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How to get your Law Firm in the Top 3 Local Results on Google

Until late 2015, Google’s “snack pack” contained seven local search results which would appear beneath paid adverts. Now Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) for local queries consist of a smaller 3-pack that appears above all organic listings. The 3-pack takes up most of the space above the fold (i.e. you can see it without scrolling down). It’s also no coincidence that it fits perfectly on a mobile screen when around half of all traffic now comes from mobile devices.

What can law firms do to get into the local listings on Google?

Google guards its algorithms closely, and there is no secret recipe for success. However, continued research from our local SEO experts allows us to provide a robust strategy for clients with proven results. Here are several contributing factors that will influence Google’s local results:

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Google Reviews

Businesses returned in search results with five (or even four) stars will get more traffic than a business with bad reviews or no reviews. Search engines value websites with higher volumes of relevant traffic, and people value businesses that are tried and trusted. Urge your clients to leave a Google review for your services as soon as you receive good feedback, and your online presence will soar.

Google My Business (Local) Page

To rank in the 3-result “snack pack”, you must have a Google My Business (local) listing. Google often creates one for businesses if their address is listed elsewhere online. However, to rank well, you must ‘claim the business’ and ensure all your business information is correct and optimised for search. This includes (but is not limited to) a verified address and website, fully filled out profile, correct category (or categories), and, most importantly, an accurate company name, address and phone number.

Speaking of which …

Local Citations with Consistent NAP

Local citations mean getting your business listed in local directories online. Many of these directories don’t include a link, so the signifier for Google is your business name, address and phone number (collectively known as your ‘NAP’) being consistent throughout all citations. This must match your Google My Business listing and website schema mark up. A good amount of accurate, consistent local citations is key.

SEO practices (On-page and off-page)

Ensure you are using best SEO practices to target your locations on the page as well as off page. If you have been focusing solely on great quality SEO work (such as writing great content, link building, video etc.) Google may reward your site with a better ranking in local search, not just in organic rankings. This is a consequence of traditional rankings signals now having a bigger impact on local search results.

The main thing we’ve noticed is that businesses ranking well in organic search are performing best in local search. Google is becoming more intelligent. Ongoing algorithm updates mean there are no shortcuts to online success. Many have learned the hard way that trying to game Google will only cost you in the end!

Moore Legal Technology – Helping law firms succeed

If your online presence isn’t currently contributing to your firm’s bottom line and you want to partner with an agency who is focused on helping your law firm grow, call Chris today on 01413548862 or email

 

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