The prime motive of implementing Local SEO strategies to your law firm’s website is to enhance your search visibility in the local search results. Consequently, you get to book more appointments with your clients within your geographical area. Your online clients would also prefer seeking legal aid from a lawyer that comes from the same location because most of their cases would come from a specific jurisdiction. A study that was published in 2016 showed that almost 78% of legal clients feel that it's important to have a local attorney. It's quite evident how the internet has taken over those traditional directories and phonebooks. According to a survey made by an organization, less than 2% of their sample population would prefer using a phonebook to hire a lawyer. According to a report published by American Bar Association, almost 87% of the law firms have a website as of 2020. There’s a reason why such a large portion of law firms are focusing on building their websites. The reason is simple - to attract more local clients because most of the searches for clients who are seeking legal services start with the internet. Most of the legal searches are 'non-branded, what do we mean by that? It means that most of the legal searches don't have a specific name of a lawyer or a law firm. 62% of the online legal searches don't include a specific name of an attorney or a law firm. They simply search 'Real Estate Lawyers Texas'. Therefore, a law firm must have an established online reputation and high local search visibility to gain the trust of your local clients. For that, you have to rank higher in the local search engine results. To show up on local search results you need a set of robust legal SEO marketing strategies that can help you in optimizing your website so that it can attract local clients as well. Although running an online website pushes you into a furiously competitive space, but the Google search engine has laid down some pretty straightforward measures through which you can easily build a strong SEO strategy for your law firm. We have mentioned these segments below -
1. Setting Up Your “Google My Business” AccountThe first step towards building an SEO-friendly strategy starts with the ‘Google My Business’ Page of your law firm. Why setting up a Google My Business Page is important for a law firm? Here’s the thing, open your search engine and search ‘Bakery shops near me'. What do you see? Do you see a list of local bakery shops near you in the search results? Yes! You can now check their shop’s address, phone number, location, website, and more. These are businesses that are located within your geographical area, so it’ll be quite obvious for you to contact a bakery shop that is situated nearby. You are likely to contact these shops first. That’s what you want for your business as well. You want to grab the attention of your local clients as quickly as possible because most of them are searching the internet to find a suitable attorney from their area who can help them with their cases. How can you get listed? By creating a Google My Business page! Although it will complement your efforts made on local SEO, if you want to squeeze out the maximum benefits from your Google My Business Page, you have to optimize it.
- Make sure you add a description of your law firm and include rich-keywords.
- Make sure to upload as many pictures of your law firm/attorneys as possible.
- Make sure you select your specialization from the categories mentioned.
- Add your local phone number through which your clients can contact you.
- Make sure to add your firm’s website link.
- Make sure you add the same office address as mentioned on your website.
- Make sure all the details are accurate. Keep updating these details.
2. Focus On Local Keywords While Optimizing Your WebsiteTo make your website local SEO-friendly with a motive to attract local clients, you need to focus on local keywords. You must add local keywords on each webpage of yours. That’ll help Google in understanding that your law firm is a local business from a specific location. For instance, if your law firm is situated in California, then you must look for keywords like ‘California real estate lawyer’ and use them on your website. These technicalities are a bit specific, we would suggest that you should hire a Local SEO expert for the same. But there are some key optimizations that you can easily perform on your own, these are -
- Adding the city/place of your firm on your website’s title. Eg. California real estate lawyer
- Adding your primary headings (H1 tag) must include your local keywords.
- Using your local keywords multiple times on your pages.
- Adding your location in your URL. Eg. ‘www.californiaestatelawyer.com’ if possible.
- Adding local keywords to your alt tags. Eg. ‘californiarealestatelawyer.jpg’.
- Adding your Google Maps location on your law firm’s contact page.
3. Name, Address & Phone - NAP CitationsAdding NAP citations is a very crucial element in your SEO strategy. Needless to say, but your citations should be consistent across all webpages! It should be the same on all social media platforms as well, like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. Make sure they have the same format everywhere. Avoid having inconsistencies in your Name, Address & Phone citations. Even minor mistakes can affect your website crawling and indexing. Use Schema (Recommended by Google) that helps you in providing the list of approved properties that can be incorporated in your website’s HTML code. This will help the search engines to understand your NAP details. This would also help you to improve your position in Google search rankings which would, in turn, increase your website traffic for local legal clients.
4. Get Maximum Client Reviews On Google and Yelp.Your local SEO strategies are incomplete without Google Reviews. You have to generate maximum positive customer reviews from your previous legal clients on your Google My Business page. Do you know how important they are? A recent study shows that 75% of the legal clients who are looking for an attorney/law firm, visit review sites before contacting them. The word-of-mouth culture is here to stay! Online clients treat online reviews as honest recommendations. Google reviews also allow Google to understand what type of business you are and how well you perform in providing services to your clients. This also helps in improving your Google local search rankings, therefore helping you to make the most out of your local SEO efforts. Just like Google, try getting reviews on other directories like Yelp. Positive reviews deliver a straight statement to your potential clients that your law firm is credible and trustworthy. If your potential ‘local’ clients are looking for legal aid in their location/jurisdiction, then chances are very high that they end up visiting your website after reading your Google or Yelp reviews.
5. Get Quality Backlinks From Different ResourcesAny SEO strategy would be incomplete without mentioning the importance of creating incoming links or backlinks from other websites. Are backlinks important for Local SEO? Well, getting backlinks is considered to be very important for Global SEO but when it comes to local SEO, it’s not that important. But, that’s not the end! The websites that link with your law firm’s website must contain a few keywords that are also relevant to your law firm’s website along with NAP citations. We have mentioned a few tips that your law firm can implement while running its local SEO campaign, these are -
- Attending local events for speeches, guest lectures, etc, and asking the organizers to list your website on their website.
- Host your event, conference, or a small meeting in your locality to educate people about the new amendments. This would also help your firm to get more potential clients.
- Give interviews to local news journals, writers, or bloggers. Reach out to them to publish your blogs/articles on their website.
- Take up some philanthropy projects where you can donate something to relief programs. Ask them to add your website link to their donor list on their website.
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