There’s No Place Like Hometown Marketing

doorknob-371406_1280The easiest clients to get are the ones who are right down the street.  Imagine that there’s a circle around your law firm, and the circumference of that circle is one mile around with your practice at the very center.  These people are the best client acquisition targets for a law firm.

Now start pushing that circle outward.  After a few miles, you’ll reach the edges of your city.  The circle, while a little bit wider, still contains a number of people who are still very open to the idea of becoming your client.  When you go out further, things get a little tougher.   More and more cities and town will be contained within the circle, and the further they are from your base of operations, the harder it will be to acquire those residents as clients.  Eventually, the circle will get so wide that it reaches the borders of your state, and if you push out even further than that, other states.  This is where your influence diminishes considerably, as you can no longer keep a message on point with your local demographic.

As a law firm, the trick is to cater your message toward those persons who are within the one mile circle while still keeping the door open to those who are on the other side of the state.  The more local you can get with your content and SEO efforts, the better, because when you focus on the super-local, state visibility increases as well.

A new article in Search Engine Land highlights the ways that a business can conduct a local site audit.  The author offers guidance on figuring out whether one’s local strategy is up to snuff or if a business could be doing more in order to have an impact on local SEO.

While that article is largely focused on the mechanics of such an audit, what we want to do is focus more on the how and why of things, with particular attention paid to the types of platforms that come into play for your law firm’s local efforts.  Local marketing is a many-headed beast, but for law firms that are willing to approach every aspect with the right frame of mind, it’s possible to surpass competitors who once seemed untouchable.

keyboard-417093_640Search Party

Nowadays, people use search engines to find their lawyers; that’s all there is to it.  Billboards are great, as are television commercials, but the vast majority of your prospective clients are heading to Google (and sometimes, Bing) to figure out who’s the best attorney for their legal problem.

These search engines aren’t returning search results on the other side of the country from the searcher.  Google takes into account where that person is conducting their search from when determining what kinds of results to present.  After all, it does no good for a person seeking out a lawyer in New York to be provided with a list of attorneys who are only capable of helping those with cases in California.

What leads to some confusion is the fact that a person doesn’t even have to plug those geographic identifiers into their search bar to receive geography-based results.  That person in New York could type “New York personal injury lawyer” into a search bar and receive the same results as if they had typed “personal injury lawyer.”  Search engines don’t need you to type that identifier in order to determine where you’re searching from.

So what does this mean for your law firm?  It means you have to make an effort to gain a presence at the city and state level.  The closer you can hone in on your legal subject, the better, as someone who searches down the block from you is a lot easier to land as a client than someone hundreds of miles away.

Create content based not just on your legal expertise, but on how that legal expertise plays into matters of local interest.  Talking about national legal trends is fine and well, but content really pays off when you get past the macro to look at the micro.  Has a new piece of research been released about court proceedings at the national level?  Rather than parrot the same broad information that a standard news site focuses on, actually look at the research and find out what it says about your state and even your city.

Pay close attention to the local news, and when you could conceivably relate a story back to your practice expertise, do so.  In this way, you have a natural way to inject local terms across your website, reinforcing the idea that you deserve to be ranked.  Of course, that’s assuming that you’ve already gone through the process of marking down your address on your homepage and elsewhere on your website and made sure that you’ve denoted your city and state of operation all across your domain.

air-84665_640Local Leaders

You shouldn’t only rely on search engines for your local exposure.  You also want to turn to local directories to ensure you’re able to net clients from among those individuals who use such sites when plotting the course of their legal future.

Some people, rather than simply click a search result for a specific law firm from Google, prefer to visit a domain like Avvo or even Yelp to see what kinds of reviews and profiles catch their eye.  Although this seems counterintuitive, considering that the person has used a search engine to essentially be taken to more search results, it’s the reality of how people seek out attorneys.

If you haven’t taken the time to secure your profile and fill it out with updated and accurate information that supports your professional abilities, you can never hope to acquire prospective clients, of which there are many, who operate this way.  Pry yourself away from your website and focus on these other sites for a little while.

Sure, it’s frustrating to have to create a bunch of different accounts and fill in the same information on every legal or local-related site, but the more such sites you visit, the better your chances of reaching a person in need.  Plus, search engines actually use that information to determine where to rank you.  If you want to continue to make a dent in the local results, you have to lend your attention to these sites.

Make Your Hometown Your Own

You’ve claimed your spot in your hometown; it’s time to do the same online.  Improve your local client acquisition today.

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Posted In: Local Marketing