Local SEO for solicitors connects potential clients with your law firm when they are looking for legal advice within their geographic area.
When people look for legal advice, there’s a good chance they’ll head to Google and enter something like “solicitors near me” or “solicitors in [insert your town]”.
To get the most awareness and engagement for your law firm in your local area, we’re going to optimise your Google My Business account, use schema mark up on your website and get some local links.
Do clients prefer “local” law firms?
A recent survey found that over 60% of shoppers prefer to support local businesses.
That includes local law firms. The global pandemic has most likely only strengthened that belief, as businesses struggle to stay afloat amidst lockdowns and cuts.
An accenture survey last year talks about the acceleration of the “buy local” attitude.
Small and medium-sized law firms can appeal to local clients through:
- Being more personable than multinational firms
- Providing better customer service - for example allowing clients to speak directly to a solicitor.
- And they may even sound a bit more like you!
And of course “solicitors near me” and even more specifically “[insert service] solicitors near me” for example “personal injury solicitors near me”.
With many people having location or GPS on their smartphone, Google is able to detect the location and provide localised search results.
When someone makes a local search in Google, you need to:
- Make sure they see you.
- Make sure you are relevant.
- Make it easy for them to find your information and make contact.
Use Google My Business
Create and optimize your GMB profile to get into the "3-Pack" and be easy to find on Google Maps. Google uses all stored information for ranking in local searches. The more information you provide, the better.
Go to Google My Business.
You can add your company and if there is already an account set up, you’ll be notified and asked to claim it.
Make sure you add all contact details; company name, full address, and a primary category.
Fill in the name, address, post code, city, telephone number.
Next, make sure you fill in the primary category which will usually be “law firm” however if your firm focuses on a specific service, it’s a good idea to be specific here, for example “divorce lawyer”.
From the dashboard of your Google My Business profile you can also add a concise description of your law firm and any relevant images. Images include photos of staff, logos and even your office and location. These are all things that will make potential clients want to engage with you from a search engine results page.
That's right, a small number of people find themselves using Bing as opposed to Google, so it's worth setting your business up on Bing places.
Luckily, you can easily import your Google my business listing across to Bing places. You also have the option of synchronizing Bing Places with Google My Business to keep both services running synchronously over the long term.
Go to bingplaces.com and choose "Import from Google My Business," then follow the instructions.
Users have the opportunity to rate your business on your "Google My Business" page.
Reviews are essential information for your company, for searchers and for Google.
It shows the searcher how other users liked something. For searchers, ratings have a very great influence on whether to click or not.
From the home section of your google my business page, you’ll see an option to ”get more reviews”. From here you can get a link that you can email to your existing clients and encourage them to share their feedback.
Top tip: be sure to send the feedback-request email at the time when clients are happiest with you, e.g. as soon as you have settled a case for them or delivered some good news.
Reviews are some of the contributing factors to how Google decides on which profiles to show when a user makes a search.
A key factor is what Google calls "Prominence". And they have this to say;
Prominence refers to how well known a business is. Some places are more prominent in the offline world, and search results try to reflect this in local ranking. For example, famous museums, landmark hotels, or well-known store brands are also likely to be prominent in local search results.
Prominence is also based on information that Google has about a business, from across the web, like links, articles, and directories. Google review count and review score factor into local search ranking. More reviews and positive ratings can improve your business’ local ranking. Your position in web results is also a factor, so search engine optimization (SEO) best practices apply.
Help Search Engines Understand Your Website Content
Your law firm's website also plays a pivotal role in local SEO.
Structured data allows search engines to interpret the content of your website better and display it differently. Google has been showing rich snippets in search results since 2009, and other search engines such as Bing or Yandex have also been able to interpret the schema.org markup language used for this since 2011.
Create schema markup for your legal website
This is a very simple way of enhancing your search appearance by providing Google with relevant information about your law firm's location, services and contact details.
You can find details on how to create schema markup here.
List your Law Firm in Local Directories
Business hours, phone numbers, and addresses are still the most sought-after information on the Internet. Consumers use search engines such as Google or Bing for this often location-related or company-related search.
The search engines also display directory entries in a variety of local business directories. Local companies often have the opportunity to register their company there free of charge.
To improve your local brand visibility online, add business details to business directories in your area, including:
Directories also appear in search results on Google (see above). This is another chance to drive traffic to your website from local searches.
Location Specific Web Pages
To accommodate local searches, you can optimise your website for location by town or region.
To do this you can look at 5 areas:
- The web page's URL
- The web page's H1 (the main title on the page)
- The web page's meta data
- On page copy
- Internal links
So if your website is trying to rank in Google for "employment solicitors in Liverpool"
- Your URL for this service is [yourwebsite.com/employment-solicitors-Liverpool
- Your web page's title can be "Employment solicitors in Liverpool"
- Your meta title (the title Google shows in the search results) is something like "Employment solicitors in Liverpool. Over 150 Clients Helped This Year"
- Your on page copy should make clear that you are indeed based in Liverpool and can help people with their employment law issue.
- From other relevant pages on your website you can link using the EXACT anchor text. For example your homepage may have a link on it that is called "Employment solicitors in Liverpool" and this links to your employment page.
If you need advice on how to get the most from local SEO for your law firm. Get in touch here.