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Local SEO Tips and Tricks for Lawyers

Local SEO Tips and Tricks for Lawyers Anna Johansson
Over the past few decades, marketing and law have become so intertwined that it’s often difficult for those outside the industry to understand where one starts and the other ends. And while you can spend hours debating whether firms should be able to do X, Y, and Z, the truth is that marketing and advertising will always remain an integral part of this industry – for better or worse.

It’s also true that as the internet progresses and technology evolves, so do the tools and resources you have at your disposal. Ultimately, that means it’s up to you to stay current with the trends and ensure you’re maximizing your resources and taking advantage of every tool and capability possible. In 2015, your attention needs to be on local SEO and search marketing.

Local SEO Tips and Tricks You Need

Tired of reading about irrelevant strategies and tips? Here’s some advice that directly pertains to lawyers and firms and can be implemented starting today:

  • Secure your Google My Business page. While the name has changed frequently (first called Google+ Local and then Google Places) the significance has not. You need a Google My Business page in order to be considered relevant to Google. This suite of tools allows you to update your business information, read reviews, add photos, use your Google+ profile, and more. You can sign up for free by simply visiting this page and following the easy step-by-step instructions.

  • Sign up for directories. Google essentially looks at everywhere your firm’s name and contact information is listed and gives you a point for each place they find. According to Douglas T. Kans of the Kans Law Firm, LLC., “That means you need to put your information in at least 15 to 20 of the top online business directories.” These include sites like Yahoo, SuperPages, Yelp, and YP.com.

  • Go after long tail keywords. This tip can’t be stressed enough. Nearly every lawyer and firm now has some sort of SEO strategy and it’s becoming too difficult to rank for basic keywords. Additionally, Google is beginning to reward semantic search and looks very closely at niche terms. Instead of using a keyword like “Pennsylvania lawyer,” narrow your aim by going after something like “best Philadelphia personal injury lawyer.”

  • Be mobile-friendly. Did you know the average smartphone user spends more than 15 hours per week doing research on their device? In most cases, they’re performing local searches. That fact, combined with Google’s most recent announcement regarding the need to have a mobile-friendly website, means it’s more important than ever to cater your SEO and internet marketing efforts towards mobile users. This helpful tool from Google can show you whether or not your website meets the new criteria. If it doesn’t, you have until April 21 to get things fixed before you’re penalized or dropped in the rankings.

  • Ask for reviews. There’s only so much you can do on your own. If you really want to move up in the rankings, you’re going to need the help of your clients. Ask them to leave reviews on Google. All signs indicate that Google takes reviews seriously and this is a great way to move in front of your competitors. Do understand, though, that you cannot force clients to leave a review, or else you could be penalized.

Putting Everything Together

In the end, it all comes down to how well you’re able to follow the rules. While Google and the other major search engines aren’t super specific with how their algorithms work, they do frequently release information regarding what you should and shouldn’t do. And as we enter the heart of 2015, one thing is clear: local SEO matters.

Anna is a freelance writer and researcher from the Olympia, WA area who loves to obsess about weird topics and then write about them. When she isn't writing, she is outside on her bike and contemplating her eventual trip to graduate school.

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