Why is Google My Business Important for Lawyers
When people want to hire a lawyer they either ask their family/friends for recommendations or search for options on Google or other online business listing websites for a law firm.
Even when family/friends make a recommendation, people still typically search on Google to get the firm’s phone number, address, or website address.
The most prominent (and free) way to capture people’s attention on Google is through your Google My Business listing.
Whether or not your business shows up on a Google Search Results page or on Google Maps is highly dependent on your firm’s location that’s registered with Google My Business and its physical proximity to the searcher.
In addition to finding you through your GMB listing, it also gives people a place to check out your reviews and get more reassurance that you’re worth contacting and working with.
Your firm cannot show up in the local map pack results without a GMB listing. Most firms know this is a critical step to optimizing their local SEO and have already claimed theirs, but if not, you’ll want to immediately search for your firm’s name on Google and claim it.
How to Set Up Google My Business for Law Firms
We recommend you follow these steps from a desktop or laptop computer. It’ll be far easier and faster to follow along.
Step 1: Visit the Official Google My Business Website
Make sure you’re logged into a Gmail account you want to be associated with your business profile before starting, then visit the following web page: https://www.google.com/business/.
Click the Manage Now button in the upper right corner.
Step 2: Set the Name of Your Business
If this is your first time setting up your law firm’s business listing, you’ll be asked to enter the name of your business.
Go ahead and type it in.
If your business is already listed on Google (which is fairly common), you should see the name of your business appear in a dropdown field.
If your business doesn’t appear, click the result that has the text under your business name that says:
Create a business with this name (option 1 below).
Otherwise, if your business does pop up (option 2 below), go ahead and click on it.
Then click the next button.
Warning: Use the exact name of your business as registered with the Secretary of State (DBA is acceptable as well). Don’t spam your business name with keywords even if people have told you it will help you rank higher. If you want your firm’s name to include a keyword, register it that way with the state. If you list a business name that is not accurate or considered spammy, your listing can get suspended and removed from the search results entirely.
Step 3: Set Your Primary Business Category
Note: This step only applies for law firms who selected the option to “Create a business with this name” in the previous step. If you selected option 2 to claim an existing listing, skip to step 5.
This is an important step where you’ll want to set your primary business category. Our recommendation is to go narrow here and select the category that brings in the most revenue for your firm. For example, if you provide both family law services and personal injury services, you’ll want to type in “personal injury” and select personal injury attorney.
You’ll be able to adjust this and add additional secondary business categories later as well.
Click the Next button.
Step 4: Opt to Add a Physical Location
Note: This step only applies to law firms who selected the option to “Create a business with this name” in step 2. If you selected the option to claim an existing listing, skip to step 5.
Assuming your law firm has a physical office that clients can visit, you’ll want to select “Yes” during this step to add an address to your law firm’s Google My Business Profile so searchers can find you and get directions. We highly recommend you opt to add an address during this step because businesses with a physical location tend to show up more often and more prominently in the search results.
Step 5: Add Your Physical Address Information & Service Options
Enter your firm’s office address during this step. Click “Add Line” if you need to add information like a suite number.
Click the “Next” button.
Warning: Don’t use a fake address to do this if you’re setting up an additional business listing in another city/location. We’ve seen firms do this over and over again and while it can work for a while, everything comes crashing down on them once Google or a competitor catches on.
And trust us. Your competitors (or their SEO agencies) will catch on and report you. When they do, your listing will get suspended and removed from the search results. In extreme cases, we’ve even seen Google remove your legitimate business listing with a real physical location from the search results also (guilty by association). This is not a battle you want to fight.
Step 6: Setting Your Service Delivery Options as Brick & Mortar
Most law firms choose “No” during this step because they do not want to be listed as a service area business and would rather clients come to their firm rather than do home visits. Even if you do offer to visit clients at their homes, we’d still suggest you select “No” here.
Click the “Next” button.
Step 7: Add Your Law Firm’s Contact Info
This step is optional, but as far as we’re concerned, you must fill it out. Add your office’s phone number and website address in the fields provided.
Pay attention during this step and follow the instructions below carefully.
Website URL Consistency
Anywhere you list your website on the web (in a Google listing, Avvo, Yellow Pages, local Chambers of Commerce pages, etc.), make sure you use the exact same format for your website (same URL structure).
For example, if your website is https://johnsmithlaw.com don’t list it anywhere online as https://www.johnsmithlaw.com.
If you don’t have a www in front of your website’s URL, don’t list it anywhere online that way (and vice-versa).
Also, be sure that if you use the same http or https structure in front of your website’s name on all listings.
The easiest way to check this is to go to your website’s home page right now, then double click into the address bar and see what format is being used.
It’s important that your business name, address, and website are the same across all directory listings.
Google recommends having a secure website (indicated by the https in front of it), which will require you to have what’s called a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate installed.
If you don’t know what this is or how to do it, ask your website developer, or feel free to reach out to us here at Rankings.io.
If you don’t have a website, read up on attorney websites here and get one built for your firm ASAP.
Creating Trackable Website URLs for Google My Business
You’ll want to be able to track how much traffic from Google comes to your site from your Google My Business listing vs your regular organic results in Google Analytics.
Google Analytics cannot do this by default.
You can resolve this by adding what we call UTM parameters to the end of your website’s URL during this step. All you have to do is append the following to the end of your website’s URL:
If your website has a trailing slash at the end of it like this:
Remove the trailing slash first and then append the UTM code above.
Notice how the trailing slash ( / ) after the .com has been removed?
If you fail to do this here, don’t worry, you can always change it later on. If you’re uncomfortable doing this and need help, let us know.
Click the “Next” button to continue on.
Step 8. Finish & Verify Your Business
If your business hasn’t been verified with Google already, you’ll be asked to enter a contact name at your firm so Google can mail you a verification postcard.
It may take a couple of days to receive the postcard. The typical timeframe is 5 business days in our experience.
However, you can still optimize your law firm’s listing in the meantime.
Note: Google may give you a different option to verify your business but for most business owners, you’ll have to wait for a postcard to be mailed to you from Google with a verification code on it. In our experience, verifying via postcard is the safest way to go and can dramatically reduce the odds your business gets flagged for quality issues and removed from search results in the future.
Click the “Mail” button to continue forward.
Click the “Continue” button and either skip to the section in this guide on how to optimize your Google Business Profile or wait until your postcard arrives in the mail to verify it (Step 9 below).
Step 9: Verify Your Law Firm’s Google My Business Profile
Once your postcard arrives, sign back into google.com/mybusiness, click Verify Location from the menu or the Verify Now button if it’s available, then enter the 5 digit code from your postcard.
Important Note: Google recommends that you do not edit your business name, address, or category, or request a new code while you’re waiting for your verification postcard. Doing so can cause all sorts of problems and issues that you’ll have to fix later that may even require getting on a call with Google customer support. If you’ve never had to talk to Google Support, consider yourself lucky. It can be a very frustrating experience.
Once you’ve verified your law firm’s business profile—you’re ready to begin optimizing it and really begin getting the most value possible from your Google Business Profile.
How to Optimize Google My Business for Lawyers
Even if you haven’t verified your address, you can still optimize the law firm’s Google My Business listing.
When someone searches for a local service like an attorney, the results that they see on Google are based on their physical location.
Showing up at the very top of a Google search is where you want to be.
Approximately 26% of all clicks go to the first result listed (not including ads) if there’s no featured snippet (also called an answer box). If there is a featured snippet, approximately 8.6% of clicks go to featured snippets and 19.6% go to the first organic result.
Getting your listing set up and verified is the foundational step. Optimizing your law firm’s Google My Business listing helps ensure it performs well and drives qualified leads to your business that you can convert into cases.
You’ll want to make sure that you’re following the Google My Business guidelines for representing yourself on Google when doing this. There are plenty of hacky tricks out there that we won’t cover in this article because they can get your listing (or even your entire account) suspended.
The main goal here is to rank in the top 3 of the local pack whenever someone searches for things like lawyer near me, personal injury lawyer [city], etc.
Done right, you’ll be able to get your website ranking above all of the directory listing websites like Avvo and Justia. This is what you want because it’s much easier to convert someone if they’re on your site than if they’re on a directory site where they can easily get distracted by other attorney listings as well.
There are several things that influence how you rank in the local pack. We have learned some best practices through advice straight from Google and our own experimentation and testing.
We’ll break down each of them below.
Optimizing Your Law Firm’s Info Section
Google recently made it possible to edit your listings information directly from the Google search results. We still like using the dashboard though as it still has more features as of right now.
To get started, go to business.google.com/ and select your law firm’s listing to log into your Google My Business dashboard.
On the left-hand side of your law firm’s GMB dashboard, click the option that says Info.
You’ll want to add as much info to your information section as possible. Your info section is where you can add or edit the following fields:
- Business Name
- Primary & Secondary Categories
- Service Area
- Business Hours of Operation (and holiday hours)
- Phone Number
- Website Address (if applicable)
- Appointment Links (if applicable)
- Products You Offer (usually not applicable to attorneys)
- Services You Offer
- Attributes about your law firm
- Business Description
- The Date Your Law Firm First Opened
Each section that’s editable will have a pencil icon next to it. Click the pencil icon to begin editing that section.
Note: Other people can edit your business listing from Google. Ensure you check your listing regularly to see if people have made suggestions and either accept them or reject them if their suggestions are inaccurate.
Choosing the Right Google My Business Category
If you don’t know what category you should select, search for the type of business you run on Google and see what categories the competition’s listings display.
If you have a common theme amongst your competitors, that’s typically what category you should select as well. However, it may be the case that your competitors don’t know what they’re doing so when in doubt, ask yourself, “What type of business drives the most revenue for me?” For example, if it’s personal injury cases, then select personal injury attorney—even if you offer criminal and family law services as well.
Adding Service Information
The services section gives you the ability to add additional content to your listing. While helpful for searchers, they do not directly help you rank on Google.
That doesn’t mean they can’t help you convert people though. So we definitely recommend filling them out. As a general rule of thumb, if something is useful for users, you should do it.
Google will suggest some services for your business type automatically, but you can add your own custom services as well.
You can add a lot of rich information to these sections by clicking on the service and editing the service details.
For example, you can add things like:
- Pricing type (e.g. a free consultation)
- Pricing range (if you have one)
- A description of the service (you can easily pull info like this from your website)
Google My Business Attributes for Law Firms
The Attributes/Highlights section allows you to provide searchers with additional information depending on the industry your business falls into. Attributes will show up on your business profile in both Google search and maps.
For law firms these can include things like:
- Identify as Black-owned
- Identify as Latin-owned
- Identify as Women-owned
- Identify as Veteran-owned
- Accessibility information (e.g. wheelchair accessible)
- Amenities (e.g. gender-neutral bathrooms)
- Crowd information (e.g. LGBTQ+ friendly)
- Health and Safety information (e.g. appointment required, mask required, staff get temperature checks, etc)
- Service options (e.g. online appointments available, onsite services)
How Do Google My Business Attributes Help My Law Firm?
Google My Business attributes can give your law firm more clear display of its positioning. For example, if you market yourself as being a bilingual law firm that is uniquely positioned to help Spanish-speaking clients, displaying that your Latin-owned can be helpful. When a searcher who cares about that sort of thing is evaluating their options on Google, they’re likely going to be more inclined to contact your firm over others that do not have that attribute.
Optimizing Your Law Firm’s Business Description
Your business description on your GMB listing doesn’t directly impact your rankings but it can impact your conversion rate. Be clear about what you do, who you serve, and why people work with your firm over others. Don’t try to keyword stuff and don’t overfill this section with jargon. Speak the language that your clients would understand.
Example of a Good Business Description for a Law Firm
Optimizing Your Law Firm’s Photos on Google My Business
- Google My Business Image Format Guidelines: JPG or PNG
- Google My Business Image Size Guidelines: Between 10 KB and 5 MB
- Google My Business Minimum Resolution Guidelines: 720px × 720px
- Google My Business Quality Recommendations: Use high-quality images. They should be in focus and well lit, and have no significant alterations or excessive use of filters. In other words, the image should represent reality.
Name your images appropriate when uploading them to Google My Business. For example, don’t upload an image titled “IMG2021_11_25.jpg.” Instead, name it in a way that makes it clear what the photo represents. While there’s no direct connection between this practice and rankings, it’s a best practice, in general, to make it as easy as possible for machines (like Google) to understand what information you’re giving them.
Types of Photos You can Add for Your Law Firm
There are 3 main categories of photos that you can upload to your law firm’s Google My Business profile:
- Cover photos
- Profile photos
- Other photos
Note: Other people can upload photos to your Google Business Profile as well. That may not always be a good thing. Make sure someone is monitoring this sort of thing so you can take action to have photos removed that aren’t representative of your business.
You should aim to upload photos that are high-quality with good lighting that convey some sort of meaning for customers. Don’t just upload random photos around the office. A good test to determine whether or not a photo is engaging for users is to test it on Facebook first. If it gets attention and engagement from people who follow you on there, then add it to your GMB profile as well (assuming it’s relevant and not a random photo of a puppy at the office or something).
Tip: Google My Business does crops photos in odd ways when you upload them. Use photos with a 1:1 aspect ratio (i.e. square) to get the best results. Your photos will appear as rectangles on phones and square on desktops. Using a square aspect ratio when you upload will make the photos look better across both types of devices. We don’t encourage using text in your photos for this reason, as it’s more likely to get cut off when uploading.
Ideal Profile Photo Size
Again, use an aspect ratio of 1:1. Aim for 250 pixels by 250 pixels as well (minimum is 120px by 120px and maximum is 5200px by 5300px).
Cover Photo Best Practices for Law Firms
This is the primary image people will see when they click on your result and it expands (on mobile), so choose it carefully. Have a professional cover photo taken that represents your business in a clear way.
Cover Photo Aspect Ratio and Dimensions
Use an aspect ratio of 16:9 for cover photos. Aim for 1080 pixels by 608 pixels (minimum 480 pixels by 270 pixels; maximum 2120 pixels by 1192 pixels).
Logo Best Practices for Law Firms
You can set which photo you want to be your “logo” image as well. You can do this by:
- Going to the photos section of your GMB dashboard
- Clicking on photos in the navigation on the left
- Select the photo you want to be your logo (or upload one)
- Then select the option that says “Set as logo.”
If you have a simple version of your logo, use that. I know a lot of law firms get fancy with their logos and use a lot of words and characters despite that not being the best practice for logos. If that’s the case, use what you have.
The reason for this is that the logo will be very small when displayed on your listing. The simpler your logo, the more identifiable it is. Your logo should be something that people can recognize from a distance—which isn’t very easy to do if it’s a complicated mess of words or letters.
Optimizing Your Law Firm’s Rankings with Reviews
Reviews are an important ranking factor for your Google listing.
Best Practices for Getting Reviews
Encourage clients to leave reviews simply by asking them. You can request people leave you a review at any point. For example, if you’ve recently signed the client after a free consultation you could follow up with them to see if they’d be willing to leave you a review describing their experience with your firm so far.
You can’t tell people what to write, but you can encourage them to leave high-quality feedback by doing just that: ask them to leave you feedback on your Google Business Profile instead of a review. We’ve found that when you ask people to leave a review, they often just hastily write something down but when you ask them for feedback, the quality of the review comes off as more authentic and rich with information that future searchers will find immensely helpful.
Whatever route you take, document it as part of your law firm’s intake process so it gets done the same way every time. Consistency is key here.
Best Practices for Responding to Reviews
It’s also recommended that you respond to reviews that customers leave. you. People like it when they see a business engage with its former clients. It gives them the impression that you’re a personable and friendly firm and someone they could see themselves working with.
- If a review is positive, thank the customer.
- If they are negative, be kind and attempt to make things right if you can.
Do not start a fight with someone over a Google review. If you claw back at them in the review and say negative things, it’ll make you (and your firm) look petty and childish. Show people, you have class by taking the high road, acknowledging their dissatisfaction and ways you intend on making it right.
Even if you can’t salvage the relationship with that former client, it sends the right message to future prospects who review these things and are determining whether or not to have you represent them.
Removing or Disputing Negative and Fake Reviews on Your Firm’s Business Profile
You won’t be able to have a review removed simply because it’s negative. In fact, Google recently updated their official documentation on reviews to note that “customers find a mix of positive and negative reviews more trustworthy.”
Google will let you dispute reviews if they do not follow Google’s content guidelines, however. This includes reviews that are:
- Spam or fake
- Include restricted content
- Include illegal content
- Include terroristic content
- Include sexually explicit content
- Include offensive content
- Dangerous & derogatory content
- Conflicts of interest
You can explore what each of these means in detail on Google’s official guidelines regarding prohibited and restricted content.
To dispute the review, follow these steps:
- From your Google Business Profile dashboard, click on reviews.
- Find the review you want to dispute.
- Click the three dots on the right-hand side of the review.
- Select “Flag as inappropriate”
This will trigger the dispute resolution process by Google. There’s no guarantee that the review will be removed and it can take some time. You can also file a Legal Removal Request Form but the standard for what constitutes libel is steep—which you’re can imagine being a legal professional yourself.
Optimizing GMB’s Questions & Answers Feature for Lawyers
Google My Business has a feature that enables people to leave questions on your profile that you, or anyone else, can answer. This can be both a good thing and a bad thing.
We recommend you add a set of the most common questions clients ask you and answer them yourself before other people do.
As we mentioned, anyone can answer questions on your GMB profile, however. Set up an internal process at your firm to regularly review your Q&A section of your profile to check for new questions so you can answer them before other people do. It’s not uncommon for people to leave completely erroneous and absurd answers.
Enabling Messaging to Let Prospects Contact Your Firm Directly
You can enable the messaging feature if your law firm’s business profile is verified.
The messaging feature in Google My Business is worth utilizing if you’re able to respond quickly. Especially in the modern world where people would rather send a message than make a phone call.
We suggest setting up a specific number (a cell phone preferably) that receives messages that get sent via the messaging feature so that you can respond quickly. If you use the Google My Business app, you can respond to messages using it as well.
We’ve seen a lot of firms neglect to enable this feature because they don’t want to manage it 24/7. Just understand that by doing so, you’re proactively denying yourself lead opportunities that will likely end up moving on to a competitor instead. If you’re not following up with a lead within the first 5-10 minutes of receiving their message, your success rate on closing them as a client will diminish dramatically.
To turn on messaging for your firm’s Google Business Profile:
- Click on Messages from the Google My Business dashboard.
- Click Turn on messaging.
Using Google My Business Posts for Lawyers
You can create posts for your Google Business Profile that sort of act like mini-blogs attached to your listing. They don’t directly impact your rankings (but neither does posting on social media). They can make your listing stand out a bit more and catch more eyes though—and that alone makes it worth investing a small bit of time into.
Google My Business Posts can contain text, photos, and videos. Our friends over at Ardent Growth have an extensive guide on Google Posts that you can review if you want to dive deeper into how they work.
Advice for Law Firms with Multiple Locations
If your firm legitimately has physical locations in other cities/towns, then you can and should set up a separate Google Business Profile for those as well.
To add a new listing, log into your Google My Business Dashboard and click the option that says, “Add location.” You’ll go through the entire process of setting up a new listing as outlined in the “How to Setup” steps earlier in this guide.
If you have a lot of locations and want to speed this process up, you can use the “Import businesses” option from the “Add business” dropdown button.
When you add your new firm, use its legitimate business name. Do not append the city or location to the end of it to signify that it is your office in that location (unless that’s how it’s legally registered with the state). As we mentioned previously, doing so can result in your entire listing (and others) being suspended and removed from Google search results.
You should use a different phone number for separate listings as well. You can use the same website domain address, although we do recommend you use a page on your site dedicated to that location. If your web developer and SEO specialists know what they’re doing, they should have set up separate pages for each location/area that you serve. For example:
How to Track Your Performance and Results
There are a variety of ways to track how well your Google Business Profile is performing for your firm. You can track key indicates for success with the GMB platform itself, through call tracking platforms, in Google Analytics, and with tools like BrightLocal. We’ll cover each of these below and what you can measure with each.
Tracking Performance Using Google My Business Insights
From your GMB dashboard, you can click on Insights in the main navigation to bring up data about your business listing directly within the platform.
How Customers Search for Your Business Report
This section shows how many clients found your firm and how they found it. Click or tap the chart on the dashboard to see the percentage of all customers that found you via each of these methods:
- Direct: A prospect directly searched for your firm’s name or address.
- Discovery: A prospect searched for a service that you offer, and your firm’s listing appeared.
- Branded: A prospect searched for your firm’s brand (e.g. John Smith Law) or a brand related to your business. This category will only appear if your listing has appeared at least once for a branded search.
- Total: The total number of direct, discovery, and branded searches.
Note: this only counts impressions (meaning your result appeared on the search results) for your Google Business listing, it does not include impressions for your website’s organic listings (you can find those in your Google Search Console account), Google Ads (found in your Google Ads dashboard), or Google Local Services Ads.
Where Customers Viewed Your Business on Google
This section shows how many prospects found your firm via Google Search or Google Maps. You’ll see the number of views your firm’s listing received through each of these services:
- View on Search: A prospect found your business via Google Search. Displays as “Search views” on bulk reports.
- Views on Maps: A prospect found your business via Google Maps. Displays as “Maps views” on bulk reports.
- Total views: The total views of both Google Search and Google Maps.
To view details on how many prospects found your business on a specific product and day:
- Select the day you’re interested in.
- Desktop: Place your cursor over the day.
- Mobile: Tap on the day.
- To the right of the graph, click the checkboxes to turn on and off filters.
Tip: This represents views of your firm in various sections on Search and Maps. Google will display the total number of views, if the same searcher viewed your business both on Search and on Maps, Google will display 2 views.
This section shows how prospects behave after they found your firm’s listing on Google. The graph shows how many prospects completed the following types of actions when viewing your listing:
- Visit your website: A prospect views your website. Displays as “Website actions” on bulk reports.
- Request directions: A prospect requests directions to your law firm. Displays as “Directions actions” on bulk reports.
- Call you: A prospect calls your law firm. Displays as “Phone call actions” on bulk reports.
- Total actions: The total prospects actions for website, directions, and phone.
To view how many prospects completed an action on a specific day:
- Select the day you’re interested in.
- Desktop: Place your cursor over the day.
- Mobile: Tap on the day.
- To the right of the graph, click checkboxes to turn on and off filters.
Tip: This graph displays the total number of times someone clicked an action, such as “Call.” This means when a single searcher calls a business 3 times in a day, Google will record it as 3 calls.
This section displays when and how often prospects called your law firm through your Google business listing.
In the Total calls graph, you can view trends of prospects’ phone calls by Day of week or Time of day. You can use this information to see when prospects call your firm the most.
The dropdown menu in the top-right corner lets you adjust the time frame to see data from the last week, month, or quarter.
Tip: This represents the number of clicks on the call button on your law firm’s business profile. If the searcher copies the number and dials it manually or ends the call before it connects, you may see discrepancies between the number of Phone Calls on the Insights page and the number of actual calls your business receives.
Google My Business New Profile Performance View
Google is in the process of migrating your business metrics to a new view that allows you to segment dates and dive into data at a more granular level. You’ll see an option at the top of your Insights pane that says “See new profile performance.” Click that to open up a modal window that you can explore your firm’s data within.
Tracking Performance Using Call Tracking Numbers
If you’re not using a call tracking service, you should. We recommend you start. Google offers a way to do this natively within your GMB profile but we recommend using a third-party solution like CallRail as it offers more robust options for dynamic numbers and attribution tracking, which is just a fancy way of saying “how to figure out which of your marketing efforts should get the credit for the phone call.”
If you set up call tracking with a third-party option, you’ll want to add the number it provides you with as your primary number in your Google My Business profile but you should also include your main business phone number as a secondary number on your profile as well. This will ensure you maintain consistency across the web with other directory listings.
The most important thing when it comes to call-tracking, or lead tracking in general, is to store all of your leads in a CRM that is properly set up to receive them. This is separate from your case management system! Your CRM is your Rolodex of leads, once a person goes from being a lead to being a case, that’s when you should add their information into your case management system. If you do it before that, you’ll end up with a lot of junk leads skewing your firm’s performance data.
Tracking Performance Using Google Analytics
If you added the UTM parameters to your website URL field in your Google Business Profile as we recommended earlier, you’ll be able to track how many of your website visitors arrived there from your Google My Business listing vs a regular organic listing.
If you don’t add UTM parameters to the end of your URL in Google My Business, when a visitor comes to your site from your GMB listing it will get aggregated under the broad source of “google.”
If things are set up right when viewing your Source/Medium data in Google Analytics, you’ll see them separated, like this:
Tracking Ranking Results Using BrightLocal Geogrids
There are a variety of tools out there that will track where you rank in the regular organic results for keywords, but few that will show you how your Google My Business listing is also ranking for those keywords.
Local search rankings are highly volatile and dependent upon the physical location of the searcher and their proximity to your business at the time of their search.
This means they could search for something like personal injury lawyers near me and you could rank #1 in the map pack, then walk 2 blocks away, search again, and you rank #8.
Law firms with high rankings tend to stay strong within the first mile. Shortly after that first-mile threshold is crossed, the firms see a sudden sharp decline in rankings. After that initial drop, rankings start to decline a little more gradually until eventually dropping out of the top 20 altogether.
The way to get a more accurate view of how your business is performing in the map pack is to use a geogrid ranking tracking tool that will display where you rank in a radius around a central location for a given keyword.
BrightLocal has a paid tool that you (or your SEO agency) can use to do this.
This will give you a birds-eye view of how well you’re ranking without driving you mad seeing different results every time you search for a keyword to see how well your firm is ranking.
Another tool that does the same thing is called Local Falcon (our preference). It’s a bit more robust but is a bit more expensive.
If you’re seeing large areas of red that you’re not ranking in and want to, you’ll need to first optimize your website better for search to see if that doesn’t increase your area of expansion. If that doesn’t work, it’s likely a case where your only other option is to open up an additional office location in that area.
Again, don’t try to use a virtual office of fake addresses. Both of these violate Google’s Guidelines. You’re an attorney with ethical standards to uphold—don’t risk your firm’s presence on Google by breaking their policies.
Your Google Business Profile is one of the most important elements in your law firm’s marketing strategy. Get it set upright and keep it optimized. It can drive a significant amount of direct, bottom-of-funnel traffic to your website.
It’s still only one piece in the larger strategy you should be employing though. Google My Business is one of the easiest to maintain and set up, but how well it ranks is not. That’s where SEO for your website impacts things dramatically. Without an optimized website with rich content and high-quality backlinks, your GMB listing won’t rank as well. It’s as simple as that.
If you’re a personal injury firm and have any questions or need any help setting up your law firm’s GMB or improving your rankings on Google, reach out to one of our Personal Injury Lawyer SEO Experts. Everyone at Rankings.io is 100% dedicated to SEO for personal injury lawyers and we only work with the best PI law firms who want to dominate the first page of Google and beat their competition.