If you have a law practice, getting local clients is going to be a large part of your marketing and outreach efforts. That’s where local SEO comes into play. There are several tools and strategies that you can incorporate into your own optimization efforts, but your goal will ultimately be to show up in the top search results when people search for a law firm in your city or region.
In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of the best ways to get more leads from your local SEO, whether you’ve already got it in place or you’re just getting started. We’ll even talk about the Google 3-Pack and how your Google Business Profile can improve your rankings dramatically when you use it properly. The first thing that you need to know about local SEO is that your presence needs to be mobile-first:
Let’s start there, and then we’ll talk about the other aspects of local SEO that your law firm needs to know.
Google is all about mobile search and considering that the majority of people performing Google searches throughout the day are doing it from their smartphones, it’s only natural that businesses need to have mobile-first designs to ensure that they get ranked. Mobile-first means that your website should render seamlessly on any device, including smartphones, and that it offers easy navigation, as well as local contact information and resources so that people can go from their phone to your firm’s office if they desire.
As you can see in the statistics above, you’ve got to be on top of your game (and on top of the search results) with a mobile-friendly experience for all users if you want to attract new clients through your local optimization efforts.
There is not a single person in the world who wants to be “sold” anything. Those days (and mindsets) are long gone. Today’s audience wants to find professional services that they can rely on as an authority in the industry and to provide the solutions that they need. Focus your efforts on the areas of law that you practice most often or that you know best. Showcase your knowledge by creating a database of resources, including blogs, whitepapers, articles, and other content. Consider adding videos, too, to help people build trust in you and get a sense of your persona before they meet you themselves.
There are tens of dozens of local business directories out there today: Google, Yelp, Angi, Superpages, Foursquare, Yahoo!, just to name a few. You can even find law forums and directories that are designed just for legal businesses and related needs. Take the time to get your law firm listed in as many places as possible. Make sure, too, that your listings are consistent. Use the same name, address, and phone number, down to the last comma and hyphen, so that you build your authority with Google and get the rankings that you deserve.
You don’t necessarily want to list your law firm in every single directory—some aren’t very reputable. Do your homework and make sure that you choose the most reputable places to get listed so that you can attract the types of clients that you want.
Speaking of getting listed, you need to claim and fully complete your Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) and your Bing Places page. Provide complete and accurate information and make sure that you scroll through each profile to ensure you finish every section. Use keywords and phrases appropriately, including local keywords, but don’t overdo it. These two pages will increase your prominence, or the reputation of your business in the eyes of the search engines, which helps increase your rankings.
Google changes its rules and algorithms every now and again, but there have been three basic elements that they have pretty much always used for local search rankings:
Your business listing will only come up if it is relevant to the search performed by the user. Google will also rank results by distance, although this is usually the last factor considered. For example, if a business is further away but is more relevant, it will rank higher than a closer business that is less relevant to a user’s specific search.
The most important factor right now is prominence, or how well known your business is, both online and off. Google will rank your business based on all your web content, links, articles, directory listings, reviews, search results, and other factors. All of this will be combined to determine how prominent and authoritative your business is.
If you do it right, your local SEO work will bring in tons of new leads. You should be ready to field them with all systems in place, including a 24/7 answering service like the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai. In addition to making sure that you never miss an opportunity, our team can also help with lead intake, appointment scheduling, and so much more. Still working on the marketing in the first place? Ask about our assistance with outreach campaigns and outbound sales support.
We’ll even collaborate with you to build a custom strategy to manage it all so that you can focus on your business. To learn more, schedule a consultation to discuss what the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai can do for your business lead generation and other needs. You can also reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (650) 727-6484.