Your law firm’s website should be in the top 3 of the local search rankings for your practice areas. PERIOD. If your website isn’t showing up in the top 3 of the local search rankings, consumers won’t find your law firm. And that, my friend, is a problem.
So, what can you do today to improve your website’s ranking? These are our top #3 tips for dominating the local searching rankings.
Tip #1: Trade Name for Your Law Firm
About 3 years ago, New York began permitting trade names for law firms. What was the response of the legal community? Essentially, there was no response at all. Lawyers don’t like trade names because they prefer using their name for the law firm. This is all about ego.
You should treat your law firm as the brand that it should be. If a trade name is permitted for law firms in your state, a trade name will immediately help rank your law firm in the top 3 of the local search rankings.
We changed our law firm’s name from “John H. Fisher, P.C.” to “The New York Injury & Malpractice Law Firm, P.C.” The former name did not rank for any keywords other than “John H. Fisher”, which is essentially useless. The new firm name ranks for 4 important key words, namely, (1) “New York”; (2) “Injury”; (3) “Malpractice”; and (4) “Law Firm”. We added, “Powered by John H. Fisher, P.C.” just in case there is no confusion with new clients.
The name change had an immediate impact on our firm’s local search ranking. Our firm immediately showed up in the top 3 for personal injury in the local search rankings, which it had not before the name change.
Just as important, the trade name reflects that our law firm is not only about “John Fisher”, but rather is “The” law firm for personal injury and medical malpractice throughout New York State. That is a clear and unequivocal branding message that resonates with potential clients.
Tip #2: Streaking for Google Reviews
Reviews on your Google Business Profile are marketing gold. There is nothing better for converting potential clients into actual clients. Then, why do lawyers neglect Google reviews? (that was a rhetorical question, there’s no good answer).
To increase the number of Google reviews, you don’t need expensive software and you should never buy Google reviews or offer gifts/compensation for reviews. But there is a simple solution: STREAKING will increase your firm’s Google reviews by more than 500 in less than 12 months.
Here’s how streaking works: every day you will ask for at least 1 Google review. This will only take about 10 seconds of your time. You can ask for more than 1 Google review if you want, but you will ask for at least 1. How? Any way you want. You can send an email or text to your law firm’s vendors (those who make $ from you) and you will receive a 5-star review with a 90% success rate.
Will streaking work for you? When I began the “Google review” streak, our firm had 124 Google reviews. It had taken 8 ½ years to get 124 reviews. Over the course of our streak (which is a little more than 1 year old), our firm now has 576 Google reviews and our firm is second in Google reviews in New York State (watch out, Harding & Mazzotti, we’re coming for you!). This is the power of streaking.
If you want to streak with us, we have a private Facebook group for streakers, “The Streakers”. In this private FB group, we share our streaking success and encourage other streakers. If you’d like to join the fun, send an email to email@example.com and I will add you to our group of streakers.
Tip #3: Open Satellite Offices in Offices with No Lawyers
Proximity matters in the local search rankings. If your law firm is not located in downtown Chicago, you’re not going to show up in the local search rankings for that geographic region. So, what can you do?
Price Benowitz, LLP became a powerhouse firm in the DC/Maryland/Northern Virginia market by opening satellite offices in every market where they wanted to rank in the local search rankings. Price Benowitz, LLP tried to build a presence in one community after the next and kept going. And their success speaks for itself.
You don’t need a large or expensive satellite office. Just an office that will allow you to post signage for your law firm and ideally in an office building where you are the only lawyer. Our firm plans to open a new office in the Bronx over the next 90 days. Our office won’t be near the Bronx County Courthouse. Instead, the office will be in a location where there is much less congestion of lawyers.
As you open a new satellite office, create a new Google Business Profile for the location and get at least 100 Google reviews for every satellite office before adding new offices. Within a short time, your new office location will begin showing up in the local search rankings in the new market.
Bonus Tips for Mastering Your Google Business Profile
Geo-Grid for Your Google Business Profile: Local Viking (www.LocalViking.com) monitors your Google Business Profile performs in the local search rankings and allows you to see how your office locations rank from every corner of your city.
You can see where your Google Business Profile ranks for a given key word, e.g., “construction fall”, “truck wreck”, “Camp Lejeune”, etc. With Local Viking, you can schedule posts on your Google Business Profile and post to multiple office locations at once.
Displaying Your Google Reviews: Thrive Ovation (www.ThriveThemes.com), a testimonial management plug-in for WordPress websites, is an easy way to showcase your Google reviews on every page of your website. You select the snippets from Google reviews that you want to feature on your website, and this plug-in show cases them above-the-scroll.
Posts for Your Google Business Profile: Add photos of your team members, firm’s logo and screen shots of Google reviews on Google Business Profile. This will prove the authenticity of each office location.