A Guide to Local SEO for Law Firms

Date: October 4, 2022

Did you know that 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, this guide is for you!

The Difference Between Local SEO vs SEO

Traditional SEO for law firms consists of a range of tactics used to improve a law firm’s search engine ranking 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 aligns with what users are searching for.

Local SEO is a subsection of SEO that focuses exclusively on optimizing a law firm’s website when users search for 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.

With that being said, Google decided to introduce local SEO to bring more traffic to brick-and-mortar businesses. So, while organic SEO aims to rank high for specific keywords, local SEO practices aim to rank high on Google’s local pack of listings.

As an example, if a potential client searches for “personal injury law firms in Miami,” Google would want to connect the prospect to a local personal injury law firm in Miami 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, and the great thing about local SEO is it directs clients who need legal help in your service area to you!

Local SEO plays an important role in the overall SEO strategies for law firms. It helps improve a law firm’s online presence, local rankings and lead generation. It’s a vital tool that allows businesses to reach their specific audience when they are searching for them.

How to Optimize for Local SEO

With all of this information, you may be wondering how you can optimize your law firm’s presence for local SEO.

First, Google recognizes authority in local search by measuring three factors: relevance, proximity, and authority. Here are how these three factors are defined in local SEO:

  • Relevance – Is the content on your website relevant to the searcher?
  • Proximity – Is your business located within the city that the searcher is looking in?
  • Authority – Your overall website authority is gauged by many factors, including content quality, site speed and links from other websites.

In reality, Google uses thousands of different ranking signals, all of which carry a different weight. Factors related to user experience, such as site speed, relevance, and well-written content are essential, but you won’t rank for competitive law keywords without backlinks from other high-ranking websites, also known as backlinks.

Links back to your site from other websites act as a vote of confidence in Google’s eyes. If another recognized authoritative website, such as a news website or blog, links to your law firm, that can help catapult your rankings over law firms that do not have this “vote of confidence” from others.

Creating Consistent Content Through Blogs

When people are searching for a lawyer, they typically start by asking a question about their particular case or their unique situation. If you prioritize creating blog content with these questions in mind, your law firm will start showing up for the infinite number of legal-related questions your local clients are searching for.

Consistently posted content on your website is a key indicator to search engines that you are prioritizing information and keeping your website up-to-date. The more in-depth and informative content you put out there, the more likely you are to show up for a search result from a potential client searching for those answers.

Google Reviews

Google reviews are one of the main components that impact local SEO. According to Moz, almost 10% of Google’s entire algorithm is driven by signals originating from Google Reviews. Since Google is trying to provide people with the best results for their search queries, online reviews are a strong indicator of whether people like your business. The number of reviews also plays a role in this. Both Google and potential customers like to see businesses with consistent reviews or at least more reviews than your competitor. People are also beginning to call businesses directly from Google rather than visit the website first. This shift emphasizes the importance of your Google Business profile and the type and number of online reviews.

Need Help Optimizing Your Law Firm’s Online Presence?

9Sail can help you build a strategy that’s right for your firm. To learn more, contact us today for a consultation or free site audit!