What would be your reaction if I say, “Crime pays.” You will get the feeling that I am out of my mind. However, crime does pay the lawyer, doesn’t it?

Jokes apart, a lawyer has to advertise his presence any way, in spite of the growing crime all around the world. When it comes to advertising, where do you think they should do? About a decade or two back, the yellow pages would have been the right place to do so. Today, Google has virtually killed the yellow pages and have thrown them out of contention. Hence, local SEO is the best option for attorneys to advertise. This is how you do the local seo for attorneys.

The Need for Advertising Locally

When the scene of the crime is in California, do you look for a lawyer from London? You search locally. Thus, local SEO for attorneys is important.

We shall now look at 3 reasons why it is necessary for lawyers to invest in local SEO. Prior to that, let us look at some statistics.

SEO-Advertising

  • Local businesses attract 20% of all search queries and 40% of mobile queries

  • 50% of people searching online follow it up with a visit

  • An overwhelming 97% of people search for local businesses online

  • Move With the Trend: The trend is more towards online advertising. Where do you think people search for any business today? Naturally, it is online. Hence, it makes sense for lawyers to be active online. The more you are active online, the more visible you remain.

  • Have a Higher Reach: A high rank on the local SEO service ensures that your firm gets a lot of free traffic. When you have people coming in search of you, it should not take long for you to convert the leads into business.

  • Get quick results: It takes time to rank on the international or global front. However, it is not that difficult for lawyers to rank high on local SEO for the simple reason that many attorneys do not do so.

How do you build a local SEO strategy

The strategy for building any local SEO strategy is the same for all kinds of businesses. Get your basics right and the business will take care of itself. Let us begin with the steps you have to follow.

1. Keyword Research

Keyword-Research

    • Hiring: When you advertise your services, you do so with the intention that people should hire you. Therefore, concentrate on the keywords that describe your services more than anything else. When people search for a bankruptcy lawyer online, their main objective is to hire one.

    • Research: Not everyone searches for lawyers online to avail their services. There are people who are researching or gathering information about legal services. Under such circumstances, your keywords should be different. ‘Chapter 7 bankruptcy’ or ‘Chapter 13 bankruptcy’ are better keywords than ‘bankruptcy lawyer’ under such circumstances. Using such research keywords in FAQ pages of your website is appropriate.

    • Optimize your Keywords: On-site as well as off-site optimization of your keywords is very important. The ‘Google My Business’ (GMB) page is as much essential as your core web pages. Let us see how to optimize your GMB page.

Naturally, your keywords should relate to your profession. Hence, you should concentrate on researching keywords that pertain to the various services you provide. You can use terms like ‘bankruptcy lawyer’, or family attorney’ and similar terms. Prepare a list of the services you will be able to provide. Have as many primary keywords as possible. Your objective is to ace the rankings. Hence, having a sound strategy is the key. People search the internet with two intents, hiring and research. Each of these intents requires specific approaches. Let us look at them in brief.

2. Optimizing your GMB page:

      • Verify your presence: Ensure that your GMB page is verified by Google. If not, do so immediately. Google will send you a code over your mobile that you have to enter to complete the verification process.

      • Ensure correct address: Maintain consistency as far as your name, address, and phone number is concerned. Google is very particular about the area code as this ensures your local presence.

      • Include category: The category is very important. Follow Google guidelines in this aspect and include your services as your categories. Bankruptcy attorneys or family lawyers are examples of popular categories.

      • Give Description: Give a brief description of about 100 to 200 words about the various services you offer. Touch upon all the hiring intent keywords as your main objective is to top the rankings. Having a call to action option at the end is a great idea.

      • Hours of operation: People searching for your services should get an idea about when to contact you. Post your contact details along with your availability (office hours and after office hours) and respective phone numbers.

      • Images: Images can catch and hold the attention of people for a longer time. Ensure to include images of good quality and sharp focus. If your law firm has a logo, this is the right place to display them.

3. Optimizing your website

SEO-optimize-your-keywords

Integration of keywords is the major concentration area while optimizing your website. The core pages of the website like the ‘Home page’ and ‘Services’ page are the most important ones. This is how you go about integrating the primary keywords on your core pages.

Home Page

  • Title tag: You will not be able to see the title tags on the home page. They are present on the Google search pages as the underlined blue text whenever you make a search. It is imperative for you to include your primary keyword in the title. Tools like Google Keyword Planner are useful for determining the keywords that are in great demand. An optimized title should include the category, location, and name of the practice. It looks somewhat like this. Ideally, the length should not exceed 50 to 60 characters.

    SEO-TitleTag

  • Meta Description: Meta description is an important SEO item not visible on the home page. This is the important piece of text that directs your prospective client to your website. This description should be brief, around 100 to 150 characters, and should describe your services in brief. This could be a decent example.

  • H1: The H1 tag is the first piece of information on your home page visible to visitors. Hence, it should be brief, descriptive, and include the primary keyword as well.

    SEO-H1 tag

  • Body: Include a detailed description of your services in the body that comprises the main part of your home page. Include your primary keywords and ensure that the content is not only SEO friendly but also appeals to the audience thereby encouraging your prospective clients into availing your services.

Service Pages

Many people make the mistake of including all the services in a single page. This is not a good SEO strategy. Each service deserves a separate page with content of around 500 to 1000 words. This is the page where you can give detailed description of each service offered by you. In case you offer bankruptcy litigation along with accident claim services, it is better to have two different pages. Otherwise, you end up confusing the search engine thereby affecting your rankings.

Content pages

Content pages do not form part of your home or service pages, but have a vital role to play in local SEO strategy. You can include the research intent keywords here along with the hiring intent ones. Hence, it can be a comprehensive description. Using tools like Keyword Planner is very useful in providing you with the trending keywords in the market.

FAQ Page

The FAQ page is the right place for you to show your expertise. This page gives you the full freedom to express your views with the main objective of attracting potential clients. You can list out some of the popular questions asked by your clients on this page. You can link your answers with the content on the services page or have separate pages as well for the purpose. Ensure that the questions are crisp and the answers precise. Include as many questions as possible that you can visualize clients can ask.

Citations and Links

You have done the hard work by optimizing your GMB page, Home page, and Service pages. The next step is to build up on this foundation by including citations and links. Let us see how you can achieve this perspective.

  • Citations

    SEO-Citations

    This is in fact, a marketing endeavor. You have to project your business to people. Citations contain your name, address, and phone numbers. This explains why you should have the latest information about these factors. You already have them on your GMB page. Update them regularly. You can also list your practice in other business directories that can help you improve on your ranking. You usually have three main categories.

    • General / National Business Directories: Common examples are Yelp.com, citysearch.com, and yellowpages.com. Social media network channels like Facebook can also be of help.

    • Industry specific directories: There are directories that cater to your particular industry such as Avvo.com, Justia.com, and Findlaw.com. Many industry-specific directories do not charge you anything for listing whereas some do. Ensure to have a health spread. Check out with Google Analytics for the traffic and conversion statistics.

    • Local directories: Local directories are vital as well. You can add your practice in local directories like bizjournals.com, manta.com, and others. You get good traffic from local directories as well. Many clients search for information here.

  • Links

    Google places emphasis on quality link building. Links are nothing but references or hyperlinks from other websites to your website. Attracting inbound links from authority websites like ‘.gov and .edu’ domains carry greater weight. The more links you have from legitimate sources, the better it is for your website ranking. Let us see how to build up these quality links.

    • Directories: Connect with websites in the general / industry-specific/ local directories and build up your link profile.

    • Offline Relationships: This is another way of generating links. You must have contacts with people who can refer clients to you. Such a method can be mutually beneficial to both of you. You have associations and sponsors of local events that can be of help in this regard.

    • Competitor research: There are various tools that can help you do competitor research. You get an idea what your competitor is doing. You can use the strategies adopted by them as well to generate inbound links.

    Reviews

     
    SEO-ratings

  • You need reviews on your webpage from your clients to boost your ranking. There are many ways using which you can get reviews. Let us look at some of them.

    • GMB Reviews

    Websites like Yelp.com and Findlaw.com are excellent places to get positive reviews. You can also get positive reviews on your GMB page as well. These positive reviews can help the page rank higher thereby improving your visibility to your potential clients. Most of the people searching the internet read reviews before hiring any services.

    • Client Reviews

    This is the best way to get reviews. Render good service to your clients and request them to post a positive review. A majority of satisfied clients will respond and share their experiences. You can also send an email to your clients and seek positive reviews. This is one of the time-tested methods of procuring good reviews. It seldom fails.

    Tracking

  • You should be aware of three major metrics of tracking that can guarantee you a high ranking on local SEO.

    • Rankings:

    Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) is the best tool to track the performance of your keywords. You get a detailed description of the clicks and impressions generated by each keyword. Use this tool once a fortnight to determine your ranking performance.

    There is a paid ranking tool as well, RankRanger.com that delivers ranking reports for your website across a range of keywords.

    • Traffic:

    Will ranking be enough to complete a successful SEO campaign? The answer is ‘NO’. You need to have traffic towards your website as well. Secondly, you need to analyze the source of traffic. Google Analytics is the right tool that enables you to achieve this objective.

    You should install this platform on every page of your website following which you will be able to analyze the quality and quantity of traffic towards your website.

    • Conversions:

    A good ranking can give you a great feeling. Incoming traffic can give you satisfaction that you are able to run a good business. However, conversion of the traffic towards your website is the factor that can generate the money and improve the bottom line.

    You can include a web form on your site asking your clients to schedule an appointment with any of the lawyers in your firm. Google Analytics can again help you in analyzing the proportion of conversions. The web forms are a sure indication that you are receiving these conversions because of your SEO efforts.

    Summary

    SEO is the heart and soul of online business. Without SEO, no firm can dream of conducting online business successfully. As a lawyer firm, building up your local SEO strategy is important because this is where you are going to receive your clients. The steps mentioned above can help you build up an effective local SEO campaign. We reiterate the main steps again for your reference.

    1. Keyword Research

    2. Keyword Optimization

    3. Citation and Links

    4. Reviews

    5. Tracking

    Remember, we had said that Crime pays. Now you would have understood that it is hard work alone that pays. You supplement your hard work with an effective SEO campaign. You will end up on a successful note. These steps mentioned in the article can place you at an advantage as far as your competitors are concerned.

Sneha Mandad

Author Sneha Mandad

A voracious reader and a recreational writer who is enticed by mere thought of travelling. A curious wanderer and a keen observer. Having deep appreciation for music and various art forms is how I have developed myself as a critique.

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