In many ways, doing local SEO for lawyers is similar to other industries. 97% percent of Google and other search engine users look for local businesses online, and these businesses include law firms or individual practitioners.
However, it is also different from local SEO for other industries because law tends to be a highly specialized practice. For instance, while a personal injury attorney has a basic knowledge of taxation from law school, you’d rather engage with a tax lawyer if you’re trying to determine how much tax you’ll pay for real estate you’ve inherited from a grandparent.
So, how can you make sure that your client’s law firm appears somewhere at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs)? Well, you need a robust local SEO strategy. Such a strategy will help your client’s law firms rank higher in the local SERPs where more potential clients can see it.
Below are seven local SEO tips that will help a law firm’s website climb up the rankings so they appear higher up in local search:
1. Managing a Practitioner and Business GBP
Optimizing your client’s Google Business Profile (GBP) is an excellent start to implementing local SEO for lawyers. This profile improves the discoverability of your client’s business.
GBP also helps improve client engagement and allows your client to reach a broader audience through maps and location searches. Moreover, creating a Google Business Profile helps you manage your client’s law firm’s online reputation by responding to reviews.
Enabling GBP features like the messaging can also make it easier for prospective customers to get in touch with your client’s business. You’ll see SEO results through increased impressions on Google Maps and rich Google search results.
When optimizing your client’s Google Business Profile listing, ensure you add the correct business category. You should also avoid keyword stuffing in the description and title.
For example, if your client’s law firm specializes in granting services on taxes and family business, you must optimize your listing title and description with relevant keywords like ‘family law’ or ‘tax law’. This allows your client’s law firm website to appear in the organic search results when people search for those specific or related terms
To maintain good local SEO rankings and reach a local audience, you also need to provide accurate and up-to-date NAP (name, address, and phone number) information about your client’s law firm.
2. Get More Reviews
Review signals make up 17 percent of Google’s local search ranking factors. Therefore, you must collect as many customer reviews as possible to improve your client’s local SEO campaign. And it’s not just about the quantity. You’ll need positive reviews that are more in-depth (two to three sentences long) to rank above competitor law firms.
Client reviews are helpful in various ways. For starters, reviews help Google place your client’s Google Business Profile listing higher in local search results. Why? Because Google wants to serve quality results. If a business has dozens of positive reviews, it means they are doing something right. Therefore, Google will prioritize that business over one that doesn’t have any customer reviews.
So, if you want your client’s law firms to show up higher in local searches, collect more positive reviews. After all, higher local rankings could result in more qualified traffic and leads.
Second, customer reviews help pull more clients. Think about it, when scrolling through local searches, are you more likely to go with an establishment that has more positive reviews or one with few/no reviews? You’ll go with the former, right?
The same thing applies to prospective customers looking for local law firms. Therefore, more positive customer reviews will provide much-needed social proof to pull prospective customers to your client’s law firm.
You can get more reviews for your client’s listing by enabling reviews on their Google Business Profile. You should also encourage existing clients of the law firm to leave reviews.
Source: Google reviews
Responding to good and bad reviews is also essential. It makes existing customers feel appreciated and recognized. It also increases client engagement and shows that your client’s business cares about its customers.
3. Add Legal FAQs to Your Site
Google is always looking for relevant content to provide helpful answers for users. The same goes for local search results. You can add relevant legal FAQs to your website as part of your content website ideas.
While there’s no silver bullet when it comes to FAQs, these are general best practices to help you get started:
- Answer common questions so potential clients can get quick answers to their questions without calling your client’s office or doing additional research.
- Focus on your client’s law firms or service area.
- Regularly update these FAQs to stay relevant to prospective searches and search engine updates.
FAQs allow you to optimize the client’s content with additional keywords. You can create FAQs that target local keywords for better search engine optimization results. Take this question, for example; How much does a personal injury attorney in New York charge?
That question helps you target a local, potentially lucrative long-tail keyword “personal injury lawyer in New York.” The phrase could help drive tons of qualified traffic to your client’s law firm website.
FAQs can also help you secure featured snippets. That means your client’s site will occupy “position zero” of the first search engine results page, where it can generate even more clicks. However, you will need to indicate that a certain piece of content on your website answers a specific question. That’s where schema markup comes into play.
4. Use Schema Markup
Schema markup is a code that tells search engines exactly what your web pages are about.
With schema, you can optimize for rich results by providing explicit information through structured data that crawlers pick on to show in prominent SERP positions. These rich results increase brand exposure and can improve click-through rate (CTR) by 58%.
For FAQs, adding schema markup to your code will help Google identify your content as an answer to a common user question. For instance, NoLo uses the schema markup below in its HTML code:
When you search for ‘how do courts choose jurors’, LegalZoom’s content is second on the search results:
In addition, you can use the local business schema to help Google identify and show information about your client’s business in the local pack easily. For example, it will display hours of operation, address, phone numbers, and ratings.
You can also include an action schema such as ‘Book an appointment’ or ‘Book a free consultation’ to make it easier for prospects to contact your client’s law firm.
Since some of the information presented in rich results comes from Google Business Profile listings, be sure to claim your client’s listing and set it up correctly.
5. Optimize for Multiple-lawyer Firms
If your client’s firm has multiple lawyers, create a separate page for each lawyer. Make sure these pages contain vital local search engine optimization elements like reviews and local business data such as NAP.
What if you want to rank multiple personal injury lawyers on the same page? Well, here’s what you can do to make sure they all get their fair share of the limelight:
- Create a custom title tag for each attorney.
- Create separate meta descriptions for each attorney.
- Write a blurb about each lawyer that includes their name and geographic location.
- Have an image of the lawyer, and their alt text, which should contain their geographical location.
Optimize the firm’s pages with unique content and relevant keywords. However, if you’re not careful about your strategy, the firm’s lawyer pages might end up competing for the same local search terms. This could be counterproductive as prospective clients may be unclear about which page or person to contact.
Therefore, be sure to target specific keywords for every lawyer based on their practice. For example, you could optimize a separate page within the law firm’s website for ‘car accident lawyer’ and another for ‘corporate lawyer’ or ‘immigration lawyer’.
6. Citation Signals
Citations mention your client’s business name, address, phone number, and website on other websites. They act as a reference to your client’s business on the web.
Even if the influence of citation signals on local search results has waned in recent years, they still play an important role in your SEO strategy. When local searchers look for a particular term related to your client’s legal practice, local citations can help you show up more often in the search results.
Citations don’t have to contain a link — although they often do. However, they need to match with other data points listed on the website for maximum effectiveness. For example, your client’s NAP citations must match with the indexed page on their website.
The number of citations you have signals to Google that your client’s law firm is legitimate and trustworthy. It also gets their business in front of more potential clients searching for legal services online. You can sign up for a free account with Brightlocal to quickly build citations.
High-quality and relevant citations will drive more organic traffic to your client’s website and increase overall search engine rankings.
7. Tap Into Legal Directories
Legal directories can help you build authority and trust. They act as a citation distribution source for your client’s legal practice and local business data. They’re also a significant source of backlinks.
Pro tip: You can also write guest posts and publish them on other industry-related blogs or publications. Doing this can help you gain exposure and backlinks for your client’s website.
Get listed on relevant directories to get clients in your local area. Directories use geolocation technology to ensure prospective clients can easily find you when looking for a lawyer in your area.
There are many local directories where potential clients can search for local lawyers who practice the type of law they need help with. Some examples include Justia, Nolo, HG.org, Avvo, FindLaw, Martindale-Hubbell, and Lawyers.com.
These sites let you create free profiles with links to your client’s website. They also have premium options to help your client’s law firm get more exposure and attention. Complete your client’s profile with information about their firm, including photos and videos.
The local SEO for lawyers tactics discussed above can be one of the best things for your client’s law firm. With so many law firms using local SEO strategies, you need to stay ahead of the curve by implementing these strategies.
Start by building an optimized Google Business Profile listing. Then collect more Google reviews, build an FAQ section on their website, utilize schema markup, go after citations, and utilize law firm directories. If your client’s law firm has multiple lawyers, optimize the website to ensure every lawyer gets enough attention.
With this law firm’s local SEO guide at your disposal, we’re confident you’ll help your client’s website rank higher on Google’s local search results and even gain a spot in the local pack. More importantly, you’ll help them drive more qualified leads.