Did you know that nearly half of all Google searches (46%) are local? Studies show that local search is almost universal—96% of PC owners engage in local search on a regular basis and about two-thirds of local customers use local search and the internet as their primary way to locate a local business that meets their needs. Local search engine optimization (SEO) is particularly important for a trust-based service such as legal representation—your clients want results, but they also want to put a face to the name and to know that they can meet with you personally to discuss their concerns.
What Is Local Search?
Local search is a targeted approach to online marketing that uses a variety of tools to help prospective clients find you online by prospective local clients. Local search employs specific strategies to maximize your visibility when potential clients go online:
- Local content—Online, content is king, driving just about everything. Accordingly, if you want to be noticed locally, your content needs to reflect your local presence, knowledge, and involvement. Your content should regularly (but naturally) make reference to city, county, or regional names. It’s also beneficial to include content about local events or organizations. There is one caveat—if you have offices in more than one location, it’s a good idea to have a separate page for each office.
- Google My Business and Bing Places for Business listings—Effective local search ensures that you use both of these tools. They are both free and provide a user-friendly way to manage your online presence, including your visibility search and maps. They also offer an opportunity to tell prospective clients about your experience.
- Inbound links and business directories—A comprehensive local search effort involves getting your business on all appropriate online directories, as well as so-called “citation” sites. Because inbound links to your site are seen as a positive factor by search engines, having links from relevant websites and directories can improve your search rankings.
- Online review management—Positive online reviews are viewed favorably by potential clients and by search engines. An effective local campaign will focus on three aspects of online reviews: ensuring that you get more reviews, ensuring that website visitors see the positive reviews, and ensuring that the reviews come from respected or authoritative websites.
Why Is Local SEO Important for Your Business?
It used to be that consumers found local businesses by word of mouth, in a phone book, or from a billboard. While that still happens, statistics show that more and more people are using the internet to find local service providers and that mobile devices are increasingly the search tool of choice. Research also shows that local SEO/local online searches have the highest conversion rates of any type of local advertising, with up to 50% conversion from some online directories. One study found that 78% of local mobile searches led to some type of purchase. A Forbes magazine poll concluded that 95% of smartphone users have used their device for local searches, with six out of 10 subsequently calling a business and nearly the same number visiting a business.
An effective local SEO strategy can also help you pop up on Google’s “local 3-pack,” that list of three businesses that appears just under the map at the top of a Google search engine results page. An industry study found that 44% of those who conducted a Google search clicked on one of the businesses listed in the 3-pack.
How Can the GetLegal Local SEO Team Help You?
At GetLegal.com, we have the comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the tools needed to create an effective local SEO strategy. To learn more about how we can help, call us at 877-359-7077 or use our convenient online form.