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Cheap law firms are kind of like cheap SEO companies: you get what you pay for, and often times the results aren’t great. It’s the primary reason why a lot of attorneys are leery of internet marketing companies and why most citizens are nervous to work with the Saul Goodman and Rodney Ruxins of the world.
But contrary to popular belief, small and medium sized law firms relying on local residents to grow a client base can benefit greatly from an SEO (“search engine optimization”) campaign. Don’t believe it? Consider this: 60 percent of American adults use smartphones and tablets to search for local service information (link).
Coupled with the fact that the Google 3-pack appears in the top spot in 93 percent of searches with local intent (link), establishing your law firm at the top of Google and as the authority can pay dividends for your firm.
Do Law Firms Need SEO?
Yes, lawyers and law firms need to invest in SEO. In particular, law firms should invest in local SEO, a type of search engine optimization strategy that helps your firm’s website capture more organic visitors from people who live in your area. Laywer SEO will help your firm rank higher on search engines, attract more visitors to your website, and generate more calls and contact forms—helping you grow your practice and generate more revenue.
Local SEO Statistics: Why It’s Important
97 percent of consumers use internet when researching local services (link)
54 percent of Americans have substituted the Internet and local search for phone books (link)
98 percent of searchers choose a business that is on page one of the results they get (link)
88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (link)
77 percent of smart phone users contact a business after looking for local information (link)
59 percent of mobile users who look for local information visit the business on the same day (link)
Improve Your Firm’s Search Visibility with These Tips
Local SEO for law firms isn’t an overnight fix, but implementing a few of these easy tips today can help improve your firm’s visibility on Google and Bing in the long term.
1. Create a Google My Business Page
Google My Business (GMB) is the fastest way to list your firm on Google Maps and (potentially) gain exposure in the Google local pack, depending on your location and the competitive landscape on Google. Google uses the data on your Google My Business page to display your firm’s:
- Phone number
- Business hours
To optimize your Google My Business page, follow these steps:
- Choose the appropriate business categories on GMB.
- Write a long (200 – 300 words), keyword rich description for your business.
- Include the correct NAP information (Name, Address, Phone number).
- Add a link to your website
2. Generate Client Reviews
88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, so having a negative reputation online may deter potential clients from contacting your firm to represent them. Getting more Google reviews and reviews on other online business directories can help increase your exposure on page one of Google.
3. Generate Local SEO Citations
In addition to listing your firm’s NAP information on Google My Business, generating local SEO citations on nationally syndicated online business directories as well as niche legal directories will increase off-site SEO factors.
According to Juris Digital, the top legal citation sources for 2017 are:
- 2 Find Location (2FindLocation.com)
- Acxiom (Acxiom.com)
- Alphalegal (Alphalegal.com)
- Angies List (AngiesList.com)
- APLawyers (APLawyers.com)
- AttorneyPages (AttorneyPages.com)
- Attorneys Lawyer (AttorneysLawyer.org)
Read the entire list of best local SEO citations sources for attorneys here. Don’t like this list? Read more from Moz about the best local citations for Attorneys.
4. Add Schema Markup to Your Site
Schema markup code is a type of HTML markup that is universally understood by search engines.
Schema removes any guessing games, allowing you to tell Google EXACTLY what the content on your web page is about, increasing your chances of ranking higher and lessening your chances of Google misunderstanding what your page is about.
While local business schema is important, law firms should schema for local business. You can use this free template below:
To use the template, follow these instructions:
- Open up Notepad (PC) or TextEdit (Mac).
- Type out the code exactly how it is above and replace CAPITALIZED TEXT with the information of your law firm.
- Test the schema code generated using Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool (available here: https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool).
- Drop that code into the footer of your website (or have your webmaster do it) and every page on your site will include schema markup for legal services.
Other types of schema markup for law firms include:
- Review schema (great for maximizing the exposure of your online reviews).
- Person schema (best to influence Knowledge Graph results about an individual, like one of your team of attorneys).
Proof SEO Is Effective for Law Firms
Here at Blue Corona, we’ve worked with several local law firms, all of which have seen tremendous success after investing in SEO for lawyers. For example, this client, a law firm in Northern Virginia, has a team of experienced attorneys specializing in divorce mediation and family law and has seen massive growth in 18 months.
In just one year of investing in law firm SEO this client generated:
- 1,916 new keyword rankings on Google.
- 197 number 1 keyword rankings on Google.
- 766 top 10 keyword rankings on Google.
Compared to the first month, a local SEO campaign helped this lawyer increase organic visits by:
- 439% (percent change over 12 months of local SEO for law firms).
- 869% (percent change over 18 months of local SEO for law firms).
Throughout the lifespan of this client, organic search (orange) has accounted for nearly 80 percent of all web form submissions from prospective clients:
Do Law Firms Need SEO?
Local SEO for law firms is a long-term solution to growing your business. With the right marketing partner and SEO company for lawyers, your firm can be well on its way to the top of Google, Bing, and Yahoo and outranking your competition.
Learn More About SEO for Law Firms
About The Author: Brandon works in Blue Corona's small business division, Rank First Local. Outside of SEO and analytics, Brandon’s interests include NBA and college basketball, tweeting, and playing with his dogs, Jax and Kona. Twitter: @doylestweet
View more blogs by Brandon Doyle