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Updated: August 29, 2022

Local Search Engine Optimization For Lawyers

We often get requests about how to use local SEO for lawyers. Attorneys want quick fixes because they prefer not to waste time going through a long, grueling SEO guide.

While there are no long-term quick fixes, there are a few things you can do to improve your local SEO results. This article and the tips we recommend should take less than 5-minutes to complete for even the most technophobic of attorneys.

If you still don’t feel comfortable setting up a local SEO account yourself, call us anytime Monday-Friday 9AM - 5PM at 312-265-0580. Contact us outside officer hours here. We will do the initial Google My Business (GMB) account set up for you while we are on the phone. If you want to set up your GMB account, follow the five-step process below. It takes approximately 90 seconds to complete.

Is Local SEO Important for Law Firms in 2022?

The short answer is “yes, more than ever.” The pandemic shutdowns have pushed online traffic to new heights, and businesses — whether they’re retail outlets, medical practices, service providers, or law firms — are all seeing new opportunities in leveraging the power of local SEO to grow their revenue.

I could give you a mile-long list of statistics about why mobile and search optimization is essential for all local businesses and law firms. However, for brevity, I want to discuss one number: 40%.

<span style=Attract more leads to your law firm“>
Attract more leads to your law firm

Talk to legal marketing experts

Two out of every five smartphone users find local law firms through Google.  Can your law firm ignore two out of every five prospects who come to your door? If the answer is no, keep reading.

The Difference Between Local SEO vs SEO

Traditional SEO for law firms comprises a range of tactics used to improve a law firm’s website on a national or global scale. The idea is that through careful optimization, a website will rank higher in search results when what it offers correlates with what users are searching for.

Local SEO for lawyers is a subsection of SEO that focuses exclusively on optimizing a law firm’s website when users search for its services within a specific geographical area or location. With the adoption of smartphones to Google search, developers realized many searches (as much as 46%) contained the words “near me” or showcased a strong user intent to find local products or services.

Ergo, Google decided to introduce local SEO to bring more foot traffic to brick-and-mortar businesses. So, while organic SEO aims to rank high for specific keywords, local SEO marketing aims to rank high on Google’s local pack of listings.

For example, if a potential client searches for “personal injury law firms in Chicago,” Google would want to connect the prospect to a local personal injury law firm in Chicago via its local search capabilities.

Why Local SEO and Google Maps Optimization are Important for Lawyers

Google search is the new normal for clients seeking legal help. Because each state has different BAR regulations, it makes little sense for law firms to operate outside their jurisdiction, unless they deal with international or national law.

And that’s the great thing about local SEO, it directs clients who need legal help in your service area!

Moreover, legal marketing is highly competitive. Top-ranking keywords are super expensive. To give you an idea, the cost-per-click for personal injury lawyers for local searches around car accidents and associated keywords can be as much as $1000.

Therefore, local SEO (and also franchise SEO) plays an important role in the overall SEO strategies for law firms. It helps improve a law firms’ online presence, local rankings, and lead generation. It’s a vital tool that allows business to reach their specific niche of clients when they are searching for them.

What Can I Do to Improve My Law Firm’s Local SEO Quickly?

The successful road to local SEO for lawyers starts with a single step. In this case, we require you to sign up. That is it! Just set up a free account on Google My Business.

Google My Business is a powerful tool that helps prospects find your law firm with ease when conducting local searches.

Note: If you have a Google My Business Account, skip this section and scroll down to “I Set Up My Google My Business Page. Now What?

Google My Business (GMB)

Have these items handy when you set up your account:

  • Legal Business Name (or DBA)
    Be sure to use the name consistently on your website and marketing materials so that you do not dilute your organic traffic. What’s more, be careful not to stuff your name with keywords, as this will also dilute the effectiveness of your Google My Business listing.
  • Complete Address (street, unit/suite, city, state, and zip code)
    You may also add service areas and additional office locations into your Google My Business listing, so be sure to include this pertinent information.
  • Add Business Category
    You can now include the category of business you service

Step 1: Add Your Legal Business Name

Google My Business Whats your name

Step 2: Enter Your Address and Whether You Deliver Goods or Services

Google My Business Where are you located

Step 3: Add Your Business Category.

Google My Business Business Category

Step 4: Add Your Customer Service Phone Number and Law Firm Website.

Google My Business Contact Info

Step 5: Verify Your Law Firm via Email, Text, or Phone.

Verification Code Google My Business

Also, note that Google My Business has added updates to its messaging features that will help your interaction with potential clients run more efficiently. Once you verify your GMB page, you have a live page. Mission Accomplished!

“I Set Up My Google My Business Page? Now What?”

What should you do after you set up your page? What else can you do with the remaining two minutes before getting back to your legal briefs?

Find out how much demand there is in your geographical area

request audit

Find out how much demand there is in your geographical area

You might not be able to do this all in 2 minutes. However, you should start.

Google My Business dashboard

#1. Add Photos

The first thing you need to do is add photos to your Google My Business page. Create a personal touch with pictures of your team and law firm office.

Google My Business Page photos

Potential clients want to trust you. A few photos can go a long way in building that trust. Use a minimum of 3-5 high-quality images. You can always change the pictures later, you just need to start.

A few photos to consider:

  • Logo
  • Corporate office
  • Team
  • Executive Team
  • Behind the scenes

#2. Legal Directories

You also need citations for your new page. Here are a few best legal directories you should add your company to, which can boost your search engine results rankings. Legal directories are important as they provide a) credibility to your law firm; b) and improve your organic search results.

Here you can read more about Martindale-Hubbel ratings and how to increase Avvo rating.

#3. Confirm You Have a Mobile-Friendly Website

If you want to get local SEO traffic, you require a mobile website to capture new clients who are using their phones to find local law firms. The first step is to confirm your site is optimized for mobile. Use the Mobile-Friendly Test.

mobile friendly test

#4 Services

Be sure to include a detailed description of your legal services. Refer to the Google My Business services editor page for details on how best to edit your law firm’s local listing, so it appears in search engine results pages.

Local SEO Mistakes to Avoid

To keep your SEO for bankruptcy lawyers, or any other type of attorney, on track, you’ll want to avoid making these common mistakes, which can potentially hurt your business’s credibility and online presence. Follow these local SEO tips for the best organic search results.

Inconsistent NAP Information

Your law firm’s business name, phone number, and address should be the same on all citation and local directory sources. Google’s local search ranking factors are affected by spaces, full stops, and different spelling.

For example, if your firm is located on Flower Street, you should keep the spelling of all your business information the same across all citations and listings. Even abbreviating the address to Flower St. will make Google assume it is a different listing.

Not Having Positive Customer Reviews

Local SEO studies reveal potential clients are more likely to pick law firms that have more or better average review ratings. If you have no reviews or a bad review score, you won’t attract much business.

There are over 200 factors Google considers when ranking websites and listings on organic search results. Of that, 7% is made up of reviews. Positive social signals indicate client trust. Google recognizes this and is far more likely to preference law firms with an average rating of 4 stars or better.

A Lack of Local Keywords

If your law firm operates in a strategic location, then you should be using local keywords strategically across your site and content marketing. For example, if you’re a personal injury lawyer in Chicago, you might include keywords like “personal injury lawyer in Chicago” “personal injury attorney in Chicago” or even “car accident lawyer in Chicago”.

Think about how local searchers would structure their search engine queries when looking for your law firm. Through keyword research, you can find common law firm keywords. Pair them with your location and include them in your content marketing read by potential clients.

How Do You Continue to Use Local SEO for Lawyers?

Local SEO is critical for law firms to ensure that the right prospects find their services. So, be sure to optimize your GMB and all other marketing efforts with local specifications for your services. These, powerful tips on localizing your Google My Business listing will ensure your listing is a success.

The local SEO strategies we’ve shared will provide an incremental jump in calls from new clients. However, it takes positive Google reviews, a strong social media presence, impressive content marketing, and a robust website with relevant keywords to truly outshine competitor law firms.

The first step is setting up a GMB account. The next is garnering positive reviews, and implementing a local SEO campaign.

However, if you believe your career would be better spent defending your clients instead of optimizing local search pages on Google, then reach out to us for help.

We’re a full-service digital marketing agency with a team of law firm marketing experts that can improve your local search results and revenue.

Want to speak with an expert?
Want to speak with an expert?
Call us at (312) 265-0580

In what cities do you work?

Comrade originates in Chicago, but we worked all around the United States. We can help your business grow and increase revenue whenever you are. We have offices across most major cities in the US. For example, we can offer SEO services in Chicago or Miami. You can even find our SEO experts in Austin! If you want to know more about our Milwaukee SEO company or find out how exactly we can help you, contact us via the phone or email.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you would like to discuss your project, reach out to our specialists.

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About the Author
Sasha Berson
Sasha serves as Managing Partner and VP of Client Solutions for Comrade Digital Marketing, a Chicago-based marketing agency dedicated to solving client’s most pressing digital challenges.
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