How do clients find you? While someone’s search for a lawyer may begin with friends and family, inevitably just about everyone searches online.

Google search results highlight businesses in a display they call the local pack.

Here’s an example of what this looks like:

Appearing in the local pack can be crucial to a local business because this appears above the regular search results. Getting your firm ranked in the local pack is tricky. Google isn’t in the business of giving away their secrets or telling businesses exactly how to earn placement. Luckily for us, there are expert resources that regularly research this… MOZ, a search marketing firm, regularly surveys search engine optimization (SEO) experts about where businesses should focus on to improve and maintain Google rankings.

In a few short years reviews have gone from just part of the equation to a key component to ranking in the local pack. The most recent survey results rank reviews as #3, up from the #11 spot in the 2015 survey. In fact, reviews only rank behind having accurate basic information on directories and inbound links to your website.

One expert perhaps summed it up best when he said: “If I only had to focus on ONE area of local search, it would be to focus on reviews.” What does focusing on reviews mean? The MOZ team suggests a few quick ways to get started:

    1. Acquire more Google reviews, asking every client to write a review when their case closes.
    1. Keywords in reviews are important to Google. Encourage clients to include specifics on the legal services they received. Don’t tell your clients what to say, but offering guidance can help make your reviews more useful.
    1. Respond to every review. Every single one. Prospective clients want to see that you interact with people who give you feedback through online reviews.
  1. As you start to grow your Google reviews, diversify your focus and look to increase your reviews on industry-specific sites that display reviews (Lawyers.com and Avvo.com, naturally).

Keeping up with Google isn’t easy, but the MOZ survey is an inside look at what experts believe to be key to successfully ranking. Commitment to nurturing customer reviews on Google and on industry sites indicates trust and customer experience – which helps your business growth objectives by improved rankings and more contacts.

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