Receiving traction from potential clients is the bread and butter of any successful law firm.
The digital revolution has resulted in the saturation of the Law industry leading to unprecedented competition – both online and offline.
Successful law firms made the transition by adopting Local SEO Strategies, a quick digital revamping of their marketing tactics helped them to get featured in local search results.
As a result, these law firms attracted more clients and took control of the online presence as a burgeoning brand.
We analyzed the digital marketing trends followed by law firms for the last decade and found that conventional marketing strategies are failing to drive results.
However, we also found that while the investment in conventional marketing took a nosedive, local seo for the law firms has taken off really well.
The change in the digital marketing trend of Law Firm is the direct result of people searching excessively on Google, for attorneys.
It has to be noted that, 97% of US millennials who availed service from a law firm, searched online before booking a legal appointment.
When you look at the digital marketing space, you can notice that there is a change in the buying process.
This article will take you through various points that can help you get your law firm ranked #1 on Google search and on the Google map in 2019 to align yourself to the new process.
Here are a few reasons why you need to invest in local SEO services for lawyers
- Most people begin their search for a viable attorney by researching online
- Many law firms have managed to receive new cases through their website
- Almost all the quests are conducted on Google
How can local SEO for law firms benefit you?
Four local SEO factors can benefit your law firm to drive more prospective clients.
The Local SEO strategies discussed below will help your law firm appear more in the local search results – both in organic search as well as in Google Maps.
Taking advantage of Google My Business:
Google My Business (GMB) is the ultimate partner for you to establish an online local search presence. A well-optimized GMB listing ensures your presence on top of Google search.
Any lapse to optimize the GMB will affect the law firm’s search visibility on Google Local Search results and also on Google Maps.
This proprietary tool of Google has gone through many adaptations over the years and the current version is the most robust and feature-rich.
Claiming, customizing, and updating the GMB will have a huge impact on the way your target audience perceives your law firm.
Google uses a specific set of categories in determining the local rankings for law firms. They are-
Google is always looking out for the relevancy of your GMB listing to the search query entered. There are several ways to ensure that your local listing for your law firm is as relevant as possible for the online search.
This can be done by choosing the right primary category for GMB and further choosing additional categories if possible. For example, you can choose “divorce attorney” or “personal injury attorney.”
Google considers the proximity of your business from the searcher when showing them local search results. This is done by tracking the business’s IP address and other factors and then considering the best results to display to the end-user.
The prominence of a law firm is measured on the basis of its overall performance. There are a number of factors to consider when it comes to the prominence of a law firm such as the authority of its backlinks, the number of articles published on other sites, the total number of reviews and ratings received, etc.
Your website needs to rank locally:
Clients will search for a law firm by using relevant keywords. It’s essential that your firm shows up in the search results when the users are looking for the legal services that you offer.
For law firms, it is crucial to optimize the web pages before starting the local SEO campaign.
Offer an Excellent Mobile User Experience:
50% of local search takes place on mobile devices. Users who search in smartphones are more likely to take the intended action. Most clients use their smartphones to search for legal information and to confirm appointments.
Actively Manage Your Online Reputation:
Reviews are essential, and they can make or break your online presence. You can get the best rank on all search engines, but if you don’t have good reviews to back your ranking, then you may have fewer visitors, let alone getting new appointments.
Local SEO Services for Law Firms – A Blueprint For 2019 and Beyond
Once you place the above mentioned local SEO strategies on track, the next task ahead is to get valuable positive reviews, links, and citations.
1. My Business Signals
The primary goal of doing local SEO for lawyers is to show up on Google Maps and claim the business location on Google Maps.
Google My Business, which pops up when the target audience search is just a front end. Google Maps is the back end from where the data is retrieved.
Listed below are some tips that you can use while optimizing your Google My Business location:
- Ensure that your page is listed correctly under the right service category
- The only way you can show up is by having a physical location in the city you want to show up in
- Avoid keyword stuffing in the title. It goes against Google Guidelines
- Ensure that you have the correct NAP information of the law firm in Google My Business.
2. Link Signals
Don’t ignore the worth of inbound links. They are essential for organic rankings and improving your position in local search results.
Moreover, Google’s algorithm still uses link authority while considering where to rank a website.
Inbound links are crucial links that point to your website from other authoritative websites. When used with money keywords and branded keywords, these links will help to achieve better search engine ranking for local search queries.
Links that point to another page or article within the website of your law firm are considered as internal links.
The anchor text used to link the pages must be based on the keywords you want to rank in local search results. This will help Google to index your site better and provide context to the page while ranking for local search results.
You can also use outbound links for getting the best SEO results for law firms.
These are links within the website of your law firm that point out to external sources, which could be a government website or any other authoritative websites. These are the sites that will provide your users with additional information.
Local Citation Links
Receiving links to your GMB page and other citations will also have a positive impact on your site while doing local SEO for lawyers.
These are the links from other sites that will point towards your brand. These are mostly profiled links created for your site, and they are a great way to build local authority.
3. On-page signals
A good SEO company for law firms will ensure that on-page signals are not overlooked. On-page signals are essential for the success of local SEO for law firms.
A well-optimized law firm website can be a catalyst to rank better in Google search and increasing the clientele. You can ensure this by building unique content featuring each of the services through blog posts.
You also have to ensure that your law firm website has been optimized with relevant title tags, meta descriptions, body tags, and alt texts. These elements will act as signals of good site architecture.
There are several tools available to do law firm search engine optimization. Tools such as SEMRush or AHREFs can help you to conduct keyword and content analysis.
The critical Local SEO on-page factors:
- Presence of name, address, and phone number
- Keyword in title, heading, and copy (SEO)
- Schema makeup
- Site Architecture
On-page signals contribute to 14% of local ranking factors, according to Moz.
4. Citation Signals
Citations are not only important for doing local SEO for the law firms but also for ensuring that the strategies get the best results.
Citations are references to your business name, address and phone number through trusted business directories.
When Google discovers your business information on these sites, it helps to add up your credibility.
There are many online channels that you can look into for getting quality citations; they include web directories, maps, review sites, apps, and GPS navigation.
There are a few common mistakes that inexperienced SEO companies make while building citations for attorneys.
These include a difference in the name, address, and phone number of the law firms. It is important to maintain the consistency of the NAP information.
Moreover, the number of citations that you build and the velocity at which you are growing them, are also considered as rank signals by Google.
The essential elements to include:
- Consistent Name, Address, and Phone number
- Citation Volume
- Citation Velocity
5. Review Signals
Positive reviews for a law firm can build instant trust. Reviews can urge the users to choose your law firm over your competitors.
The top factors to improve online reputation are as follows:
- Quantity– How many reviews do your business have compared to your competitors? Most users will end up choosing the services with the most reviews.
- Quality- Are you receiving positive reviews from your customers? Once again, the public will select the service that has the best reputation or positive reviews.
- Velocity- This is a trust factor, if your reviews are old then the users are not confident with your services.
- Diversity- Law firm SEO experts know that reviews from different sources, such as Yelp, Facebook and other Internet Yellow Page sites can help to build a good online reputation for law firm website.
- History- If you have a good track record, then don’t let a few bad reviews get you down. However, start getting concerned when the volume of the negative reviews stats begin to increase. Try to find out the issue or the source behind the negative reviews and fix it as early as possible.
Online reviews will have a good impact on the overall ranking of your law firm website. Studies have also shown that Google favors law firms with the highest reviews.
Google’s algorithm understands what others say about your business. The keywords and links mentioned on these sites do not go unnoticed.
The keywords that are used in the review comments also help Google understand your relevance and authority in your industry.
Here are some ways you can increase the online reputation of your law firm:
- Develop a review strategy
- Monitor your review
- Amplify the positive feedback
- Share your best reviews on social media
6. Behavioral Signals
When we talk about local SEO for lawyers, Google measures the user interaction with your brand. The algorithm pulls down the sites that have a high bounce rate.
It also looks at the page views and how engaging the content is (this includes images and videos as well).
When it comes to local listings, Google looks at the click-through rate from maps to your website. They measure the number of mobile users who call your company and request driving directions to your practice.
If the number of people driving to your location or calling you is higher than the competitor, there is more chance that your law firm will rank above them.
The key factors to consider here are:
- The click-through rate
- Mobile clicks to call
- Requests for directions
- Time on site, bounce rate, and dwell rate
Attorney Search Engine Optimization includes updating your website to the latest standards, ensuring that it is mobile-friendly and having engaging information.
You must consider refreshing your location and images if they are outdated. Ensure that the title tags and page title are unique and exciting.
The method of attracting new clients, that is by hanging signs or printing business listings in the Yellow Pages, are things of the past.
The points listed above, for local SEO for law firms, will rank your law firm high on Google maps and increase your local visibility.