As an attorney, you recognize the importance of maintaining a steady stream of new clients and cultivating long-term connections with the clients you serve. Attorneys practicing estate planning or business law often rely on building ongoing relationships with their clients, as these individuals tend to reach out to their lawyers whenever a question, need, or challenge arises. By now, your law practice probably has some form of digital marketing strategy in place. Whether this strategy is elaborate (i.e., it encompasses social media marketing campaigns, regular blog posts, frequent website updates, etc.) or relatively basic (i.e., you have an operational website in place), it’s essential that you incorporate search engine optimization (SEO) best practices into your law firm’s marketing strategy. Search engines like Google update their algorithms at a rapid pace, so you will need to keep up with these changes to ensure that your website and services remain visible to potential clients in your area. In recent months, local SEO for attorneys has become increasingly important to maximize your reach, establish your firm’s trustworthiness, and engage more frequently and meaningfully with potential clients. Let’s take a look at what makes Local SEO so vital to your law practice’s success and some helpful tips for developing a robust and effective digital marketing strategy.
What is Local SEO?
First, it’s important to establish a basic understanding of what Local SEO means. Essentially, Local SEO allows you to focus on improving your firm’s rankings and visibility in local search results, such as Google’s Map Pack/Local Pack. You can take specific actions to optimize your law firm’s Google Business Profile listing to connect with potential clients in your local area. For instance, when someone nearby enters the search term “personal injury lawyer” into Google, your Local SEO strategy ensures that your law firm pops up near the top of the search results. Since most people do not venture beyond the first page of the search results pages, it’s critical that your firm’s information appears as high as possible among the search results. The strength of your Local SEO strategy relies on three main factors: (1) How relevant your listing is to user search queries; (2) The proximity of a searcher to your law firm’s IP address based on the search term they use; and (3) How prominent (or well-known) your law practice is. In general, Google uses your website, online client reviews, social media activity, and other information across the web to measure your prominence. Law firms that post regular blog updates and have accumulated many positive client reviews will be ranked more favorably and prominently than firms with little online presence and few client reviews.
Local SEO Optimization Musts
Google’s algorithm will not randomly boost your law firm’s ranking for no reason. Instead, you must take certain measures to optimize your digital presence and make your law firm’s information more visible to those looking for legal guidance in your area. Here are a few simple steps you can take to support your Local SEO efforts.
Start With the Google Business Profile (GBP)
Google Business Profile (GBP), formerly known as Google My Business, is what Google displays on the Local Pack. First, you will need to claim your GBP by going to the GBP homepage, where you can enter your business name, category, and other relevant information. You will also be prompted to enter a brief description (approximately 750 words) of your business. Be sure to include essential information in this description, such as the lead attorney’s full name, years of experience, primary practice areas, office locations, and any recognitions or awards you have received. You may also add photos of your business, the attorneys, and office support staff. Potential clients respond more favorably to GBPs that include pictures, as they enjoy seeing the people behind the services. It’s also a good idea to add a brief FAQ section for visitors to peruse and locate important information about your field of law and the services you provide.
Build Local Citations for Your Law Practice
It’s critical that your firm’s contact information remains consistent and accurate across every platform and website. If your practice appears on legal directories, such as Avvo, Nolo, FindLaw, or similar directories, visit these citations to ensure that your firm’s name, address, and phone number are accurate and up-to-date. Next, check these details across any social media platforms or websites where your listing appears, including Yelp, YellowPages, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Apple Maps. Posting information about your firm on a wide variety of local listings increases your online visibility and footprint, prompting Google to index your GBP listing for your target keywords and boost your ranking among the search results pages. Inconsistent or erroneous contact information can negatively impact your law firm’s trustworthiness and authority in the eyes of Google, so take the time to check that everything is accurate and current.
Harness the Power of Client Reviews
Online reviews from clients play a significant role in Google’s local ranking algorithm. Law firms with a large number of positive client reviews tend to rank much higher than those with a smattering of reviews. Additionally, those looking for legal services in your community will enjoy hearing about the experiences of your clients. As most people locate legal services by performing an online search, it’s critical that you implement a consistent and effective client review request and response system. Whenever a client leaves your firm a review, be sure to acknowledge their words with a simple “Thank you.” People who read client reviews will view your responses and activity as an indication of your firm’s genuine investment in serving the needs of your clients.
Is your law practice looking to engage more clients? It’s time to reimagine your digital marketing strategy to ensure you’re reaching as many potential clients as possible. Give LegalRev a call today at (800) 893-2590 to get started.