Local SEO for Lawyers

Table of Contents

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As a lawyer, you understand the importance of attracting clients to your firm. In today’s digital age, that means having a strong web presence that’s optimized for search engines like Google.

One of the most important weapons in your arsenal is Local SEO, which involves using location cues to steer people in your area—potential clients looking for your services—to your website.

By implementing effective Local SEO strategies, you can improve your law firm’s visibility in local search results and generate high-quality leads.

What is Local SEO for Lawyers?

Local SEO for lawyers involves optimizing your online presence to rank higher in local search results.

When someone searches for legal services in their area, such as “personal injury lawyer near me” or “divorce attorney in [city name],” search engines like Google display local results, including Google Maps listings and organic search results.

Local law firm SEO encompasses various strategies, including:

  • Optimizing your Google Business Profile (GBP) with accurate and complete information
  • Building local citations and backlinks from reputable directories and websites serving your area
  • Encouraging and managing online reviews from satisfied local clients
  • Creating local content that targets specific geographic areas and practice areas
  • Implementing schema markup to provide search engines with structured data about your law firm
  • Engaging with your local community through social media and event sponsorships

By focusing on these key areas, your law firm can establish a strong local online presence and attract more clients from your target geographic area.

Why Local SEO is Important for Law Firms

Local SEO is crucial for law firms because most clients seek legal services locally. After all, an accident victim in Springfield, MA, doesn’t want a personal injury attorney in Springfield, OR.

By ranking higher in local search results, you increase the likelihood of attracting clients searching for your services. Here are four key reasons why Local attorney SEO is essential for your law firm:

  1. Increased Visibility: Local SEO helps your law firm appear at the top of local search results, where potential clients are likelier to find you. Ranking higher in local search results increases your visibility and makes it easier for potential clients to discover your services. 
  2. Targeted Traffic: By optimizing for local searches, you attract clients specifically seeking legal services in your area, resulting in more qualified leads. Local SEO lets you focus on the geographic areas where you practice, ensuring that the traffic you receive is from potential clients rather than random users in far-off places. 
  3. Cost-Effective Marketing: Compared to traditional advertising methods, Local SEO is a more cost-effective way to promote your law firm and attract new clients. 
  4. Long-Term Benefits: Unlike paid advertising, which stops generating leads once you stop paying, Local SEO provides long-term benefits for your law firm. As you build your local online presence and establish your law firm as a trusted authority, your local search rankings can improve and maintain their positions over time.

Claim Your Google Business Profile (GBP)

Google Business Profile Help - Claiim Your Listing - Google Business Profile Help - Above The Bar

One of the first steps in local SEO for attorneys is to claim and verify your Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business). Your GBP is a free listing that appears in Google Maps and local search results, providing potential clients with essential information about your law firm, such as your address, phone number, website, and office hours.

Claiming and verifying your GBP allows you to control the information displayed about your law firm in Google’s local search results. It also enables you to respond to reviews, post updates, and access valuable insights about your local search performance.

Optimize Your Google Business Profile

How to optimize your Google Business profile - How to optimize your Google Business profile - Above The Bar

Once you’ve claimed your GBP, you can start optimizing it for local search. Here are some tips to enhance a Google Business Profile for lawyers:

  • Complete all relevant information, including your law firm’s name, address, phone number, website, office hours, and practice areas. Providing complete and accurate information helps potential clients find and contact your law firm more efficiently. 
  • Add high-quality photos and videos of your office and team showcasing your law firm’s personality and areas of focus. Photos help potential clients get to know you and your law firm’s culture, making your GBP listing more engaging and attractive. 
  • Encourage clients to leave reviews on your GBP, as positive reviews can improve your local rankings and attract more clients. Reviews are critical in local search rankings, demonstrating your law firm’s reputation and client satisfaction. 
  • Post regular updates about your law firm, such as new blogs, events, or promotions. Posts can help keep your GBP listing fresh and engaging while showcasing your law firm’s dynamism and community spirit. 

By optimizing your GBP, you can improve your law firm’s visibility in local search results and make it easier for potential clients to find and contact you.

Get More Positive Reviews

Brightlocal Reputation Manager - Brightlocal Reputation Manager - Above The Bar

Online reviews play a central role in Local SEO for lawyers. Positive reviews improve your local rankings and build trust and credibility with potential clients. To get more positive reviews:

  • Provide exceptional service to your clients, as satisfied clients are more likely to leave positive reviews. 
  • Ask clients to leave reviews on your GBP and other relevant review sites like Avvo, Yelp, and Martindale-Hubbell. 
  • Make it easy for clients to leave reviews by providing direct links to your review profiles in follow-up emails or on your website. A reputation management tool like Brightlocal can help.
  • Respond to all reviews, thank clients for positive feedback, and address any concerns raised in negative reviews. 
  • Implement a review management system to monitor and respond to reviews across multiple platforms. 

By actively seeking and managing online reviews, you can improve your law firm’s online reputation, attract more clients, and boost your local search rankings.

Build Relevant Local Citations for Your Law Firm

Whitesparkca Citation Finder - Whitesparkca Citation Finder - Above The Bar

Local citations are online mentions of your law firm’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) on directories, websites, and social media platforms. Consistent and accurate citations help search engines verify your law firm’s legitimacy and improve local rankings. To build relevant local citations:

  • Submit your law firm’s information to reputable legal directories like Avvo, FindLaw, and Justia. These directories are designed explicitly for the legal industry and can help your law firm gain visibility among potential clients searching for legal services. 
  • List your law firm on general business directories like Yelp, YellowPages, and Foursquare. While these directories are not specific to the legal industry, they can still help improve your law firm’s online visibility and provide valuable backlinks to your website. A platform like WhiteSpark can help you with find citation opportunities.
  • Ensure your NAP is consistent across all citations, as inconsistencies can negatively impact your local rankings. Use the same format for your law firm’s name, address, and phone number on all citations, and avoid using variations or abbreviations. 
  • Monitor your citations regularly to identify and correct any inaccuracies or outdated information. Over time, information like your address or phone number may change. 
  • Use a citation-building service to automate the process and ensure accuracy. Building local citations can be time-consuming, especially if you submit your law firm’s information to multiple directories and websites. 
  • Focus on quality over quantity when building citations. While having a strong presence on reputable directories and websites is important, you do not want your site associated with low-quality or spammy sites. 

Building consistent and accurate local citations can improve your law firm’s online visibility, establish your legitimacy, and boost your local search rankings.

Ensure NAP Consistency

Brightlocal Citation Tracker NAP - Brightlocal Citation Tracker NAP - Above The Bar

As mentioned earlier, NAP consistency is crucial for Local SEO. Inconsistent NAP information can confuse search engines and potential clients. To ensure NAP consistency:

  • Use the same NAP format across all online platforms, including your website, GBP, local citations, and social media profiles. This means using the same spelling, abbreviations, and formatting for your law firm’s name, address, and phone number. 
  • If you have multiple office locations, create separate GBP listings and local pages for each location to avoid overlap. 
  • Regularly audit your online presence to identify and correct any NAP inconsistencies. Use tools like Moz Local or Yext to scan your online listings and identify any inconsistencies or errors. 
  • Use a consistent format for your law firm’s name, avoiding variations or haphazardly applied abbreviations. 
  • Include your NAP in the footer of your website and on your contact page. 
  • Monitor your online presence for any unauthorized or inaccurate listings. Sometimes, third-party websites or directories may create listings for your law firm without your knowledge.

You can improve your law firm’s visibility, credibility, and local search rankings by ensuring NAP consistency across all online platforms.

Create Local Pages on Your Website

Attorney GEO page example - Attorney GEO page example - Above The Bar

Local pages are dedicated web pages on your law firm’s site that target specific geographic or practice areas. These pages help search engines understand your law firm’s local relevance and can improve your rankings for location-specific searches. To create effective local pages:

  • Develop unique content for each local page, focusing on specific geographic and practice areas. This means creating separate pages for each location your law firm serves, as well as separate pages for each practice area. 
  • Include your law firm’s NAP and a Google Map embed showing your office location. This helps potential clients find your office and provides additional context for search engines. Use a consistent NAP format across all local pages, and make sure the map embed is accurate and up-to-date.
  • Optimize the page’s title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, and content for relevant local keywords. Use your primary local keyword in the page’s title tag and header tags, and include variations and related keywords throughout the content. 
  • Include client testimonials, case studies, or awards specific to your locality to build trust and credibility. Showcasing success stories and recognition from the community can help potential clients feel more confident in your law firm’s abilities. 
  • Provide information about the local courts, legal resources, or community events. This demonstrates your law firm’s local knowledge and involvement and can help potential clients see you as a trusted resource. 
  • Use high-quality images of your law firm’s office, staff, or local landmarks. Visuals can help make your local pages more engaging and memorable while providing additional context for search engines. 
  • Ensure the local pages are mobile-friendly and load quickly. With more and more people using mobile devices to search for services, your local pages must be optimized for mobile for it to be effective. 

Creating targeted, optimized local pages on your law firm’s website can improve your visibility for location-specific searches and attract more qualified leads from your target geographic areas.

Link Building for Local SEO

Link building is acquiring high-quality, relevant backlinks from other websites to your law firm’s. Backlinks act as “votes of confidence” from other websites, signaling to search engines that your content is valuable and trustworthy. To build local backlinks:

  • Seek out local organizations, charities, or sponsorship opportunities that align with your law firm’s values and get involved with them. 
  • Create valuable, informative content that other local websites would want to link to, such as blog posts, infographics, or guides related to your practice areas and how they apply to your community. 
  • Contact local media outlets and make yourself available as a legal source for their articles or news stories. Backlinks from this content to your website can provide strong Local SEO signals.

Get Google Screened

Google Screened Examples - Google Screened Examples - Above The Bar

Google Screened is a program that verifies the qualifications and background of professionals, including lawyers. By getting Google Screened, your law firm can earn a special badge on your GBP, increasing trust and credibility with potential clients. To get Google Screened:

  • Ensure your GBP is claimed and verified. This is a prerequisite for applying to the Google Screened program.
  • Visit www.google.com/localservices/ and sign up for Local Services Ads. This is the platform through which you can apply for Google Screened status.
  • Complete the Google Screened application process, which includes a background check and license verification. You’ll need to provide information about your law firm, practice areas, and professional qualifications.
  • Once approved, your Google Screened badge will appear on your GBP and Local Services Ads. This badge demonstrates to potential clients that Google has vetted and verified your law firm, providing an extra level of trust and credibility.
  • Maintain your Google Screened status by keeping your information up-to-date and adhering to Google’s guidelines. If your law firm’s information changes or your qualifications lapse, you may lose your Google Screened status.
  • Use your Google Screened badge in your marketing materials and website to showcase your verified status. This can help differentiate your law firm from competitors and attract more qualified leads.

Add LegalService Schema to Your Website

Schema markup is a type of structured data that helps search engines better understand a website’s content. Adding LegalService schema to your law firm’s site provides search engines with detailed information about your practice areas, office locations, and contact information.

By adding LegalService schema to your website, you send search engines valuable cues about your firm and its location that can put your site in front of prospective clients searching for services in your area.

Improve Your Social Media Presence

Social media can play a big role in your law firm’s Local SEO efforts. You can engage with potential clients, share valuable content, and build local brand awareness by maintaining an active presence on platforms like Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and LinkedIn. To improve your social media presence:

  • Create and optimize profiles on relevant social media platforms, ensuring your NAP is consistent with your website and GBP. Use high-quality profiles and cover images that reflect your law firm’s branding and personality.
  • Share informative, engaging content related to your practice areas and local community. This can include blog posts, legal news updates, case studies, or helpful legal tips. Use eye-catching visuals and compelling headlines to grab users’ attention.
  • Interact with followers by responding to comments, messages, and reviews. Show that you value your audience’s engagement and are committed to providing helpful, responsive service.
  • Use local hashtags to increase visibility among audiences in your area. 
  • Encourage clients to follow your social media profiles and share your content with their networks. Include social media icons and email signatures on your website, and invite clients to connect with you on social media after successful case outcomes.
  • Run targeted social media ads to reach potential clients near you. Use Facebook’s and LinkedIn’s advanced targeting options to show your ads to users based on their location, interests, job title, or other relevant factors.
  • Participate in local social media groups or forums related to your practice areas or community. Offer helpful advice and resources, and build relationships with other local professionals and community members.
  • Collaborate with other local businesses or organizations on social media campaigns or initiatives. For example, you could partner with a local charity on a fundraising campaign or co-host a social media contest with a complementary business.

Building a strong social media presence and engaging with your local community online provides huge marketing benefits. You can spread your brand through organic channels and encourage users to share your advertising material with their social groups.

Sponsor Local Events in Your Community

Sponsoring local events is an excellent way to build brand awareness, earn local backlinks, and establish your law firm as a committed community member. Here’s how to do it:

  • Identify local events, charities, or organizations that align with your law firm’s values and practice areas. This could include community festivals, fun runs, school fundraisers, or nonprofit galas.
  • Reach out to event organizers to discuss sponsorship opportunities and benefits, such as website links, social media mentions, or speaking engagements. 
  • Negotiate a sponsorship package that provides valuable exposure for your law firm while supporting the event’s goals. 
  • Promote your sponsorship on your website, social media profiles, and local press releases to maximize visibility and engagement. 
  • Attend the event in person and engage with attendees, volunteers, and other sponsors. 
  • Follow up with event organizers and attendees after the event to thank them for the opportunity and continue building relationships. 
  • Track the impact of your sponsorship on your law firm’s visibility, website traffic, and lead generation. Use Google Analytics or other tracking tools to measure the number of website visits, social media mentions, and contact form submissions generated by the event.

Sponsoring local events is a great way to build buzz and goodwill in the community. Moreover, it helps you support great organizations that you’re passionate about.

Frequently Asked Questions on Local SEO for Lawyers

 Have questions about Local SEO for lawyers? We’ve got answers!

Is Local SEO worth it? 

Local SEO is definitely worth the investment for law firms that want to attract more clients and stand out in their competitive market. By optimizing your online presence for local search, you can:

  • Increase your visibility in local search results, making it easier for potential clients to find and contact your law firm.
  • Build trust and credibility with potential clients by showcasing your brand, reviews, and community involvement.
  • Generate more qualified leads from your target geographic area, as local searchers are often ready to hire a lawyer.
  • Reduce your reliance on paid advertising and other costly marketing tactics, as Local SEO provides long-term, sustainable results.
  • Gain a competitive advantage over other law firms in your area that are not investing in Local SEO.

While Local SEO does require time, effort, and resources to implement effectively, the long-term benefits and ROI make it a worthwhile investment for just about any law firm looking for geographically specific clients.

How long does Local SEO take? 

Local SEO is an ongoing process, and the timeline for seeing results can vary depending on factors like your law firm’s current online presence, the competition level in your area, and the specific tactics you implement. However, most law firms can expect to see some improvement in their local search rankings and visibility within 3-6 months of implementing a consistent Local SEO strategy.

It’s important to approach Local SEO as a long-term investment in your law firm’s online visibility and lead generation rather than a quick fix. By consistently implementing best practices and monitoring your results, you can get your firm in front of potential clients while staying ahead of your competitors.

What is the difference between local SEO and SEO? 

While Local SEO and traditional SEO share the same goal of improving your law firm’s online visibility and attracting more traffic to your website, there are some key differences between the two. Here’s what sets these strategies apart:

  • Local SEO optimizes your online presence for local search results, such as Google’s “local pack” or “map pack” results. Traditional SEO, on the other hand, focuses on improving your website’s visibility in organic search results for a wider range of keywords and search intent.
  • Local SEO emphasizes factors like the consistency of your law firm’s name, address, and phone number (NAP), relevant local citations, and Google My Business optimization. Traditional SEO focuses more on factors like on-page optimization, backlink quality and quantity, and content creation.
  • Local SEO targets a specific geographic area, such as a city, county, or region, while traditional SEO may target a broader audience based on general keywords and search intent.
  • Local SEO is particularly important for law firms that serve a specific local market, as many potential clients use local search to find and compare nearby lawyers. Traditional SEO is important for law firms that want to attract clients from a wider geographic area or establish thought leadership in their practice areas.

Local SEO and traditional SEO often overlap and complement each other. By implementing best practices for both, law firms can take advantage of traditional SEO’s broad benefits while also enjoying the targeted precision of local search.

All SEO For Law Firm Chapters

SEO For Lawyers: A Beginners Guide
Chapter 1
Google Ranking Factors For Law Firms
Chapter 2
Link Building For Law Firms
Chapter 3
Content Optimization For Lawyers
Chapter 4
Local SEO For Law Firms
Chapter 5
Keyword Research For Law Firms
Chapter 6
On Page and Off Page SEO for Lawyers
Chapter 7
Tracking and Monitoring SEO Results
Chapter 8
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