Local SEO for Lawyers in 2024 – What You Need to Know

People looking for legal assistance are increasingly relying on online research. Any law firm that has begun its SEO journey is aware that local search engine optimization, also known as local SEO, has a significant impact on how clients locate and recommend them online. The fact that more people are searching for services “near them” than for other terms demonstrates Google’s constant preaching about the growing significance of local searches. Local SEO for attorneys differs slightly from that for other types of businesses. Law firms typically have more intricate requirements and regulations. This indicates that additional planning is required before they can begin their digital marketing strategy. We will examine all of the crucial aspects of local SEO for lawyers, including the most effective strategies, in this article.

What does Local SEO for Lawyers mean?

The area of search engine optimization that focuses on queries with a local intent is known as local SEO. When people use search engines like Google to find answers to their questions, they are referred to as queries. These searches are used by locals to find information, products, or services in their area. Local searchers also search for specific local results, like maps. For lawyers and law firms that provide services to a specific area, any one of these factors could be extremely important. When we see local SEO for lawyers, search terms like “lawyers in Chicago” and “divorce lawyers near me” and many such will be used by potential customers.

Why is Local SEO Important for Lawyers?

Law firms can reap the benefits of local SEO (search engine optimization) in particular. This is due to the fact that they frequently lack the resources to heavily invest in paid advertising. When you do local SEO for lawyers, you are focusing on the areas where your clients live and work. As a result, suppose you work as an attorney in New York City. When someone searches for “NYC criminal defense attorney”, it is essential to ensure that your law firm’s website ranks highly. Ads and SERP features are subordinate to organic search results. However, it is essential to incorporate a local perspective into your organic results in order to assist with your local SEO efforts. If you hire legal SEO services, they take care of the local SEO as well.

Importance of Google Maps in Local SEO for Lawyers

Local SEO focuses on local SERP features like the “Local Pack.” When Google determines that a search query has location-based intent, these features typically appear at the top of the page alongside a map. 

Google Maps is a powerful tool for local search engine optimization (SEO) and is particularly important for lawyers looking to increase their online visibility in their local area. With the rise of mobile search, more and more people are using Google Maps to find businesses, including law firms. By ensuring that your law firm is properly listed on Google Maps, you can increase the likelihood of potential clients finding your firm when searching for legal services in your area. Additionally, having an accurate and up-to-date Google Maps listing can help improve your overall search engine ranking, making it easier for people to find your law firm online. Therefore, it is essential for lawyers to recognize the importance of Google Maps in their local SEO efforts and to take steps to optimize their listing for maximum visibility.

Also, Read: Local SEO vs National SEO: Which one to Choose? 

Google My Business (GMB) for Lawyers

Google My Business (GMB) profile uses the information about your law firm without you having to do much. Your company’s location is highlighted and labeled in the local map search results once you enter your address. Links to your website and the Google Maps directions page are displayed prominently by default in your Google My Business profile for lawyers listing. This advancement is a phenomenal way for local search to show potential neighborhood clients that it is so helpful to find you and how to connect for further information. The title tag of the website, which tells Google what the website is all about, is one of the most important places where relevance is important.

For instance, if you can integrate “injury attorney” into your title on Google, your company will naturally rise in the rankings and achieve higher visibility if you include this keyword in both the title tag and the body of the description. This demonstrates to Google that your page is relevant to the search, allowing the company to rise in the rankings. The location is apparently the most significant for Google My Business profile for legal advisors. Your law firm ought to emphasize the fact that it is a local one that serves a local community by providing accurate location data on both your website and online profiles.

You can verify and correct your geographic information, as well as control how it appears on the map, in the Google My Business profile admin area. One of the perks of GMB listing is the Local Finder. It is a highlighted box in the Google results when someone searches for “local law firms.” The Local Finder will show, among other things, your law firm as well as a small map with your firm’s location marked with a flag.

Following a local SEO guide for lawyers can benefit significantly from favorable reviews. Ensure that as many favorable reviews as possible are left for your practice. Check to see that these reviews are relevant to articles, directories, and even offline media. All of these things have the potential to raise your law firm’s listing to the top of search results.

Also, Read: How to Track Calls from GMB (Google Business Profile) on Your Website 

SEO Strategies for Law Firms

  • Link Building for Law Firms

The most fundamental definition of link-building is the process of acquiring links that point to a target website from other websites. A link, also known as a hyperlink, is typically text enclosed in an “href”-added HTML anchor tag. Links can also be images or entire HTML elements at the block level. Lawyers can manually add links to other sites they own, social media accounts, directories, forums, and other sites with direct link placement access.

The creation of content that compels other site owners to link to is a more sophisticated form of link building. It might also involve ingenious methods for creating situations in which other website owners are required to include a link to an attorney’s website. Law firms can create connections in a variety of ways. Among the best are making legitimate assets on complex subjects that site proprietors can reference in their articles. Digital public relations, guest posting, and other strategies are also effective.

When journalists or website owners link to content because they find it useful, link building can naturally occur. However, many businesses favor proactively attracting links because doing so speeds up results. Law firms need to take a few things into consideration when choosing websites to target for link building:

Site’s authority: A link from a small blog will have less of an impact on your website’s ranking than one from a high-authority site like the New York Times. To determine a website’s authority, use tools like Ahrefs.

Site’s relevance: It’s normally imagined that a connection from a site that examines points pertinent to yours will hold more power than one from an irrelevant site with comparable power. For instance, a link from a law news publisher will typically be superior to one from a law firm business website, as will a link from a crafting blog. However, links from various websites can enhance your profile.

Content quality on the target website: Your link should come from reputable websites that publish original, well-written content. Check the content of the websites you intend to target before beginning outreach. If a website’s posts appear to be poorly written, avoid it. Even if the website is of your niche, if the content is not good, then a link from that sort of site will not be of much help.

Existing links profile: To ensure a natural link profile, the best link building strategy employs multiple strategies. You might be successful with niche edits or free directories; however, you should also try to incorporate guest posting and digital PR.

  • Site Structure for Law Firms

The organization of the pages within your domain name is referred to as your site’s structure. Due to the absence of structure, a website with hundreds of unorganized, aligned pages will have a very low level of domain authority. 

However, your law website will be regarded as having a high level of site structure, which translates into strong domain authority, if you group your pages according to top-level categories and then link to additional content pages that support that top-level category. Think about how your computer organizes its files to comprehend the structure of the website. When compared to a website, your computer would be viewed as unorganized and of poor quality if your desktop was overflowing with random files.

However, your computer’s desktop would be perceived as highly organized and structured if it had a single master folder that opened to clearly defined subfolders and contained highly relevant and organized files under each subfolder. When Google crawls and indexes a website, the crawlers always begin at your top level, or root domain, which is your homepage’s URL. It then begins looking for folders at a second level, which may be represented by links on your homepage or your main navigation bar. The crawler then begins searching for all of the pages within these sub-folders.

Utilizing a spreadsheet to begin organizing pages is one method I use to organize client websites. First, I use a spreadsheet to keep track of all the pages on a website. Then, I look at the website to see where the second layer of structure would come from. This is typically represented by practice areas on law firm websites. Therefore, the most pertinent pages for your firm’s practice areas of personal injury, criminal defense, and social security disability law would constitute the second layer of structure.

After we have the law firm website mapped out on our spreadsheet, we return to the website itself and begin implementing the structures and bringing it live. Then, moving on to the third layer of structure, we would begin placing supporting pages underneath the second lawyer, and so on. Site structure can have a significant impact on rankings for law firm websites. In some instances, the only thing we did to get our law firm clients to the top of Google was to make sure their websites were well-organized.

  • Create Quality Content for Local SEO for Lawyers

Content creation is a great way to increase your rankings and establish your site’s credibility, if you are familiar with SEO concepts. For lawyers, a content strategy is another useful tool for improving local SEO. You still want to make content that makes people aware of your brand and makes you look like an expert in your field. Google and other search engines will benefit from the addition of hyperlocal content.

  1. Social Media
    Facebook is still the best social media platform for content when it comes to local SEO for lawyers. Facebook provides a means for clients to communicate with you and interact with your business, even if you are a smaller law firm with a simple website. Facebook’s “about” section lets you add information about your company. Add your name, address, and phone number to this page to give people another way to find you close by. You can also add services and other keywords to your Facebook page to make it relevant to local searches.

    Utilize the platform to announce local events once your business page has been updated with consistent information.

    Use the location tag to direct users to the major community event that your law firm is sponsoring. Post about it on all of your social media pages. Holland & Hart, a Denver-based law firm, focuses on consumer goods, beverages, and food. The company uses its Facebook page to advertise events featuring its attorneys and is active on social media. By posting about events that feature its attorneys, Holland & Hart improves its local SEO and builds credibility. Using a mix of local and non-local hashtags, you can promote events, employees, and other content across platforms.

  2. Blog Posts
    Blog posts and magazine articles are examples of long-form content that help clients learn about your business and establish you as an authoritative source. Help your clients navigate their legal issues by publishing blogs, newsletters, and articles on relevant topics. These items are also optimized for SEO by including keywords. Barr & Young Attorneys represents clients in northern California. The tagline on the company’s homepage states that it serves customers all over northern California, providing Google and other search engines with a location clue.

    The information on Barr & Young’s blog ranges from general perspectives on popular culture cases to California-specific laws. The company published a blog in March titled “California Probate Fees.” The company is established as an authority on California probate law thanks to this article. Additionally, it produces a viable result that may be found when someone searches for “California Probate Fees.” Content tailored to California clients by Barr & Young boosts performance results in local searches.

    Look at the news in your area to see if there are any hot topics you can use to write a relevant blog post and use a hyperlocal hashtag to promote it on social media. Backlinks from high-quality blog posts boost your company’s credibility. A link to your website that is featured on another website is known as a backlink. A backlink to your original post might be created by someone who uses your blog as a source in an article. Another strategy for generating backlinks is to write guest blogs for other businesses or vendors. For cross-promotion ideas, talk to your vendors or other businesses you know.

  3. Perform Public Relations Outreach
    Any size business can benefit from having a public relations team. However, for enterprise-level brands, getting links in well-known publications is essential for competing with websites with very high Domain Authority scores. Because Google looks     at off-site signals like brand mentions to understand your website’s authority, press coverage that does not include a link can still have some positive SEO returns in terms of your overall brand awareness. Dofollow links from prestigious publications, on the other hand, will ultimately have an impact for raising DA specifically.

  4. Videos
    Videos, like blog posts, introduce your company to potential customers and establish your credibility. You can break down complicated information in videos for customers who may not want to read a lengthy blog post. They are also more catchy than written forms of content. Make a video with your customers in mind because dry material makes it difficult to create engaging content. Create a video series or answer videos to frequently asked questions about a complicated legal topic like estate planning. Justify why it is important to your customers.

    Make some hyper-local videos about local zoning laws and restrictions if you work for a real estate law firm. To show how zoning works, you can shoot parts of the video in different neighborhoods. Include local keywords and terms in the descriptions of your videos when you publish them. SEO is driven by content, but building a following takes time, so you might want to pay for an advertisement to grow your business.

  5. Local Directories
    Legal directories can assist you in establishing trust and authority. They distribute citations for your client’s legal practice and local business data through them. They’re likewise a huge wellspring of backlinks. To get customers in your area, get listed on relevant directories. Geolocation technology is used by directories to make it easy for potential clients looking for a lawyer in your area to find you.

    Potential clients can look for local lawyers who practice the kind of law they need assistance with by searching a variety of local directories. Justia, Nolo, HG.org, Avvo, FindLaw, Martindale-Hubbell, and Lawyers.com are a few examples of them. You can create free profiles on these sites with links to your client’s website. Additionally, they offer premium options to assist your client’s law firm in gaining more attention and exposure. Add photos and videos to your client’s profile to tell the story of their business.
  • Location Based SEO

Simply put, Google measures three factors to determine authority in local search: authority, proximity, and relevance Google requires a method for determining which websites should rank higher than others. How well your law firm’s website ranks for a particular keyword is what rank tracking is all about. For instance, if your firm comes in first for “car accident lawyer,” that may be advantageous. Nevertheless, it is essential to be aware that conventional rank tracking software can be extremely misleading. In the past, if you were using traditional rank tracking software and were ranked #1 for “car accident lawyer,” you were probably ranked that way across the country.

Google now has a better understanding of where people who search online are located than ever before. Now, Google prioritizes the results it displays based on the searcher’s proximity to a law firm. There are a lot of rank tracking software options available, but the majority of them use a single GPS location, typically the city center, to show you where your website ranks for a particular keyword. If a potential client searches for a personal injury attorney on Google from a hospital, they might find a different firm at the top than if they searched a few blocks away.

Due to the erroneous nature of traditional ranking reports, many law firm marketers are unaware of their level of market visibility. This is also bad for developing a strategy because it’s easy to focus your marketing on new areas when you should be working on a strategy that helps your business rank as many places as possible in your target city.

By concentrating on strategies that enable them to dominate a single geographic area rather than spreading out before they have reached their full potential, law firms frequently have the potential to double, triple, or quadruple the number of leads they receive.

You won’t get the full picture if you check rankings from your computer or using software that only tracks from one GPS location. In fact, Google may display the closest business when you search from your office, so you are more likely to rank in the local pack for keywords. Although this may feel rewarding, it probably won’t bring in a lot of business if you don’t rank well when actual customers search for you. When you conduct a mobile Google search, it is more likely that Google uses your precise GPS location. However, there are times when it defaults to a larger area, like a city. Google typically displays your neighborhood by default rather than your precise location, just like it does when you search from a desktop or laptop computer.

Depending on the kind of information you’re looking for, each of these places might give you different results. Open Chrome and conduct a Google search if you want to see where Google believes you are physically located. It will inform you of the location it is displaying results for if you scroll down to the bottom. Google’s selection of how to display local pack results is heavily influenced by searcher intent. Google will provide local results for many keywords related to law firms, but they also know when a search should be even more localized.

A good illustration of this would be if you conducted a search for “car accident lawyer near me” and “car accident lawyer”. Google knows that you’re probably just looking for a car accident lawyer in your general area, but by using the “Near Me” search, you’re explicitly telling them that you want to find a lawyer close to where you are looking.

  • Build Brand Authority

  1. Blogging for Law Firms
    When you blog, you have a fantastic opportunity to target keywords that your landing pages cannot.  Let us say each of your services’ landing pages and homepage are already optimized for your primary keywords. That’s great, but you won’t get as much organic traffic. Why? because hundreds of websites, many of which are older and larger than yours, are already targeting those keywords. You can try to get backlinks to boost your SEO and rankings, but it will soon become too difficult to get other websites to naturally link to your product pages. What are your options? This is where blogging comes in handy.

    You can start a blog, conduct keyword research to learn what other people search for in relation to your products and services, and begin publishing content. This works for law firms too. You can use a variety of strategies to achieve high rankings, depending on the SEO keywords you have chosen. You can go after more popular keywords by publishing long-form content and creating content silos, or you can go after long-tail keywords, which are more targeted and easier to rank for.

    A website needs high-quality backlinks to rank well on Google. Blogging is a great way to get those links and boost your domain’s authority. A good blog post is more likely to be linked to by other bloggers than a page about a product or service. Although these links won’t directly affect your rankings, they will strengthen your domain, which will benefit all of your website’s pages. The only way that Google will be convinced that your website is worthy of good search results is through incoming links. Brand mentions are one of the most underutilized off-page SEO strategies.

    Blogging can help you showcase your brand in front of a larger audience, which can result in social media engagement (likes, comments, and tweets) and brand mentions in places that would be impossible without blogging. Google loves genuine brands, and blogging can help you do the same.

    Tips for blogging
    When it comes to blogging, one of the most common mistakes is targeting the same keywords as their landing pages. When you first begin blogging, you should conduct keyword research and select keywords that are related to but distinct from your primary keywords. You should avoid targeting the same keywords because doing so will make it difficult for Google to determine which page is more valuable to you.

    If you want to improve your rankings, you should spend enough time promoting your blog post after it has been published and trying to get some backlinks. SEO works in this way. In fact, very few people do this. The majority of people either click the publish button and wait for the magic to happen or skip ahead to the next blog post. If you take the same approach, your chances of getting a return on your blogging efforts in terms of rankings and website visits are reduced. 

    For example, you should publish the blog post on Facebook and use Facebook ads to get it in front of people who might be interested in reading it. This is the minimum action you must take. Facebook lets you choose your target audience based on their interests and demographics, so you can reach the right people with the least amount of effort. If you want to do this right, in addition to promoting on Facebook, you should email a list of bloggers who write about similar subjects and already link to similar articles. Try to have a conversation with them and ask for a link from them.
  1. Social Media Strategy for Law Firms
    Social media is one of the most effective and free ways to market your business today because of its wide use and adaptability. The following are some specific advantages of social media marketing.
    • Connect with you audience
      You can make your business an active participant in your market by using social media. Your audience can get to know you, connect with you, and trust you through your posts, interactions with other users, and profile as a person.
    • Boosts traffic
      Social media is a great way to get more people to your website and turn them into customers thanks to the links in your profile, posts, and ads to your blog posts. In addition, social signals contribute indirectly to SEO.
    • Create customers and leads
      Through features like Instagram shops, direct messaging, call to action (CTA) buttons on profiles, and appointment booking capabilities, you can also directly generate leads and conversions on these platforms.
    • Enhance brand recognition
      You can build your visual identity and increase brand awareness thanks to social media platforms’ visual nature. Additionally, increased brand awareness results in improved campaign performance.
    • Build connections
      Through these platforms, you can network, get feedback, have conversations, and connect directly with people by opening up both direct and indirect lines of communication with your followers.

Tips for social media marketing strategy for your Law Firm

  • Choose based on your bandwidth, popular platforms for your industry, and your target audience. 
  • Take on only as many platforms as you can keep up with. You can always start with just one and gradually add more as you get used to them.
  • To get started, these should be straightforward and task-oriented, like posting once per day for a month, setting up your profiles, or conducting a competitive analysis. 
  • You will be able to set more specific and strategic objectives, such as publishing a number of content types that you have discovered your audience likes per month, once you get into a rhythm and gather insights.
  • You can see the demographics of your audience and which posts are getting the most engagement by utilizing the analytics on each platform. Make use of what works and expand on it, eliminate what doesn’t.
  1. Facebook Instant Articles for Law Firms
    Facebook is without a doubt the most effective social media profile for increasing website traffic and brand exposure. But keep in mind that the objective is not only to increase traffic to your law firm’s website but also to establish your brand’s authority. As a result, providing a great user experience with your content on social media, particularly Facebook, is critical. Facebook Instant Articles come into play in this situation. Facebook users on mobile devices can instantly access your content through instant articles. Before Instant Articles, when someone clicked on a news article in their Facebook feed, the website on their mobile device would take upwards of 30 seconds to load. Because the content is coming directly from Facebook servers rather than the server on which the website is hosted, when a user taps on a news article in their feed, the article loads immediately.

Local SEO for Lawyers: Things to Know

  1. Be a law firm that prioritizes mobile since Google is now a mobile-first index. Therefore, your law firm’s website must first be designed and optimized for mobile search.
  1. Schema markup is crucial for lawyers. Schema markup can assist lawyers in integrating additional data points and information into the search results when it comes to local search. If you can provide a searcher with as much data and information as possible, they are more likely to call your law firm.
  1. People typically begin their search for a lawyer by asking questions about their particular case or situation. Therefore, if you populate your blog with excellent content based on questions and answers, your law firm will begin to appear for the hundreds or thousands of legal-related queries that your local clients are looking for.
  1. Lawyer directories are very useful. Most importantly, they distribute citations for the local business data of your law firm. The more citations you can accumulate, the more authority and trust you instill in the location of your law firm. Backlinks from lawyer directories are also great. Although many are, not all of them are do-follow. Regardless, acquiring backlinks from these high-DA legal directories can significantly improve your law firm’s Google rankings.
  1. If your firm has multiple partners or lawyers, your website should reflect it. A comprehensive attorney profile page with a wealth of useful information about local businesses ought to be available to each lawyer. Additionally, posting highly rated client testimonials is a great use of attorney profiles.

Also, Read: 8 Best Local SEO Tools to Make Your Business Rank Higher in 2024 

Final Thoughts

Some of the world’s most important businesses are represented by law firms. However, when it comes to SEO, they frequently fall behind rival businesses. This is because they typically need to deal with a lot of cases, meet with clients, and file a lot of paperwork. The best way to promote your law firm is through local SEO for lawyers. If you work in a big city, there are probably a lot of other lawyers who do the same thing. You need to be at the top of search engine results and stand out from the crowd.

Attorney Search Engine Optimization involves keeping your website up to date with the most recent guidelines, making sure it works on mobile devices, and providing informative content. If your location and images are out of date, you should think about updating them. Make sure the page title and title tags are original and catchy. Hanging signs or printing business listings in the Yellow Pages as a way to get new customers are no longer effective methods. Your law firm’s visibility in the local area will rise as a result of the aforementioned recommendations for local SEO for law firms.

FAQs

How SEO helps law firms?

SEO makes it easier for people to find law firms on Google and other search engines, like Google Maps which helps you acquire more clients.

Is SEO necessary for law firms?

Many users use search engines to find an attorney or validate recommendations from other sources. A lawyer’s capacity to acquire new clients may be hindered if prospective clients are unable to locate them on Google or if their client reviews and images do not appear there.

Is a Google My Business listing needed for a law firm?

A GMB (Google My Business) listing is definitely necessary for a law firm since it is your online business card which helps your prospective clients to view and get to know about your services.

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