Millions of customers use local search every day to find law firms and other businesses right in their own communities. You can help increase your chances of getting found by these potential clients by implementing some simple Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques.
- Establish and Optimize Your Google My Business Profile
Google My Business (or GMB) is a business listing that includes information about your law firm, like other directory listings, such as Yelp or Yellow Pages. But, unlike other online business listings, GMB is also a core component of local SEO. Having a well-optimized GMB listing is now vital to rank well locally.
Follow these steps to set up and optimize your listing. And don’t forget to verify your business listing once you’re done. That is an important step to ensure you’re the owner of your page so you, and only you, can make edits in the future.
2. Add Contact Information to Your Website
Your website should list all pertinent contact information, including your firm name, address, and phone numbers and there are two important considerations when it comes to doing so:
- All that information should be included somewhere as text, not just within an image. This ensures that Google can easily read your contact information and verify its accuracy. That means, if your law firm name is part of your logo, you’ll need to make sure the firm name is also included wherever your address is listed as text.
- Be sure that the information exactly matches the information on your Google My Business listing, as well as on your other directory listings. Google compares the contact information listed on your website versus the information listed elsewhere on the internet. NAP (name, address, phone number) consistency is an important ranking factor. It can also have a direct impact on consumer perception of your law firm and whether prospects have a positive or negative experience with your brand.
3. Obtain Client Reviews
Getting great customer reviews on sites such as Google My Business, Yelp, Bing Local and Yahoo Local can give your law firm a huge advantage. 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 by providing them with a list of the review sites where you’ve established profiles. Link to those sites directly from your website and be sure to include links to those review profiles in your email signature when sending any follow-up emails.
4. Establish Complete Listings in 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 should 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.
Local SEO is a long-term investment of time and effort, so implementing these steps won’t result in a #1 ranking overnight, but these techniques can have a valuable impact on your local SEO efforts, helping your law firm website outrank your 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