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How To Obtain Local Ranking For Cities Where Your Law Firm Does Not Have An Office

If  you do not have physical presence in a specific city then it is unlikely that you will be able to obtain local map rankings within that city. If you are targeting a small neighboring city there is a greater chance that you can work your website optimization and business listing optimization to get your business listed in the local rankings. In our experience, we have seen businesses achieve such local rankings, but this typically happens when city populations are under 60K, within a 20-mile radius, or without strong law firm competitors.

If you are in a larger city like New York and are trying to target small neighboring cities, it is much harder to rank locally due to the large amount of competition and distance from the center of the main business cluster for your industry. That center is one of the top 10 foundational ranking factors as seen in the image from the 2013 Local Search Ranking Factors from Moz. However, for local businesses that want to rank for local cities there is a viable option.

Ranking in Cities Where You Do Not Have an Office

The strategy is to build a page on your law firm website and dedicate it to the city. You want to have your title tag, meta description, your page content and page headings contain the term or terms for want to rank for . If you are pursuing personal injury lawyer rankings for Cary, North Carolina, you would set your title to have Cary personal injury lawyer in it, and the same goes  for the rest of the previously mentioned locations. Do not stuff that keyword on the page multiple times in any one tag or area. Having that term once in the title, once in the description, once in a header tag, once in the description for the page content and in the content of the page two or three times is sufficient. Also consider incorporating the keyword into an image so the image file name mirrors the image Alt Tag. These are the basic foundations for your city-specific page.

What Content Should I Use On A Local Page?

You want to incorporate your business and the community into the content on that location page. Post pictures of client meetings, testimonials or case results that you have achieved in that city. If you have been in the local media for community service or cases you have worked, link to those sources. If you sponsor a school activity or are a member of a charity or non profit in that community, briefly mention the connection and link out. When you link out, make sure the links are going to relevant and related sites to your business and the location. Linking out to a legal nonprofit in that city that you are a member of or support is a great example, or even the city hall since that organization would have a physical location. These practices all tie in the location and make the page stronger for ranking in that location. Another good thing to do is link internally to your site. If you are trying to rank for Cary personal injury lawyer, then in the content on that local page you should link the words personal injury over to your main personal injury page. Also provide a link to your nearest office location – a link to your contact page or that office page which will have details such as hours of operation and directions.

Since your local page is basically a landing page where you will be driving potential clients, include a call to action. Try a form that they will fill out for more information or a phone number they can click on to call you, this way you are driving visitors to your physical office.

How To Build Links To A Local Page

The next important step, and often the hardest currently, is to build links back to this local page. One way to build links is to link from within your site to the location page. Examples of this are having phrases like “Cities we serve” or “Communities we help” on the page, then listing those locations and linking over to the specific local page. The next, and easiest, links to generate are to contact the organizations you are associated with for links. If you are part of the local chamber, you should already have a link from that location. If you sponsor a local kid’s sports team or another school related activity, see what it would take to get a link over to that page. The same goes for other non profits and any other association you are part of. Make sure you work with the organization to get a link to your location page.

The harder links to get are the ones that require considerable outreach and development. This is one reason many firms hire an agency to work out a strategy for obtaining these type of links. To obtain links from sites you are not connected to, but feel may be a relevant resource to, like a prominent legal blog, you have to organically build that relationship. Then, you have to offer to write high quality and attention-getting content so it will drive potential clients to your website from that website. Another wonderful technique is to leverage events. If you host or sponsor any local events then you have great opportunity to obtain local links and citations from those events.

Gone are the days that you could write quick, simple articles and post them anywhere. With all the Google updates in 2013 link outreach has taken a 360 and requires much more effort and skill to build a quality page and obtain quality links.

How To Use Social Media For Local Optimization

Finally, consider social media. While it may not directly help rank your page, it will increase your exposure and “signals” that Google monitors.  Consider participating in discussions and groups that are in the location you want to build visibility. Post content to these groups and genuinely contribute to discussions. This can help raise your recognition in that community. If there are no groups or discussions going on, consider starting them yourself if you have the time. Post quality content that is shareable. Particularly, shared posts on Google can rank quickly if done properly and tied to Google Authorship.

While you will not be able to get a map pin for a city you are not located in, you can take these actions to optimize a location page for that particular city and work on ranking it organically. This is the next best thing if you have no physical location. If you think you can pull enough clients from a specific city or if you were able to rank there, then you can consider opening a location there. Both are large undertakings. Creating a strategic local page is more simple and less costly, but getting those rankings without the local physical presence does make things difficult and can take considerable time.  This must be taken into consideration.

© 1999 – 2022 Consultwebs.com, Inc.National Law Review, Volume IV, Number 8
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About this Author

Grant Brott, Consultwebs, Search Marketing Specialist
Search Marketing Specialist

As a Local Search Marketing Specialist with Consultwebs.com, Grant Brott’s role is to increase our clients’ local visibility by ranking them for geographically-related keywords.

Through optimization of their business profiles and websites’ local geographical traits, he can increase our clients’ sites in local search results and help to increase cases from within their target area.

800-872-6590
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