Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO, is not something you want to overlook. Why is that? The relevance of SEO in today’s digital landscape is increasingly predominant and can be considered a necessity in your strategy to ensure marketing success. According to Semrush, you can improve your law firm’s online presence in many ways including (but not limited to):
- Get relevant clients.
- Improve your organic traffic.
- Conversions and ROI.
- Leads through your sales funnel.
- Low cost.
And the list goes on! The options you have are countless! Of course, this is great but you may have questions like, “How do I apply it?” “What works?” And most importantly, “What doesn’t work?” There’s a lot of local SEO misinformation, so let’s focus on what doesn’t work for your law firm’s GMB (Google My Business) account first to work our way up from there.. Before we dive into some local SEO myths we have a powerful tip to help your firm dominate the local market:
Don’t underestimate the power of GMB.
Let’s face the reality here: Google dominates search engines. As Google dominates today’s search engines, it’s important law firms take full advantage of Google’s FREE Google My Business (GMB) tool. On it, your firm can collect reviews from past clients, you can have full information on all of your locations and Yes, you heard this correctly, it’s a free tool! When (and if) your law firm uses GMB correctly you can expect:
- Improving your law firm’s local exposure
- Boosting revenue to calls and cases
GMB is not only important for your law firm’s SEO, it is vital for your law firm’s online survival!
If you’re still not convinced of GMBs’ importance, hear it from Aweber. GMB can help your law firm by:
- Boosting your local SEO
- Helping potential clients find your law firm online
- Giving clients the chance to leave a good review for your law firm
- Communicating with clients
- It’s a FREE tool (who doesn’t like free stuff?)
If you’re starting to realize the importance of GMB for your law firm’s reach and revenue then read along and let’s debunk popular SEO myths.
A GMB Service Area will Impact Rankings
Having a GMB account is definitely helpful. If your business has multiple locations you can use this platform to add all of them, which also helps your clients make personal references of the individual locations and decide which one suits them the best. BUT…the truth is that it will not have an impact on your law firm’s overall local ranking.
“Keyword Stuffing” the GMB Description Improves Rankings
Have you heard of keyword stuffing? Basically, it’s trying to manipulate your site’s position in the SERP by using relevant keywords repeatedly, hence the term “stuffing.” Though this tactic is used quite frequently, the reality is that keyword stuffing is not helpful within the description box of GMB. Google doesn’t look at this box for rankings. (Plus, keyword stuffing is considered a black hat strategy, and may cause your site to be de-indexed by Google if it is identified on it.) So, what’s the best thing to do here? Sales writing! AKA – Sell your law firm! Add interesting, captivating and relevant information about your law firm. If you need a question to get inspired perhaps think: “What solution(s) does your law firm offer that others don’t? And how will you fix a prospect’s problem?” Make sure to get prospects interested enough to take the action you’re aiming for and call your firm.
Stuffing Keywords to GMB Reviews Impacts Rankings
Piggy-backing on the previous myth, getting reviews on GMB is great! But what’s not so great is “keyword stuffing” your responses to those reviews with keywords. It doesn’t improve rankings however, we do recommend you give the reviews an authentic human response back. It may not help your rankings, per se, but it will give your clients a personalized view of your law firm.
Call Tracking Has a Negative Impact On Your Rankings
The short answer is: No. A call tracking does not have a negative impact on your Google rankings…if you do it the correct way. Before diving into what’s right let’s look into a common mistake: using different phone numbers on different listings. Having an inconsistent number around the web means clients will have different contact results around search Google, Apple Maps, Bing and other forms of directories. Losing a client due to jumbled up phone numbers would be a painful loss that’s completely avoidable! To assure this doesn’t happen here’s how you can verify you’re using the correct numbers:
- Your primary number should be within the “call tracking number”.
- Your business number should be within the “additional field”.
Organic Rankings Improve By Paying Google Ads
You’re in luck, because as the saying goes, you’re “hearing it straight from the horse’s mouth!” Law firms cannot request Google to improve their organic rankings. Organic rankings are called organic because they aren’t influenced by paid ads. Organic rankings occur due to the client’s natural search for your law firm and consequently leading to a natural response to review/rank your law firm’s service. Google even states that “There’s no way to request or pay for better local rankings on Google. We do our best to keep the search algorithm details confidential, to make the ranking system as fair as possible for everyone.” You can pay for an ad and rank #1 in the paid world, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll lead to organic rankings.
All That Matters is Ranking #1
False! In fact, sometimes businesses that are ranked #1 have FEWER LEADS than other businesses ranked under them. So, what should your law firm focus on? Improving your GMB listing
- Add photos.
- Respond to reviews.
- Add the opening hours.
See the differences for yourself here:
“It Will Take a While Until You Rank Within Your Local Search”
Will it take a month? Six months? A year? You can start ranking the minute your listing goes live. Whitespark clarifies that businesses start ranking within their immediate area. Businesses don’t immediately start ranking in a whole city, though. Your law firm will start to grow out of the immediate area’s ranking once there’s a higher accumulation within the GMB listing for that specific area..
You Need to Geo-Tag Images
Before debunking this myth let’s look into what’s geo-tagging. According to Romain Berg, it is “the process of adding precise global positioning data, such as specific latitude and longitude, to a website or image found online”. And why do businesses do geo-tagging? Geo-tagging helps search engines make the link between the added location/information and the photo. Romain Berg even adds that “web search engines are factoring the person’s current location into the search results they deliver”. Adding metadata to your images can help Google understand when and where the image was created. But the reality is that when it comes to local SEO rankings it has little to no effect. According to a geotagging study conducted by Tim Kahlert, “Only areas with very little or no competition offer good opportunities to rank using only geotagged images.” In short words, save yourself the time (and headache). There’s no evidence behind this working. Stuffing keywords into an image has little to no effect with the Google ranking.
A Google Map on Your Website Will Impact Rankings
Embedding a Google Map to your site does not directly improve rankings. However, as Sterling Sky notes, there are still benefits to adding a Google Map to your website:
- Saves your clients from leaving your website.
- Business contact is already there.
- Gives your clients reference points (for example: ‘a parking area near me’).
- Clients stay longer periods of time on your website.
Bottom line, law firms should not fall under false pretense that any of these myths “might work” for them. Recognizing what does not work is a step forward for your law firm’s online success. Applying what does work is a science of its own…and our team has crafted the art and science behind SEO optimization for law firms. Want to optimize your law firm? Expand your law firm’s reach + ranking and get results with us today.