SEO can be divided into two main branches — global and local. Local is the one most law firms want to focus on.
Unless you’re a national brand with multiple locations across different states, you’ll want to place your attention on reaching prospects in your immediate area. And the way you do that is with local optimization.
Unfortunately, this is a weak spot for many brands. According to reputation management software Chatmeter, there are three key areas that need work.
1) Local Brand Visibility
Local Brand Visibility or LBV is an aggregated score Chatmeter gives to brands based on a variety of different factors, which include:
- Social media activity
- Local SEO
- Customer activity levels
- Local competitors
They found the three biggest areas of weakness were low reviews, local social media management and voice search optimization. There’s a definite pattern across the board where brands weren’t getting enough reviews, weren’t putting enough time into managing social media accounts and were putting little to no effort into optimizing for voice search.
So these are three areas that certainly deserve your attention moving forward. Placing a stronger emphasis on them should have a positive impact on your local brand visibility and can give you a competitive edge.
2) Local Business Listings
Chatmeter found that companies were doing okay at maintaining a presence in local listings with most including basic information like name, address and phone number. However, this isn’t always enough to thrive.
“In order to truly succeed with listings, businesses now need to have NAPWCHD accuracy which stands for Name, Address, Phone Number, Website, Category, Hours of Operation, Description.”
The more information you include, the easier it is for legal prospects to find you. It also gives them a variety of methods to contact you.
3) Review Management
This is one of the main areas that needs improvement, according to Chatmeter. The average response rate is 1.4 percent, with eight out of the twelve brands they analyzed not responding to reviews at all.
Reviews are a critical part of building trust with prospects and expanding your legal brand online. They also factor into SEO where having a large number of positive reviews can help you climb the rankings for targeted keywords.
So this is definitely an area that deserves your attention. You should always keep tabs on what people are saying about your law firm. And you should also make it a point to respond to at least a percentage of reviews — positive and negative. This lets your clients and prospects know that you genuinely care about their opinion and can prevent small issues from escalating into much larger ones.
With the bulk of law firms primarily operating on the local level, it only makes sense that local SEO would be given preference over global SEO. Unfortunately, many aren’t where they should be at in terms of local optimization. Knowing which areas need improvement and working diligently to enhance them should leave your law firm well positioned and help you build a stronger presence in local search.