The vast majority of lawyers are targeting a local market meaning local search should be priority number one. Instead of guessing at what is best for your website when it comes to local SEO, here is a punch list to tell you exactly what you need to do to own page one for your local market.
1. Location-Specific Pages
Content relevant to a local area is one of your first steps to performing well in location-based searches. Create one or more pages that have a keyword focus for the local geographic region that you practice law in. For example if you practice law in the city of Philadelphia, create a page that talks about your legal practice there. Remember to write for people and not search engines.
2. Consistent NAP & Citations
Citations (or mentions of your law firm on other websites) are a critical component of a good local search presence. Google and other search engines are not only going to show your website for a relevant query. In fact there may be more authoritative sites they want to show ahead of yours.
Distribute consistent information about your law firm to as many citation websites as you can. Services like Yext and Moz Local can speed this process up a lot. The more mentions of your firm you can get out on the internet, the more likely a result relevant to you appears when someone is looking for your services.
3. Prominent Phone Number
Local searchers often have different intentions than others. People looking for local legal services may be further along in their process for finding legal representation and more likely to need contact information (another reason citations are important). Make it easy for them and put a phone number at the top of every page of your website. This is something easy to do on your end that makes a big difference for visitors to your site.
This is not something lawyers can get ramped up overnight or even in a few weeks but they can definitely get a plan in place. Reviews on Google, Yelp and other well-known websites can help a firm stand out among others. They also generate content that is unique and helps increase the chances that a firm shows up above others for relevant queries.
Reviews are tougher to achieve than other tactics but well worth the effort. Come up with a plan to reach out to current clients and ask for reviews. Incentivize it and give people options to fill out reviews on different platforms.
5. Google Business Page
Setting up a Google Business Page is still a great way to get immediate exposure in search. If you do not have a listing already, create one by visiting com/business. Odds are if your firm has been around for a little while, all you’ll need to do is search for your firm name and claim the Google listing that already exists.
6. Accurate information in Maps
This is a big one because without accurate maps in formation, people may not be able to contact or find your firm. Google Maps entries will get fixed or setup when you set up a business page but there are also other platforms to check. For example Apple maps is used on millions of Apple devices and they have a service where you can submit address and other business information. Bing is also another place you should check. If you are using Yext for your citations, they are pretty good at fixing many maps issues as well.
7. Local Links
Like reviews, local links are tricky to get but very powerful for your local presence. Links from other local organizations send strong signals to search engines that a site is relevant to a searcher. For example links from local chambers of commerce, state or local government websites, or local educational institutions can be very beneficial.
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