How to Improve Online Visibility When Your Law Firm Has Multiple Offices
When you’re trying to build your legal practice online, it’s essential to target your potential client base geographically. Your prospective clients need to know where you’re located, to make certain they can easily visit your offices. The more specific you can be in your geographic references, the more likely you’ll get traffic with the potential for conversion to clients.
So what do you do when you have multiple office locations, a fairly common practice with law firms? Before 2012, the answer was simple—create a separate website for each office, with the geographic location in the domain name. A Michigan firm might have multiple sites with domain names like “Ypsilantipersonalinjurylawyer.com” and “Lansingpersonalinjurylawyer.com.” Seven years ago, though, Google introduced its exact-match domain (EMD) update, which significantly lowered the effectiveness of keywords in a domain name. They still carry some weight with search engines, but nowhere near as much as they once did.
So does it still make sense to have multiple websites? As with many such questions, the best answer is “it depends.” Google does not penalize firms simply because they have multiple websites. According to Google, every website has the potential to rank well. However, Google (and other search engines) have the ability to identify relatively duplicate content. The bottom line—multiple websites can be beneficial, provided they all have mostly unique content, and the content must not be static. That may force you to engage in a cost-benefit analysis, i.e., what will it cost to ensure unique and fresh content on all of the sites? Would it be more cost effective to create a single site that markets to your different locations?
How Do You Market Different Office Locations on a Single Website?
If you’ve done the analysis and determined that you don’t have the time, money or staff to effectively maintain multiple websites, how do you best market your different locations to prospective clients? Here are some proven strategies:
- Set up subfolders — A subfolder is similar to a separate website, but will be maintained as a single site. For example, if you own www.mylawfirm.com, you can create subfolders for each office location: www.mylawfirm.com/Poughkeepsie/, www.mylawfirm.com/Albany/, www.mylawfirm.com/Canandaigua/ and so forth. The content in the subfolders will target the specific geographic location.
- Create “geo” pages — The content in the subfolders is technically known as a “geo” page, with all location references on a particular page tightly focused on a single city, town or geographic area. You’ll want to reference the target geography a few times in the body of the content, but it should also be in your H1 and title tags. The content on each geo page must be unique (most estimates are that search engines want about 60% unique content on each page) and should flow naturally. Geo-specific testimonials and geo-specific staff/attorney profiles are extremely effective. It’s also important to include each location’s unique address and phone number, if applicable.
- Create a Google My Business (GMB) page for every office location — This allows you to create a specific page for each location that will allow it to appear in Google’s local map and in its search engine algorithm. Once your GMB page is set up, potential clients will have access to additional information about your firm, improving your chances of being contacted.
GetLegal Offers a One-Stop Digital Marketing Resource Center for Attorneys
At GetLegal, we have provided effective online marketing solutions to lawyers and law firms for decades. We offer a wide range of digital marketing services, from the development of websites to the creation and management of social marketing strategies, from online reputation management to search engine optimization, videography and e-mail marketing campaigns. For more information about how we can help you enhance your practice online, call us at 817-359-7030 or use our convenient online form.