SEO for Lawyers: Local Targeting (Part II)

Last month, we talked about using the Google Places Business Directory to get your law firm listed in local search results. But that’s just the first step toward drawing local visitors to your website. Below are two additional steps you can take to make your law firm website more relevant locally and improve your placement in the local search listings that have become so critical.

Write for the Local Crowd

Take a minute to read your site. Does your content relate to the area you serve?

Show the search engines you serve your community by adding a few phrases like “Denver DUI attorney” or “filing divorce in San Francisco” in your content and headers. (Tip: You don’t want to go over the top with this; a little local love can go a long way.)

Along with writing content geared to your audience, you’ll also want to add new pages to your site at least two times a week. Make sure your content is original; content that’s been posted elsewhere won’t help you.

Get Local People to Link to Your Site

Sometimes optimizing your Places page and writing local content isn’t enough to guarantee you a first-page position in local search. In that case, it’s time to focus on natural link building.

Search engines treat links like personal endorsements. Every time a reputable site links to you, they’re essentially telling the search engines your site is valuable.

Here are three ways to gain quality links:

  1. List your firm on many online directories. Google likes to verify that you’re “legitimately local” by checking where else you show up on the web and whether your contact information is consistent (specifically your address and phone number). Add your website and contact information to as many directory sites as you can. Here are some good places to start:
    • DexKnows
    • SuperPages
    • Yahoo Local
    • Bing Local
    • Local.com
    • Merchant Circle
    • Yellowbook
    • CityGrid
    • YP.com
  2. Seek out local bloggers and website owners and ask to write a guest post for them. Include a link back to your site with each blog post.
  3. Ask local community centers to list you on their website as a community resource (libraries, colleges, local government offices, etc.).

It’s Going to Take Time

In the end, it’s going to take a combination of efforts to attain and maintain rankings in local search. If you update your site often, get listed in many directories, and have local businesses linking back to you, you should have a good shot at showing up in the local results.

Note: This post is part of a series. You can check out part 1 here.