Why Law Firms Need To Localize Lawyer SEO

Why Law Firms Need To Localize Lawyer SEO


Lawyer SEO enables law firm pages to appear in specific keyword SERPs. These keywords can be broad and appear on global search results. On the other hand, local SEO optimizes for SERPs based on keywords related to a specific location.

Here are examples:

  1. Global Keywords
    1. “Tattoo Artist”
    2. “Labor Lawyer”
    3. “Pastry Shop”
  2. Local Keywords
    1. “Los Angeles Tattoo Artist”
    2. “Labor Lawyer Chicago”
    3. “Cake Shop Near Me”

So, why do SEO experts do this? Isn’t it better to rank for global keywords because there’s more search volume?

Let’s look at the crucial reasons why SEO experts do this—and why your law firm needs to do it too.

5 Major Benefits Of Local SEO For Law Firms

1. Local SEO Targets Your Most-Likely Clients

The people most likely to need your law firm are the ones who live or are based in your state or locale. Of course, someone in California can look up law firms in Florida, but that’s not very common. The people in your locale are likely to call or drop a visit.

Additionally, most attorneys are limited to the number of states they are licensed to practice in, so you should prioritize those locales before building visibility outside them.

In short, localizing your website appeals to an audience most likely to hire or purchase from you. This is especially important if a service (like your law firm provides) requires the client to be there to acquire your services—like legal counsel, massages, and medical procedures.

2. There Is Less SERP Competition

Local SEO keywords often use long-tail keywords. Short-tail keywords tend to be more general, so they often fall into global search results.

For example:

  • When using the keyword “Labor Lawyer”, the SERPs will be filled with websites for lawyers, law firms, and legal news sources across the country.
  • On the other hand, long-tail keywords are more specific. So when you type “Los Angeles Labor Lawyer” into Google, it’ll only show you listings and results from that city.

Long-tail keywords, like specific Local SEO keywords, are less competitive. It is easier to rank in the searches using local keywords because fewer pages are optimizing for them. So, when you rank high in the search results, the more chances for people to see your website and explore your law firm website.

Remember, your SERP competition isn’t all strictly comprised of law firms. You’ll need to compete with news sites, online encyclopedias, review platforms, lawyer referral services, local blogs, and many more. That’s the kind of competition that a small law firm or a Lawyer SEO newbie may not be able to overtake easily.

That said, this isn’t to say you shouldn’t be using global keywords. However, only optimizing for global or general SERPs won’t give you the benefit of visibility to a local audience.

3. Show Up In Local Lists And Directories

When you market your law firm in your locale, you’ll be more likely to get listed in local business directories. These local directories can link to your website, feature reviews, and allow users to browse through listings. You might also be featured in city guides and travel blogs, increasing your law firm’s online visibility.

You can also add your law firm to Google My Business (GMB). Like directories, your law firm will show up when users search for businesses, stores, firms, and establishments near them. Google My Business also offers many off-page SEO advantages, like reviews, Google Maps listings, FAQs, and an opportunity to input your contact information.

4. Reduced Law Firm Advertising Costs

As mentioned before, local SEO keywords might have less traffic, but they’re still used by local users. So instead of spending your law firm marketing budget on sponsored campaigns, paid ads, or flyers, you focus on your Attorney SEO marketing.

Additionally, it’s also possible to implement Lawyer SEO practices on your own, so you don’t have to hire many people if you can’t or don’t want to.

Not to mention, having excellent localized SEO is more cost-effective in the long run compared to spending the budget on paid ads.

Again, this isn’t to say you can’t opt for paid ads. In fact, paid ads can yield a considerable spike in clicks and lead generation when done right. However, ranking high for strategic keywords provides more gradual but long-term benefits. For the best results, your paid ads and search engine optimizations should be done so they benefit each other.

5. Boost Mobile-Friendliness

These days, more people use their phones to access the internet. As a result, search engines like Google have also catered to the rise of mobile searches. This is why you can type “lawyers near me” without stating your location and get accurate listings of law firms within your city.

Virtual assistants like Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa, and Bixby are becoming increasingly popular. As a result, more users use “near me” keywords to look for nearby restaurants, stores, and office buildings.

Many users also prefer to do everything online. They might shop, buy groceries, set doctor’s appointments, and have food delivered through online apps and virtual assistants. Some of them browse through listings before they leave to buy something or set an appointment, so you have to have a presence in the local searches for people to see you.

The bottom line is local SEO is becoming more relevant in online transactions—especially with mobile searches. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re not reaching your full marketing potential.

A Couple Of Caveats On Implementing Local SEO For Law Firms

Although we’ve discussed that Local SEO keywords are much easier to rank for than global SERPs, it still needs to be correctly implemented, optimized, and managed. As most Lawyer SEO experts would tell you, local SEO won’t yield maximum ROI overnight.

You must research, monitor, create, and improve for the best results. Again, emphasis on long-term and sustainable ROI, as opposed to immediate but temporary law firm marketing benefits.

Ready To Localize?

The ultimate goal of local SEO is to target the people who are most likely to become your customers. So even if you’re running country-wide shipping and services, ranking in the local SERPs and slowly building audiences and clientele is still the sustainable way to go.

Author’s Bio

JC Serrano is the founder of 1000Attorneys.com, one of the few private enterprises certified to process lawyer referrals by the California State Bar. His marketing strategies have continuously evolved since 2005, incorporating ever-changing SEO strategies into lawyerleadmachine.com.