An effective local search campaign ensures potential clients in your geographic area can find your firm on the web. It also ensures your firm’s address and location show up in the maps that matter, like those used by Google and iPhones, and that apps on smartphones can locate you quickly and easily.
You may have noticed when performing a search on Google or another search engine that you’ll often see results that pertain to your city or area, without having to specify a geography in which to search. Often, searchers will also see a group of results with a map showing the locations of various businesses.
Search engines can also provides ratings for businesses and organizations that clients and customers review using their platform. Searches performed on smartphones and other mobile devices are responsible for a large volume of searches that yield local results. All of these items have to do with local search, and all are of growing importance to all local businesses, including law firms.
With Google being the largest search engine in terms of volume, Google local, Google+ and Google reviews are extremely important to law firms. Appearance at or near the top of the map results or “local pack” for specific searches can lead to more website visits, more contacts, and ultimately more cases.
One very important factor for Local SEO is your firm’s NAP information, meaning Name, Address & Phone number. The appearance of this information on websites and directories across the web helps to establish your presence for local search, showing that your firm’s listing is included in important and authoritative places.
Possibly the most important aspect of NAP is maintaining consistency in the information everywhere that it is listed on the Web. We have provided a resource to assist you with acceptable Google abbreviations, here. Making sure that your listings are included on key sites such as Google, Bing, Infogroup, Acxion, Factual and Localese can also help build your presence and improve your rankings.
Also, the elimination of incorrect, duplicate, or conflicting information on Google+, Bing local, Yahoo, and other platforms can help improve the strength of your local presence and help eliminate confusion for your prospects. While developing and improving NAP consistency can be a very laborious and time-intensive process, it is a vital aspect of local search performance. Use our free listing scan tool, powered by Yext, to gain insight about your firm’s local profile or download our free local SEO tips for law firms.
Another significant factor related to local search that firms must consider is the topic of reviews. Various platforms including Google, Yelp, Citysearch, legal specific sites such as Avvo, and others offer clients the ability to post reviews about their experiences with a law firm.
It has been said that the internet is the new “word of mouth” and that people are more apt to buy a product or patronize a business if they see positive associated reviews. Obviously, your clients saying good things about your firm, your attorneys and your services in public venues is a great thing for your firm, and those words that they are willing to share with others can help convince other prospects to contact your firm.
First and foremost, treating your clients in a fashion where they would want to leave positive reviews is paramount, but also extremely important is having a plan to attempt to increase the number of reviews your firm gets on a regular basis.
For Google, it takes a minimum of 5 reviews before “star ratings” appear next to a listing. The stars beside a listing can be both an eye magnet and a visual cue to searchers, and can drive more traffic, and potential clients to your site.
As more search is mobile and local in nature and intent, reviews will continue to grow in importance. Consultwebs offers an online reviews bundle, which contains helpful resources to aid law firms in protecting their reputation, and getting the most out of their online presence.
With all of the work associated with establishing new profiles, eliminating duplicates, revising NAP information on myriad platforms, and navigating the changing seas of Google and other engines, a law firm is smart to leave this one primarily to the experts.
The talented team of Search Engine Optimization professionals at Consultwebs can do most of the heavy lifting for you, clean up your local profile and lead your campaign in a direction to help you find more prospects, and sign more cases from the Web. Contact us for more information, or to request a proposal that can lay out all of the services that Consultwebs can provide.
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