There was a recent discussion among several Academy members regarding what made a law firm event, such as an educational seminar or client appreciation celebration, successful. Is it the day of the week or the hour of the day the event is held? Is it more advantageous to hold the event at a hotel or other public venue, rather than at your firm’s office? There’s so much planning and resources that go into these events! The discussion prompted me to think about how law firms could be leveraging this activity online. Not only can marketing your events online fill seats at your seminars, events can be used to build citations, earn backlinks, get positive reviews, and increase brand recognition.
Local SEO Factors
There are many factors that search engines weigh when ranking websites, including the structure of your site, the content that you’ve published, and social proof in the form of client testimonials and social media activity. One of the most important factors that search engines look at when deciding how to rank websites is the links that go back to your site. Links from other high quality websites, and especially local websites, can have a big impact on your ranking. Having your firm name, address, and phone number mentioned or your website linked to from major local sites, sends a strong signal to the search engines that you are locally relevant, which can increase your credibility and improve your ranking.
Local Event Opportunities
So, how do you get your name out there on local websites? You are probably already doing some things that could be great opportunities for generating local mentions on top websites:
- Host a grand opening or “housewarming” for your new office space
- Host client appreciation events and seasonal parties
- Offer educational seminars
- Participate in community events such as business expos
- Sponsor a local event or sports team
- Host a guest lecture
- Promote a community event or fundraiser
- Support a toy drive or food drive
Online Event Marketing
When hosting any local event, make sure that news of the event shows up on the web. When your seminar, client appreciation day or other activity is listed on a local newspaper’s website or a local calendar, the mention of your brand name and resulting link to your site boosts your credibility with the search engine every time.
Your city or town website may have an events calendar where local events are posted. Submit information about the activity you are hosting or sponsoring. The resulting links back to your website from local newspapers, city and town websites can be especially valuable.
If your event is something that benefits the community or is open for anyone to attend, the local news may be interested in putting out a press release or even sending a reporter to cover it. This could garner local attention as well as more site links. When someone searches for your firm name, they’ll also get these news stories and see that you are a valuable contributing member of your community.
Keep in mind that hosting the event at your firm’s office is the best choice if you’re considering local SEO benefits. By doing so, you’ll be promoting your firm name, address, and phone number on all of these popular websites.
Finally, the positive “buzz” that your event may generate can be a very effective form of social media marketing. Attendees who come to the event may take photos that they upload to social media sites that include the name of your firm and may even leave positive reviews about the event and your firm.
This type of natural word-of-mouth online marketing is the type of publicity that can’t be bought. Take advantage of your event marketing opportunities today by publicizing the events you are part of and by considering planning a special local event in the future.
SEO and Social Media Manager
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555