The term "Local SEO" has been familiar among webmasters and SEO analysts for many years. But ever since Google integrated its social networking site (Google+) with Google Maps and Reviews, the potential of local SEO to gain traffic and prospects has increased greatly.
It doesn't mean your listing will reach the first page of Google for whatever competitive keyword you are targeting just because you have created and verified your phone number with Google. If you have a law firm or if you are an individual lawyer practicing in a city or town in the U.S., you should have already witnessed the immense competition in your market on the internet.
It is no wonder that lawyers and attorney related keywords are some of the most highly paid keywords in Google's Adwords PPC network. What does it mean? It means large and multi-million dollar law firms are willing to spend a fortune on the internet to find new clients.
If you represent a small firm that is committed to serve your community or if you an aspiring individual who wants to build your career as a reputed lawyer, you might be intimidated by the influence of these big-box law firms on the internet.
There is a simple yet effective way to crush your competitors however humongous they are. It is called Google local SEO. There are a lot of ways to improve the rankings of your Google+ listing and make them rank in first page of Google in a matter of weeks if not days.
One of the best ways to improve the rankings of your listing in Google is to submit your business details to all the top business directories that are specific to your market. By submitting your business name, address and phone number (or "NAP" - citations that contribute to local search rankings) to these directories, you can greatly influence the ranking of your Google+ and Map listing.
The following is the list of top 5 law firm web directories for local SEO.
They have been in the business for a really long time. Launched back in 1996, the website is considered a hub for reading legal news, message boards, local directory and more. The website boasts 5 million unique visits a month. That's a lot of traffic. By submitting your business listing to this website, you cannot only improve you Google Maps listing, but can also get a lot of leads directly from the website.
Google Page Rank: 7/10
Alexa Traffic Rank (U.S.): 1,522
The site was launched back in October 2006. You can add your business listing to this website for free in a matter of seconds. If you become a paid member, you won't just get promoted to the top of the listing, but they will also give your contact details and information to people who are looking for a lawyer in your area. Google Page Rank: 5/10 Alexa Traffic Rank (U.S): 30,339 Visit eLocalLawyers.com
This is also a free service. Attorney.com is a part of LexisNexis, and Martindale-Hubbell who have been in the legal industry since 1868. The site has great reputation not only with people, but also among search engine.
Google Page Rank: 6/10
Alexa (U.S.): 47,000
Lawyers.com is a premium service and only offers paid listing. However, placing your business listing in a website like Lawyers.com can boost the rankings of your Google+ listing.
Google Page Rank: 7/10
Alexa (U.S.): 1947
You can also search for local lawyers and attorney directories specific to your district or city. Submitting to these kinds of geo-location specific directories can help you stand out from the crowd and improve your Google search ranking effectively.
Final tip: Always bear in mind that you should submit the exact business name, phone number and address to these directories that you have furnished on your Google+ profile.continue...
The search engine results page is constantly changing and expanding. For instance, have a a look at this screenshot of Google's brand new Local Search results.
Those who frequently use the Google search engine will certainly find the new look of the local search results rather unique. So it raises a question for those with a business or planning to start one: How do I place my website in the horizontal listings at the very top of the page?
If you raised that question, then read on because I am about to share with you a few local SEO tips in order to help your business grow and get better ranked in Google Local Search.
The results shown when you search for a certain business on Google, or any search engine, depend on a specific number of variables, such as directory listings, business's web presence (such as social media pages) and last but not least, having a Google+ Page.
The last of these variables, The Google+ page, is an crucial step in getting your business properly listed. While it is true most of these businesses already have an Google+ page, usually one that's already generated by Google, more often than not the Google+ page is not properly claimed and verified the Google+ page in order for it to generate its maximum potential.
So the first step into getting your business optimized in Google Local Search is to find this Google+ page of yours and in the lower right side of the screen you will see an option to claim the Google+ page as your own. Once you click it, you'll have to go through a verification system, in which they'll send a postcard to your business address in order to verify that you truly own the business you try to claim.
In the meanwhile, you should go ahead and fill your businesses Google+ page with all the needed contact information, address, additional information, links perhaps? You want to include pretty much everything a prospect would want to read.
A citation basically consists of your company's Name, address and phone number, commonly referred to as NAP. Citations are commonly found social sites and directories that contain a listing of a specific business.
Citations are extremely important, for when Google is determining its Local Search rankings, it will sort them according to the volume, quality and accuracy of a certain business's citation.
So technically, the more citations you have, the higher your business's rank will be. Its rather obvious, but you should know the two most important elements of a citation:
So keep in mind what I said when you seek websites to built your citations. Below I have compiled a list of some of the most trusted and influential sources for citations:
Note that you should always keep on eye on the competitors. I recommend you thoroughly inspect the search engine result page and get an idea on which websites and directories your business should be on.continue...
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Lexis Nexis legal directory of Martindal Hubbel law firms and legal professionals
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