What Is Local SEO?

Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a way to target your customers at a local level at the exact time they are looking for a legal professional online. A lot of it crosses over with standard SEO, but some of it differs greatly.

Let’s start by explaining what a local search result is. Local search results are more intent-driven, meaning someone is looking for your service. They are trying to find reviews, contact information, or just more information on what they need. A local search is something like “workers’ compensation lawyer in Rock Hill” or “Rock Hill workers’ compensation lawyer.”

When you do searches like this that Google considers local, they serve up different search results. Instead of a page on a website, videos, and/or photos, you get what we refer to as the local pack.

local seo

The difference with these results is you get the business name, address, phone, link to the website, and directions along with hours of operation and review rating.

These listings are fed by Google My Business. This is where a business manages its listing and provides all the details displayed as seen in the below image. Some of the other details input via the Google My Business dashboard are:

  • Business category
  • Services
  • Questions & Answers
  • Attributes (women led, LGBTQ friendly, handicap accessible, etc.)
  • Google Posts

How is local SEO different from standard SEO?

The big difference between the two and ranking is proximity. Local SEO rankings are greatly impacted by the following:

  • Proximity – How close your business is to the searcher?
  • Relevance – Is your service relevant to what the searcher is looking for?
  • Prominence – What are people saying about your services?

When it comes to the actual SEO work, these are the five areas we work on:

  1. Localization of your website – This is on-page optimization to make the content relevant to the city, county, or region.
  2. Citations – These are listings that consist of your firm name, address, and phone number at a minimum. These days, many include url and other information as well.
  3. Google My Business Listing – This should be the first listing you claim and optimize since it is what Google uses to display all the data about your business.
  4. Reviews – These help with prominence and show off what people are saying about your service, providing signals that your services can be trusted and are useful.
  5. Backlinks – Like standard SEO, backlinks still play a critical role in showing prominence. Local news, bloggers, associations, and events are all helpful for local rankings and prominence.

Why is local SEO important to your law firm in 2019?

Everything talked about so far ties back to consumer behavior. Here are some stats on current consumer behavior that help show why what we are talking about is so critical.

(Source: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/advertising-channels/search/how-advertisers-can-extend-their-relevance-with-search-download/ )

With all of the different parts of local optimization that have to be done correctly, such as establishing new profiles, eliminating duplicates, revising NAP (name, address, phone number) information on myriad platforms, and navigating the changing seas of Google and other search engines, it’s best to leave this technical work to the pros.

Over the last 20 years, Consultwebs has driven almost a million leads to our law firm clients through solid local SEO strategies. Our team can do most of the heavy lifting, clean up local profiles, and lead your SEO campaign in a direction that will help your law firm find more prospects and sign more cases. Contact us for more information or to request a proposal that can lay out all of the services that Consultwebs can provide.

About the Author

Tanner Jones frequently shares his insights on online marketing with the legal community. In addition to serving as a regular speaker at PILMMA and M&L conferences held throughout the country, he has spoken at the Attorney Breakfast Club (Miami-Dade Chapter and Broward County Chapter) and co-hosted webinars with Avvo, LawMarketing.com Editor-in-Chief Cindy Greenway and Raleigh attorney/PILMMA founder Ken Hardison.

He also has been featured numerous times in Lawyers Weekly newspapers as well as Attorney at Law Magazine. Tanner is regular contributor to the Consultwebs online legal marketing blog. A native of Waynesville, North Carolina, Tanner earned a degree in Business Management (with a minor in Economics) from Berea College in 2008.

He recently moved back to the mountains of North Carolina with his wife, daughter and son and enjoys camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, golfing and playing “any other competitive sport available” in his free time.

Learn more about Tanner Jones here.

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