When a prospective client searches attorney do you appear in Google’s first 3-5 listings? Searches like Sacramento disability attorney, Houston DWI lawyer, Atlanta injury attorney, and Charleston criminal lawyer are obviously conducted by prime prospects who you want to get in front of.
If you are not ranking well for those searches, here are some simple and some more technical tips for improving your Google page position.
1. Place your physical address and phone number on every web page.
This simple step reinforces your location to the search engines. If you have multiple law offices, you should at minimum have one page that lists all locations. Better, create a page for each location.
2. Claim your profiles.
Dozens of yellow-page style directly sites let you provide your business information at no charge. These sites rank well and get lots of traffic. You should be on as many as possible, and the directory information you provide each of these sites must be identical. A few to begin with are Google Local Business Center, Yahoo Local, and Merchant Circle.
A BIT HARDER
3. Check your page titles.
The page title (aka title tag) is the phrase that appears at the top of your web browser when you are on a page. This same phrase appears in Google’s blue linking language. Each of your page titles should contain a targeted search phrase (e.g., Charleston criminal lawyer). This target local phrase should be at the beginning of the page title. No two of your pages should have the same title.
4. Include this same phrase in the page text.
Make sure that your targeted search phrase (Charleston criminal lawyer) also appears in the headline, first paragraph, and last paragraph of the text contained on the page with your targeted local search phrase in the title.
5. Internally link to the optimized pages.
You can’t rank well for all of your web pages, so pick a few pages containing your most desirable local search phrases and link to those pages.
TAKES SOME TIME
6. Create a video or two.
These can be simple and inexpensive explainer videos using storyboards or talking head videos with high production values. What is important from a search perspective is that your post your videos on multiple sites (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.), using your targeted search phrases as keywords. Link to your website from your video site profile, and link back to the video using the targeted local search phrase in the anchor text (the linked words).
7. Add a blog and write regularly.
You don’t have to provide brilliant copy on every blog post, but you should periodically include you targeted local search phrases. Every blog post has a chance of ranking well, so you can see how writing regular posts can greatly increase your visibility.
8. Clean up technical problems.
Google Webmaster Tools will identify problems for you, but it will take some technical expertise to fix them.
9. Obtain inbound links.
This step is critically important to your search engine ranking. To be most effective, the links must contain your targeted local search phrases in the anchor text, come from relevant sites with good page ranks, and be added gradually. A reputable agency which owns or controls a large number of lawyer websites can provide this service for you.
Ranking well for several local lawyer search phrases is not hard–unless you are in a highly competitive market (e.g., Los Angeles DUI lawyer). But ranking well does require a fair amount of upfront work, regularly ongoing effort, some expertise, and a network of relevant lawyer sites.
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