You Need to be Doing THIS for Local SEO
Join our host, Toby Rosen, to learn the critical elements of local SEO for law firms, and the thing you NEED to be doing to improve your rankings.
For more, visit https://rosenadvertising.com
(gentle music) You need to be doing this for local SEO. Welcome back to Legal Marketing 101. I'm Toby Rosen. I hope you liked our bonus episode on Friday. Again, if anyone has any questions about our child support calculator, please don't hesitate to reach out and I'll do my best to answer your questions. As I'm sure you already know, local SEO or search engine optimization is the process of optimizing your website and online presence to rank higher in local search results. The site we're really targeting to have a better ranking on here is Google, but you'll probably be familiar with sites like Yelp, AVVO, Nextdoor, and plenty of others. The list of local listing sites is really not short. When it comes to law firms, having a strong local SEO strategy can be the difference between getting a steady stream of new clients and struggling to stay afloat. It's often a lot of factors, but in some cases it does boil down to that. We're long past the days of Yellow Pages, and despite the fact that their website somehow seems to still be around, the landscape for local advertising has expanded to a dizzying size overall. First, what are the benefits of local SEO for law firms? Why are we going to spend so much time on this? Well, the first and most obvious benefit, and you should know this, is increased visibility on local search results. This means showing up closer to or sometimes in the first position both on searches for a lawyer in your local area and searches on Google Maps. It's also a good safety net for brand searches to have these profiles really complete. When someone is in your area searching for a lawyer, you want your firm to be the first thing they see. And if they're searching for you, You really want them to be the first thing they see. But it's not just about visibility. Local SEO helps to establish trust and credibility with potential clients. We've talked about UGC, we've talked about reviews. And when your firm appears at the top of the search results with good content, it sends this message that you're a reputable and trustworthy business and that you've probably got the best interests of clients at heart. We're gonna get into our reviews again in a moment And we've talked a lot about reviews and testimonials and UGC in the last few weeks, but that's also a really critical part of establishing your firm's reputation at this stage. So how can you improve your firm's local rankings? What can we actually do? Let's start with the basics. Consistent NAP information. You may hear this in local SEO articles, you may hear this from local SEO people, but NAP stands for name, address, and phone number. And having consistent and accurate NAP information across all of your online profiles is probably the most critical thing for success in local SEO. You have to make sure your NAP information is up to date and consistent across all of your online profiles, including your website, your Google My Business listing, your Facebook, your LinkedIn, and any other directories or review sites your firm is listed on. There are hundreds of listing sites out there, both for businesses and for lawyers specifically themselves. So enlisting a professional to do a complete audit of your profiles and maybe an update is usually wise. This is because inconsistency is in your nap information can hurt your rankings drastically. So it's really, really, really, is that three really, really, that's five important to stay on top of this, you have to make sure you're consistent. You can get your rankings dinged for having multiple different phone numbers, different versions of your address or even a different version of your name, an LLC versus an LLP, could hurt your rankings. Next, the big thing that we need to do after having our NAP information consistent is make sure you have complete profiles in as many listings as possible. Not just the name, address, and phone number, but this means filling out all of the relevant information on your Google My Business listing, everything from your web address to the categories to what kind of payments you take and if your office is accessible. And doing the same on any other directories or review sites your firm is listed on. And again, there are a ton of these. So it's important to make sure you're using a system, using a spreadsheet or another product to make sure you review and go through everything. You don't want to just fill out your GMB profile, your Facebook, your LinkedIn and then just move on. Remember, the internet is a really, really, only due to big place. Having complete profiles not only helps to improve your rankings, but it also provides potential clients with really valuable information about your firm, such as your hours of operation, your services offered, your contact information. When we're doing this local SEO stuff, we're not just pleasing Google. We're also potentially generating clients. That's a big double win. But again, don't just stop at Google My Business. There are hundreds if not thousands of these directories and review sites where you can list your firm. The more listings you have, the better your chances of ranking highly in the local search results and actually generating clients from those listings. Google really likes to see lots of this consistent NAP info and they like to see complete profiles. And it's a pretty inexpensive way to expand your firm's profile to just go through and complete more listings. If you're feeling overwhelmed though at this point by the prospect of managing all these listings, don't worry. There are a lot of services out there like our own service for cleanup that can help you do this cleanup and help you expand your listings and really push your rankings. And there are services like Moz or Bright Local that will help with long-term maintenance and reduce costs should things like your phone number or address change. If you've had a company come in and do a thousand listings for you, changing all of those listings is going to be costly. So you want to have a lot, but you want to understand what you're managing in the future. Changing gears completely though over to the website. Another really key strategy for improving your local rankings and for resonating with clients in your local area is to focus on local content. So whether you have one office or a bunch of of satellite offices, this means creating content that's specifically tailored to the local audience, whether that's for the main office or for your satellite offices. This can be things like blog posts and articles about local legal issues or events in your area or even legal oddities that are specific to the users that are going to be contacting the firm or going to a particular office. A lot of law firms also do this by creating a swath of local focused contact pages that give office information and more detail about the services provided there or maybe even who works there. And while this is a really pretty much entirely valid strategy, it's just not my favorite. It doesn't add a huge amount of value in most cases, but it's not an issue. Personally though, I'm partial to creating geographic area specific evergreen content like things legal oddities for a specific office's area or something about the courts but my strategy is not the end all be all. There's a lot of ways to do this. Local content doesn't only just help improve your rankings, but it also helps establish your firm as a local authority. Like with creating all these listings, we're hitting two birds with one stone in all these cases. It helps attract clients who are looking for a lawyer in your specific area, and for a lot of clients, the fact that you have a local office, it's a big one. It's a deciding factor for them. want to travel for. Finally, though, moving on to the last thing, and again, we've talked about this a lot, you can't forget about reviews. Reviews are a critical component of local SEO as they provide social proof of your firm's quality and can help to improve your rankings. Google, even for some of their new services, requires a minimum number of rankings. I've talked about this so much in the last couple of weeks, I won't belabor the point, but reviews Reviews are probably the number one thing you can do to improve your local rankings, and you absolutely, positively, 100% need to be improving your review collection systems, whether that's something you're doing in-house or using a third-party software. Even if you've got hundreds and hundreds of reviews, you can do better. I'm certain of it. And someone out there is going to try and beat you. If it's not me, it's going to be somebody who competes with me. So you have to keep encouraging your clients to leave reviews on your Google My Business listing and on other review sites as well, Facebook, Yelp, AVVO. All of these can have good reviews, and you can repurpose those reviews as long as you're not reposting those reviews. Clients though have a little more leeway and you'll need to check the guidelines for the service you're working with. It's also important to respond to reviews, both positive and negative in a timely and professional manner. You don't want to see a review that has a negative review that has a response a month later. That shows a big problem. You want to do it quickly. And like we've talked about with reviews, use the feedback to improve your firm's services which will in turn improve your reviews and your reputation. So wrapping things up, local SEO is one of the most critical components of any law firm's marketing strategy. We've talked about why reviews are important. talked about why ranking well in SEO is important and local SEO is really one of the biggest things that I spend time on these days. I'm sure you're all fully convinced of that by now and if you're not, look out for some more local SEO reviews and some more content like that coming soon. That's it for Legal Marketing 101. Check out rosenavertising.com for more. Thanks.[MUSIC PLAYING][Music]