Yelp SEO For Law Firms
It’s no surprise that Yelp is a behemoth business directory and can deliver potential clients to your firm. Yelp is often overlooked in regards to optimization, though. There are some simple ways to optimize your positioning on Yelp.
Select the Proper Category
If you’re a personal injury lawyer, it will be almost impossible to rank for relevant terms if you categorize your firm as a divorce attorney law firm. The proper categories are paramount to showing up for your target search terms.
Now, you can select more than one category. Yelp allows you to select up to three categories.
More isn’t always better.
Select only the categories that are most relevant to your firm. Ideally, those categories will be closely related to each other. If you only practice personal injury, add that one category.
Their review system is a primary service of Yelp. So much so that their latest algorithm update aimed at automatically removing or hiding fake or solicited reviews is known for often removing legitimate reviews.
The game is simple; the more reviews and the better your aggregate rating, the higher you can rank.
How to get reviews to stick
How to get review to “stick” is the million-dollar question. New accounts, reviews from the same device or IP address, and multiple reviews from the same user are usually flagged for removal.
Your best bet in mitigating the odds of reviews being removed is for those reviews to come from aged accounts or from those who have left prior reviews for other businesses.
Since it’s against Yelp’s terms to even ask for reviews, it can be a little tricky to increase your review count. If you see clients at your office, you can ask them to check in via Yelp. Then, later, Yelp will prompt them to leave their feedback.
Yelp does not allow you to incentivize reviews. They do allow for having a check-in offer, though. The secret to following the rules and getting more reviews is to let Yelp do the asking for you. Their check-in system is how this is accomplished.
Again, you cannot incentivize a review.
However, you can incentivize a check-in.
After a check-in, Yelp will ask for a review.
Your law firm will inevitably receive a negative review. If it’s not from a client, a competing law firm may have the unethical practice of discrediting good firms. It happens.
If you do get a negative review, there are a few things you can do.
First, check to see if the review is from a new account or if the review is left by someone who is not a past client. You can report illegitimate or defamatory reviews and have them removed.
If the review is legit and can’t be removed, your best bet is to calmly and intelligently leave a reply. Realize that a multitude of other potential clients will read your response.
There is one number to remember that will serve you well when thinking about your review. That number is fifteen. Fifteen is the number of five-star reviews that you need to negate a single one-star review.
Yelp Listing Description
A thorough description of your law firm, services, and competitive advantages will optimize your page to convert higher. So, you can achieve better placement with a great description.
I know this doesn’t need to be stated, but I’m going to put it out there anyways. An excellent description does not include keyword stuffing. Focus on user experience. Focus on your firm’s perception. Your description is a critical element that your potential clients will read.
Now, you will want to include a couple of keywords, naturally, within your description. The goal is for the description to read well and include your top target keywords.
Online Consultation Requests
As an option, your Yelp profile can gather lead information and send that information to you to initiate a consultation. This option is free to the end-user and free to your law firm.
After initiating a request, consumers are prompted to fill out a questionnaire so that your firm will receive enough information to respond to the request appropriately.
This is a great option as long as you are prompt in responding. The average response time is displayed on your listing. So, a poor response time may negatively impact your chances of converting a hot lead.
We notice that the top-ranked law firms in the most competitive locals enable online requests. Additionally, we have witnessed upward movement once this feature is enabled.
Add Photos and Video
Adding photos gives your firm’s listing a better impression. It can also give your listing precedence over those firms who’ve omitted photos.
Keep in mind that just because photos can help your ranking doesn’t mean that they will. There are many ranking factors and adding photos may just be one of many.
With this said, it’s commonly believed that the time a person spends on your listing page, also known as the dwell time, is a ranking factor. It does make sense since dwell time is an indication that your listing is highly engaging.
After a while, your firm’s information, messaging, and capabilities change. It would be best if you were sure that your listing was up to date.
Once your Yelp listing is set up, your job is not finished. Yelp is not a set-it-and-forget-it platform.
Updating your listing can include keeping your descriptions up-to-date, replying to review, updating your photos, adding new videos, etc. Ideally, you will set scheduled times to review and update your listing.