Local SEO for Lawyers & Law Firms
For most law offices and firms, a significant portion of business is dependent on serving local clients. That is why as a partner, manager or even associate, it’s crucial to learn the fundamentals of local SEO for law firms.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to optimize your law firm website for local search so that you can attract more clients while building trust and authority.
Fun fact – did you know that 98% of consumers use search engines like Google to find information about local businesses? Also, 87% of consumers used Google to evaluate local businesses before making a call or visiting in person.
These stats are important because it shows how powerful understanding and implementing local SEO for your law firm can be.
And there are many strategies and tactics you could use to make sure your law office shows up when your potential client searches for the legal solution you offer. Some of them include:
- Incorporating local queries within your website
- Creating robust local service-focused landing pages
- Optimizing and maintaining your firm’s GBP
- Creating quality content addressing local legal issues
And the list goes on…
We’ll cover each of these points and more in this guide but first let’s start with the basics.
What is local SEO for law firms?
Let’s break that down.
‘Local SEO’ is the set of activities we perform to ensure your business is visible to clients or customers locally. Most businesses that have a brick-and-mortar store or office can benefit from it.
And because most law firms have a physical office, the term ‘local SEO for law firms’ means optimizing your firm’s website and Google Business Profile to inform potential clients about your location, services, contact information, and more.
How does law firm SEO work?
It starts with optimizing your website with location-specific keywords, relevant content, and accurate contact information. By utilizing location-based keywords throughout your website’s pages, such as your practice areas and service descriptions, search engines can better understand your firm’s geographical relevance and connect you with local searchers.
Additionally, ensuring consistent and up-to-date contact information, such as your address, phone number, and business hours, enhances your credibility and makes it easier for potential clients to reach out to you.
Another vital aspect of Local Law Firm SEO is claiming and optimizing your Google My Business profile. Google My Business is a free tool that allows you to manage your firm’s online presence across Google Search and Google Maps.
By claiming and optimizing your profile, you can provide accurate information about your firm, including your address, phone number, website link, and even client reviews. This optimization ensures that your firm appears in local map listings and the highly coveted “Local Pack” results, significantly increasing your visibility to potential clients.
Local Law Firm SEO also involves building a robust online reputation. Encouraging clients to leave reviews and testimonials on platforms like Google, Yelp, or Avvo not only boosts your credibility but also signals to search engines that your firm is trusted and reputable. Positive reviews can act as a deciding factor for potential clients, making them more likely to choose your firm over your competitors.
But how do you get started with a local law firm SEO?
Continue reading to find out.
5 steps to nail your local law firm SEO
Now that we’ve covered what Local SEO for law firms is, let’s talk about the things you can do to optimize for local search.
Local keyword research
The keywords you incorporate within your content will determine the type of audience you attract. That’s why it’s important to spend some time finding keywords with local relevance if you wish to improve local SEO for your law firm.
For instance, if you’re an IP lawyer providing services in the New York region, you’ll want to chalk out keywords that include the location of the practice along with the service offered.
So in this case, your search will lead you to keywords like ‘IP lawyers in New York’ or ‘New York trademark attorney’. These are commercial keywords. So ideally you’d want to create well-optimized landing pages for these queries that are built solely for engaging & capturing leads.
But commercial keywords are usually more competitive (because almost all your competitors will be using them). And ranking in top positions for these keywords and phrases can take considerably longer.
That is why you’ll want to target other queries that are closely related to these primary commercial keywords. Creating helpful content on queries like ‘How to get a patent in New York?’ or ‘Difference between state and federal trademark’ can help you cover issues your potential clients might be facing. More on this in the next section.
Creating localized content
In addition to finding relevant local keywords, you’ll also want to conduct thorough research to uncover your audience’s preferences, challenges, and unique needs.
These insights will help you customize your content to directly address the specific concerns of your local community, positioning your law firm as a trusted authority.
Also consider including location-specific terms, landmarks, or even popular events to further emphasize your connection to the community.
Once you’ve got the research part sorted, you can move to create content. Craft engaging service pages, blog articles, FAQs, or even video content that addresses common legal concerns faced by your local community. Ensure your content provides valuable insights, educates your audience, and demonstrates your expertise.
By offering practical solutions and addressing local legal matters, you position your law firm as a go-to resource for residents seeking legal guidance.
Finding locally relevant keywords and creating quality content is the foundation of local law firm SEO strategy.
But that’s just the beginning.
Once you publish the content, you’ll need to optimize it for search. After all, you want your potential clients to discover your firm exists, right?
This is where ‘on-page’ or ‘on-site’ SEO can be beneficial.
On-page SEO essentially means optimizing the pages of your law firm website to ensure every aspect of the web page is taken care of.
These aspects have a direct and sometimes indirect correlation to how well your pages rank and how clients find you on the web.
Some of them include:
- Making sure keywords are generously distributed throughout the content.
- Including keywords in your title tags and meta descriptions.
- Compressing and optimizing image files.
- Including keywords in your alt image tags.
- A logical internal linking strategy.
- Implementing relevant schema markups.
And the list goes on…
On-page SEO is a crucial piece of the puzzle if you wish to rank, attract and convert viewers into leads and clients.
Don’t forget to read the detailed guide to on-page SEO for law firms if you want to learn more about it.
Google business profile
Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) is one of the most important components of local SEO for law firms.
The local pack is an exclusive list of 3-4 businesses that appears prominently at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) when users search for local services. By creating and optimizing your Google Business Profile, you unlock the opportunity to be featured in this highly coveted space.
This visibility not only increases brand exposure but also drives targeted traffic to your firm’s website and physical location.
Here are some tips for optimizing your GBP:
- Claim and Verify Your Listing
The first step in optimizing your Google My Business profile is to claim and verify your listing. This process ensures that you have control over the information displayed and allows you to access additional features and insights.
- Provide Accurate and Detailed Information
To maximize traction, it’s essential to provide accurate and detailed information about your law firm. Ensure that your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) are consistent with your website and other online directories.
- Optimize for Relevant Keywords
Keyword optimization plays a vital role in your Google My Business profile ranking higher in relevant searches. Identify keywords and phrases that potential clients may use when searching for legal services in your area. Incorporate these keywords naturally into your business name, description, and other relevant sections of your profile.
- Select Appropriate Categories
Choosing the right categories for your law firm is essential for targeting the right audience. Select primary and secondary categories that accurately reflect your areas of practice.
- Add High-Quality Images and Videos
Visual content is powerful in capturing the attention of potential clients. Include high-quality images and videos that showcase your law firm, attorneys, office space, and any other compelling visuals. These visuals not only make your profile more visually appealing but also provide a glimpse into your firm’s professionalism and environment.
- Encourage Client Reviews
Positive client reviews can significantly impact your law firm’s reputation and help with attracting new clients. Encourage satisfied clients to leave reviews on your Google My Business profile. Respond promptly and professionally to both positive and negative reviews to demonstrate your commitment to client satisfaction.
Local citations and link building
Local citations play a crucial role in building trust and authority for local law firms.
When your law firm’s information (name, address, phone number) is listed accurately and consistently across various online directories, search engines recognize the credibility of your business. This consistency enhances your local SEO rankings, making it easier for potential clients to find you.
It’s easy to make an account and update information about your business in directories like Yelp, Avvo, HG.org, etc. And even if you’re not listing your firm in numerous directories, it’s essential to list them on the more popular ones.
That’s because directories like Yelp and Avvo have a high domain authority score. And chances are, these major directories rank for a ton of different high CPC (cost-per-click) commercial keywords. You’d want to capitalize on that by adding your firm to them to make sure you get your services seen by more people.
Additionally building a few backlinks from local websites can help in your local law firm SEO efforts.
Link building within your local community establishes valuable connections and partnerships. Collaborating with other local businesses, legal associations, and community organizations can lead to mutually beneficial link opportunities.
These partnerships not only enhance your law firm’s SEO but also foster a sense of community, elevating your reputation as a trusted and engaged local legal service provider.
Some ways to build local backlinks include:
- Offering guest content or expert advice to local businesses
- Collaborate with professional associations locally
- Sponsor local events or community initiatives
Remember, when approaching local businesses for backlinks, it’s essential to establish genuine relationships, provide value, and demonstrate how the collaboration can benefit both parties.
By focusing on building meaningful connections and offering valuable content or support, you can increase your chances of securing backlinks from local businesses while strengthening your local presence.
What is local SEO for lawyers?
Local SEO for lawyers is the process of optimizing a law firm’s online presence to improve visibility and attract potential clients within a specific geographic area.
Can law firm local SEO get me more clients?
Yes, implementing effective local SEO strategies can significantly increase your law firm’s chances of attracting more leads & clients from your target local area.
Is local SEO for law firms worth it?
Absolutely! Investing in local SEO for your law firm is worthwhile because it helps in building reputation, authority, and visibility while getting your legal services in front of potential clients.