Strategies for Improving Online Visibility in Your Local Market
When your potential clients are searching the Internet, one of the key questions they need answered—where are you located? They need to know that they can easily visit you, put a face to a name, and establish the trust that comes through meeting in person. That’s one of the reasons local SEO (search engine optimization) is so important. You want your online presence geared toward those web visitors who can actually become your clients.
There’s good news. Search technology is sufficiently sophisticated that you can target your message to a specific geographic area. But you need to be proactive with your local SEO strategy. Here are 10 ways you can increase the chance that you’ll be found in a local search:
- Make certain your home page is optimized — Your home page is typically the first page indexed by search engines. Make certain it clearly identifies who you are, what you do, and where you’re located. Include a specific local geographic term, as well as the word “attorney” or “lawyer” in the page title, header, and description tags.
- Have a page for every practice area and every location — The more targeted each page is, the better it typically will perform for that search. If your practice is in an urban/suburban area, include a page on the overall metropolitan area and separate pages on relevant locations within that region. The subject matter of the content will necessarily be similar, but be sure to avoid duplicate content. The search engines will recognize that and your visibility may suffer.
- Use local business schema — This is an additional code included in your web pages that make it easier for search engines to determine what you do, who you are, and where you practice. Without local business schema, chances are slim that you’ll make it into Google’s illustrious “Local Pack,” the three local listings that come up in a Google search.
- List your practice in Google My Business — A presence in this “directory” will typically result in improved local performance. Make certain all information is correct before you claim your business, as making subsequent changes can be challenging.
- List your practice in local business directories — This can take a bit of time, but the payoff is almost always worth it. Unlike website content, your listings on local directories can be (and typically benefit from being) duplicative. Use your Google My Business listing as your template.
- Actively post to a blog — One of the keys to strong local performance is fresh, locally targeted content. Your blog can be about areas of your practice, but it also can focus on local events and local life.
- Take advantage of social media platforms — There’s significant search benefit in having Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media posts pointing to your location.
- Make certain you are optimized for mobile search — Studies show that the majority of searches are now initiated on a mobile device. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you probably won’t be found.
- Include locally optimized video — Create and optimize your own YouTube channel and post videos on a regular basis. Website videos are also extremely effective, but make certain you include local geography in headlines, hashtags and descriptions.
- Conduct an SEO audit — This may necessarily be the first step toward improving your local search performance. Certainly, if the strategies above don’t produce meaningful results, you want to find out why. An SEO audit, however, can be a complex, expensive and time-consuming project, looking at nearly all aspects of your web presence, including content, links, site structure, page structure and usability.
GetLegal Can Help You Fully Optimize Your Digital Marketing for Local Performance
At GetLegal, we have decades of experience providing comprehensive online marketing services to attorneys and law practices across the country. We have a thorough understand of search engine marketing/optimization, including strategies for maximizing your visibility in your local market. To learn more about how we can help you reach your target market online, call us at 817-359-7077 or use our convenient online form.