Do you want local clients to stumble across your law firm online? For this to happen, a local audience needs to be able to find your firm’s website online. How important are local searches? Very important. In fact, “near me” or “close by” type searches grew by more than 900% over two years (HubSpot). Local SEO (search engine optimization) is crucial for law firms, particularly personal injury firms.
Local SEO is the branch of search engine optimization that focuses on helping a site to be found in local results. Consider terms like “lawyers near me” or “lawyers in [my city]”- how are those results displayed? You definitely want your firm to appear in these region-centric results. Leveraging a strategic process around local SEO will make sure that happens.
Content, on-page optimizations, and link building with localized intent can all contribute to your strategy. There are several important parts of a local SEO strategy, and we’ll lay them out for you here.
Important Components for Your Law Firm’s Local SEO Strategy
Google My Business account set up and optimization –
Make sure to claim your “Google my Business” page. It’s free and will help your firm to show up in Google’s local three-pack (the first three businesses to show on local results). There is a verification process, and it’s important that you follow all the steps correctly. Optimize by making sure you have all photos, categories, hours, payment options, etc. completed. Bing has a comparable system and you should complete that as well.
Get regular reviews from directories (and respond) –
Did you know seven out of ten satisfied clients will leave a positive review if asked? Reviews are serious social proof that prospects are looking for. Having positive reviews on local directories will help manage these personal recommendations. Use a tool like Hootsuite to manage your brand online and see when it’s mentioned (in reviews or otherwise). Bonus points for taking the time to respond to reviews. Two places where you should really focus are your Google My Business page and Facebook’s business page.
Understand and use local keywords –
Ensure your content is relevant to a local audience by researching and leveraging keywords based on region. Google’s Keyword Planner helps you to understand the popular searches in a region. Once you have a list of keywords, make sure to use them across meta content, copy, and urls.
Use a location-specific “About Us” page –
If your firm has more than one location, make sure you develop pages specific to each one. Include specific information, office hours, individual descriptions of the attorneys in that office, testimonials from local clients, parking availability, etc. If your law firm has just one location, make sure to note your relevance locally (for example, involvement with local organizations or chambers).
Take advantage of online business directories –
These are a powerful and free way to market your law firm. Think of online directories as the white pages of today’s digital landscape. The quality, consistency, and spread of your online directory listings can affect your local SEO results. Yext is a great tool that can help you manage your online reputation through directories.
Optimize for voice search –
Many people leverage voice search to find what they’re looking for: “Google, find me the nearest personal injury law firm”. Voice search is essentially asking a device to find results for a user. According to Search Engine Land, the majority of mobile searches have a strong local intent (around 87%). Following best practices on optimizing for voice search will help you perform better in local results.
Schema markup –
This section helps to gain traction in SERPs. Most important to know when creating your schema markup is to keep it free from spam and keep user intent in mind. For more information on schema markup, listen to our podcast episode: “How to Use Schema for Law Firm Websites”.
Since law firms tend to acquire and serve clients in specific regional areas, it’s important to have digital strategies built around local search and SEO. These seven tactics are a great start for optimizing your website and content for local search. For more tips on generating more quality leads locally, reach out to us today.