No matter how far you think your sphere of influence may reach, the fact is that if you have a consumer-based law practice, you have a local business. Your firm draws clients from a very specific geographical area, based on where you office. And one of the keys to getting new clients is to be very good at local SEO, making your firm easy to find when consumers are looking online for law firms that do what you do.
If you have started deploying local SEO tactics but are still not showing up on the first page of Google, there are some key elements you may be missing. Here are six ways you can improve your local SEO right away:
Pay attention to on-page elements.
To reach local prospects, you need to have the name of your city or region your law firm serves in your website’s page title and meta description. This tells search engines where you are. You also need to sprinkle location information throughout your content. Be sure your NAP (name, address, phone) is listed on the home page of your site as well.
Make your online listings consistent.
If your NAP is outdated because you’ve changed locations — or listed in different ways across a number of directories — you are confusing Google and making it harder for people to find you. The easiest way to clean things up is to use a tool like BrightLocal or MozLocal to scrub your listings and get rid of any inaccuracies or duplications. These tools will also get your law firm listed on local directories that are an important location signal to Google.
Optimize your Google My Business listing.
Your Google My Business listing is foundational to good local SEO. To set it up, go to google.com/business. You can only have one listing, so be sure the listing you claim is yours and there are not any others. To optimize your listing, you need to include a description of your law firm, NAP, business hours, etc.; pick your category; add photos or videos; and include your 5-star reviews. It is VERY important that your NAP matches EXACTLY here and on your website, online directories, etc.
Prioritize online reviews.
Online reviews are considered by Google to be a key element to show up well in search, so if you haven’t prioritized obtaining online reviews yet, get busy. Make it as easy as possible for clients to review you by including a link to your Google My Business listing in emails, your e-newsletter and your website.
Use schema markup.
Schema markup is computer code that lets Google know what is on each page of your website. This is how they provide people with relevant search results to their online queries. You don’t have to know how to write code to get your markup right — go to Schema.org’s Local Business NAP generator, choose the Legal category and fill in the blanks; the site will then generate the code you need to replace your address listing on your website.
Create local content.
Add location keywords to your content where it makes sense — and don’t overdo it, or Google will frown on it. Your blog is a natural place to keep adding fresh content with local mentions where appropriate.
For more tips on improving your local SEO, watch my free webinar on How to Get Your Firm Ranked on Local Maps Listings.