Local SEO for lawyers is essential if you're looking to increase traffic to your website and build your client list, even if you get plenty of traffic coming in from referrals.
Your Google My Business listing can show up in the featured section at the very top of the search engine results pages (SERPs), offering a link to your website along with essential business info, a slew of online reviews, and a rating out of five stars.
Because prospective clients are looking for lawyers in their area and have indications of both trustworthiness and quality, all these factors can skyrocket your clientele to the exact sort of audience you want to be working with.
How Can I Do Local SEO?
Receiving traction from potential clients is the livelihood of any successful law firm. The digital revolution in recent years has resulted in the saturation of the Law industry causing unprecedented competition; both offline and online.
Most law firms have succeeded because of adopting local SEO strategies, and a revamp of their digital marketing tactics has helped them get featured in local search results. Thus, these law firms have attracted more clients and gained control of the online presence as an expanding brand. If you want to rank high in local search results, adopt the following local SEO strategies:
1. My Business Signals
Showing up on Google Maps and claiming the business location on Google Maps is the primary focus of doing local SEO for lawyers. Google My Business listing, which appears when your target audience searches for your law firm, is just a front end. Typically, data is retrieved from Google Maps.
You should leverage the following tips while optimizing your Google My Business location:
- Make sure that your Google My Business 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 your law firm to show up in.
- Don't use too many search terms and keywords in the title. Because keyword stuffing goes against Google Guidelines.
- Make sure you have the correct name, address, and phone (NAP) information of your law firm in Google My Business.
2. Link Signals
Don’t ignore the value of inbound links. They're crucial for organic rankings and boosting your position in local search results.
Further, Google’s algorithm still uses link authority when considering where to rank a site.
These are crucial links that point to your site from other authoritative sites. When used with money keywords, relevant keywords, and branded keywords, these links can help your site to achieve better search engine ranking for local search results.
Internal links point to another page or blog post within your law firm's website. Make sure that the anchor text you use to link the pages is based on the keywords you want to rank in local search results for. This helps Google to index your website better and offer context to the page when ranking your site for local search queries.
Also, you can leverage outbound links to get the best search engine optimization results for your law firm.
Outbound links are links within your website that point out to external sources, including government websites or any other authoritative websites. These external sources will provide your prospective clients with additional information.
Local Citation Links
Receiving links to your Google My Business page and other citations will have a positive effect on your site when adopting local SEO for lawyers.
Local citation links are the links from other websites, which point towards your brand. Typically, these links include profiled links created for your website, and they're a brilliant way to build local authority.
3. On-Page Signals
A good SEO agency for law firms makes sure that on-page signals aren't overlooked. On-page signals are crucial for the success of local SEO for attorneys.
A well-optimized website is a catalyst to rank better in search engine results pages and increase prospective clients. You can optimize your site by creating unique content featuring each of the legal services you offer through blog posts and articles.
Also, you must optimize your website with relevant title tags, body tags, meta descriptions, and alt texts. These elements act as signals of good website architecture.
When optimizing your site for on-page signals, don't overlook the local SEO on-page factors:
- Include keywords in title, headings, and copy.
- Presence of name, address, and phone number.
- Meta description
- Schema makeup
- Website Architecture
It's essential to note that on-page signals contribute to 14% of local ranking factors.
4. Citation Signals
Citation signals are crucial when doing local SEO for law firms and they ensure that the local SEO strategies get the best results. These are references to your business name, address, and phone number through trusted directory listings. When Google discovers your business info on reputable directory listings, it improves your site's credibility.
There are many online channels where you get quality citations, including review sites, web directories, maps, apps, and GPS navigation. There are a few mistakes that inexperienced SEO agencies make when building citation signals for attorneys. These include using different names, addresses, and phone numbers of the law firms.
Thus, it's vital to maintain the consistency of the NAP information. Besides NAP information, also include your business hours, business description, and business reviews on your business profiles. Further, Google also considers the number of citation signals you build and how fast you're growing as a ranking signal.
5. Review Signals
Positive reviews for lawyers build instant trust. Online reviews can urge prospective clients to choose your law firm over your competitors.
The top tips for lawyers to improve online reputation include:
- Quantity: How many online reviews do your law firm have compared to your competitors? Most online users end up choosing the law firm with the most reviews.
- Quality: Are you receiving positive reviews from your clients? Again, consumers will select the business that has many positive reviews or the best reputation.
- Velocity: Velocity is a trust factor. Thus, if your reviews are old, then potential clients aren't confident about your legal services.
- Diversity: Law firm SEO experts know client reviews from sources, such as Yellow Pages, Yelp, and Facebook can help you build a good online reputation.
- History: Do you have an excellent track record? Then don’t let a few bad reviews faze you. However, you should get concerned when the volume of negative reviews increases. Find out the issue or the source behind the bad reviews and fix it as soon as possible.
Online reviews can have a good impact on the overall ranking of your law firm's website. Also, studies show that Google favors law firms with the highest positive reviews. Google’s algorithm understands what clients say about your business. The links and keywords mentioned on these sites don't go unnoticed.
Also, keywords that clients use in the review comments help Google understand your authority and relevance in your industry. A 2018 study by Moz reports that review signals, including key factors, such as quality, quantity, velocity, and diversity of reviews, are amongst the top ten most influential factors that impact local search ranking.
6. Behavioral Signals
With local SEO for lawyers, Google measures internet user interaction with your brand. Google's algorithm pulls down the websites with a high bounce rate. Also, it looks at how engaging the content is, including videos and images, and page views. For local listings, Google's algorithm considers the click-through rate from maps to your website. It measures the number of mobile phone users who call your law firm and request driving directions to your law practice.
If the number of clients driving to your location or calling you is more than your competitor's, your law firm's website is likely to rank above your competitors.
The key factors to consider here include:
- Mobile clicks to call.
- The click-through rate.
- Requests for directions.
- Bounce rate, time on site, and dwell rate
Local SEO for lawyers also includes updating your website to the latest standards, making sure it's mobile-friendly, and publishing engaging content. Further, you must refresh your location and images, especially if they're outdated. And make sure you use unique and exciting title tags and page titles.
How to Rank My GMB Page on the first page of Google search?
1. Choose A Specialized Category
When you’re setting up your Google My Business profile, it's tempting to list your law firm as “lawyer” or “attorney” when choosing a category. This is one of the worst mistakes you can ever make when optimizing your website for local SEO.
Instead, be specific. Skip “lawyer,” or "attorney" and opt for a more specific category like “personal injury lawyer," or "criminal justice attorney" instead. Although your site might not show up in as many searches, you'll show up and rank higher for hyper-relevant, specialized searches, which reduces your competition.
This will give your site more visibility and you'll have a better chance of connecting with potential clients who are looking for you instead of those looking for a real estate lawyer, accident lawyer, divorce lawyer, or criminal defense attorney instead.
2. Increase Your Online Reviews
When a potential client is getting a divorce, for instance, they want to find a good family law attorney. And if they’re like most people, they aren’t willing to risk anything, so they’ll do everything they can to find the best divorce lawyer to represent them.
Thus, they’ll start their research process by looking at actual client reviews. If there's a long list of Google My Business profiles for divorce or family attorneys, it's daunting, but the law practices with a huge chunk of client reviews will be the best place to start.
Besides establishing trust and offering social proof, online reviews have other significant benefits, too. For instance, Google My Business profiles with more positive reviews see an increased priority in the search engine result pages, so they’re ranking high more frequently.
3. Build Relevant Backlinks
To rank high for local search terms, it's essential to focus on backlinks. That's because Google sees law firms with plenty of backlinks as more trustworthy and more prominent. If you're unsure where to start when building backlinks, leverage the following approaches:
- Establish content marketing on your website, including a FAQ section and a blog. Creating valuable and high-quality content on your website gives your target audience more reason to link back to you later on because you’re offering resources others may want to cite.
- Submit guest posts to other websites. Publishing guest posts allows you to establish authority in your industry, which allows you to wrack up some diverse, powerful backlinks from high-authority domains.
- Be an expert source for other publications and writers. If you can connect with bloggers, journalists, or publications as an expert source in your area of legal practice, others will do the heavy lifting for you, allowing you to earn more credibility and backlinks at the same time.
Contact the Law Firm SEO Experts!
If you’re busy helping clients and are looking for an SEO agency for lawyers to help with your search engine marketing, local SEO services are our specialty.
Local search engine optimization tactics can be a mystery, but at GoEngine we believe in transparency, showing you what we can do for your law firm and how well we can do it for you. We'll be honest with you from the start and give you all the information you need about your project.
We specialize in law firm SEO and legal marketing and we have built incredible websites for lawyers that generate results and we can help you rank high in local search queries.
If you’re ready to discuss how we can help your law firm achieve its local search goals, contact us today for a free initial consultation.