Local SEO for Lawyers: a Helpful Guide to Ranking Locally

As a lawyer, your success hinges on your ability to attract clients from your local market. That’s where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in handy, offering a simple way to optimize your online presence to rank higher in location-based queries. Keep reading as we discuss a few strategies lawyers can use to dominate their local search results.

5 Local SEO Tips for Lawyers

Here are five local SEO tips for lawyers looking to rise above the competition: 

1. Claim Your Google Business Profile

The foundation of every successful local SEO strategy starts by claiming and optimizing your Google Business Profile (GBP). 

This free tool allows you to manage how your law firm appears on Google Search, Google Maps, and other Google properties. To get started:

  • Go to the GBP homepage and click “Manage now” to claim your listing. (You’ll need to verify your business by phone, mail, or other methods.)
  • Once claimed, take time to complete your profile with information about your law firm, including your business description, service areas, business hours, photos, etc.
  • To improve your local search visibility, make sure your name, address, and phone number are consistent across your GBP and website.
  • Positive reviews can significantly boost your ranking in local search results, so encourage satisfied clients to leave reviews.

Post updates, offers, and news regularly on your GBP to keep it fresh and engaging for potential clients.

2. Build Local Citations for Your Law Firm

Local citations are any online mentions of your law firm’s Name, Address, or Phone Number, whether it’s on directory sites, social media platforms, or legal-specific websites. 

Building a strong network of citations helps search engines trust your business, which leads to better local rankings. Start by claiming and optimizing your listings on popular directories like Yelp, Facebook, LinkedIn, as well as legal-specific sites like Avvo, LegalZoom, and FindLaw.

3. Optimize Your Website for Your Primary Location

Update Title & Meta Tags

When it comes to your website’s title tags and meta tags, incorporate variations of your target keywords that include your city or region. 

For example, on an attorney bio page, you could use a title tag like “John Doe, STL Criminal Defense Lawyer | XYZ Law Firm.” 

You’ll also want to:

  • Add your city and state directly in front of your business name
  • Use location-based modifiers like “near me” or “near you” in some of your title tags
  • Review your meta tags to confirm they all contain references to your target geographic area

Refresh On-Page Content

In addition to your title and meta tags, make sure your main headings (H1, H2, etc.) and on-page copy feature your target keywords alongside your city or state.

For instance, if your focus keyword is “St. Louis Family Law Attorney,” make sure to use variations of that phrase, such as “St. Louis Family Law Lawyer,” “Family Law Attorney St. Louis,” or “Family Law Lawyers in STL.” Just be careful not to overdo it—you want the keywords to flow naturally within your content. 

Add NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number)

When it comes to local SEO for lawyers, displaying your business’s name, address, and phone number in a clear and accessible manner is one of the most important things you can do. Make this core information easy for visitors to find by including it in your site’s header or footer. It’s also a good idea to embed a Google Map. 

Optimizing these on-site elements sends a strong signal to search engines that your law firm is a relevant, authoritative local resource for users searching in your target market.

4. Make Sure Your Website has a Mobile-First Design

To have any hope of ranking well in local search queries, your website needs to be optimized for mobile devices. Since 2017, Google has used a “mobile-first” indexing approach, meaning they evaluate the mobile version of a page when determining rankings. Over half of all organic search traffic now comes from mobile. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re neglecting a massive audience segment. 

5. Geo-Tag Images on Your Google Business Profile

One often overlooked local SEO tactic for lawyers is properly geo-tagging the images you upload to your Google Business Profile. Here’s how to effectively geo-tag your images:

  • Use Descriptive, Location-Specific File Names: When saving your images, use filenames that include your city, state, or other relevant location information. For example, instead of using generic names like “img1234.jpg”, opt for more descriptive filenames like “STL-personal-injury-lawyer.jpg”
  • Add Geo-Location Data to Your Images: Most modern cameras and smartphones automatically embed geographic metadata, known as EXIF data, into your photos. You can view and edit this EXIF data to include your law firm’s address, city, state, and zip code.
  • Categorize Your Images Appropriately: Google allows you to assign categories to the images in your GBP, such as “Exterior,” “Interior,” “Team,” etc. Be sure to select the most relevant categories for each of your law firm’s photos to help search engines understand their context and relevance.

Other Factors That Influence Local SEO for Attorneys

While the above tactics are critical components of a successful local SEO strategy, there are a few other factors to consider as well:

Keywords in Your Law Firm’s Name

If your law firm’s name naturally includes local keywords, such as the city or region you serve, this can provide an additional SEO boost. For example, a firm named “STL Personal Injury Lawyers” would have an advantage over a more generic name when it comes to local searches.

Consistent (Good) Reviews

Positive reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp, and Avvo can significantly impact your search visibility. Not only do reviews help build trust with potential clients, but search engines also view a strong review profile as a signal of your business’s authority.

Internal Linking to the Right Pages

Strategically linking from your homepage to specific practice areas or location-based pages can help you rank better in local search queries. This internal linking structure demonstrates to search engines that your site is well organized.

Anchor Text with Your City’s Name

When building backlinks to your website, try to use anchor text that includes your target city or region. This helps reinforce your geographic relevance to search algorithms.

Want to Improve Local SEO for Your Law Firm?

The hard truth is that implementing these local SEO tactics on your own, on top of running your law practice, can be an overwhelming and time-consuming proposition. That’s where Timmermann Group comes in. With our proven Rankings to Revenue process, we’ll transform your online presence into a powerful lead generation engine—no hassle required on your end. Start a conversation today to learn more about our SEO services for law firms.