With Google Maps being utilized by every single smartphone and Yelp reviews mattering to customers more than ever, it’s important to make sure that external properties related to your site are fully set up and utilized if you want to win at SEO – especially local SEO, which is how your law firm will most often get customers.
The last section of our previous post “How to Keep Your Law Firm Site Relevant in 2017” deals with the basics of external properties. If you haven’t read that yet, start there before you move on to the rest of this article!
Now that you understand the basics, here’s detailed information on how to use two of the most important external properties related to your law firm to help you succeed:
Yelp is one of the most trusted and widely accessed customer review sites on the web today. Having a complete Yelp profile and a few five star reviews can help any business rocket to success, and it may be even more important for lawyers than it is for other business owners – because potential clients know they are going to work very closely with you over a long period of time and because your services are more expensive than something like a haircut or meal out, they’re going to look extra hard at your reviews.
If your firm has been around a while, chances are you already have a few reviews on Yelp. If you’ve just started your firm or you don’t have any Yelp reviews yet, getting a profile on the site set up can help customers review you more easily.
If you go to the Yelp for business page, you can search for a business (your law firm) in order to claim it and set up a profile. If the business doesn’t exist yet, you can set up a profile from scratch.
Be sure to include and/or update all relevant information on your profile, including your firm’s location, business hours, phone number, and email address. Even if you don’t have a lot of reviews yet, your Yelp profile can steer clients your way!
Once you’re all set up on Yelp, encourage clients to write reviews for your firm. Be sure to provide five star service every time you interact with a client, and if you get negative reviews anyway, Yelp gives you the option to respond to them.
Unless a client or former client tells an outright lie about your firm (in which case you may take it up with Yelp or take legal action), be sure to reply to all negative reviews courteously and respectfully, and never defensively. Instead of attacking the client, show that you and/or your partners or staff are taking steps to fix the problem.
The next thing you’ll want to do is go to Google’s business setup page. Registering here puts your business on Google Maps, allows clients to write reviews on Google, and may help you rank higher on Google SERPs, especially for customers in your geographic area.
As with Yelp, be sure to fill out or update all the information about your business completely and correctly. Also, follow the same guidelines when viewing and responding to Google reviews as Yelp reviews.
With both of these major external properties set up, you’ve set up your law firm for more success (and more clients) than ever!