If you’re working with a marketing company or considering working with one, you’ll likely hear them talk about your law firm’s local SEO. What does that even mean? There are essentially three elements to SEO: On-site, Off-site and Local SEO. Local SEO has its own benefits that can be very valuable in marketing your law firm and drawing new clients, but let’s first talk about what exactly it is.
What is Local SEO for Attorneys?
Local SEO helps businesses like law firms promote themselves online to local customers. Sometimes that search is done from within a proximity to your office, and sometimes the search is being done from outside the proximity of your location, but with that location in mind. As an example, a searcher may have a case in a court near your office, but be located miles away. Showing up in that search, is what we are talking about here; that’s local SEO.
When someone does an internet search, particularly from a phone, the search engines gather information for local searches such as location signals, social pages, links and citations in order to show the most relevant local results to the user.
Four out of five consumers query search engines to discover more about local businesses, including law firms; they are looking for legal help. Local SEO is the art of optimizing and being found for those local searches. Failure to do so could mean missing out on 80% of potential customers. For law firms whose target audience is those in the local area, optimizing for local SEO is especially important. Also, firms who want to show up in the map pack (see screenshot below) for their various offices need to have a local SEO strategy for each physical location, just like a national pizza chain would.
Optimizing for Local SEO
There are several ways in which your law firm should optimize its online presence for local SEO:
- Optimize Google My Business (GMB) – GMB is the crème de la crème of local search. Do a google search right now and you will notice the map listings on the top or right of your screen! This is GMB. If your business isn’t listed on GMB, you’re really missing out – especially since it’s free. In addition to helping you show up on local GMB listings, it also helps Google verify that your business is credible.
- Internal Website Linking Structure – Internal linking on your website helps support website navigation, assists with information architecture and distributes page authority. Creating a seamless navigation experience with your website is important. If it’s easy for consumers to use, it’s easy for Google to crawl and use as well.
- Keywords – Want to show up higher in search results for your location? Ensure your website is optimized with keywords that your potential clients are using to find you. We aren’t talking about keyword stuffing a page of content, not at all. But you need to work in geography and keywords naturally into your website text. Pro-tip: link naturally out to your GMB listings here are there in page content as well as blogs. Don’t overdo it, just do it naturally and within context.
- Website Optimization – Always ensure that your on-site SEO (your website) is valid. If your header tags are skewed, Google will not know how to classify your website and may ultimately downrank your firm’s website as a result. In fact, if google doesn’t find a good match for a search in your meta data, it will simply replace the meta information shown in a search. So simply looking to see what Google is actually displaying is important, as this is a basic measurement of the validity of your meta data in general.
- Create Localized Content – In addition to ensuring that you have keywords placed throughout your main website, you should also consider implementing a blog for your law firm’s website. This can help you improve your rankings in the search engines for localized content when you’re writing on relevant topics using keywords that people are actually searching for. This content should be local in nature, can link out to relevant references for that location and so on.
- Verify your law firm’s Name, Address and Phone number (NAP) – If your contact information is inaccurate how will people find you? How will the search engines find you? In fact, Google and the other search engines may also downrank you as a result of inaccurate information. Everything has to match, which can be a pain to fix on websites you don’t have access to. In that case, setup a new listing with the correct information. Usually the major sites displaying your NAP will pick up the correct address, especially when you have the majority of your listings accurately displaying. Which brings us to number seven:
- Optimize Online Directories and Citations – This is a big one: Get your law firm listed in local online directories. Have your law firm’s information pushed out to data aggregators. Ensure that through this process your information is consistent across every
Measuring Local SEO Performance
Once you’ve optimized for local SEO, how can you be sure it’s working? If you’re working with a marketing agency, such as Precision Legal Marketing, ask for them to generate a report to how well local SEO is working for you. If you’re going about it on your own, here’s what you can do. Install Google Analytics on your website. This is a code that will be embedded into your website and will not be visible to any website visitors. This code is used to track various metrics such as referral sources (aka how visitors are finding your website). If you’re optimizing your website for local SEO keywords, you can also track keyword ranking through tools such as Moz or Rank Ranger.
Harness the Power of Local SEO for your Law Firm
Precision Legal Marketing understands just how important lead generation is for your law firm. We can help you optimize your law firm’s website and build effective local listings and citations, so your law firm has optimal visibility to clients in the local area. Get in touch with us today to learn more by sending us a secure message or by calling: 1-877-602-7510.