The American legal domain is brimming with competition, regardless of the location. If you plan to start a law firm, be ready to face stiff competition. That goes for established firms, too, because new entrants can give you a tough time. In this industry, local clients matter the most as they often search for a lawyer who knows the state laws and is convenient to connect with.
According to 2023 statistics, there are nearly 449,633 law firms in the US. That means there will probably be hundreds of them to compete with, wherever you are in the country. The best way to stand apart is to build a robust online presence. An impressive website gives you a good start, and a well-executed SEO plan takes your firm a step ahead.
A 2020 survey report by the American Bar Association states that 87% of law firms have a website, which makes the online landscape equally competitive. Local SEO can be a game-changer when it comes to building a client base for your business. It is much like displaying a large billboard on digital real estate where potential clients can see your expertise and offerings.
Local SEO for law firms might sound tricky to someone whose core expertise is law. We have a checklist to help you ace the game and boost client outreach for your company.
Understand the Ranking Factors
A recent survey conducted by Whitespark considered 149 local search ranking factors to pick the most critical ones. Here are a few with the maximum impact:
- Keywords in Google Business Profile name
- The proximity of the address to the search area
- The physical address of the business
- High numerical Google ratings
- Verification in Google Business Profiles
- Relevance of listing information to user searches
Understanding these factors is the starting point of a successful lawyer SEO plan because they remain the same for all business verticals. If your firm gets these factors right, it will be visible at the top of local rankings, making it easy to attract potential clients.
Telligent Marketing recommends collaborating with law firm SEO specialists to ensure a robust local SEO plan. The good thing about working with a niche expert is that they know the unique challenges and winning secrets of the industry. They can bring results fast and ensure sustainability.
Master Your Google Business Profile
With 97% of customers looking for local businesses online, an accurate Google Business Profile becomes non-negotiable. Statistics indicate a whopping 61% increase in business calls through GBP. You need to think beyond adding the basic information to the local pack to win the SEO game.
Follow these tips to go the extra mile while optimizing your GBP:
- Keep your law firm’s NAP (name, address, phone number) data updated
- Upload photos of your location
- Add authoritative content to showcase your legal experience and expertise
- Request happy clients to add positive reviews
- Add FAQs to make your profile more informative
Empower Your Website With High-Value Content
Besides optimizing your GBP, you can boost your local client traffic by adding high-value content to your law firm’s website. Since law firm sites are categorized as Your Money or Your Life (YMYL), search engines pay close attention to them. The best way to convince them to rank your site is by adding expert, authoritative and trustworthy (EAT) content to it.
Remember to optimize it with the right local keywords, as they can boost your position by showing that you run a genuine business. Stay committed to posting helpful content for the local audience to win trust and credibility. Also, implement technical SEO improvements such as page loading speed and responsiveness to deliver a top-notch user experience.
Win With Link Building and Citations
Link building is also a critical component of an effective local SEO strategy for law firms. Statistics show that 48% of criminal defense law firm sites own 3,001–10,000 backlinks. Additionally, they have an average of 284 referring domains. Backlinks act as votes of confidence for your website and firm. High-quality backlinks from relevant and authoritative sources can enhance your local ranking.
Citations are another factor as they get you a broader outreach with the mention of your NAP data on social media platforms and legal directories. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Apple Maps, Avvo, Nolo, LegalZoom, and FindLaw are the best sources to build local citations.
The Bottom Line
A robust local SEO plan can fuel your law firm and set it apart from its competitors, making it easy to attract local clients. Getting results is about an effective strategy and consistent effort. Follow these tips and rely on experts to give your law firm a winning advantage regardless of the competition in your local landscape.