Courtroom drama and impeccable suits. Growing up, lawyers always seemed fascinating to me. But being part of a law firm isn’t just about the legal drama as Harvey Spector or Alan Shore make it seem. For starters, to stay afloat, firms must often fight against the perils of poor online visibility. Here local SEO for law firms is their savior.
Before the big guys can fight it out in courts or strike deals with the opposing parties, they must ensure that they get clients in the first place. In today’s time, when there are a plethora of law firms around the world, this can prove quite hard.
Let’s narrow it down to the U.S. According to Statista, there are 206 law firms in the country alone. And a lot of people search for potential lawyers to represent them via their search engines.
For instance, as per Inbound Law Marketing, 96 percent of people use search engines when seeking legal advice. And 74 percent of people visit a law firm’s website before availing its services.
Therefore, as a law firm, you must invest in SEO to ensure that your firm is considered by clients. Within the vast world of SEO, you must use local SEO for lawyers.
The Inherent Need for Local SEO for Law Firms
You might wonder, “Aren’t law firms brick and mortar businesses? Won’t people see my law firm, hear about its competence and select me?”. We won’t deny the fact that some people will. After all, there is a lot more to law firm marketing than just SEO.
But, a wide chunk of today’s population relies on independent online research during their purchase decision. And this refers to purchases of both products and services.
Since services required from law firms are local in nature, people often narrow down the law firms they select depending on their location. In fact, as per SEO Tribunal, 46 percent of the total Google searches are on the lookout for local businesses!
Unless your firm is optimized with the right local keywords, it won’t spring up in the searches. This highlights the inherent need for local SEO for law firms. Here is a quick example. We searched for property lawyers in Texas. See how some firms come up on the top.
Try it out with the niche you specialize in and the location you operate in. Does your business pop up? If not, it is time to invest in local SEO.
The power of local keywords
According to WebFx, “near me” searches have witnessed an increase of a whopping 500 percent in recent years! This is just one type of keyword that boosts the visibility of local law firms.
So, the question arises, how can you identify the right keywords, and what do you do with them? Here are some steps that might help!
1. Start with keyword research
There are some local keywords that perform better than others. In layman terms, this is because some words are used more by people than others.
You must begin by identifying the top local keywords in your sector. To do so, make use of tools available at your disposal. For example, you can use Uber Suggest to find both words and topics to write on for content optimization.
2. Update and Optimize
Once you have identified the right words, you must update old content to include the keywords. This will ensure that you can gain the maximum advantage of your already present content.
Additionally, also create new content and optimize it accordingly. A great way to do so is by starting a blog on your website. Cover relevant topics to appear resourceful and credible. Gowling WLG is one firm that does this perfectly.
It is best to use services that specialize in SEO for law firms for this task. After all, it is seemingly never-ending. Keywords that perform well today might not do so tomorrow.
The importance of your location
Local keyword optimization in isolation won’t be as helpful. Instead, Local SEO for Law Firms depend on how well your firm’s location is reflected throughout your online presence. This will help you seal the deal. Don’t forget, as per Google, 28 percent of local searches result in a purchase.
This is because the more consistently your law firm manages to list its address, name, and location, the higher is the chance that Google, along with other search engines, will display it at the high rank for local searches.
Here are ways you should promote the location of your business.
1. Location page on the website
SEO for law firm websites isn’t just content-based changes. Instead, the design elements also play an integral role.
You must create a visually stunning location page for your website. Integrate it with Google Maps for the convenience of your users as well as for a high ranking. Make sure to clearly mention your business address and location.
Additionally, compliment this by consistently mentioning your location throughout your website. For instance, you can make it a part of your tagline.
2. Google My Business Citation
According to Bright Local, a typical business gets over 59 actions on its Google My Business Page on an average, every month! And 16 percent of firms receive over 100 calls owing to their listings.
When you consider how high up Google reflects the listings, such statistics make sense. Therefore, it is advised that all law firms should claim and update their location and contact information of Google My Business.
Leveraging the Online Word of Mouth
Law firms love talking about the power of word of mouth. In today’s digitally dependent world, we have a new type of word of mouth, and that is online reviews.
The Effectiveness of Local Reviews
A survey was conducted by Dimensional Research in 2013 to gauge the effectiveness of reviews. It discovered that over 90 percent of people said that their purchase decisions were influenced by reviews that were positive. And 86 percent were swayed by negative reviews.
Local reviews, specifically, are a contributing factor for local SEO for law firms. It is imperative to get sufficient local reviews to improve your local SEO rating.
Monitoring Review Sites
A Bright Local Survey reveals that most consumers rely on Facebook, Google, and Yelp for reviews of a local business. In the case of law firms, niche sites like Avvo Law Directory, Martindale, and Lawyers.com are also often sought.
As a practice, ask your clients to leave reviews on such sites. The more positive reviews you have, the higher will be your local ranking.
While you are at it, monitor your reviews on such third-party platforms and resolve any grievances. This way, people that search for reviews can see your response and form a favorable image of your firm.
It is time to go mobile
According to HubSpot Marketing Statistics, 61 percent of mobile searches end up contacting the local business in case the site is mobile-friendly. Moreover, approximately 30 percent of mobile searches on Google are location-related.
The best SEO for Law firms is one which takes this inclination towards mobile into account. Whether it for local SEO or general, mobile optimization is the key to it all.
Here are some steps you can take to make your law firm website friendly for mobile users:
- Use PageSpeed Insight, a Google tool, to monitor the speed of your site on mobile devices. Make sure your website takes less than five seconds to load. If it does not, change your site structure accordingly.
- As Alexa and Siri bring voice searches to mainstream use, optimize your site for voice searches by adding long-tail conversational keywords.
- Ensure all photos and videos are responsive to the mobile version of your site as well to avoid the bounce rate.
- Always visit your firm’s website using a mobile device to best understand the mobile experience.
- Don’t include pop-ups on the mobile-version if you have to provide a one-click way for users to get rid of them.
Key Takeaway: Local SEO Matters!
For some businesses, local SEO matters more than others. And law firms are just one of the many examples of such kind of businesses.
Regardless of which country you operate in, you must implement local SEO for law firms. This will help you in improving the organic reach of your website. This, in turn, aids in conversion.
To sum it up, here are the key steps of local SEO that you must include in your strategy:
- Conduct keyword research and add the right local keywords to your content.
- Mention your business’s location throughout your website and on citations and directories, including Google My Business.
- Seek and monitor online reviews.
- Make your website mobile-friendly to target the vast majority of internet users.
Partner with an SEO company that specializes in the niche to take care of your firm’s SEO needs. This guide will surely help you understand their offerings. Meanwhile, you can focus on the things that really matter – your clients and the services you offer them!