Local search is a tremendous tool for potential clients to find your law firm when they’re searching for legal help nearby. You may have noticed those peculiar, but attention grabbing headline ads when you’ve searched for another local business in the past. They’re usually tucked right below a map of the area with detailed listing information on the business address and phone number.
Google offers this service to businesses and as you might imagine, gaining traction in these listings is similar to ranking well in organic search results. The difference is these listings are triggered in default by your geographic presence, but can be overridden to show the city or town of your choice by including it in your search query, i.e. Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney.
The first step to success in local search is to register your business properly with Google. Once your information is submitted, there are a number of things you’ll need to pay attention to in order to help optimize and fine tune your presence. What are some of the factors search engines consider when ranking your firm? There is a surprisingly diverse set of “signals” that your business can give off to help increase your ranking, They include:
- The specifics in your business profile, i.e. proximity and categories you’re listed under.
- Your on-page signals, such as domain authority, SEO titles, and descriptions.
- Your linking authority. Authoritative backlinks to your site are a must. The quality and quantity both matter.
- Your reviews. The better they are, the higher you’ll rank. Google wants to show profiles that are well reviewed.
- Social signals from sites like Facebook and Twitter. How robust are your profiles? Are you building a following on multiple platforms?
- Your listing’s performance on Google. Does your listing have a good click thru rate? Is your site optimized for mobile?
- Personalization of your listing. Have you added relevant photos or videos to help boost your presence?
There are many more considerations, including the overall quality of your website and the experience you are delivering to your customers. But paying attention to the signals listed above is a good start. Some law firms rely on referrals and word of mouth exclusively at times, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds of folks out there every day, in your area, searching for experienced attorneys. These people often have no referrals in hand. They come to Google to find you.
Your business needs to make the conscious decision to increase search engine visibility and local search is a great place for a law firm to start. Some of the work you can do yourself, if you’re willing to put in some time and effort. In many cases, however, an experienced SEO pro who is well versed in local search can be a blessing to your business.