[Author: Noreen Fishman]
For law firms, making their website visible online is of critical importance. Any organization is likely to have the goal of a strong web presence and being found easily on the internet. For companies that operate within certain regions – like a law firm – local discoverability is even more crucial. Legal marketers should make local visibility a top priority, and local business schema can be a powerful tool in their arsenal.
Local business schema is essentially a sort of structured data markup code that can be added to a company’s website in order to make it easier for search engines to identify certain things, like what sort of organization the site belongs to, or the services they provide.
Schema markup was originally created by search engines as a way to better understand and display data using common groups of tags. Your firm can take advantage of schema markup to better optimize your website for local SEO. That’s because local schema markup is one of the deciding factors in how your content will be ranked and displayed on search engine result pages.
When you include local business schema in the code of your website, search engines such as 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 local business schema to a website?
There is a great guide for adding local business schemas available here. In simpler terms, you can follow these steps:
Hopefully, you are optimizing your website for a certain niche audience, and this is what you are looking for. Be as specific as possible. There is a “legal service” category that you likely want to select, and you should be able to narrow it down further from there.
Your “About” page should be populated 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 related schema properties as necessary to properly inform search engines about your firm.
There are a couple of tools that you can use to preview how results will look in search results. Try entering your code into the Rich Results Test to see which Google rich results are generated by the structured data on your page. Or, if you want to test your structured data without Google feature-specific warnings, enter your code into the Schema Markup Validator.
To do this, add your schema directly within your HTML code or use a managed user interface, schema app, or plugin.
You’ll need to see if there are any issues 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 schema so that you can optimize as needed. It’s important to remember this is an ongoing process, especially as Google changes its formulas and approach to schemas. If anything in your own listing changes, make sure to adjust your local business schema as well.
Or for a sufficient overview of your website’s performance, sign up for a free SEO audit.
Optimizing local business schema for law firms can seem complicated, and sometimes it is. That doesn’t mean it’s something you can skip. Law firms need to do absolutely everything they can to improve ranking and discoverability for local search results, and local business schema can help. If you’re not sure how to incorporate the right code on your website, reach out to an expert.
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