Online searches are becoming more and more localized with each passing year. In fact, 46% of all Google searches are now local. With over 3.5 billion total searches per day, that translates into a lot of local consumers. Many of those represent prospects right in your own community looking for the very services you offer. You can improve your visibility in the local search rankings by taking a few easy steps.
Optimize your website
We’ve previously discussed the importance of optimizing your website for prospects, but it’s just as important to optimize for search engines.
- Understand the keywords prospects are most likely using to search for your services
- Create individual pages for each niche practice areas. Be sure to include those keywords, but don’t go overboard. Your website copy should be reader-friendly
- Include your keywords in your title tags and meta descriptions
- Include contact information on every page
- Continuously update your site with fresh, quality content. Blogging is an easy way to improve SEO, while also establishing yourself as an industry authority.
- Make sure your website is mobile friendly
Establish complete listings in your top local business directories
Google, Yelp, Bing, YellowPages.com, Avvo, CitySearch, Mapquest, I could go on and on. There are literally thousands of directories available to list your firm in, so you’ll want to be selective. You likely already have listings in a lot of these directories, just waiting for you to claim and update. Google your law firm name to find which directories you have listings in, then begin to build out your listings on the most popular sites. Be sure to include more than just your basic contact info. Prospects are looking for additional information, such as your hours of operation, service offerings, and other relevant information.
It can be incredibly time-consuming to submit to each directory individually, but there are some tools available to simplify the process. While automated tools aren’t perfect, both Moz Local and BrightLocal offer tools which enable you to distribute your law firm info to thousands of local directories.
Ensure that your NAP (Name, Address, Phone) is consistent
Having the correct contact information on all of your online assets, including your website, social media accounts, directory listings, and citations is not only important for prospects who are looking for you, but also for SEO. In fact, it’s considered one of the most important factors in local search ranking. Having outdated or inaccurate information will lower your visibility in search results and make it difficult for prospects to find you.
Obtain Client Reviews
92% of consumers now read online reviews, so they’re playing an increasingly important role in search. Since both search engines and consumers are looking at your reviews to determine how you stack up against your competition, gathering some of those reviews is well worth a little time and effort. Make it easy for your clients to post reviews on your Google+, Yelp, and other profiles by providing links to those platforms.
SEO is a long-term investment of time and effort, so implementing these steps won’t result in a #1 ranking overnight, but by consistently publishing quality content and building valuable backlinks, your law firm website will soon be outranking the competition.
Director, Web and Online Marketing Services
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 453-2128
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