When people are looking for a lawyer, they’re typically looking for someone close by. If you have a small law firm, there’s a good chance that most of your clients are going to be in the same general vicinity. Since most searches for lawyers take place online, you need to rank high in order for potential clients to know that you exist. This means that you need to be optimized for local searches in order to be found. Here are a few tips on how to optimize your local SEO to ensure a higher ranking on Google search results page.
Set up “Google My Business”
One of the very first things you can do to help improve your local SEO is to set up a Google My Business page. A GMB page is the one that shows up on the maps results for local searches. These results show not only business names, but phone numbers, addresses, and their location on the map. These are often the first businesses that potential clients will contact, meaning that this is where you want to be. Make sure that when you create your page, you include a keyword-rich description (including the services you provide), upload photos, and choose the right categories for your law firm. You’ll also need to make sure that you include your phone number, full address, and a link to your website.
Consistency in NAP is Key
NAP is short for name, address, and phone number. The consistency of these citations is crucial for local SEO. They need to be same, meaning that the formatting needs to be exactly the same, on each page of your website, as well as any other pages that you have, including LinkedIn and Facebook. While it may seem like a minor thing, the bots that crawl websites to rank them pay close attention to these details, and they mean a significant amount.
Optimize with Local Keywords
Keywords are those words that potential clients search for. You want to optimize your keywords for local searchers. For instance, if you are a DUI lawyer that’s located in Atlanta, don’t just rely on the keywords “DUI lawyer”. Instead, your keywords should be “Atlanta DUI lawyer” and similar terminology. These keywords and keyword phrases should be scattered throughout your website. Just be careful that you don’t overuse them, as this can result in penalties from search engines.
While this step can be a bit challenging, it’s incredibly important. Backlinks are those links that are located on other local sites that lead to your website. There are few different ways to build backlinks. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce to get listed there. Contact individuals who organize local events and find out if you can become a sponsor. This can get you listed on their website. Donate to a local charity. You can also offer scholarships or internships to local college students. There are numerous possibilities.
Stuart McHenry an SEO for Attorneys explains, “Obtaining high quality backlinks starts with amazing content. Most law firms take the shortcuts and don’t invest heavily enough into content. This leaves no linkable assets. Give people a reason to want to link to your website”.
Generate Reviews, and Not Just on Your Website
A tool that has become important in building local SEO on Google is Google Reviews. Generating some positive feedback on your GMB page is very important. These reviews directly impact your ranking. While one of the most commonly used, though, Google isn’t the only search engine. Some potential clients may search on Yelp or Avvo, so you’ll want to make sure that you have good review here, too. In addition to helping your ranking on the results pages, positive reviews also have the added bonus of helping to establish yourself as a high-quality, expert lawyer.
Optimize for Mobile Users
A good number of searches now take place on smart devices. This means that you’ll want your website optimized for mobile and smart device users. If your site isn’t optimized, you might not rank as high, or at all, on a mobile search. Even if you are found, your website may show up funny and difficult to use, meaning that potential clients will pass right on by. Optimizing for mobile users makes your website more user-friendly and can greatly help to improve rankings.
Local SEO might sound intimidating at first, but it’s actually much easier than trying to build a larger-scale campaign because you have much less competition. Unlike with a larger campaign, the factors that determine your ranking are based primarily on your location, your NAP, your reviews, and your GMB page. With local SEO, you can rank higher and bring in more potential clients to your law firm in no time.