Did you know there are different types of SEO? In previous blog posts, we’ve discussed general SEO concepts and how keywords can improve your rank on search engines and your website traffic. In this post, we’ll talk about how you can better market your law firm to your local community by using and understanding local SEO for law firms.
Local SEO is a highly effective form of local online marketing. It allows local businesses to promote their services to local customers at exactly the time they’re looking for your type of business. In other words, if becoming the most sought-after law firm in town is the ultimate goal, local SEO can help make it happen.
To appear in a search engine’s local listings, law firm web sites need to tell the search engines where their offices are located. This is done by making online references to your business’s name, address and phone numbers. In digital marketing speak, these are citations. Citations tell searchers where you’re located – and give search engines confidence that your business is valid. The most important type of citation is the one that communicates your firm name, address and phone number.
How do you create a citation? You can start by simply including your law firm’s name, address, and phone number on all web pages. Consistency is an important factor with citations. If the citations are inconsistent, then the search engine will be suspicious about the reliability of your site as a source.
1. Make sure your law firm’s name, address, and phone number appears throughout your website. As we said above, the more consistently your law firm lists its location, the better the chance the search engine will display your website first to local prospects. For local SEO, instead of keywords being the main concern – location is. Your law firm should always make sure valid contact information is accessible and visible on its website.
2. If your law firm has multiple locations, make sure each has their own landing page on your site. Having a dedicated landing page for each office location gives your law firm “search engine real estate.” The more properties (i.e., web pages) that consistently list addresses, the more likely your law firm’s local office will be found in local searches. This makes for better relevancy to users searching locally and better discoverability for search engines.
3. Get your face in the local paper. The easiest way to get your law firm’s name around town is by putting out press releases and getting your face on local media outlets. Balestrino says, “While press releases have little direct SEO value, they are still a great way to promote your company and create buzz.” Anything that helps get outside links to point to your law firm and generate buzz will drive people to your website to learn more about your firm. More traffic means improved SEO.
Local reviews also are a major factor in local SEO for law firms. A 2013 survey done by Dimensional Research found that 90% of people’s purchase decisions are influenced by positive online reviews and 86% are affected by negative online reviews. Search engines receive these reviews from Yelp and other online customer review sites. Reviews are just as critical to local SEO as citations — they directly affect your firm’s local SEO rating.
Local SEO can be a great tool in getting your law firm noticed in your neighborhood. A good place to start is to see if your firm’s office location information is accurate online. We’ve got a free scanning tool you can use, to access it click here.
To delve further into the topic of local SEO for law firms, you can listen to our podcast about how to implement this technique into your digital marketing strategy.