Right or wrong, search engines like Google and Bing as well as digital assistants like Siri, Alexa and Cortana consider lawyers and law firms to be “Local Businesses.” This means that in addition to standard website ranking factors like fresh content and links, search engines factor other attributes like physical location, customer reviews and information consistency with a local business to determine their search rankings. As we illustrate below, this results in a both a special marketing opportunity, and an extra burden, for law firms related to their online presentation. Fortunately, our Local Marketing Fundamentals service makes it a snap!
Searches for legal services or a specific lawyer or law firm typically generate a special “local search results” page like this:
The Modern Firm Local Marketing Fundamentals improves the odds of showing up in local search results by creating, verifying and managing certified listings – of your firm’s name, address, and phone number along with photos and descriptions of your services – on the web’s top local business websites. When search engines see that a business’s contact information is listed on many other websites, it broadly assumes that the business is more reputable and established. These listings and our management carry many benefits including:
From Google My Business to iPhone Apple Maps to Yellow Pages, our distribution network includes over 70 of the web’s top directories and data aggregators:
Nothing stinks more than having a referral or existing client become frustrated because the phone number that Siri dials for you is wrong, or their GPS takes them to an old office location, or your firm name is wrong.
Today, having a website isn’t enough. The proliferation of mobile devices, apps, digital assistants, and websites that independently gather their own data about law firms means that many times a user is finding your contact information through a 3rd party, not your website. Consistency and accuracy on these 3rd party sites is critical.
Another major factor that search engines consider when displaying local search results for legal services is the reputation of the attorneys in the area. Search engines would much rather send their users to a law firm that is well reviewed by its clients. Case in point, which law firm do you think is getting more clicks from these local search results? Reviews are very influential!
As part of the Local Marketing Fundamentals service, we give law firms access to a special platform that automates the outreach to clients via email. The email asks a simple question: "How likely is it that you would recommend our firm to a friend or colleague?"
This one powerful request allows us to segment your customers into two categories: promoters (those who are likely to recommend your firm) and detractors (those who are potentially dissatisfied). We then give promoters the easiest path possible to leave an online review. Detractors are put on a path to share their feedback privately with the firm.
Reviews are an essential part of customers selecting a business: 87% of consumers won't even consider a business that doesn't have at least at 3-star ranking. Between higher rankings and the social proof of having a strong reviews profile, the review platform is essential to building up a law firm's business.
Unlike brick and mortar retail businesses that stay relatively static, it’s very common for law firms to move their offices and change their names. Unfortunately these changes wreak havoc on the consistency and accuracy of address information that search engines and potential clients need.
Inconsistent business contact information will negatively impact local search rankings and potentially lead to client confusion. You can read more about how moving a law firm can impact search rankings on our blog post: Will moving my law firm impact my search rankings?
With The Modern Firm Local Marketing Fundamentals, you’re insulated from the online nuisance of moving your office, changing your phone number or switching to a new firm name. We’ll update your website, Google Business Page and our entire distribution network. If you've moved within the last 5 years, there is likely clean-up work needed.
As part of Fundamentals, you'll get access to website analytics software that is way easier to use than Google Analtyics and provides more accurate information. Track visitors in real time, view interactive heatmaps that show where people point and click their mouse and view reports about your content that you can actually understand. Here's a sample heatmap from our own homepage, cool!
Getting started with our Local Marketing Fundamentals is easy. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 800-741-8034 or complete a complimentary business location audit.