Let's face it; lawyers are not very tech-savvy. They don't like change, and they prefer the tried-and-true way of getting things done (like smoking behind the courthouse or scanning documents on an ancient copier).
However, one technological aspect of the modern world that many lawyers are trying to adapt to is online marketing. If you own a law firm, local search engine optimization could be just what you need to ensure your success in your community. Here are five tips about how local SEO can help law firms gain online exposure.
What is Local SEO?
The objective of local search engine optimization is simple: get your business website ranked in local search results. In other words, instead of trying to convince a user from another state or country that your services are worth their attention, you want to focus on ranking your business in searches by people physically located nearby.
While it may sound a bit confusing, local SEO strategy can really be simplified down into a few key areas: local citations, link building, and community engagement.
When you take all these elements into account, you'll create an effective strategy that works better than any national campaign for small businesses.
Moreover, local SEO empowers local businesses like Law Firms to garner more attention, leads, and customers. Not bad at all! So how do Law Firms go about getting started with Local SEO? Let's explore some actionable strategies below:
Factors That Influence Local SEO for Law Firms
Even though local businesses are still mostly conducted face-to-face, local search has seen tremendous growth in recent years.
As technology continues to evolve, more companies are embracing it as a key part of their marketing strategy. This presents an opportunity for law firms that want to gain online exposure. Enlisted are some major factors that influence local SEO success.
1. Google My Business Signals
Google My Business, aka GMB, is a free and easy way to claim and manage your business information on Google Search and Maps. All you need to do is find your business's listing(s) on google search, enter some basic contact info (address, phone number, website URL), and some additional location details (opening hours, payment methods).
Do make sure you input correct info; it has a major impact in terms of ranking locally or organically in search results. Another important thing you can add are photos of your office; while not exactly essential, they can help local searchers relate better with your office image/service offering.
As a locally established Law Firm, you want to convey professionalism, knowledge, and expertise in that industry. So, use this opportunity wisely and convey your message clearly.
2. Backlinks (Mainly from Local Citations, etc.)
Google and other major search engine use backlinks to determine the reputation of your website.
The more high-quality links you have pointing to your site, including high-authority sources, not only makes it easier for your site to rank in local SERPs but also can help elevate it in general SERPs over time—which means more organic traffic! In short: get links from influential blogs, news websites, and local citation websites like Yelp, RipoffReport, BBB, etc., to establish your online presence locally.
By doing so, you are much more likely to show up on relevant searches being performed by prospective clients searching for similar attorneys or service providers in your area.
3. Content Optimized for Local SEO
The goal of local SEO is simple: Rank your site or business in local search results. You can't control how high you rank in traditional search results, but you can rank higher in your area.
One way to do that is by creating content that appeals specifically to your customers—especially when it comes to long-tail keywords (those with 3+ words) and local keywords (those specific to where you are). This should give you a better shot at beating out your competitors in local search results.
4. Behavioral Signals (CTR, Check-Ins, etc.)
Search engine algorithms have evolved beyond simple text analysis. It's now common practice for search engines to look at behavioral signals, like how frequently people visit your website for certain key phrases, what's their retention rate, and even whether they're taking specific actions on your site (like checking in).
These subtle cues can reveal a lot about whether you're providing valuable information or encouraging engagement with users and thus deserves to be weighted more heavily than other factors.
5. Mobile User Experience
As of May 2015, mobile search queries overtook desktop searches - a tread that will only continue.
The popularity of mobile means that business owners must ensure their website is optimized for mobile users, including investing in mobile responsive website design, specially designed mobile apps, and Google AMP for an even faster and optimized user experience.
This one step will not only increase customer engagement but also help your company reach a wider audience with much less effort on your part.
To gain online exposure as a law firm, it's important that you conduct research into what you need from a search engine optimization standpoint. In addition, there are a number of things you can do on your own to make sure you put your best foot forward. It's possible that what works now won't work forever, but as long as you have an open mind and keep learning, you should be just fine.
Finally, remember that local SEO isn't something you can try one day and expect results by tomorrow; in fact, depending on how competitive your industry is or how much demand there is for what you have to offer, it could take weeks or even months! The idea is to stay consistent with whatever strategy you implement—and in time, Looking for a free Local SEO Audit, check it out here.