In Part I of Local SEO for Lawyers we discussed the importance of well-optimized content on the website. In Part II, we move into the most significant contributor to higher search engine rankings: off-site link popularity.
Generating links to your website is ever critical for local SEO, especially if your geographic target and/or practice area is highly competitive. Links pointing to your site displays credibility and trust, which is something search engines highly value while determining rankings.
The process of link building must respect two important factors: how the links are build (such as the link name or anchor text is used) as well as where the link are built (on related, high authority websites or unrelated, low authority websites?)
When building links to your site, it is very important to understand the concept of link names or anchor text. The anchor text is the clickable words that represent a link. For example, read this Wikipedia page for more information on anchor text (note, the word "anchor text" is the anchor text of that link.)
Search engine spiders crawl and interpret the content and links of a webpage. Once a spider hits a link, it reads the anchor text of the link and then takes the link to its respective URL destination. In short, the spider knows whether or not the anchor text of the link (and the surrounding content of that link) is related to link's URL destination.
If a link has the anchor text "Chicago business lawyer," the page being linked to is most likely about (and most likely optimized for) a business lawyer in Chicago. Assuming that is the case, the spider will credit the page with not only greater search engine value, but also greater keyword relevancy to phrase "Chicago business lawyer."
In essence, the best practices of building links is using keyword targeted anchor text. It is also a good approach to mix up your anchor text by using partial linking strategies. An example of partial linking would be to use only select keyword targets as the anchor text, such as "Chicago lawyer" or "business law firm."
Where a link is built determines how powerful the link is. Google offers a measure of "webpage authority" called PageRank (PR.) Webpages have a PageRanks ranging from PR0 to PR10, however even a PR5-6 is considered high for link building purposes.
Ideally, you want to build links from sources that have high PageRanks, although that is easier said than done. Find high PR linking sources has become a hot commodity for local SEO. So much so that the business of buying and selling high PR link placements has become major sub-industry to SEO.
There are a number of resources available to build links from a variety of sources. For local SEO, using a blend of locally-focused directories and information sites can be a simple source to establish a few links. In addition, we recommend:
You can also take advantage of other attorney websites in which you may be affiliated or friends with. In many cases, the most powerful PR links come from friends with a high PR websites who are willing to lend you an optimized link. Just be sure to let them know the specific anchor text and URL destination to get the greatest benefit.
That completes our series on Local SEO for Lawyers. We hope that these points of both on-site and off-site SEO have enlightened you, and that you can now hone in on your local SEO efforts independently. To learn more check out this very insightful 2013 local SEO guide created by one of our writers of the Law Firm Web Marketing blog.continue...
Local SEO involves making strides for a website (both onsite as well as offsite) to improve its position in Google local search. For most websites, search engines can be a major source of free visitors and these are quality visitors with high conversion rates.
Local SEO often times involves planning the optimization strategy of a business with multiple branches or associates in different cities so that it ranks high in the search engines for local searches for that particular business.
There are two main approaches to geo-local SEO with multiple target - have separate websites for each city or town where the business is located or have a page for each city where the business has a branch or office.
Increasingly, it has become apparent that having a single website for a business with pages for each city or town is the more effective and economical option for local SEO. When there are multiple domains for the same business, it is likely that the customer will be confused regarding the authencity of the website. Have multiple domain names can be expensive due to the registration , renewal and maintenance expenses for domain names as well as web hosting.
By having a single website with separate pages for each location where the business has an office, branch or business associate can greatly reduce the time and effort spent for link building needed for local SEO. For the main product or service sold by the business, links can be built to the home page of the website, while for local directories, listings and yellow pages links should be provided to the relevant local page of the website. The city specific internal pages also benefit from the links that have been built to the home page of the website.
When undergoing geo-local SEO, the firm should decide whether they use to use single pages, directories or subdomains for each city or town based on their personal preferences.This boosts the local ranking of the website, and customer searching for a product or service provider in a particular city or town will be easily able to contact the seller.
A propperly run geo-local SEO strategy should also ensure that the content for each local page is completely unique to the city and not duplicated in any manner. They should avoid making minor changes in the content for each city,It is important have a real physical local address and unique contact number for each city, so that local customers can personally visit if required. This will also improve the conversion rate. A map should be included to give directions to potential visitors to the website.
Created local pages for the website in popular directory sites like Google Pages, Yelp. For a multi locational company, they should avoid including any location specific information on the home page to avoid confusing search engines. Additionally the name, address, phone number should be provided only on the city specific local page, and should not be combined with other locations, to avoid creating confusion. Following these guidelines can greatly improve results of a multi-city geo-local SEO strategy.continue...
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