How to Make Your Law Firm Stand Out in Local SearchJust about everyone who needs a lawyer will look for one that is close to where they live. This is why local search is so important when it comes to marketing your law firm online. Here are the steps you should follow to ensure your firm shows up well in local search results:

Find the right keywords. You must use the same keywords people use when they search online. If you are a divorce attorney in Mesa, AZ then your main keywords should include all the different words people could use to describe their legal issue, such as divorce, child custody, spousal support, father’s rights, visitation rights, etc. You should use either attorney or lawyer and then target the cities in the east valley, such as Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Scottsdale, Tempe, etc.

Optimize your website and content with local search terms. Your website should feature your full company name, address, phone number and a geo sitemap to help search engines find you. Your content should also reference your geographic location, but don’t overdo it – loading your content with too many keywords is a big mistake and Google will punish you for it.

List your firm on Google My Business. To learn how, just Google it!

List your firm on local directories. You also need to get your firm listed on Yahoo Local, Bing and top legal review sites like Avvo.

Be sure listings are consistent. Use a consistent firm name, address and phone wherever these appear online – on your website, your social media profiles, your blog, etc. Google is very specific so be careful. For example, if your address is 123 Anywhere Street, Suite 100 you could write it any of these ways—all of which are considered different addresses by Google:

123 Anywhere Street, Suite 100
123 Anywhere St, Suite 100
123 Anywhere St., Suite 100 (notice the period)
123 Anywhere Street, Ste 100
123 Anywhere Street, Ste. 100 (notice the period)
123 Anywhere St, Ste 100

To Google, all of these are different locations. All of them must be exactly the same.

Get reviews. Reviews of local businesses are important in search results, so if you’ve made a client happy with your service, ask them to submit a review or testimonial saying why they loved doing business with you. One thing you should never do is fake a review or testimonial. If they sound too glowing or like you wrote them, it will do much more harm than good.

One important caveat: Direct your clients to your Google and Avvo listings, not Yelp. I have had far too many attorneys tell me how they received their first negative review on Yelp followed quickly by a sales call asking if they wanted to advertise. If they advertised, often the negative review would disappear and as soon as they stopped paying for advertising, their positive reviews suddenly disappeared and the negative one(s) reappeared. In the last few years, there have been thousands of complaints to the Federal Trade Commission. For now, I think it’s best to stay away from actively promoting your law firm on Yelp.

Optimize your social network profiles. Every social media site that your law firm is on should include the firm’s name, address, phone and a link to your website. Remember to keep it consistent across all networks.