“Local SEO” has become more important for law firms to let them use the Internet’s power to drive targeted leads to their websites. But Local SEO is changing – and becoming more important.
- 0.1 “Local SEO” has become more important for law firms to let them use the Internet’s power to drive targeted leads to their websites. But Local SEO is changing – and becoming more important.
- 0.2 Eighty per cent of local searches drive the conversions that lead to business, making local SEO for law firms a complete turnkey solution to generate increased sales.
- 1 What is Local SEO for Law Firms?
- 2 SEO vs. local SEO: What Does it Mean?
- 3 What IS the Local SEO 3-Pack?
- 4 Local SEO Law Firm Ranking Factors
- 5 7 Key Local SEO Ranking Tips For Law Firms
- 6 1. Create Your Google My Business account correctly
- 7 2. Use ‘local’ keyword research
- 8 3. Encourage reviews from local clients
- 9 4. Create location-based content
- 10 5. Optimize your listing for voice search
- 11 6. Go For Position Zero – PO – Rankings
- 12 7. Earn high-quality backlinks from local companies
- 13 8. Stay active on social media
- 14 Local SEO Rankings Conclusion
- 15 8 Ways To Fix Your Law Firm’s SEO
- 16 7 Key Questions To Ask Any Law Firm SEO Agency Before Hiring Them
- 17 10 Simple Steps To Steps to Achieve Law Firm SEO Success
Eighty per cent of local searches drive the conversions that lead to business, making local SEO for law firms a complete turnkey solution to generate increased sales.
While many conventional online marketing for law firms is a tough call in the ever-changing online world of Google, the simple fact is that law firms can use local SEO to rank their law firms successfully – and relatively easily – if they adopt some key procedures to achieve top ranking.
SEO marketing for law firms continues to change but this is something lawyers can do about achieving the best law firm SEO available.
And achieving better rankings and more clients is important given the stats as shown in this post in Search Engine Journal and published right back in 2018 (a significant period in the Internet age). For instance, over 70 per cent of people checked online before calling a business or service. And that was then!
What is Local SEO for Law Firms?
There is much about local SEO that is the same as the standard search engine optimization that is so common place, but the focus is on local search results and given that most searches are for terms like ‘DUI law firm near me’, or ‘best DUI firm in Birmingham’ etc, the need to have a good local ranking will capture the clients you’re looking for.
The prominence of a law firm in terms of local SEO is something based on a range of factors, including its listing details, content, backlinks, articles published, reviews and ratings.
These are the the ducks-in-a-row that you need to get sorted to rank properly for your law firm SEO.
There is another key reason that local SEO is so good – it has the local SEO 3 pack which makes it distinctive from standard SEO.
Local search results also include a distinct feature — the local SEO 3-pack.
A local SEO 3-pack is the listing of three businesses you see first in the search results when searching for terms using keywords like “near me” or “near [Location].”
When you conduct a search for a local business, Google generates a list of potential businesses that fit your search query. The first things you’ll see are the three Google My Business listings.
SEO vs. local SEO: What Does it Mean?
The local SEO 3-pack distinguishes the local SEO from ‘general’ SEO, returning the local search results for your law firm in the 3-pack.
What a lot of law firms overlook is that one of the most common searches for any law firm is for their ‘DUI/Divorce/Property/whatever law firm near me‘
They are looking for a local law firm.
And that is where the local SEO for lawyers comes into play.
What IS the Local SEO 3-Pack?
So what is local SEO exactly?
For local searches, Google generates a list of the top three local businesses that best match the search query. These results, known as the local SEO 3-pack, appear at the top of search results with information pulled directly from your Google My Business (GMB) account (more about GMB listings below).
Local SEO Law Firm Ranking Factors
There are various ranking factors that go into ensuring your local ranking for your law firm, which come down essentially to the following key standout factors –
>The Relevance of your firm to what the searcher is looking for
> The Proximity of your firm to the searcher
> The Reputation of your firm
7 Key Local SEO Ranking Tips For Law Firms
What do you need to do in order to achieve top local rankings? Here are the key tips you need to use to ensure your law firm is ranking for that all-valuable 3-Pack.
1. Create Your Google My Business account correctly
It seems basic to say you need a GMB account, but surprisingly many law firms have failed even this first step. Set it up, but do so ensuring that you are using the very best practices to build on that local relevance and authority.
The initial set-up involves verifying your law firm ownership and then providing up-to-date details about services, location, hours of operations etc, as well as adding logo and images, which help bring your listing to life. You then need to share regular posts about any special news, content and encourage reviews for the firm.
You also need to use local citations and ensure you have your NAP (name, address, phone number) used consistently.
Make sure when using your citations and setting them up that you –
- Your business name, address, and phone number (NAP)
- Description of your law firm
- Link to your website
It is extremely important that you ensure that the firm name maintains consistency in all directory listings so they reconcile and display exactly the same information when you list.
Among the places to ensure you are listed are sites like Bing, Manta, Yext and you can get listed with us at LawFuel too (just email us with the code ‘NAP’ for a half priced listing deal).
Get Onto Google Maps
You need to get yourslef onto Google Maps and claim the location for your law firm.
While Google My Business will display when the target audience search is made, it is Google Maps at the back that will retrieve the information about your firm and so make sure you set this up properly.
2. Use ‘local’ keyword research
Smart keyword research can help propel your firm listing into the 3-pack.
With keyword research, you can uncover keywords and phrases local clients search to find law firms like yours. There are various keyword tools you can use for this purpose, such as
These keyword tools will give you invaluable help in checking the key metrics you want to hit with your local SEO, such as search volume, cost per click and the competition you are facing.
And you need to focus on so-called ‘long tail keywords’, which are words of three or more that have lower (but more targeted, specific) competition and which are easier to rank for. You can also ensure that a long-tail keyword phrase shows greater search intent by the searcher.
For instance, ‘bankruptcy lawyer’ is fine, but having a site appearing for ‘bankruptcy lawyer for small business’ is targeted on the client you are seeking and shows far higher search intent.
Understanding search intent lets you create local SEO content that best matches a searcher’s query, providing a better chance of ranking at the top of results.
3. Encourage reviews from local clients
Earning reviews from local clients will help to optimize your Google My Business listing and help generate the relevance and authority that provide added clout to your law firm SEO generally — and reviews add social proof that encourages people to come to your firm.
To achieve reviews you can create a link that will help clients find and review your firm, add the firm URL on the site and marketing materials and respond to any reviews to build authority and trust with clients.
When achieving reviews you are signaling to Google is one of the best law firm SEO you can do. But there are some rules to follow to achieve the right results, including –
- Quantity– The more reviews you have compared to your closest competitor is highly relevant. The most reviews can also mean the most new clients.
- Quality- How good are the reviews you are receiving – the best reviews also generate the best client query results for your site.
- Velocity- You want reviews that are recent as well as the older reviews to build the necessary trust for your law firm site.
- Diversity- Reviews coming from different sources, such as Yelp, Facebook, LawFuel’s directory and other sites can help to build authority, links and click throughs to your site.
- History- If you have a good track record, then don’t let a few bad reviews get you down. However, start getting concerned when the volume of the negative reviews stats begin to increase. Try to find out the issue or the source behind the negative reviews and fix it as early as possible.
In addition to earning reviews on Google, you can also ensure that clients will review your firm on your own social media channels, third party review sites and others.
You need to monitor your reviews on an ongoing basis and when there are positive reviews share them on social media channels and even highlight them on your website.
Nothing works better than a positive review – and this certainly holds true for good law firm SEO.
4. Create location-based content
After conducting keyword research using one of the keyword tools you need to create content to rank in local search results to enhance your local rankings.
This involves having ‘location-based’ pages, posts and content that uses the local keywords you have identified together with content that will help establish your authority on the legal area of expertise. This may involve analyzing a recent case or current legal issues, sharing local legal news and keeping your local clients up to date with issues affecting them based on legal developments or trends.
For firms with multiple locations, you need to ensure that your content is unique for the different locations providing the chance to rank in multiple geographic areas, so long as your local optimization is done properly.
Content is one of the most important elements of our local SEO checklist — and it’s essential for boosting your local rankings.
Reduce your law firm site’s ‘bounce rate’
Google will monitor the bounce rate on your firm and also the click throughs from enquiries and maps to your website.
You want to keep people on-site and you want to reduce that bounce rate by adopting some solid local content and also some good law firm SEO practices like using attractive headlines and title tags, make good use of images and video also.
5. Optimize your listing for voice search
Today, voice searches account for nearly half of all online searches and it is essential that you have optimization for voice to avoid missing those key searches. This year alone more than 70 per cent of U.S. ecommerce sales will come from mobile devices, research shows and you need to provide that excellent mobile experience.
Online users will ask a voice assistant for help in ways that are often quite different from how a ‘word-based’ search would be made through a search engine. There are nuances and often quite subtle differences between the two that will produce different results that are important given the rising volume of voice searches and the ease with which users can use it to find your firm.
For example, a consumer who uses Google for help after a car accident might type: “personal injury attorney Miami.” But if a searcher is using Siri they are more likely to be more conversational such as: “Siri, will you tell me the best personal injury attorney in Miami for a car accident?”
Many voice search optimization strategies overlap with local SEO tactics, so you can save time and money by optimizing your site for voice and traditional search.
What do you need to do for voice optimization?
There are some key steps you can do when optimizing your listing for voice.
The most obvious is to target on local keywords and long-tail keywords. Remember that voice search is much more conversational, using longer-tail keywords. They are more natural, as shown by a Microsoft research study below –
Let’s say you are a property lawyer in Seattle. The fact is that with local search most searchers will be asking questions like: ‘what is the best property lawyer in Seattle’. Not very subtle, is it? But targeted and geographically and specialist-focused isn’t it?
So you need to focus on that geographic, location keyword.
You will also be getting searches that are (perhaps) even more basic like: ‘the nearest property lawyer’. As the search will be in your locality your name can come up easily given your address details and the fact that your are optimized as a ‘property lawyer’.
How to Use Keyword Research for Voice Search for Your Law Firm
Keyword research for voice search is different from ‘conventional’ keyword research and you need to keep some points in mind when working through this process.
Questions are Paramount – voice search queries contain lots of questions: ‘howdo I find a good DUI lawyer?’, ‘wheredo I find a good DUI lawyer near me?’, ‘How can I find a good DUI lawyer?’ and so forth.
Long-tail keywords – always important with voice search. Complete a question.
Use ‘Filler’ words – these are the words that are the conversational words used when the search query is made – the ‘I, of, on the, of the, for’ etc.
You can use a good tool for keyword research, like SEMRush which delivers some great words when optimizing for voice – or search. Either way it’s a power tool that can help greatly.
Use legal content that focuses on what your clients’ questions are
You should break up your content into easy, short paragraphs that will answer likely search queries.
We know that Google relies heavily on resources like knowledge graphs and rich snippets to answer voice queries that come in so that the searchers can receive fast results.
Having the ability to provide simple, direct answers to direct questions is a key to any law firm seeking to obtain great SEO ‘voice search’ optimization.
SEMRush’s “Keyword Magic Tool” is a powerful tool that helps you find keywords for voice search ranking on their platform.
Or check ‘bankruptcy lawyer’ as below –
If you want more information about using SEMRush you can check their online SEO platform ‘in one hit’ service here.
(It’s our affiliate link BTW but we love SEMRush for its sheer power).
6. Go For Position Zero – PO – Rankings
A Position Zero ranking will have featured snippets and by optimizing content for it will fast track your ranking in voice so that you appear above the organic listings.
Position Zero uses featured snippets and is the content that Google provides as the top search results because it directly answers a query through their search function.
In voice search, it is everything – the only information actually provided to the user and so – surprise, surprise – it is the Holy Grail for any law firm or other local business achieving that result.
There is no single way you can achieve that Position Zero (regrettably, but unsurprisingly), but use these criteria to give yourself the best ever chance of reaching it –
- Relevance: Being the most relevant for a given voice search you need that tailed response. This is where the NAP information (above) is important, along with access to reviews and relevant content. .
- Focus on the featured snippet: You need to make sure your law firm website provides complete and succinct answers to the questions that will bring potential clients to your site. The ‘answers’ may be in the early part of a post, your law firm website’s FAQ page or elsewhere.
- Use schema: Schema is key as it will provide the structure for how the search engines receive your content, organized through Schema.org.
> If you want to check your site’s mobile responsiveness then you can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
Part of your efforts should go into generating links from companies in your locality. Backlinks are always a factor in Google’s ranking algorithm but they should ideally be generated organically through quality, focused, local content.
These links can be created naturally. Smart content creation can focus on things like local businesses your law firm may have helped – which can help with backlinks from the client firm, or articles about local businesses and organizations. This sort of local content, focusing on your own legal services without overt puffery, will help generate those all-important backlinks.
You can also contact local businesses, local bloggers and others to ask for them to share content or links to content, which can obviously be reciprocal but will tell Google that you are a trusted local firm.
While social media may not directly impact your rankings, social media marketing can support your law firm SEO strategy in several ways that will build on your authority and your Google ranking using local SEO.
Social media will amplify your key message, particularly when supplying original, quality local content, good reviews, updated map information (remember to keep those NAP details accurate) and will boost the trust signals that Google looks for when ranking your website.
Diversity your social media through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and through targeted law websites like our own here at LawFuel or through legal blogs, guest posts and elsewhere.
They will also increase your trust through influencers and others, as well as continuing to generate that important backlink velocity.
When it comes to sharing, apart from your own posts, use local law profession or law news that target your area of expertise – building your own authority in the process.
You can also use user-generated content from local clients and from interactive polls and quizzes, updated local events relevant to your area and more.
Use images and video too – very important for social signals.
Local SEO Rankings Conclusion
The proper use of local search SEO for law firms is one of the easiest ways you can generate a top Google ranking without the need to employ expensive SEO experts and expensive onsite SEO.
There are always key functions you need to look at in terms of how your law firm is performing, but local SEO is a relatively simple and fast way for law firms to attract new clients quickly and easily.
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