If your law firm has a strong professional reputation in the real world, chances are that this is also translating online - clients are writing positive reviews, your website is getting a good flow of traffic. If you don't? You're probably not getting any "online love", so you might turn to SEO and expect the magic to happen straight away.
The simple truth is that SEO can only do so much. Yes, of course it will help in attracting visitors to your website, and yes, it will help in generating enquiries. If done well, you're likely to see a huge increase in traffic to your site.
However, if once they get this far and soon discover your service isn't up to scratch or you're still finding your feet, your online presence will work against you. Word will spread through reviews about your poor service and soon you'll be wishing you just kept quiet until you'd developed your skills further.
So when you combine a solid reputation and a strong SEO strategy, that's when the magic will happen.
Real life word of mouth referrals will likely look you up online to learn more about you. And for most, looking you up will include using a search engine. And what they find (or don’t find) will play some role in their decision to contact and hire you. Here’s the thing: The internet doesn’t care whether you believe in it. But I know a lot of you don’t see these things working together. Some of you are frustrated that, “some kid lawyer out ranks you on Google.” Who’s fault is that? The point here is to stop pitting reputation against the web.