June 8th – June 14th, 2015
The main reason that your law firm has a website is to attract new clients. Small and mid-sized law firms get all of their clients from their local area, and so tailoring your search engine optimization towards local search is very important. Local search, along with mobile search, is the fastest changing area of SEO at the moment. Google’s focus on improving the service for local and mobile searches is being followed by similar improvements in other search engines. This means that you will need to revisit your local search SEO strategy regularly to make sure you are up to date with current trends. The three big SEO news sites, Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal and Search Engine Watch have some useful articles on local search this week. Take a look at our list of the most important local search news of the week to help you reassess your local search tactics and win clients for your practice.
Google My Business is one of the most important sites that you should register with in order to get your law firm a good profile in local searches. Google uses the information you enter in your Google My Business account to place your practice on Google Maps and also to rank in local searches. You should log into your account periodically and make sure the information about your law firm is accurate, otherwise Google may deactivate your listing and you will lose the benefits that a My Business profile brings to your local search rankings.
You should have a Google + account for your law firm in order to get noticed in local searches. Google + is Google’s answer to Facebook. Although the site hasn’t been a successful challenger to Facebook, it is an important channel for improving your rankings with Google. This article gives some basic advice on making sure you use your firm’s Google + profile effectively.
Some map sites and search engines offer an express inclusion service which will get your new site, or new pages listed a lot quicker. This article explains this system, but also provides alternative strategies to get an improved listing for free. On balance, the article doesn’t recommend paid inclusion services. If you are currently using paid inclusion for your law firm’s local search presence, consider the organic search techniques outlined in this article.
A landing page is the page that a visitor arrives at in your site when they follow a link from another site, or from a search engine. A doorway page is designed to direct people to another part of the website and doesn’t usually contain the information a searcher is looking for. Google is eager that the page a link leads to should contain the information the searcher was lead to expect when she clicked on that link, thus, they penalize sites with doorway pages. You can create several different pages for your law firm’s site to act as separate landing pages for different practice areas, or different locations. However, be careful not to copy the same information onto each page and make sure there is sufficient information on each page so Google doesn’t treat them as doorway pages.
Voice search, which Google calls “conversational search,” is a rapidly developing service that will particularly benefit mobile users. Google has added a location identifying feature to its voice search service which helps people search by tailoring answers to the location of the device making the inquiry. This article contains video examples of the location-aware feature. As more of the public start using voice search on their mobile devices, an accurate local search profile for your law firm will become essential.