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What is Local SEO?
Local SEO or local search engine optimization is a digital marketing tactic to increase the traffic to your website through organic local search results. It not only increases the quantity, but also the quality of your website's traffic. In simple terms, it is how your customers find your website on the Internet.
When we look at SEO in more detail, there are three distinct parts to it. These parts are:
Quality of traffic. This means you want to attract the right visitors to your website, or, in other words, the visitors who will use your legal services. In simple terms, you do not want visitors on your site who are actually looking for something else.
Quantity of traffic. Once you get the right people visiting your site, it is always better to have more of them.
Organic results. Online ads like pay-per-click ads make up a significant part of many search engine results. Organic traffic, in contrast, is any traffic that you do not have to pay for. It brings visitors to your site purely on where you rank in the search results.
SEO works because search engines use crawlers that gather information about all the websites on theInternet. These crawlers then build an index of these websites and an algorithm then tries to match all that data with your query.
The key to remember is, if you want to rank well in the search results, your SEO needs to be optimized.
Why Local SEO?
Now the first question is, why you should optimize your local SEO for law firms. The simple answer is that it lets you rank higher on Google, Yahoo, or Bing. It also lets you standout from your competitors in your area.
To illustrate why it is important, let us look at some local SEO stats:
46% of all Google searches look for local information.
72% of consumers that did a local search, went to a store within 5 miles.
97% of people learn more about a local business online than anywhere else.
88% of searches for local businesses on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours.
61% of local searches are likely to contact the business if they have a mobile friendly site.
18% of local businesses of local searches led to a purchase within a day.
There has been a growth of 900% of "near me" and "close by" type searches in the last two years.
Local searches result in purchases 28% of the time.
92% of searchers will pick businesses on the first page of local search results.
Now, let's put those statistics into practice. As a law firm, chances are that most of your clients are local and they live in the same area or community as you. So, when they search for a lawyer online, they will obviously look for one nearby.
This means, if you rank higher in the local search results, more clients will contact you when they are looking for a local lawyer. In contrast, if you only optimize your SEO generally, this likely will not happen.
How We Optimize for Local SEO for Law Firms
Now you know what local SEO for law firms is and how important it is for your law firm. Let us take a look at how we can optimize your local SEO for law firms strategy.
It All Starts With Planning
Any successful local SEO for law firms strategy starts with planning and research. Here, we begin the process with comprehensive initial analysis reports. These lay the foundation for the strongest SEO strategy possible for your firm. In turn, it helps us to determine the best way for your firm to achieve a return on investment.
During this analysis we gather all the information we need to see where we can improve your local SEO for law firms strategy.
These initial reports include:
Keyword report - This shows us the exact keywords and search phrases used by users to search for legal services related to your law firm. It also shows us your monthly search volume.
Initial website SEO analysis - Our software will look at how your website performs when it comes to SEO. When we know how your website performs, we know where and how to optimize it.
Competition analysis - This report helps us to identify the strength of the keywords and how hard or easy it will be to achieve search results.Remember, our goal is to help you get a return on your investment. So, we look at optimizing keywords that will give you the best results.
Initial ranking - This report shows us where you are ranking currently. It will show us what keywords your website ranks for and where it ranks in the results. We will use these benchmarking reports to see what progress we made and where we can improve your strategy even further.
Initial competitive intelligence analysis - For this step we look at your 10 competitors and the keywords and search phrases they rank for. It is vital to know who your competitors are and where they rank for the same keywords we are going after.By analyzing this, it gives you a distinct advantage because we can build our strategy to improve on this.
Backlink strength report - This report shows us the mathematical details on the strength of your inbound links to the pages within your site. This is vital to build a solid backlink program which, in turn, is crucial to the quality structure of the SEO.
Local SEO for Law Firms Methodology
Once we know how your website performs on SEO, we know where to improve. In general, our local SEO for law firms method relies on several things. These all work together to make your website as optimized as possible. These are:
On-page optimization. Here, we create new optimized content for your site. This content adheres to all SEO best practices like proper keyword density, keyword in the title, keywords in alt tags, keyword with meta-tags, and many more. Often, though, we do not even need to create new content and we can optimize what already exists.
Off-page optimization. We provide quality backlinks that come from blogs to your site. These blogs talk specifically about the keyword we are trying to optimize for and utilizes the keyword as the anchor text. We believe in a sustainable approach to back linking and will thus make changes and adapt as Google changes the algorithm.
Toxic back link removal. We monitor for toxic backlinks and when we discover them, we disavow them with our own software.
Social signal development. Social signals have a significant impact onSEO. So, when we post a new piece of content for a client, we develop social signals for that content. We do this through our social signal network that tweets, +1s, and shares the content.
Weekly meetings. We firmly believe that we should have weekly meetings with our clients. SEO takes time, but our strategies should not take any longer than they need to. So, by having regular meetings with you it keeps us accountable and will keep you informed.
Creating a Google My Business Page
After looking at and optimizing your SEO in general, we optimize it for local SEO. The first step to creating a local SEO strategy for your law firm for is to create a Google MyBusiness page.
If you have searchedGoogle for a local business before, you have seen the results at the very top of the page. These results contain business' information and contact details. It also gives you their website and their locations on a map.
This means, when a client looks for legal services or a law firm, these are the first businesses they will see and, ultimately, who they will contact.
The data on these results comes from your Google My Business page. So, it is easy to see why it is vital that we optimize your Google My Business Listings.
Some of the things we do to optimize this listing are:
We include a long, descriptive, and keyword rich description of your law firm and your services.
Upload as many photos as possible. We make sure these photos are the right size and show your signage.
We choose the correct categories for your law firm.
We include a local phone number.
We include a link to your website.
We also include your complete address inexactly the same format that you have listed on your website.
We make sure that the info is accurate and always kept up to date.
Once we have created this listing, we are able to see statistics on how many visits and views you get from it. We can also see how many people call you directly by clicking the phone number you listed.
Optimizing for Local Keywords
With your Google MyBusiness listing sorted, the next thing we focus on is optimizing your firm's website.
Here, we will optimize every page for local keywords so that Google knows your website is a local business. For example, we use your keyword and your location to optimize these. We also use similar related terms on your site to further strengthen your SEO.
To do this, we make sure:
That the title tag of your website includes your city or region and a keyword.
You have at least one page with an H1 tag that includes your local keywords.
Include local keywords several times throughout the content on your website.
Your URL contains your keyword and location, if possible.
Alt tags for images include your local keywords.
We include an embedded Google map on your contact page that shows your location.
We also make sure that we optimize your website for mobile. As you have seen before in the stats, the majority of local searches come from mobile devices. This means Google ranks websites which are optimized for mobile higher than websites which are not.Besides, by searching on their mobiles, clients will find you easier.
When businesses market online, brand consistency is vital. It is simple, it helps your audience to recognize and trust your brand. When marketing online, though, you also need to focus on NAP consistency because it is crucial for local SEO for law firms.
NAP stands for name, address, and phone number. To optimize this, we make sure that your law firm’s NAP is consistent across the Internet.
In this way you provide search engines with consistent information across the web. Because their intention is to provide users with the most valuable and relevant information, this will make you rank higher in the search results.
One of the last things we do, and probably the most difficult is creating backlinks to your website from other local websites.
Backlinks are always vital in SEO, but because they are not so prominent a factor for local search, it makes things a bit easier.
When we create backlinks, we make sure that all the other websites have some keywords relating to your law firm. It is also important they contain consistent NAP citations along with the link.
Now, there are a multitude of strategies for building backlinks, with some more effective than others. Some of these include publishing articles for a local blog or news outlet and participating in press outreaches about legal topics.
You can even try to get backlinks on your own by sponsoring local events, creating local events for your firm, or donating money to local charities.
Keep in mind, though, that the these are just a few options and that there are many more. The key, however, is the more local websites we can get to list your NAP and backlink, the higher your Google rank will be.
Contact Us Today
There you go, now you know how important local SEO for law firms is to your law firm. It will give you both the quality and quantity you need to take your law firm to the next level.
If you want to know more about local SEO for law firms or how to implement your strategy, contact us today. We are a full-service digital marketing agency that can help you rank higher, increase your website traffic, and convert more leads and we offer a full range of services from PPC management toSocial Media marketing, SEO, and email marketing.
We have helped several companies across a variety of industries grow their businesses and increase their customer base with digital marketing