Times have changed, and the way people look for services they need have changed as well. When a person needs a lawyer, they don’t break out the phone book. Instead, they take to the internet. No matter if you practice in a small town or a large city, visibility in the search results page matters.
The higher you rank, the more visible you are, making it more likely that the person will click on your firm’s page. In order to rank high, you need to optimize your lawyer website for local SEO. Here are 7 tips to help lawyers improve local SEO.
Google My Business
Google My Business (GMB) plays an essential role for any business, including law firms, when it comes to ranking for local searches. It is a powerful tool that allows you to claim your business and customize it so that potential clients can find you. With GMB, you are able to provide your name, address, and phone number (NAP). You can add hours of operation and photographs. You can also categorize your business, which further helps potential clients find exactly what they’re looking for. It also provides a way for you to interact with clients through features such as reviews and messages.
Get Listed in Local Directories
GMB isn’t the only place you want to get listed. In order to increase your visibility, you’ll want to have your law practice listed in other directories as well. You can start with directories such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, Bing Places, and Yahoo Local. There are numerous law-related directories as well, including Avvo, Justia, and Find Law. You should also look to get listed in local directories such as your local Chamber of Commerce. It is critical for your local SEO that you make sure your NAP is consistent across every listing. Every listing should read exactly the same.
In addition to getting listed in different directories, you’ll want to have links from other reputable sources to your site. This is a strategy known as link building, and it’s an important one for SEO. One of the most important parts about link building is that you want to make sure that any website that provides a link to yours is a reputable source.
Keywords for Local Searches
You probably already know the importance of keywords. These are the words that potential clients are searching for. Taking the time to research popular keywords and incorporating them throughout your website is crucial for improving your ranking. It’s not just enough to have these keywords though. You want to optimize them for local searches. For example, if you are a DUI lawyer, you should make sure that you use keywords such as Syracuse DUI lawyer. This will allow you to reduce your competition and stand out.
In addition to optimizing your keywords, you’ll also want to take the time to optimize your website. When creating pages, you’ll want to include a primary keyword in the URL. Headers, particularly the first one, are important for telling search engine bots what information is contained within the page. The information contained within the page is known as the body. For SEO purposes, the body should range between 500 and 1,000 words. Keywords should be used throughout. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that you don’t want to overuse them. This is known as keyword stuffing. If you use too many keywords, Google and other search engines will actually penalize you, which will then significantly harm your ranking.
You’ll also want to include meta descriptions. This description isn’t visible on your page. Instead, it’s the text that appears below your link on the search results page. It tells potential visitors what you have to offer before they click the link. It should be a short description, no more than 150 words, and should contain at least one keyword. You can find some SEO marketing tools to help make this process easier.
Optimize for Mobile Searches
Many people looking for lawyers are doing so on the go. This means they’re using a mobile device. A vast majority of local searches these days take place on a device such as a smartphone. This means that you’ll want your website to be mobile-friendly. Mobile-friendliness has become an important factor in how Google and other search engines rank you. People using mobile devices take advantage of the “near me” recommendation, which will show results based on their specific location. This makes being optimized for both mobile use as well as location incredibly important if you want to show up at the top of the results page.
Get and Manage Reviews
Before choosing a service or making a purchase, a majority of people read reviews. These reviews play a major role in whether or not someone chooses your law practice. There are plenty of places to accumulate reviews, including Yelp, legal sites, and your GMB page. Positive reviews, especially on your GMB page, will help your website to rank higher. Getting good reviews starts with providing excellent service and a positive experience. Many clients, however, may not think to provide a review. Instead, you’ll have to request them. This can be done by sending a simple email to your clients once their services have been provided. Steady positive reviews will help to boost your local SEO and bring in new clients.
Local SEO is critical for lawyers looking to improve their ranking in search engine results pages. Ranking higher helps to increase your visibility and bring in new clients. It does take a bit of effort, but putting in the time to focus on your local SEO will help you to see results.