Local SEO covers all of the different things that must be done to get effective results and top rankings and is best accomplished utilizing an agency specializing in local SEO services for law firms. Local search engine optimization is devoted to getting top rankings in local search results and appearing at the top of Google Maps, Apple Maps, and so on. All businesses that have a physical location that sells products or offers services to a specific geographic area need local SEO services.
Three of the main components of local search are relevance, prominence, and proximity. Relevance pertains to your business having pages on your website that are relevant to the terms a visitor is searching for. Prominence is important because most people will not look beyond the top 4 or 5 results much less beyond the first page. Proximity means everything in local search.
Google has moved to mobile-first indexing because the majority of searches are done on mobile devices and on a mobile device a properly optimized business that is nearest to the searcher is going to come up at the top of the Google Maps search results.
In this post, we will cover some common questions people ask about local SEO as well as what local SEO for law firms includes.
Local SEO consists of several components including the following:
With general SEO you aren’t trying to rank for a specific local area but rather for keyword phrases for a product or service that appeals to an online audience either anywhere in the world or a particular country. Local SEO is writing and optimizing content for a specific geographical area like a city, town, county, or region so that you appear at the top of search results for your chosen keyword phrases and areas of practice.
One of the top things to do to optimize your website for local SEO is writing geotargeted power pages as mentioned above. These are crucial for getting top rankings in local search results and appearing at the top of Google Maps. For best results, these pages should be written with 1500-2000 words for each area of practice you want to rank and should mention local landmarks and areas of interest.
By including these local mentions it lets Google know that the page is relevant for the local area you are trying to rank in and will help you outrank your competition. These pages should also be linked to local websites such as the website of the city or town you want to rank for as well as linking internally to relevant pages on your website.
There are multiple things that can be done to improve local SEO and most require the expertise of an agency that focuses on local SEO services for law firms. Writing SEO content that also makes sense to human visitors is a very specific skill. Optimizing your Google My Business is also a task best left to professionals that have experience in the optimization of GMB pages. It also helps to post regularly and respond to questions and reviews in a timely manner. In this post, Google’s John Mueller talks about the importance of GMB for local search.
Consistency is everything for local search engine optimization strategies. One of the biggest things Google looks at is uniformity in your name, address, and phone number across all citations and directories. You would be surprised at how many businesses have errors in their information. We run audits and make the corrections to be sure that all listings are correct and consistent.
Next, you want to make sure that all of your social media accounts are consistent in name, appearance, and overall branding. You also want to be consistent in posting regularly on social media accounts. One thing that makes the general public suspicious of a business is no social media activity and poor reviews on social media like Facebook as well as Google reviews.
Any business that depends upon customers or clients in their own local geographic area not only benefits from local SEO but must focus on it and invest in it to be competitive. For lawyers, it is crucial to contract with a marketing agency that specializes in local SEO for law firms because they know the issues that are unique to the legal industry. Having experienced local SEO experts makes the difference between being at the top of search engine rankings or being buried on page 3 or beyond.
Now that we have answered some of the most common questions about local search optimization let’s delve a little deeper into exactly what it is and what must be done for law firms to benefit from it.
The search engines have refined their algorithms to give search results that are specific to local searches. Google is the master of this, having analyzed user behavior in trillions of searches, they learned that search engine users looking for local businesses needed search results that would give them the best fit for what they were looking for that was closest to them.
This is the proximity factor in local search and this is why you will get different results on your mobile device when out and about than you will at home. One of the top searches people do now is for example, “divorce lawyer near me” and Google will return the closest law firm regardless of whether one inputs the location.
Local search has been around for a long time but was limited because people were only using their desktop computers. As mobile internet access has exploded in growth in recent years, however, mobile search has surpassed desktop, so local SEO has become hugely important for the success of any business offering local products or services and local marketers. Any law firm not focused on local SEO will be buried by its competitors.
Another important factor that is not specifically local SEO is community involvement in local events. While it may seem that this isn’t related to local search engine optimization, if you post links to local events on your blog and in social media it helps to build authority and relevance and increases your visibility in your local community. Law firms we work with have had amazing results from doing this.
FORWARD Lawyer Marketing is a law firm marketing agency that specializes in SEO for lawyers. In addition, we also offer managed PPC campaigns, social media and reputation management, custom web design, video creation, and more. If you want your law firm to rank at the top of local search results contact FORWARD Lawyer Marketing for a free site audit and consultation to discover how we can help you dominate your competition.