Local search is huge for any company that requires customers to show up.
First, when people initially search for your business, location often is a huge factor. People will take a lawyer who’s an 8/10 over the lawyer who’s a 10/10 if they have to drive an hour and a half to meet with the 10/10. Yes, the second attorney might be much more likely to win their case, but the distance is absolutely a factor.
Second, you want people to actually know where you’re located. If you’re the 10/10, and you’re close to the prospect but they still can’t find you, you’ve just lost a sale. Showing up correctly on Google’s local search results is crucial for this.
But how do we rank there? Well, there are a few factors.
Google weighs in it’s normal search rankings, the location of the searcher and the business, and then some other stuff. It’s not 100% clear what all of the factors in this ranking are (some people will tell you different), but we do know that outside review and listings services weigh on this ranking. Sites like Yelp and Yellowpages. For lawyers, it’s also important to be set up on Avvo, Findlaw, and others. There’s a long list of places to list your business.
So, what are the 3 keys, or the “3 Cs,” of local search curation?
Completeness – Make sure all of your listings are complete. Phone number, address, a photo. Fill up the listing as much as possible. Sites generally like to put complete listings at the top (they get more traffic), and the more info that Google can look at, the better.
Consistency – Make sure all of your listings match. Every site should have the same info, the same numbers, addresses, etc. If you have conflicting listings, you will run into issues with Google, and probably with clients. It’s tempting to use different telephone numbers for tracking calls, but this REALLY messes with Google’s algorithms. Avoid this if at all possible.
Credibility – Make sure you’re getting reviews! Ever look at the reviews for a hotel or a restaurant? People do that for lawyers, too. It’s like a personal recommendation, and people scrutinize the number of reviews and the content of the reviews. If someone is going to spend $15,000 at your law firm, you can bet they’re going to do their research first.
With those 3 keys to Local SEO curation, you should be well on your way to having some high-ranking local listings. However, if you’re not sure, shoot me an email.