Local SEO for Lawyers

Getting Leads From Your Own Backyard

It’s not just about getting your site to rank and getting users to click through to your law firm’s website. It’s about converting those clicks into clients.

Now, unless you run a law firm that represents clients across the country, that means that you’ll need to get people who are local to visit your site.

That’s why it’s also important to give some love to your local SEO campaign.

Local SEO involves targeting clients in a particular geographic area. If you’re a criminal defense lawyer in Tampa, FL, you’re going to want to show up when someone in Tampa Googles, “criminal defense lawyer near me” or “Tampa criminal lawyer.” 

Most importantly, you’ll want to show up in the local map pack.

About 93% of the time, a local pack shows up before traditional organic search results on Google SERPs (when there’s local intent).

The local pack displays what Google believes to be three highly-relevant search results – including the business’s NAP data – like name, address, and phone number.

Local SEO vs Organic SEO

Does showing up in the local pack matter?

  • Local packs get about 44% of user clicks in a search.
  • Organic results get about 29% of user clicks, and
  • Roughly one in five users will choose a paid ad. 

A recent 2021 study found that businesses – and law firms – ranking in the local pack see a 400% increase in views and a 113% increase in user clicks.

So, if you want your law firm to be seen and for potential clients to visit your website, then yes, showing up in the three pack is critical.

Here’s how to get there.

How Optimize for Local SERPs?

Showing up in the local 3-pack can be a huge boost for your firm’s business. It can get you clicks – and the kind that have a high probability of turning into meaningful leads. It’s also important to show up in local organic search results, too.

So, how can you optimize your firm’s website so that it’s in the local pack and/or ranks organically for local searches?

Make the Most Out of Google My Business: Create and customize a Google My Business (GMB) profile. See more in our GMB section below.

Focus on Relevance, Distance, and Prominence: Google looks for three things when choosing local results: relevance, distance, and prominence. So, you’ll want your website to really embrace these three things.

Make sure that the content on your website is relevant to the search. Focus on targeting a geographic region that’s close to you. Establish your firm as an authority with a great reputation.

Work on Getting Local Link Juice: Links, as we’ve discussed, are a huge component of SEO. When it comes to local SEO, links to and from local sources can offer a huge boost.

Apply for local awards. Connect with legal groups and organizations that serve your targeted geographic region.

Highlight Your Community Engagement: Partner with local agencies. Create a community involvement page that highlights your service – including personal and professional volunteer hours – to the nonprofit and highly-respected organizations in the area.

Make the Most of Google My Business

To show up for local search results, you need a Google My Business (BMB) profile. Google shows GMB results above organic search results on Google.

To rank local law firms, Google considers three significant factors: relevance, distance, and prominence.

  • Relevance: How well does your local listing match someone’s search query? You can show Google your listing is highly relevant by completing your GMB profile with detailed, accurate information.
  • Distance: How far is your firm from the location used in the search query? If the searcher doesn’t specify a location, Google will try to calculate the distance automatically.
  • Prominence: How well known is your law firm in the community? If you have a prominent local business and Google can find lots of information about you across the web, you can achieve better rankings. Google also factors in reviews and positive ratings.

Here’s how to optimize your GMB profile, keeping these factors in mind:

  • Set up and verify your GMB account.
  • Optimize your profile. Enter your business name and hours of operation (including holiday hours). Enter accurate contact information and a link to your website. Also, fill out product and service descriptions, categories, and attributes.
  • Use all 750 characters to fill in the “from the business” section, putting the most important content at the beginning. Incorporate keywords naturally. Don’t add links.
  • Choose the right primary category. It should be accurate and specific.
  • Add some photos to increase engagement, get into Google image results, and prove your business is active. Try to add a new quality image every week or so with a clear description and location.
  • Start getting as many Google reviews as you can. You can ask long-term clients first. Respond to comments and reviews as you receive them.
  • Post to your GMB profile regularly. Posts can include offers, events, announcements, or new services you offer. Include a link and a CTA in each post.
  • Answer questions in the “Questions and Answers” section. Set up alerts to notify you when someone asks a question so you can answer before anyone else. Try to incorporate keywords.

At the end of the day, local SEO is just one component of your lawyer SEO campaign.

So, by focusing on your SEO campaign – creating great content, generating an impressive backlink portfolio, developing a great user experience – you’ll set yourself up for success in local SERPs with a few added steps.

Further Reading: Local SEO For Lawyers Guide

Up Next: Tracking SEO Results