Local SEO for Law Firms: Top 5 Things You Need to Know
So, you run a law firm?
That means you’re one of 500,000 in the United States.
While you’re not competing with every state across the US, you’re still likely competing with more than a handful in your city.
Unless you live in a rural, small town, the exposure your law firm gets on Google (or any other search engine) is going to impact how your business grows, how potential clients find you, and the reputation your firm will carry.
So, how does law firm search engine optimization benefit your company?
Here we will go over the 5 most important things you need to know in order to boost your business, gain a loyal clientele, and most importantly, rank #1 on Google.
Before We Start…
In case you’re new to the world of Google rankings, search engine keywords, and local SEO, let me explain what search engine optimization means, so you can fully grasp the concept before we dive in.
Search engine optimization is an online strategy used to help your company become more visible in Google searches. This means, when a client types in the search bar, “Law Firms near me” your company will be one of the first few they see.
By boosting your business’s ranking, you’re getting exposure to your company right when a potential client may need your services.
When your company’s page is polished and professional, a new client is 76% more likely to visit or call your office within the day.
What Exactly Should I Know About Local SEO For My Legal Firm?
1. Local SEO Will Drive Organic Traffic To Your Company:
When I say “organic” traffic, I simply mean traffic from Google searches without the use of paid or sponsored ads. In the most basic sense, by optimizing your business page you’re enabling potential clients to see your business in real-time, exactly when they need it. Local searches for businesses “near me” account for half of Google’s 2 trillion searches per year.
Google will rank your law firm’s website based on a variety of factors, but most importantly:
- How relevant is your content to the searcher? (If a potential client is searching for a divorce lawyer, they will immediately skip websites to accident law firms)
- How close in proximity are you to the searcher? (Are you close by?)
- Does your website have authority? (This is a cumulation of the website content, website speed, user-friendliness, reviews, and links to other sites).
2. Keywords Are Important!
One way you can drive organic traffic to your law firm’s website is through the use of search engine optimized keywords.
So, for example, if you’re a legal firm in Minneapolis you would want to scatter the words “Minneapolis Law Firm” (or something similar) throughout your website.
These could be called “head” or “money” keywords. In a nutshell, you’re helping a potential client through the muddy waters of the world wide web and providing a clear solution to their search.
Long-tail keywords are important to keep in mind as well.
For example, if a client has recently been fired from a job they feel was unfair, or illegal, they may not have decided whether to even hire a lawyer yet.
Try to put yourself in a client’s shoes.
What might they search for?
Something along the lines of, “Do I need a lawyer after an unjust termination?” If they see your business come up, with positive reviews and an easy-to-use website, they’re much more likely to give you a call.
3. Utilizing Local SEO Will Increase Your Legal Firm’s Foot Traffic
One way to optimize your law firm’s online presence is through the use of Google Maps. Using Google Maps allows potential clients to find your physical location. In order for your legal firm to even show up in the first place, you must create a ‘Google My Business’ account.
You may not know what I’m talking about, but you’ve seen it. It’s the Google business pages that pop up with the most basic information about your company, with a link to your website embedded.
By utilizing your Google My Business page you can earn a spot in Google’s top 3 “Local Pack”.
The local pack is Google’s top 3 business choices based on reviews, website content, and click-through rate. Earning a spot in the local pack is every SEO business owner’s dream. Not only do you show up first, you gain authority in your community by being recommended by Google.
4. Polish Up Your ‘Google My Business Page’:
I touched on it briefly above, but utilizing Google maps is a powerful and effective tool to get your law firm on the map.
In this day and age, many potential customers are increasingly skeptical about a business with no, or little, online presence.
Not only does your online presence matter, the way you present yourself, matters.
So, in order to polish up your Google My Business page you want to:
- ● Make sure your page has complete information
- ● Verify your locations (this is crucial to showing up close in proximity to a potential client)
- ● Make sure your hours are accurate and up to date
- ● Manage and respond to reviews -even bad ones
- ● Add clear, crisp photos -this means the outside, inside, and of your staff working
- ● Make sure your information is relevant to what your clients may be searching for
With 56% of businesses not claiming their Google My Business page, this gives you a major advantage against competitors.
5. Reviews And Ratings Are Social Proof:
When it comes to reviews, the amount you have -and your rating of course -account for 15% of your spot in the Google local pack.
When you respond to both good and bad reviews, not only are you creating a reputation for being personable and caring, you’re showing future clients that you aren’t afraid to address a less than ideal circumstance head-on.
Time and time again, sociology researchers have proven that reviews are essential for a business to thrive. People genuinely care about what others like them have to say or have experienced in relation to your company.
One way to boost reviews is simply by asking. If you feel as though you’ve made a positive relationship with a client, asking them to leave your company a review to increase your online presence isn’t an out-of-the-ordinary favor to ask. More often than not, if you help someone out, they’re much more likely to help you out.
Law Firm Search Engine Optimization Is Easier Than You Think:
When it comes down to utilizing SEO practices to increase business, it all comes down to putting yourself in your client’s shoes.
If you just experienced a stressful life event and you need legal help, what kinds of words would you be searching for? What kind of business would seem the most legitimate?
Making sure you have accurate information, photos, positive reviews, and high-ranking keywords will ensure your legal firm not only makes their mark in the online world but will increase your in-person business as well.