4 Local Marketing Mistakes to Avoid on Your Law Firm’s Website

by Feb 21, 2020

Local pages are law firm website pages that provide relevant local information to your potential clients. 

A number of your law firm’s website pages can engage local clients by providing local information that they’re searching for. Practice area pages, blog posts, case results, and many other types of pages can have a local focus.

For example:

  • A personal injury attorney might create content addressing local topics such as intersections that are often sites of accidents, information about local hospitals, or places where people frequently get injured, such as parks and schools.
  • Criminal defense attorneys might create pages that provide information about local criminal courts, police stations, jails, or checkpoints.

To create successful local pages means understanding what makes a good local page but also what you should avoid. Here are four common local marketing mistakes that we see on law firm websites.

Mistake #1: Relying on copying, pasting, finding-and-replacing local keywords on law firm websites

When it comes to targeting local information on law firm websites, some attorneys rely on methods that might have been effective ten or fifteen years ago, but that aren’t any longer.

For example, some attorneys may see pages with local content that are, essentially, keyword-stuffed pages. 

The days of being able to copy and paste page content and then replace the local descriptors are over.

For every page that you make that is related to a particular geographic location, you need to supply useful, unique information on each of those pages.

Copying and pasting content from other websites is problematic, too. For example, some attorneys will create a local page about one court — then copy the information on that local court’s site onto their website. Let’s say an attorney visits the website of a local municipal court, copies the content on the court’s website to their law firm’s website, and calls it a day. 

Copyright issues aside (to the extent that there may be any), this method is ineffective because you’re not giving your potential clients — or the search engines — anything new. If you’re copying what is already out there on the web, you are shouting into a void.

Google cares about unique, educational content because it’s what your potential clients are looking for when they conduct searches.

While it’s fine to quote something that appears on another site, you’ll want to add your own local information and color to it. For example, let’s say that a criminal defense attorney pulls some information from a court website. He or she might go on to explain the importance of punctuality at this particular location: “I was there with my client. We went for an arraignment, and the person who was there five minutes late was treated harshly by the judge…” Then, he or she can provide a lot of additional context around this situation to give information that’s useful to a potential client who might be in a similar position.

Mistake #2: Taking the wrong focus with law firm website local content

Another content mistake that we see happens when attorneys make the focus of their local content on themselves and their firm, rather than on potential clients and the information they need from a local page. 

Keep in mind that if you’re talking about how great your firm is and how much you’ve won in a particular court, those types of things only go so far. It’s okay to mention those things in passing, but the information on the page should first and foremost be geared toward utility for your potential client.

Mistake #3: Local keyword jamming on law firm websites

Years ago, it was popular to take every keyword of every city or local jurisdiction that you wanted to target and have a large paragraph in the footer of your site that said something like:

“We serve the following areas: Apache Junction, Avondale, Benson, Bisbee, Buckeye, Bullhead City…”

A list like this often goes on to mention every city or county in a state.

Not only is this form of using local keywords basically useless at this point, it can also be counterproductive. These kinds of lists may read as a spam signal to the search engines, which perceive these lists as throwing in keywords for the sake of the search engines, not for user value.

The benefit of a comma-delimited list of 50 different counties is not likely to be very high and may hurt you more than help you.

Mistake #4: Writing law firm website content that is too general to appeal to a local audience

Another mistake that we see occurs when attorneys try to appeal to potential clients in every jurisdiction and end up appealing to no one.

Sometimes attorneys write content that’s too general to be applied to the particular geographic area where they practice. As a result, that content isn’t likely to be found by — or resonate with — potential clients in that region.

If your content is too broad, it’s unlikely to attract and inspire the right audience.

To learn more about creating local content that resonates with your potential clients, see: “Thinking Locally, Not Legally: How Potential Clients Find Law Firm Websites.

Learn more about developing a framework for local pages on law firm websites

Local pages are useful for attorneys in most practice areas to drive local potential clients to law firms.

To learn more about creating local pages the right way, see: “Developing a Framework for Local Marketing on Your Law Firm’s Website.”

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