Local SEO is The New SEO
There various ways to make your law firm more prestigious, including ensuring that it appears on the first page of Google’s search results. In fact, pages that appear in Google’s top search results often receive more traffic because they are viewed by Google as a trusted and knowledgeable source, prompting many visitors to select those websites over others.
To appear on the first page of Google listings may seem like a bit of a mystery since generally only about 10 businesses can actually hold those spots, but according to attorney and author Charles G. Smith, whose own SEO methods helped land his law firm on the first page of Google search, “this is where local search comes into play“.
Why Local SEO?
Statistically, about 38% of all legal consumers use the internet to research lawyers online, which means, if your law firm isn’t showing up in search engines, it could be costing your business.
When a consumer conducts a local search, local search engines produce results using location data, which narrows the first page of search results to local listings only. This is especially crucial for small businesses because it ensures that anyone conducting a local search in your area finds your website when they enter a query.
According to Smith as well as SEO marketing experts, when incorporating local SEO, the following best practices can greatly improve your search engine ranking.
- Begin with Relevant, Original Content
SEO for law firms is all about relevance, authority, and trust. To gain trust and authority in Google’s listings, businesses must provide relevant content. To produce quality content, begin with original content that supports your local SEO keywords. In addition, search engines also give preference to sites that consistently provide new content; so when possible, begin with original content, original titles and blog for your firm often to increase your authority and trustworthiness, which ultimately increase your rankings.
- Incorporate Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are thoroughly specific keywords with a low search volume, which puts your page ahead of the search because there is minimal competition. For Instance, if you are a divorce attorney in Los Angeles, instead of simply targeting generic keywords like “divorce attorney,” concentrate on specific long-tail keywords like “the best hollywood divorce attorney in los angeles ca.”
- Include Quality Backlinks from a Local Source
Backlinks are links on other websites that direct visitors back to your site. Quality backlinks, or backlinks from websites with greater authority, help boost the credibility of your site because they tend to generate a lot of traffic. Localizing your links further increases your SEO efforts. For instance, backlinks from a local educational institution, etc. work wonders for increasing your rankings.
Other sources for quality backlinks include local business indexes, local newspapers, and blogs from other businesses.
- Get Web Citations
A web citation is any reference to your law firm on another site. Citations differ from backlinks in that a link is not required for citation strength; however, backlinks still help.
To get a citation, add your profile in legal directories. Include your firm’s name, address and phone number on each page to signal to Google that your company is real, trustworthy, and relevant.
The Moz Local tool is a great place to find high quality directories online. Search for both geographic and category-terms to ensure your firm is listed properly.
- Create a Web Page for Every Location that You Serve
For maximum exposure, develop one page of your website for each specific location that you serve, and mention the location in addition to your practice area. By doing so, it will enable you to reach potential customers in each neighborhood and municipality you serve. For instance, say that your area of focus is immigration law, and you have a practice in Little Havana Miami. You would naturally want to reach out to potential clients in surrounding neighborhoods and communities. Develop an original page with the title tag “Little Havana Immigration Lawyer,” and be sure to make specific references to the location on the page.
- Include Your Address in Google My Business
Google My Business search results listings are the listings that appear in small boxes that include your company name, hours of operation, and address. Google My Business increases your visibility in Google+, searches, and map searches. If you’re not on Google MY Business, it can affect your business.
To get your law firm listed on Google My Business, simply head over to Google’s website, then sign in to include your address. Next, you will be asked to verify your listing either through instant verification or other Google request. Once your listing is approved, you can include keyword descriptions and photos to further optimize your page.
- Welcome Online Reviews
Reviews and positive ratings help increase your ranking with Google My Business. More reviews signal to Google that your business is influential in a given geographic area; therefore, it is good for businesses to encourage satisfied customers to submit positive reviews whenever possible. Some great review sites include Google My Business, your LinkedIn profile, and your firm’s website.
Follow the tips discussed above and you’re sure to be on the first page of Google in no time.