2018 New Google SEO Ranking Factors for Lawyers – Part 1
Lawyer GMB SEO Marketing Tips
Google My Business (GMB) is more important then ever and should be one of the first things that you do for your law firms Internet marketing strategy. Google is obviously the most important search engine but usually people think organic results and where your ranked for certain keywords. Yet really its possible that even if your firm low or no organic rankings, you can possibly dominate the local seo results.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free service designed to make it easy for local businesses to manage their listings in Google search results. Anytime you search Google for local services in your area, you have likely seen Google My Business at work. It displays results on a map, and lists other important details about businesses, including their contact information, website, and even reviews.
Since Google is the premier search engine online, listing your law firm with Google’s My Business is essential for proper search engine optimization, or SEO.
A basic approach to Google My Business is to list your law firm’s name, address, and contact information. When someone searches your firm by name, your firm’s listing appears to the right of the Google search results. The display therefore gives your firm much more attention than a search link in a list of other firms.
LAWYER GOOGLE MY BUSINESS MARKETING TIPS
1. Claim your Google My Business Profile
If you haven’t claimed your law firms GMB profile, which stands for Google My Business – also known as the local 3 pack – then you need to get this done right away. GMB profiles are some of the first organic listings people see when searching for law firms.
By default, many firms already have a GMB profile created by Google and sometimes you will find that certain lawyers will have a GMB profile that is created by Google, and sometimes your clients will find this and even though you haven’t claimed or verified this listing, they still can leave you a review. So it makes sense to claim these listings so that you can not only optimize it, but you respond to any reviews you might get.
Walk through the following process to claim it:
Search for your law firm or attorney name in Google
When you see the Knowledge Graph card for your firm, click on the ‘Are you the owner?’ link near the bottom.
Start the process of verifying the firm’s ownership.
Note that Google will want you to verify ownership in one of two ways – either by phone or through regular mail. Once you’ve verified ownership, you can edit your GMB profile.
2. Add Photos & Videos to your GMB Lawyer profile
Make sure your GMB profile is complete and contains consistent contact information. Then adding as many images as possible of your law firm can help it rank far better in the local 3 pack. So add all the existing images you might have put on your blog and facebook. Then create more images and get creative. Try to have a LOT of images, like 30 – 50! You can do it over time and it seems to make a difference.
Here are some image ideas to get you started:
show your legal offices on the inside and outside
show your firms team, partners, and you
describe the areas of law that you practice
show your firms logo
include your firms tag lines, quotes, or other marketing messages
You do not want to put generic stock images or videos into your Google listing. Google wants images that are related to your firm and what your firm does. So this means photos of the people who work at firm, photos of your locations and the type of law you practice.
3. Onsite Website Optimization
Onsite SEO are the things done to your website structure to make it rank well, This is one of the most top tasks you can do to achieve good local rankings.
Start with a location-based page: Create a location-based page for the keyword phrases you want to rank for. An example could be ‘Chicago auto accident lawyer’ or ‘Michigan Malpractice Attorney.’ Then you can create other location posts for all the different cities, zips, neighborhoods in your area and then interlink them together.
Here are some other tips:
Include the location in the copy of the page
Include the keyword phrase in the title, the headings, meta description and URL of the page
Include the keyword as an image file name of any images on the page
Include the keyword in any alt attributes of images on the page
Add your firms NAP (name, address, phone number) to the header: Your firm’s name, address and phone number should be on the header of every page, but especially on location-based pages or pages that link to your Google my business – GMB profile. This should also be the same information used in other listings around the web. Make sure it’s all consistent.
Substantial quality content: Include a lot of useful content on your pages. Most short articles are like 300 words. So articles longer than 500 words is a good start and the longer the better. 2000 words is a really good start and if you are trying to rank for highly competitive keywords, then the longer the better.
4. Citation signals: Mentions of your firm NAP across the web
Citations are like links and are the fuel towards getting higher Google local rankings. Building citations is one of the most influential strategies for ranking well in local search. Citations are simply mentions of your law firm’s NAP, which is Name, Address and Phone numbers on other websites such as directories, social media profiles, business listing websites, and data aggregators.
You want to get listings at all of the obvious top directories like Yelp, Yellow Pages and a number of other places that will list your law firm. Most of these will automatically create listings for your firm and you then have to find the listing and verify it. This is key because you want to make sure that your NAP is consistent and the exact same across all of these sites.
Also attorneys should seek out legal industry-specific directory listings. One of the most influential profiles to claim is your Avvo profile. These listings carry a lot of authority in search and often rank first for various practice area keyword phrases.
Building citations like this help create a consistent online presence for your firm. And according to Moz’s annual study of local search ranking factors, consistency is a huge ranking factor in local search.
5. Acquire 5-Star Reviews for your Google My Business Listing
5-star Google Reviews are by far one of the best things you can collecting to significantly improve your digital marketing. It is impossible to have too many 5 star Google Reviews. The more 5-Star reviews the better! To get more reviews, ask your former clients to write you a 5-star review. Remember to only ask the highly satisfied clients and people who will leave you a great review. You want to have a review strategy in place to catch anyone who might want to leave a bad review. The more 5 star Google reviews you can get, the better your local seo rankings can be. Also getting these reviews make your GMB listing stand out and get more clicks and calls.
There are new things that Google is adding every month to the GMB interface. You can now add short 30 second videos to your listing. You can also add posts to your listing, so the post will show up under your listing on the google page.
Call us today at 630-393-0460 or fill out the online SEO analysis contact form for a free estimate.