The legal industry is part of the industry that can derive lots of benefits from Local SEO.
Your website needs to rank higher in your firm's geographical location search results, this will increase your website visibility and accessibility to people looking for your legal service in your local area.
The first thing people do when they need a legal service is to search for a law firm in their city, that is the first process before they make the final decision to hire you or another firm.
When you show up for the right legal keywords and at the right time, you will increase your chance of landing paying clients that are ready to hire you.
Both small and large big firms should advantage of this opportunity to increase their trust and awareness in their city.
For example, let’s say your law firm is located in California, it is important that your firm's website becomes visible when someone types “Law Firms in California”
You need to know how to optimize your website and business listings to rank higher in Google local search results.
What is Local SEO For Law Firms?
Local SEO is a type of SEO that targets a website's geographical visibility on Google Local Search Results.
The goal of local SEO is to become visible to people looking for services in the local area where they live and work.
Local SEO listings usually appear at the top of Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) alongside a map.
To understand what I am saying better, you can also experience it yourself by searching for“Law firms near me” on Google. You will see the business listings alongside a map of your present location.
Local SEO should not be neglected by law firms that serve clients in a particular geographical location. The people staying in your geographical location are the people you want as potential leads.
Also, it is easier to rank for local keywords than broad keywords, as local keywords are less competitive than the latter.
Depending on the number of people that live in your firm's geographical location, fewer people may be searching for the key term “Criminal Lawyer in California”, still there will likely be few law firms ranking for the key term.
Three factors are considered by Google before local search results can be shown, these factors are proximity, Prominence, and relevance.
Proximity: Proximity is the most important ranking factor for Google's local SEO search results. It deals with how close your law firm is to the person searching for your service.
The distance between the searcher address and your firm location is an important factor when google wants to consider local SEO results.
The closer your firm is to the searcher, the higher your website will show up on Google Local listings.
Google relies on online users' IP addresses and locations to rank your website for local search results.
With local SEO you can’t rank in other locations aside from the location of your business, this means that local SEO results can not be manipulated to show for other locations but you can expand the radius of your website visibility by adding some localized keyword phrases to your Google My Business Profile.
Prominence: Prominence deals with the popularity of your business to online users. When your business is popular and your website is stated to be credible, your website will automatically become visible to online users in your geographical location without much work.
Prominence is established through reviews, backlinks, ratings, social media, and citations.
Relevance: For your website to show on local search results it has to be relevant to the online user's search queries. Google wants to show the most relevant results to online users.
Hence, the Google Business Profile that contains the service, content, and information that best answers online user's search queries will appear at the top of local search results.
Adding your location and relevant keywords to your Google Business profile will establish your law firm as relevant to online users.
If your Google Business Profile has relevant information, local keywords, and services, you are likely to become visible at the top of local search results.
Why Do Law Firms Need Local SEO?
Local SEO matters for law firms because only users are trying to find not only the best law firms but the best law firms near their area.
According to a local review survey by Brightlocal, 99% of consumers have used the internet to find information about a local business.
This tells you that people within your firm community will likely use local searches to find what they need.
Additionally, local SEO increases your chance of receiving calls directly through local search results listing because Google gives you the opportunity to add your contact details to your Google Business Profile for local listings.
Also, Local SEO benefits your law firm by increasing your website visibility, improving your trust and customer interpersonal relationship, and increasing your conversion and sales.
Let me give you more details on why these benefits are important to you.
i. Increase your website visibility: Your website and Google Business Profile visibility will increase on local search results.
The visibility will increase your chances of lead acquisition and sales.
ii. Improve your trust: When your business appears at the top of Google local search results, it will improve the trust online users have for you because showing up at the top of local search results means you are the best fit.
iii. Increase Conversion and Sales: The more your website appears at the top of local results the more online users know about you and the more they will likely convert to paying customers.
Strategies for Law Firms Local SEO
If you want to increase your chance of getting more clients then you need to invest in Local SEO to be able to acquire leads from people around your firm's geographical location.
Your website needs to be optimized to show up within your firm's geographical radius.
Listed below are important SEO strategies for your firm;
1. Google Business Profile:
You need to have a Google Business Profile If you want to appear on Google local search results. GMB is a free google tool that gives you the opportunity to become visible on Google Maps.
There are multiple fields that you can include your business information on the GMB profile.
This information includes your business working hours, phone number, services, website URL, address, etc.
You can add pictures of your law firm office to your profile to let online users see what your office looks before they decide to visit.
GMB also allows you to collect reviews from past customers.
These reviews are public and seen by online users that visit your GMB page.
Positive Reviews will increase your firm reputation and conversions.
2. Website Optimization:
A website is the driving force of online businesses.
You need to have a well-optimized website if you want to win big in any aspect of online marketing but since we are talking of Local SEO let us stick to it.
When I say your website needs to be well-optimized, what I mean is that you need to have a fast, easy-to-navigate, SEO-friendly website to rank organically.
Your website also needs to be optimized with the right keyword phrases.
Make sure you are using the right keywords in your Title, meta description, and URL Slug.
And if your website has been available for a while, you need to check your internal link structure and fix your broken links.
If you don't have a website yet, ensure you hire an SEO professional or a developer that have the knowledge of SEO to work on your website for you.
A properly optimized website can be indexed and ranked easily.
3. Online Reviews:
Accumulation of positive reviews can be a game changer for your business as it will increase your firm's online reputation, authority, visibility, and local search results rankings.
If your target customers search for a law firm and your GMB appears with multiple positive reviews, they will likely want to hire you over your competitors with fewer positive reviews.
This is because those positive reviews from your past customers serve as a vote of confidence to your business, hence increasing your possibility of landing a new client.
You can send your GMB profile links to your customers if you want to acquire positive reviews.
Positive reviews are signals that your firm is legit and can serve any incoming customers.
Online reviews matters to online users, it is a significant indicator if they choose you or not.
A recent study from trustmary shows that 93% of online consumers read online reviews before making a purchase.
Not all reviews will be positive, but you should always respond to both positive and negative reviews.
This shows that you are ready to help your customers if they are not satisfied with your business.
4. Website Content:
Content is a powerful method of attracting online users to your law firm, it is what will tell online users the aspect of law you specialize in.
How it will help them and how they can reach you if they need your service.
When you create quality, engaging and insightful content, you make it easier for your target audience to reach when they search for queries related to your law firm.
You will attract local visitors to your website when you add localized keywords to your website content.
For best practices, these keywords should be added to your blog title, subtitles, meta description, and body of your text.
To get the right keywords to use for your content, you need to conduct keyword research, keyword research tools like SEMRush, Ahrefs, and Soovle, will help you find keywords related to your firm's geographical area.
For example, if your law firm is located in California and the law service you provide is divorce, you will want to target keywords like “ Divorce Law Firms in California” or “Best Divorce attorney in California”
With these keywords, you can create quality, informative and insightful articles and publish them on your website to attract your target audience searching for those queries.
You can learn more on the importance of content marketing for law firms.
5. Mobile-friendly website:
These days people spend more time on their phones, and 70% of successful transactions are done through mobile devices.
This indicates that people are using their phones to search for goods and services and are making their buying decision through their phones.
It is now a necessity for you to have a mobile-friendly website if you want to succeed with your local SEO campaign.
Your law firm website must be easier to navigate so that your website visitors can have an excellent experience that will make them want to visit you again.
Search engine also favors mobile-friendly website over the ones that are not mobile-friendly so as to provide the best internet experience to online users.
6. Link Building:
Building linking is important for SEO. Link building helps you to get backlinks from third-party websites relevant to your industry.
When you acquire a backlink from a website to your website that backlink stands as a vote of confidence from that website to your website.
The backlink is a sign that your website is authoritative and possesses great information that is beneficial to online users.
To acquire backlinks from third-party websites you can guest blog or focus on creating high-quality insightful content and let the backlinks come naturally.
High-Quality Links from websites with a 30+ domain rate will help you boost your website rankings and search engine reputation.