Everyone tells you to get local SEO signals into your law firm’s website. You are probably going to get nearly all of your business from your local area, and it is annoying to check your rankings only to find that companies that aren’t even in your district rank better than you for legal services in your neighborhood. Part of the problem with acing local search is that it is a moving goalpost. Local search is one of Oracle’s chief occupations at the moment and they keep adjusting their formulas. You may find that you used to do well in local search, but now you have dropped out of contention for those valuable top slots on Google’s results pages. You may have missed a tip on changes in the rules, resulting in your local rankings sliding.
The Moz Blog has two very strong guides on the changing face of local SEO this week. Search Engine Journal and Search Engine Land also have some useful advice on putting together a local SEO strategy.
Here is the first of the Moz Blog’s two guides on local SEO. It was written by a consultant in local SEO and he has a useful starting point for creating a local search strategy. He walks through his own experience looking for a plumber. Although legal professionals tend to use legal-ese and insider jargon, if you can think like a client and imagine you are searching for your services, you can implement this method. If you can’t de-legal your thought processes, ask a friend or relative who is outside of the legal profession to do it for you and note down the steps. This article has a long comments thread on it. The majority of correspondents think that signals such as reviews and local community events are the best way to go in order to get ahead of all the other law firms in your neighborhood.
This is the second of Moz’s articles on local SEO this week. It highlights how Google has advanced its local SEO strategy over the past year. If you used to do well in local SEO, but have lost that edge, this rundown of the changes could show you how you need to adjust your law firm’s SEO strategy. Even if you are just beginning in local SEO, this review is a good pointer to recent changes. Whenever you read a piece of advice on local SEO, check the date of the article because the tips it gives may already be out of date.
Although this article is phrased to address SEO consultants, you are not barred from reading it. It contains some good ideas on how to get content for your site. You can’t really let non-legal staff post legal advice on your website. You legal team needs to crack on with doing some casework rather than filling up the website with content. However, there is plenty of content that you could get your admin staff to supply, such as facilities in the building, a wider description of each practice area, forms that need to be filled out for various legal application processes, and so on. This article has a useful list of content that you can get other people to write for you without compromising your legal integrity.
Although you are passionate about the law and your area of expertise, you may worry that the average Joe or Josephine will find your interests crushingly boring. What do you do when you need to write something exciting? Unfortunately, a lot of people try to pack out their pages with filler rather than just trying to find something interesting to write about. Don’t waffle. This article has a few examples of keyword stuffing. You may have been told that this is a winning strategy. However, it isn’t – Google changed the rules to make that practice obsolete. Remember, people are actually going to read your website. Your content isn’t just there to amuse the Googlebots.
Local SEO is a headache for multi-site practices. Lawyers in rural areas particularly need to appeal to potential customers in several small towns. You might have a small office in each of three or four locations just to catch enough business to pay the mortgage. Local SEO really doesn’t work in these situations. Well, here’s some news – it does. You just need to customize the text on your site for each location and this article has some good ideas on how to do this. Testimonials from customers in each location are particularly good for local SEO rankings.