Why Local Reviews Matter in Your SEO Efforts
In today’s modern business world, it is critical to make sure you have a high-quality website that looks professional and draws in visitors to make them into customers. The legal world isn’t the only one that changes constantly. Search engine optimization is one of the most turbulent and ever-changing areas in online business. Combining the two means that you need professional help to be on top of your online game and to make sure you get the results you want.
Why SEO Is Important
The vast majority of people search online for services. The days of opening the yellow pages to find the local services are over. The power of Google and other search engines means if you want business, especially from the younger generations – like Generation X, Generation Y, and Millennials – then you need to have a website, and you need a website that can actually be found.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is how you can make sure your website rises above the rest and ends up toward the top of the search engine rankings. However, knowing about general SEO won’t get the job done in this case.
How Local SEO Is Different
Local SEO is the key to making sure your law firm can be found by customers in your area. Because most searches for businesses or services will be local in nature, it’s important to make sure that your page is optimized so you rise towards the top of the rankings. While local SEO and general SEO have a lot in common, you’ll quickly find out that there are certain things that strongly affect local results.
For example, if you don’t have your Google business listing or haven’t claimed your Google Map space, then there’s virtually no chance of ranking on the first page. These elements are absolutely critical to being able to get to the top of the search engines. Without them, your efforts are pretty much dead upon arrival.
You will also need to pay more attention to the little things, like having a mobile-friendly website, making sure your pictures have all have proper alt tags, and making sure you have quality hosting that allows your website to load quickly.
Why Reviews Matter for Rankings
One recent change that has gained a lot of attention is how reviews suddenly matter immensely when it comes to ranking highly in the search engines. While some of this started around the time of the Hummingbird update, there’s no question that in subsequent updates reviews have only expanded in importance. Quite often now, the top businesses listed on the map in response to a local search engine query are the ones with the highest number of positive reviews.
The actual search engine results underneath the map, for those who scroll because they prefer to read through the descriptions, often actually mimic the results based on web reviews. In other words, it is critically important to have a positive overall review rating and to have as many as possible – particularly from Google Reviews.
This isn’t a small issue anymore. Along with being mobile friendly, this could very well be one of the two most important factors to ranking your website.
There’s always a lot of change when it comes to search engine results, but the trend here is clear. Social media matters. Being mobile-friendly matters, and honest online reviews matter more than perhaps anything else. Going that extra mile for your customers and asking them to leave a positive review when they are satisfied is not only good business practice, it’s now good SEO practice too.