August 24th – August 30th, 2015
Finding a local audience for your site posts is an essential starting point for your law firm’s marketing funnel. You need to get people to look at your website in order to get a shot of converting those visitors to clients for your practice. However, you shouldn’t prioritize traffic volume as a goal. You can get a lot of visitors to your site and get no clients if those visitors are not the right visitors. Targeting the people who live in your neighborhood is an important strategy when attracting people to your site, because most of your clients are going to come from within driving distance. The Moz Blog, Search Engine Watch, Search Engine Land and Search Engine Journal all have useful tips this week on how to get a local audience for your site.
This Search Engine Watch article highlights the importance of getting into the “Local Pack,” which Google places at the top of its search results. The Local Pack focuses on a map with the locations of relevant businesses in the area the searcher is looking for. The importance of getting into that group got even greater recently when Google reduced its membership from seven listings to three. Getting in the top three entries on search engine results is a key factor in your law firm’s local SEO strategy. Google has also introduced a new local AdWord format which mimics the Local Pack layout and has more features, including driving directions.
Eerily, Barry Schwartz posted a very similar article over at Search Engine Land this week. His angle is slightly different and he writes about a recent study by seoClarity. The report explains that being in the Local Pack also boosts your rankings in the organic search results. Before the Local Pack was reduced from seven to three, the top Local Pack entry came top of organic search 25 per cent of the time. Now that top Local Pack page gets the top organic position 93 per cent of the time. So, not getting into the Local Pack will really hammer your visibility. Not only do you have the Local Pack box and the local AdWords group ahead of you, but you will also place behind the Local Pack jocks in the organic search pit. Although, as explained in the first article this week, people don’t trust paid entries, if you can’t get into the Local Pack, maybe you should consider paying for a local AdWord entry for your law firm. The new format is difficult to distinguish from the Local Pack and includes direction and location information that may improve the negative impression of paid search.
Although this article is not specifically about local marketing, it is included in this list, because it offers a great idea about how to piggyback onto local issues and enter the mindset of potential clients for your law firm. You could analyze your data on past clients and the profile of a typical subject in each of your practice areas to tailor your content towards different mindsets. Once you identify those mindsets, look for local groups and campaigns that would attract people that fit into each mindset. You could then write content for your site tailored to each group and contact each group either by newsletter, or by direct involvement, to get their members aware of your alignment.
Review sites are an important source of backlinks for your law firm’s site. This report explains that the importance of good reviews is heightened for audiences looking for local services. A peculiarity of SEO is that you don’t really need to worry about the ratings you get on review sites in order to boost your rankings on Google. In this instance, quantity is more important than quality because Google automatically assigns a quality ranking boost to all links coming from review sites without reading the reviews. However, the score that reviewers award your law firm’s services counts for getting click-throughs from the reviews and for sales conversion.
Directories offer a great source of backlinks, but not all directories are equal in local search. This report offers some very good advice for a source of local directory listings, which is often overlooked. Many directories go through the phone book, or download other directories and post partial entries for businesses even though those businesses haven’t registered with them. If you do a search for your business, you may find an entry from one of these directories ranks highly. You obviously need to register with those high ranking directories so that you can complete your law firm’s entries in them.