10 Aug A Different Kind of SEO: 5 Big Challenges One Niche Faces in Google
By: Alexandra Tachalova
When it comes to brick-and-mortar storefronts, local businesses often struggle to compete with neighboring big brands. Statistics show that, even for a well-known local store that’s established a strong relationship with its customers and built a community through the years, having such a neighbor can be detrimental. But what about a newly opened business? Does it have any chance of competing with popular brands? My experience has led me to believe there’s only one way a locally owned business can overcome big competition: it needs to take advantage of local SEO.
Recently, in collaboration with Accuranker, I conducted a survey that touches upon the difficulties local businesses face when trying to become visible in Google’s local results. We analyzed more than 300,000 local SERPs across multiple industries (beauty, medical services, auto services, legal, shopping, etc.) to get a clear understanding of what the chances are for a local site to seem attractive to Google.
One of the more curious insights our research revealed is that the legal services niche is among the most competitive. Sure, this finding isn’t rocket science. In fact, I bet on some level you were aware of this (or at least you had a gut feeling). However, this issue is much more complex than it seems. The legal services niche far surpasses other niches in terms of competition and prices.
Does this mean that the legal services niche falls under radically different rules and requires unique SEO tactics? This is exactly the question I set out to answer, and you’re most welcome to follow me on my little investigation!
Gathering the data for this article
After reading this article, you’ll understand the biggest challenges that any legal website faces when trying to become visible in the SERPs. The data here will help ensure that your future strategies are based on informed decisions. Moreover, you’ll be able to streamline your creative process and find non-standard approaches that will cement your success in the legal industry.
To conduct proper research on what SEO strategies local businesses employ in the legal services niche, I took the following steps:
- I made a list of keywords unrelated to any brand (which could hardly be classified as local).
- I identified the most competitive places in the US for this industry in order to analyze how legal sites build a presence in this extremely aggressive environment
The first step was simply to do keyword research, which involved a bit more manual work than usual — I tried my best to filter out branded keywords and ones that weren’t relevant to local searches.
With the help of Statista I was able to get a list of the states in America that have the highest employment rates in the legal niche:
You can see that California, New York, and Florida have the highest number of employees in this industry, hence these locations are the most “densely populated” by law firms and lawyers, and, as a result, the competition in these states should be higher than in other states. After I made a list of the most competitive locations, I was ready to move on to the next step — analyzing the domains that appear in SERPs for the keywords I had previously selected. View Full Article >>