How To Conquer Local SEO For Your Law Firm

Services: Law Firm Website Design . SEO . Internet Marketing . Law Firm Marketing Guide . Content Marketing . PPC

Most law firms can benefit from establishing a local SEO strategy. If done successfully, you will increase your chances of appearing in search when someone nearby is looking for a lawyer. This means you can expect to rank highly for local keywords relevant to your city and practice area such as “Miami personal injury lawyer” or “Chicago family attorney”.

Local SEO is a process that requires time and patience, but by ensuring each of the below items are taken care of, you can begin to see positive results.

Check Your Physical Office Location

If your goal is to rank highly for local terms, it is extremely recommended that you have a physical office within this area. Google search results are very dependent on where the individual is physically searching from so that it can provide the most relevant businesses to each user. So, if someone is looking for a law firm in Chicago, Google is first going to show law firms in that exact city since these are the most relevant. If your law firm is on the outskirts of the city in question, your business automatically becomes less relevant than those in the city itself.

This doesn’t mean it is impossible to rank in cities outside of your office location, but it clearly puts your firm at a disadvantage. This situation would require a more intense marketing plan in order to compete and prove your firm deserves a spot amongst the locals.

Optimize Your Google Business Profile (Google Maps)

To rank well in the map pack (the map that appears for localized searches), you must audit your Google Business Profile and pay attention to the sections that affect your keyword rankings. This includes picking the most relevant keywords (and ensuring the most important is listed first) and obtaining reviews with keywords within them. We will speak more about reviews later, but understand that when clients mention specific services in their review (such as car accident or DUI), this helps Google link specific keywords to the firm.

Other than keywords and reviews, ensure all the information on your profile is up to date and consistent with your website. Use a local phone number for your business and fill out as much as possible on your listing. The description and other sections do not directly affect rankings, but are still very important on a conversion level.

Optimize Your Website for Local Relevancy

Your website is one of the biggest pieces of the local SEO puzzle. The content on your site needs to prove to Google that you are indeed relevant to a searcher’s query and the most authoritative in your area. Check the following items on your site to ensure they meet the minimum expectations on a local level.

    1. Name, Address, & Phone Number (NAP)

The NAP information needs to be easily seen and added to important pages. Place it on your contact page and include it in the footer. Your website should list a phone number local to the area you are targeting and should also be in proper click-to-call format for anyone using a mobile device. It is fine to include a secondary 800 number if needed as long as the local number is present. Make sure the NAP information is text and not an image, so it is easily read by Google’s search engines.

    2. Include City and/or State Pages & Optimize with Keywords

Every page of your website should be optimized properly with local keywords. There should be no generic title tags or meta descriptions and the body content should incorporate localized language. Mentioning neighboring cities, counties, and neighborhoods as it makes sense within the copy, can help Google establish your presence in these areas. Based on what you are targeting, consider including a very in-depth and unique city or state page.  If you target multiple cities, do not create multiple pages with the same text and the city swapped out. Google will scan these duplicate pages and most likely not even index them in search due to their low quality score. The content must be tailored to each area and offer valuable insight that speaks to the needs of your audience. This can be driving directions, places to know in the area, history of the region, specific laws for the state, and FAQs.

Establish Off-Site Local Prominence

Once your website and Google Business Profile are optimized, you need to build your brand awareness on other websites and engage in offline opportunities. To accomplish this, focus on the following areas:

    1. Local Citations

A citation is when another website mentions your firm’s NAP information. If your firm has a high quantity of these citations, it helps send signals to Google that you are an authority in the local area. This includes listings on directories such as Yelp and BBB. The firm should create, claim and manage all quality local listings and ensure they have a website link along with accurate information. It helps to get listed in directories that are specific to your area or specialty. For example, there are local chambers of commerce memberships and trade associations nationwide that you can join. Such as this both local and topical listing from the New Jersey Family Magazine that would be perfect for a family attorney in the state of New Jersey.

    2. Local Community Involvement & Mentions

There are endless ways a business can interact with the neighborhood and surrounding community. For example, a firm may donate to a charity, sponsor an event, or speak at a conference. All these contributions greatly impact your neighborhood in a positive way and create a link to your firm with the local area. Building this presence increases the chance your firm is mentioned online such as within a local newspaper or magazine. These mentions are seen by Google as positive reinforcement to your authority locally.

    3. Reviews

Google reviews are vital to building a strong reputation for your business. Reviews show that real people are continually recommending your business and have positive things to say. They give search engines the necessary context needed to understand what services a law firm offers and how well they satisfy their clients’ needs. Your firm should not only build up reviews on Google, but on a variety of platforms. This gives you a well rounded reputation and increases awareness for your brand overall. It also provides a bigger picture to prospective clients who may be researching your firm while considering their options.

If you have multiple locations, make sure you are receiving reviews for every office. A great way to showcase these reviews is to feature them on localized pages of your website and share on social media.

Why Should Your Firm Rank Above Other Local Law Firms?

After you’ve covered all of the main elements above, it’s time to take an honest look at your overall marketing efforts compared to your competitors. What do you offer that is better than every other law firm? Why should an individual in your local area choose your firm over the one down the street? If you can answer these questions through the content on your website and other digital marketing efforts, you will be on your way to winning over new clients and landing within the top spots of Google search.

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