People are looking for professional legal services online. If you own a small neighborhood law office, then potential clients could be looking for you on the Internet. When they come looking, you need to make sure that you are easily found. To that end, create a local listing with a search engine. This listing will help to correlate your online presence with your actual brick and mortar location.
Location based service (by way of Venice)
Since 2000, with the development of the mobile location protocol, the trend in the smartphone and tablet market has been toward increased mobility. In 2012, Google launched a project code named “Venice” that further improved the ranking for local search results. Results based on a nearby location relative to the user now rank higher in the search provider’s pages.
The technology market has since thrived in regards to user-based geolocation with improved maps and apps. Location-based services include mobile applications for everything from simple navigation to store front locators. Savvy businesses and law firms continue to capture the local user as they improve their services with mobile-friendly websites.
Simply put, your geolocation combined with the preferred ranking of popular search engines creates an ideal condition for local businesses to get found.
Taking advantage of this trend
Since Google’s improvements, online search providers are now focused on local searches for businesses. You can create a local listing by completing a few simple steps with a search engine. For example, using Google Places for Business, you can log in using your Google account and verify that your are the business owner (or authorized representative). Once your listing is live, you can view the number of times the listing has appeared in a local search result. You can even track reviews from around the web and consider whether to start a paid AdWords campaign.
Listing your law practice
Whether you use a pay-per-click service or rely solely on an organic localized search, it is worth your time to learn how to can get your business listed with the more relevant search engines like Moz Local Business Listings, Google Places for Business, or Bing Places for Business, among others. A local listing is your point on a local map.
Local listings work well for people who may have heard about you through a personal referrals from a friend, relative, or former client. Your word-of-mouth campaign can be enhanced by reviews and easy-to-find directions to your office.
Engaging others within your own community
If you have created a local listing with a search provider, you may consider joining in a community with local colleagues. Traditionally, this has been done through membership with a local bar association. To stay relevant, many associations have created communities on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. However, given the numerous online communities available for lawyers using Google+, very few seem to operated by bar associations. I hope to see more bar associations create and nurture online communities.
Read the full article from the ABA’s Legal Technology Resource Center center blog, Law Technology Today, featuring the latest news, tips, and resources for practicing lawyers.