Consumers are increasingly searching for businesses that are “local” to them. Some research estimates that nearly half of all searches on Google are now local, such as “coffee near me” or “business lawyer in Los Angeles.”
The search engines have responded by creating products to cater to the wants and needs of consumers. Now, when you search for a local business, you will likely get Google Maps results that are pulled from Google My Business (GMB) profiles. But how do you make sure your law firm, and not your competitor, is at the top of those local search results? The answer is by focusing on local SEO.
What Does Local SEO Mean?
The acronym “SEO” tossed around by marketing professionals and clients alike stands for Search Engine Optimization. It relates to the ways that you build out and update your online presence to improve your organic website rankings.
SEO is necessary to gain client leads through Google searches, which brings us to the term “local SEO.” Most law firm clients are looking for an attorney that is local to them. With local SEO, a business will appear in search results in a variety of places when a potential client searches for an attorney “near me,” an attorney in a particular geographic area, or just an attorney in general, such as “find divorce attorney.”
Benefits of Local SEO for Law Firms
According to Google, 76% of people who search on their smartphones for a nearby business frequent that business within a day. Local SEO can help law firms optimize their efforts so that they can rank higher in search results.
If your law firm has a physical location and serves a particular geographic area, it can profit from using local SEO. Specifically, here are some of the benefits of making local SEO a priority:
Rank for More Local Keywords
As a business with an online presence, you may already be familiar with SEO. But you will want to take a more targeted approach for local SEO. For example, instead of just ranking for the keyword “DUI attorney,” you may attempt to rank for more targeted searches like “Florida DUI attorney,” “Pensacola DUI attorney,” or “fight a DUI in Panama City.”
Appear in Google’s Map Pack
When a consumer searches for a local business online using Google, the search engine automatically shows them a map of local businesses along with the organic search results. These Google Maps Packs show up on about one-third of all first-page search engine results. But there are likely many options that Google can choose. If you have focused your local SEO efforts correctly, your firm can appear in these results and achieve more online visibility.
Increase Your Local Client Base
Your local SEO efforts can help your law firm boost its online visibility. With this, your firm can expect to receive more emails and phone calls from prospective clients, an increase in foot traffic, and more client sign-ups overall. Local SEO is an effective way for a business to let the public know about the services it offers in a particular geographical area.
Improve Your Law Firm’s Reputation
Local SEO can also be useful for improving your law firm’s online reputation. When potential clients see that your firm ranks well in organic search results, this instills confidence in your brand. As you continue to build a larger client base, you will be able to hold onto those strong rankings.
How to Show Up in Local Search Results
Since most law firms compete for clients in a local area, figuring out how to show up in local search results is vital. Fortunately, you won’t need to reinvent the wheel. Here are some of the things your law firm can do to increase its local search visibility.
- Set Up and Optimize a “Google My Business” Page
The first step in your local SEO strategy should be to create and optimize your law firm’s Google My Business page. The data on the Maps Pack is pulled from this listing, and it is a primary source for local business information. It should include:
- Your business name, address, and phone number
- A link to your website
- The correct categories for your law practice
- Some relevant and high-quality photos
- A keyword-rich description of your practice
- Optimize Your Website With Local Keywords
Your law firm’s website should also be optimized for local search. Specifically, you can add local keyword data to your Area of Practice pages and even create specific pages that target different geographic areas. Your digital marketing firm will help with on-page SEO items such as title tags and including location keywords in page URLs.
- Ensure NAP Citations Are Consistent
Consumers need to trust that they can contact and find a local business when they need it the most. You will achieve better rankings if your NAP (Name, Address, Phone information) is 100% consistent across all online properties. Confirm that these items are exactly the same on your website, directory listings, and social media accounts.
- Get Backlinks from Other Local Websites
Backlinks always play a role in SEO, and this is no different if you are trying to rank for local search. Your law firm should develop a long-term strategy to collect incoming links from other local businesses, such as charities, the Chamber of Commerce, and local news outlets.
- Generate Client Reviews on Google, Avvo, Facebook and Yelp
Finally, Google will grant more favor to local businesses that are generating consistent online feedback from clients. Specifically, your law firm should focus on encouraging clients to leave Google reviews, which will impact your local search rankings. It is also a good idea to have reviews on other platforms like Avvo and Yelp.
Get the Help You Need to Local SEO for Law Firms
When it comes to local SEO, there is a lot of ground to cover. It is vital that your firm takes the time to do the job thoroughly and correctly because missteps with SEO can be challenging to undo. Establishing a robust local profile is the key to success in local SEO.
You cannot afford to trust just anyone with your law firm’s digital marketing strategy, which is why we recommend you speak to us about our results-based solutions. At Too Darn Loud Legal Marketing, our team draws from years of experience handling law firm marketing as we ensure that your online listings are 100% consistent and accurate and search for the best possible local links to improve your results. Contact us today to learn more about our services.