If your law firm isn’t showing up in local search results, you’re losing clients. Understanding the factors that influence local search results can help you implement a strategy that will skyrocket your law firm’s visibility.
1. Your Google Business Profile
When you search for a criminal defense attorney in Austin, Texas, you may notice that the first few results are Google business profiles. That’s because Google uses information from these profiles to determine which local businesses will appear at the top of search results.
Having a fully optimized listing is essential if you want to improve your law firm’s visibility in local search. How do you do that?
Step 1: Claim Your Listing
If you haven’t already, you’ll need to claim your listing on Google My Business. This is the first step in creating an optimized local search profile for your law firm.
Step 2: Fill Out Your Profile
When creating your listing, it’s essential to provide as much business information as you can about your law firm and to make sure that information is accurate. This should include:
- Phone number
- Website URL
- Hours of operation
Potential clients who are searching for local attorneys are often seeking some or all of this information. If you don’t have it and your competitor does, they are more likely to be ranking in local search results and getting those clicks.
Step 3: Choose Your Categories
When choosing categories for your Google listing, it’s important to pick one that accurately reflects the primary service or product your business provides.
As you select secondary categories, make sure they remain relevant and specific to your services. If you choose categories that are too broad or not closely related, it can have a negative effect on both your rankings and conversion rates.
To ensure your listing remains up-to-date with any changes in Google’s categorization system, make sure to review it a few times a year. This will help maximize visibility for local search queries and attract more potential clients.
Step 4: Ask For Reviews
Google reviews are becoming increasingly important for businesses looking to rank in local search results. Reviews serve as an effective way for businesses to increase their visibility and establish trustworthiness.
Google has also confirmed that reviews are now playing an important role in its local search ranking algorithm, meaning law firms without reviews may fail to appear at the top of the list when clients search for their services. For any law firm looking to drive more organic traffic through local searches, investing time and effort into securing Google reviews should be one of the first steps.
2. On Page Content & Keyword Relevance
Another of the key factors that influence local search results is website optimization. In addition to having an optimized listing, your law firm’s website should contain specific geo-targeted keywords and quality content that is relevant to local search. This not only helps your ranking in local search results but also provides potential clients with valuable information about the services you provide.
Here’s a few tips to help this along:
Using keywords correctly on your website is essential for ranking in search results. Before you can use keywords properly, you need to know what phrases potential clients are using to find the services you provide.
Keyword research tools such as Google Keyword Planner can help you determine the keywords and phrases people are using when searching for an attorney in your practice area in your region.
Use these keywords throughout your text, both in titles and in body copy, as this will help search engines understand what your content is about.
When incorporating these keywords into your site’s content, make sure that they appear naturally within the text and don’t feel forced or artificial. Include synonyms and related phrases where appropriate to add further semantic richness to your content.
Add Geo-Modifiers to Your Keywords
For ranking in local searches, it’s important to use geo-modified terms that incorporate both the area you’re targeting and the services you offer. That simply means adding the relevant locations to your keywords — for example, “divorce attorneys in Chicago” or “DUI lawyers in NYC.”
These terms should appear naturally within your text, as they are what potential clients will be typing into search engines when looking for an attorney.
Creating Quality Content
When creating content for your website, make sure it is relevant, helpful and informative. Content should be well-written with accurate information.
Make sure to keep content up-to-date and regularly review it for accuracy. Additionally, adding images, videos or infographics can help enhance your website’s visibility in search results.
Make Your NAP Prominent
In the local search marketing world, NAP refers to name, address, and phone number. It’s important to include all of this information on your website in a prominent location so potential clients can easily find it.
This is especially important if you have multiple offices or locations. If this is the case, we recommend having a page dedicated to each office that contains its contact information.
It is also important to make sure your NAP information on your website matches the details listed in local business directories and review sites like Google My Business. Inconsistent NAP information across different sources can hurt your local search ranking, so consistency is key.
3. Quality Backlinks
Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your website. These links play a crucial role in ranking your website in local search results by helping to build your website’s domain and page authority.
Backlinks from reputable and relevant websites indicate to search engines that your website is trustworthy and valuable, which can result in higher search engine rankings. Additionally, both users and search engine crawlers follow links from external sites to your page, which can increase your discoverability.
To build backlinks, the best strategy is to create high-quality, relevant content that people find shareable. This can be in the form of blog posts, videos, infographics, etc
4. Proximity to Searcher
Proximity, or how close a business is to the searcher’s location, is another of the key factors that influence local search results. When all other factors are equal, businesses closer to the searcher are more likely to appear higher in the search results.
Unfortunately, there is not much a law firm can do to change their proximity to a potential client who is conducting a search for a lawyer. However, you can take all of the steps mentioned above to help ensure that Google accurately understands where your law firm is located.
5. User Experience (UX)
User experience is another of the important factors that influence local search results. When a user conducts a search, they want to quickly and easily find the most relevant and useful information that meets their needs. Therefore, search engines prioritize websites that offer a positive user experience.
Here are some ways user experience can impact local search results:
Page Experience Signals
Google uses a set of signals to measure how users perceive their experience with a web page. This includes factors such as:
- Page loading speed
- Safe browsing
Websites that offer a good page experience are more likely to rank higher in local search results.
If a user clicks on a website in the search results and quickly returns to the search engine, it could indicate that they had a negative experience with the website. This type of behavior can impact the website’s ranking in future searches.
Improving User Experience
To improve the experience for visitors to your website, make sure that your site design is mobile responsive. Have clear calls-to-action (CTAs), and take steps to minimize page load time. Additionally, make sure that the content and navigation of your website is easy to understand and use.
Need Help Leveraging the Factors That Influence Local Search Results to Improve Your Visibility?
These are just some of the factors that influence local search results, but hopefully this gives you an idea of what goes into improving your law firm’s ranking in local search results.
If this sounds like a lot of work, don’t worry. You don’t have to do it all yourself. At Thunderhead Marketing, we help law firms across the United States take the guesswork out of improving local search visibility. Contact us today to find out how we can help you get the results you want faster.