Law firms essentially work on a local level and rarely expand beyond that. If you’re based in Canada, you won’t find yourself working on a case from, say, Australia. Even going closer, if you’re based in Calgary, you’re probably not going to work on a case in Toronto.
Aside from the fact that laws differ across jurisdictions, there are also a lot of other lawyers and firms that could take on these cases in certain areas. You wouldn’t want to work on something that’s outside your scope either, would you?
And this is exactly why you should invest in local search engine optimization (SEO) for your own law firm. The main goal of local SEO is to get your business on the radar of your target audience—the people in your area who are most likely to avail of your services at some point.
Here’s a guide to local SEO for law firms. Let it help you identify the best practices and tips you can use to grow your business.
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Local SEO Basics
Local SEO means optimizing your website so that it appears at the top of local search engine results pages (SERPs).
There are many ways to do this. One is by looking up keywords that are relevant to your business. You’re looking for the words that people usually search for to find services similar to the ones you provide.
You can then write articles and incorporate these keywords in your title, description, body, URL, and even photo tags. This helps you rank higher in SERPs and therefore boost your law firm’s reach.
You can also make use of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. With this, you can “pay” for relevant keywords so that when people search them up, you’ll appear at the top results with the “Ad” tag you usually see on Google. This helps a lot with lead generation for your site, which is one of the biggest benefits of local SEO for law firms or any other business.
Speaking of Google, one of the easiest and most effective ways to get your business on the radar is by setting up your own Google My Business (GMB) profile. This establishes the reputation of your business and makes it easier for people to find your services.
Local SEO, when done right, can direct a lot of high-quality traffic to your site so that the only thing you’ll need to focus on is converting these leads into paying customers or clients. If you want to know more about SEO for law firms, check out this article.
Google My Business Profiles
As mentioned above, it’s important to set up a GMB account for your business. It not only puts your business on the map but also makes you more “legit” in the eyes of Google and your target audience.
You might have heard about Google’s Map Pack (sometimes also referred to as Local Pack or 3-Pack). It’s the thing you see at the top of SERPs that shows a map and three businesses that are relevant to the search keyword.
Now, if you want your business to be visible to the locals, it’s a must to rank for the Map Pack. Of course, it’s still important to tap into local SEO to help you rank high in SERPs. But appearing on Google’s Map Pack instantly boosts your reach.
A great starting point is to complete your GMB profile. That means you have to input your business name, address, and phone number (NAP). It also helps if your NAP is uniform across different sites or platforms so that it’s easier for Google to recognize.
Also, add a concise description of your business. Make sure it’s clear to your potential clients what services you offer. Think about how you can naturally incorporate in your description the keywords you’re trying to rank for.
It could also be helpful to add high-quality photos and videos that highlight the services that your business provides. In this way, you can control what people see first when they click on your GMB listing.
But you shouldn’t stop there. Movin on to more technical aspects, it’s also important to select 1 to 2 categories that your business falls in. This helps determine the keywords that your business can rank for.
It would also help if you add your services and products to your GMB profile to make it easier for Google to identify what you’re offering or selling. And as a result, you’ll get higher-quality leads for your business.
Lastly, it’s often overlooked, but reviews also play a huge part in establishing your business’ reputation. The higher your Google ratings, the more likely people are to buy your products or avail of your services. Creating a system where you ask for reviews from your clients on a regular basis will help you soar through local rankings, as most law firms neglect the importance of online reviews.
Why Reviews are Important for Local SEO
Don’t be afraid to ask your clients to leave a review on Google. As long as they have a good experience working with you, they’ll most likely be willing to do so. You just have to give them a little nudge to actually leave a good review.
If, however, your client is dissatisfied with your services, they’ll more likely come to Google on their own and leave a bad review for your business. Don’t worry, though. Bad reviews aren’t the end of the world for you.
Get ahead and do some damage control by replying to these negative reviews. In this way, you can also explain your side so that people won’t misunderstand. And if you did, in fact, make a mistake, sincerely apologize for it and offer to make a compensation.
Replying to reviews also works for positive ones. Thank your client and state how much you loved working with them. Your responsiveness to things like these will help improve your reputation and reliability.
Showing people that you’re there and that you care enough to respond to these reviews positively impacts your business. Google also appreciates these efforts and is more likely to reward you with a higher ranking because of it.
Hiring SEO Experts
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Local SEO may sound simple. And in some ways, it is. But coming up with strategies that work for your business may not be a piece of cake. If you find yourself stuck in this matter, try hiring an SEO expert to help you out.
A digital marketing company like Go Top Shelf offers SEO services for law firms in Canada. They will be able to come up with tailored marketing strategies that help your business achieve maximum growth.
But before you get started on your SEO journey, let’s refresh your memory with the basic concepts we covered in this article:
- Local SEO can be done by looking up relevant keywords and using them to create content for your site.
- PPC advertising is also a great strategy if you want to generate more leads for your business. It yields immediate results and allows you to set your own budget which you can adjust as you wish.
- Setting up a GMB profile helps you in more ways than one. It helps you rank in Google’s Map Pack which boosts your reach by a lot. It also makes your business seem more “legit.”
- Good reviews can benefit you while bad reviews can harm you. But you can lessen the negative impact of bad reviews by replying to them and explaining your side or apologizing. Responding to good reviews also shows people that you care and therefore helps you establish a good reputation.