digital Marketing Tactics 

Unfortunately, there are some unscrupulous legal marketing agencies that use unethical and even illegal tactics to try to gain an advantage in digital marketing. Here are some of the worst tactics:

  1. False Advertising: Some legal marketing agencies may make false or misleading claims about their services or results, such as promising to get a law firm on the first page of Google search results or guaranteeing a certain number of leads.
  2. Keyword Stuffing: Some agencies may engage in keyword stuffing, which involves using excessive amounts of keywords in website content, meta tags, and other areas in an attempt to manipulate search rankings. This can result in a poor user experience and potential penalties from search engines.
  3. Paid Link Building: Some agencies may engage in paid link building, which involves buying links from other websites in order to artificially inflate a website’s search rankings. This is against Google’s guidelines and can result in penalties and a loss of trust with potential clients.
  4. Spamming: Some agencies may engage in spamming, which involves sending unsolicited emails, texts, or social media messages to potential clients. This can damage a law firm’s reputation and result in legal action.
  5. Review Manipulation: Some agencies may engage in review manipulation, which involves creating fake reviews or incentivizing clients to leave positive reviews. This is unethical and can result in penalties from review platforms.
  6. Black Hat SEO: Some agencies may engage in black hat SEO, which involves using techniques that are against search engine guidelines, such as cloaking, hidden text, or doorway pages. This can result in penalties and a loss of trust with potential clients.

It is so important for law firms to be aware of these tactics and choose a reputable and ethical marketing agency that uses legitimate strategies to help their clients succeed.


Getting Ghosted

When a company searches for someone to handle its SEO, they want to be treated with respect. Over the years, countless stories have been shared about how a digital marketing firm set up a meeting, made plans with the client, and disappeared. Unfortunately, some companies are not committed to building professional relationships with their clients. They might see a project as too big or complicated for their agency. Instead of politely turning down the client, they just never return a call. Those customers who have been “ghosted” may feel a little burned by the process and might not want to find another agency to handle their marketing and SEO. 

Remember that a reputable, experienced marketing firm will never leave its clients hanging. On the off chance that a project is too complicated, many agencies have a network of professionals who may be able to help a particular client with their strategy. Not returning a phone call or ignoring any client is unprofessional. Reputation is everything in the digital marketing world. Stay far away if you have heard about an agency participating in these improper practices. Many reliable marketing agencies will be happy to schedule a consultation, make a plan for your SEO, and work with you every step of the way.  

The Return of the Black Hat Links

Many SEO strategies use links to other websites to build your domain authority. However, not all links are created equal. You might be surprised if an agency keeps using questionable links from private blogs or websites. Links are important, but an agency should not focus on quantity over quality. Those links must come from reputable websites and sources. Some private blogs create questionable content and fill their pages with links. While that might not seem like a problem, it could cause search engines, like Google, to hit your website with a manual action, removing it from a search engine page. All of that hard work will go down the drain.


In some cases, the marketing agency might not even help its clients. Like the above ghosting story, some firms could leave their clients to handle the mess. Once again, a professional marketing agency will never put your business in this situation. All reputable companies will only find and use high-quality links for your website. These links ensure that your law firm will build up its reputation to reach the top of a search engine results page. 

The Missing Access

When a law firm works with a digital marketing agency, all parties must trust each other. As a client, you expect the firm to build your website, manage social media, and create content. Some horror stories include agencies taking away access from their clients, essentially holding them hostage. Unfortunately, fraud can occur in any industry. Not allowing clients to access their social media pages and website is unthinkable, but it can happen. Sometimes, the agency will demand higher payments to release access to those platforms. 

As you may imagine, these business practices are excessive and make all marketing agencies look bad. When searching for an agency to handle your law firm’s website, social media, and content, choose someone with an excellent reputation in the industry. Look at those reviews. If a company tries to hold its client hostage, there will be a review somewhere detailing its unfair business practices. 

The Tale of the Non-Expert

According to the American Marketing Association, many people have begun experimenting with new marketing tactics. Anyone can be an SEO expert online. For that reason, it is vital to schedule an appointment with an agency to discuss the marketing needs of your law firm. Many individuals give out unprofessional advice and then charge their clients for it. Clients must be careful about who they trust with their marketing and SEO. Any company with a website and gift of gab can persuade clients to sign a contract with them. 

Finding a company that can back up claims with case studies, testimonials, and experience will give you confidence that you have made the right decision for your marketing needs. Showing results means that the company understands the intricacies of SEO. As the old saying goes, “talk is cheap,” but when an agency provides your law firm with solid examples and reviews from similar clients, it shows that they know how to take your marketing to the next level. When you need an expert in the SEO and marketing field for your law firm, reach out to Law Quill. 


Spooky SEO Tactics

To improve website rankings for organic searches, Google and other search engines need to understand the content on the client’s site. SEO optimization is very critical. Whether adding alternative text to photos or placing a schema on a page, all these factors can lead to better optimization for a website. Some agencies just focus on the easier parts of SEO and ignore those more complicated areas, such as technical SEO. Search engines must be able to crawl the website and all its pages. With that, the website needs to be indexable. Some agencies have managed to no-index the whole website for their clients, causing it to be removed from searches. 

On the other hand, some agencies have let Google index their staging environment. Duplicate content can easily tank the website’s rankings. Once again, law firms need to find an agency that knows about the complexities of the marketing business. Also, these agencies must be diligent about ensuring that their practices meet the needs and requirements of Google. Otherwise, all that work will be for nothing, and you will pay the marketing agency or little to no results. 

Beware of Deleted Content

Content is key, especially if you want to rank well in any search engine. Duplicate content can be a big deal for many websites. All content needs to add value to a law firm’s marketing. Having the same content on the site can hurt rankings. Along with that, it does not add value or engage with the reader. While an agency may want to change the voice of their client’s website, it is important not to delete the previous content. One horror story deals with a marketing agency that destroyed their client’s old content, replacing it with new and fresh pages. What seems to be the issue? Those pages helped the website increase traffic and rank with organic searches. Once the content was gone, so were the higher search engine page results. 


The law firm could have prevented this horror story by working with an agency that understands how ranking works in the industry. Content cannot just be deleted, especially with an already-established website in the market. Instead, a digital agency should have edited the pieces for a fresh and new voice for their clients. 

Lost in Translation

According to the United States Census Bureau, English is the most common language spoken at home in the United States. A few law firms will help clients who may speak languages other than English. While it is understandable to want to translate content and pages to match that demographic, ensure the agency uses the right tools or native speakers for the job. The last horror story involves a company that wanted to have its content and website translated into another language. The marketing agency did not have any native speakers. Instead, they used free language translation tools to convert the text into another language. Unfortunately for the company, some of the words did not translate as intended and caused an uproar when those words were less than appropriate for a professional website. 

With this story, experience matters. Whether you want someone to focus on SEO or create great content, find a reliable marketing agency that can deliver exceptional results. Companies that try to take shortcuts will only leave your law firm marketing in a mess. 

Ways To Ensure You Find A Reputable Legal Marketing Agency 

Finding a reputable digital marketing agency can be a challenging task, but there are several steps you can take to ensure that you work with a reliable and ethical agency. Here are some ways to find a reputable digital marketing agency:

  1. Research: Conduct research on different digital marketing agencies and their services. Look at their website, social media presence, and online reviews to get an idea of their reputation and quality of work.
  2. Experience: Look for an agency that has ACTUAL experience working for and with lawyers. Preferably, find a legal marketing agency that is operated by an attorney. This can be beneficial in developing effective marketing strategies and understanding the unique challenges and opportunities of your law firm.
  3. Transparency: Look for an agency that is transparent in its approach and willing to communicate clearly and regularly with clients. They should be willing to explain their strategies, tactics, and results, and answer any questions or concerns you may have.
  4. Results: Look for an agency that has a proven track record of delivering results for their clients. They should be able to provide case studies, testimonials, or other evidence of successful campaigns and outcomes.
  5. Communication: Look for an agency that values communication and collaboration. They should be willing to listen to your needs and goals, and work with you to develop a customized marketing strategy that aligns with your business objectives.
  6. Ethics: Look for an agency that values ethics and operates in a transparent and ethical manner. They should follow industry best practices and guidelines and avoid any unethical or black hat tactics that could harm your business.


By following these steps, you can increase the chances of finding a reputable digital marketing agency that can help you achieve your marketing goals and grow your business.

How Law Quill Can Help

All of these horror stories have a few things in common: lack of experience and no attention to detail. When hiring a professional digital marketing agency, choose one with a reputation for delivering the best results, understands the legal marketing field, and pays attention to all those little details. If you do not want your own horror story, choose the right agency for the job.  


Law Quill is the best choice for your legal marketing needs. 


We are here to help and would welcome the opportunity to visit with you for free regarding your law firm website’s content, and how we can ensure that you grow your law firm online and gain more clients! Schedule a free visit with us by scheduling a quick phone or zoom call at your convenience on our calendar today.