Local SEO is a tricky thing. SEO, for that matter, is tricky. You can’t pick your keywords, add a bid, and show up on the search results page (there’s more to it, but that is, in essence, how PPC works). But being optimized to show up well in search rankings organically, is important. And local SEO, showing up highly in the Google Maps rankings, is key if you’re trying to do business locally. Obviously, actual location (Google detects this) may rule you out of a search, but if that’s not the case, there are a few reasons you want to show up highly in the local search results.
1. Show your proximity – This is a no-brainer, but you’ll want to show potential clients that you’re close to them. Proximity usually isn’t the leading factor in choosing a law practice, but it’s definitely a factor. If you have to frequently drive to your lawyer’s office during your particular case, you might not want it to be an hour commute from your house or office. If the search radius for your area (the area that Google determines is relevant for the searcher) isn’t too large, you’ll benefit a lot from ranking well.
2. Show off reviews – If you’re reviewed on sites like Google+, your reviews will show up with your G+/Google Business listing, and your map listing. These will show your clients that you’re a venerable practice, and they’ll be even more inclined to visit your site.
3. Having auxiliary sites set up improves credibility – Along the same lines as above, if you use other review/business listing sites (Yelp, Yellowpages) or legal review sites (Avvo, FindLaw) can show searches that you’re a real business, with good lawyers, and you’ll be able to win for or protect your clients. This also goes for having accounts on sites like Facebook and Twitter, and keeping them updated regularly.
4. NAP consistency – Monitoring your NAP information (name, address, phone number) makes sure your clients can always find you. It seems like a no-brainer that someone would be able to find you just by your name (if, say, a review site doesn’t have links), but you’d be amazed at the number of drop-offs when your site isn’t a click or two away.
If you’re not sure exactly how to go about setting up your local SEO, I highly recommend Planet Ocean/SEN’s Local Search Marketing book. If you’re interested on working on local SEO with me, you can view pricing for my local SEO clean up package here.