[Author: Noreen Fishman]
For law firms, making their website visible online is of critical importance. Every organization likely has the goal of having a strong online presence and being easily found online. For companies that operate within certain regions – such as a law firm – local discoverability is even more important. Legal marketers should make local visibility a top priority and the local business scheme can be a powerful tool in their arsenal.
What is the local business scheme for law firms?
A local business schema is basically a type of structured data markup code that can be added to a company’s website to make it easier for search engines to identify certain things, such as what type of organization belongs to the site or the services they offer.
Schema markup was originally created by search engines as a way to better understand and display data using common sets of tags. Your firm can benefit from schema markup to better optimize your website for local SEO. This is because local schema markup is one of the deciding factors in how your content will be ranked and displayed on search engine results pages.
When you include the local business schema in your website code, search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo are better able to understand your business and are therefore more likely to rank it higher in search results.
But how does one go about adding a local business plan to a website?
Adding the local business scheme to your site
There is a great guide to adding local business schemes available here. In simpler terms, you can follow these steps:
1. Identify the category for your firm
Hopefully, you’re optimizing your website for a specific audience, and that’s what you’re looking for. Be as specific as possible. There is a “legal service” category that you will likely want to select, and you should be able to narrow it down further from there.
2. Create an “about” page.
Your “About” page should be filled with information about your firm and include a unique “AboutPage” schema item. Make sure any content on the page is easily readable by visitors and take the time to add more schema-related features as needed to properly inform search engines about your firm.
3. Test your code
There are several tools you can use to preview what the results will look like in the search results. Try entering your code in the Rich Results Test to see what rich Google results are generated from the structured data on your site. Or, if you want to test your structured data without Google feature-specific warnings, enter your code in the Schema Markup Validator.
4. Publish your local business listing on your site
To do this, add your schema directly within your HTML code or use a managed user interface, schema app, or plugin.
5. Use Google Search Console to crawl and test your local business schema markup
You will need to see if there are any problems or elements that need to be improved. Start by entering your domain or URL prefix to measure your website’s search traffic performance. Then, continue to monitor the results of your scheme so you can optimize as needed. It’s important to remember that this is an ongoing process, especially as Google changes its formulas and approach to schemas. If anything on your list changes, be sure to adjust your local business scheme as well.
Or for sufficient insight into your website’s performance, sign up for a free SEO audit.
Local business plan optimization for law firms can seem complicated, and sometimes it is. That doesn’t mean it’s something you can skip. Law firms should do absolutely everything they can to improve ranking and discoverability for local search results, and the local business scheme can help. If you’re not sure how to incorporate the right code into your website, contact an expert.