Geographic optimization, focuses on relevant keyword phrases for the cities and states in which you practice law, and anywhere from which you would like to receive business. It's a powerful tool but this is also an aspect of lawyer SEO that can quickly get out of hand. For instance, you don't want every other word on your home page to say the city or state in which you practice. More is not always better when it comes to geographic SEO, and all aspects of online law firm marketing, for that matter.
Organic search results are influenced by many things, but geographic signals are a top player. Additionally, there is some overlap with local optimization in which a city that you have an office may contribute to both higher local search results and organic results. One thing to remember with local and geographic optimization is that they can be a moving target – one day, the ranking is there, another day, it's gone. Often, it has more to do with fluctuations in the algorithm than something you did wrong but it's important to take the time and make the effort to find out. A calculated, deliberate response is almost always better than a knee-jerk reaction.
Some common channels for geographic optimization include the below:
Your law firm brand is conveyed through your website design, which should also be geographically oriented to where you practice law. As such, headers, taglines, contact forms, disclaimers, images, and other aspects of attorney site design must be in tune with the location of your office(s), where you are licensed to practice, and where you want to get cases.
Establishing authority in your field and creating an online community takes some time to develop, but it's worth the effort once you start getting interaction from people in your city and state. Social is the epitome of geographic SEO in that you are focusing on the people whom your legal services may directly benefit as well as others who are interested in the law and society in the cities and states that you practice law.
Your Website's SEO
How you optimize your website significantly impacts your search rankings. Content development must be focused on utilizing targeted keywords as naturally as possible, so that effective internal link building can be done, while remaining reader-friendly. Good lawyer website optimization uses the entire website to place emphasis on the proper landing pages for the proper keywords.
Legal Web Pages
Geographic optimization often contributes to high search engine rankings for attorneys through geographic web pages that are focused on a specific city for a specific practice area. This can definitely be blown out of proportion and you don't want your efforts to end up hurting you, so be sure that your legal web pages are well-balanced, relevant, and informative.
Considering that lawyer press releases typically announce case results, attorney awards, speaking engagements, and community involvement, geographic optimization is usually effortless. However, even though the very topic of your press release is likely to correlate with your office location and the cities/states in which you practice, in order for geographic optimization to pay off in the long-term, your content has to be well-written, not stuffed with keywords, and interesting to read.
One goal of a blog is to be as relevant and interesting as possible. You also want to provide visitors with important information that will be of some benefit to them, otherwise, what's the point of them reading? What's more relevant than discussing news, laws, and issues directly influencing your city and/or state?
A legal blog is a great opportunity for your law firm to create an online discussion on a particular topic effecting your city and/or state. You want to engage your readers and encourage them to comment on your post to join the conversation. A blog can often contain local SEO without you even having to try.
Playing Your Cards Right
High search engine rankings can make a huge difference in a law firm's client development. At SLS Consulting, Inc., we have been helping attorneys in a wide range of law obtain desired search engine placement through both local and geographic optimization. We factor in all aspects of lawyer marketing to ensure that no stone is left unturned in your campaign. To learn more, contact us today for a free growth assessment.