The importance of local search rankings can no longer be ignored by lawyers. In fact, local search rankings are contributing to a generous increase in businesses for savvy attorneys. Being found on the first page of search results for “Lawyer [insert your city here]” is the difference between landing that new client or not. Honestly, when was the last time you Googled a restaurant or business and clicked to the third or fourth page of results? Plus, with business review sites like Yelp and other aggregators having a strong grip on the organic listings, it’s become harder for lawyers to gain this position without a substantial budget allocation.
Speaking at this year’s Lawyernomics conference, Nifty Marketing founder Mike Ramsey covered five options in a local search toolkit that attorneys can use to drive local search traffic and funnel potential clients into your door.
Facebook has inevitably cornered the market on social networking, and, with 1.44 billion monthly active users, they’re sitting on a ton of data about your potential clients—data that can be used to mine valuable insight about your target market (and demographic info for targeting). Use Facebook’s Audience Insights interface to enter the data points you already know about your clients to identify traits that exist in potential clients, and use those insights to drive the content and targeting you employ in your local search campaigns. (And while you’re here building your audience, why not launch some targeted Facebook ads?)
Moz Local is a specialized tool that allows you to enter your location information once and have it automatically submitted it to all the local aggregators and directories in your area. This inexpensive tool ($84 a year.) takes the leg work out of setting up your local listing for organic traffic. This will also ensure consistency of your information across multiple directories, which factors in to how Google calculates your ranking.
Bright Local (it’s not just a clever name) offers a suite of tools aimed at optimizing local search rankings, specifically. Using these tools, legal marketers are able to easily check their local search rank, evaluate your local SEO, optimize your Google+ page (you have one of those, right?), build local SEO citations, and make it easy for clients to leave you reviews (which factor heavily into local search rankings.)
Still not sure what kind of content resonates with your target clients? By using BuzzSumo, you’ll be able to get a clearer idea of the content around a particular topic and how frequently it’s being shared on social networks (such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+). Quickly identify content that’s performing well with your audience or niche, or see what competitor content is performing well for you to position yourself against.
Siteliner is a fantastic (and free) tool you can use to perform an SEO audit on your website (up to 250 individual pages—hopefully your site isn’t much larger than that). Siteliner will comb your site for Google no-nos like broken links, duplicate content, as well as inbound and outbound links, helping you to build a local search powerhouse.
Local search optimization should be a cornerstone of your law firm’s digital marketing. By utilizing the five tools above as part of your strategy, you’ll be able to capitalize on local search traffic and reap the benefits.
Where to go from here? Catch up on Five Essential SEO Tips for Lawyers, to really engage all potential customers, and reach your potential, or learn how to optimize your Social Media presence in a free, on-demand webinar today.