Google Maps SEO & Local 3-Pack Optimization Services
The world has gone mobile, and tech devices are incredibly good at knowing where we are. Computers, smartphones, and tablets can auto-pinpoint their users on a map, and Google uses that location data to fine-tune their search results.
Local SEO is the art of making sure that when potential clients run a Google search, the engine recognizes your firm as both relevant and local to that search. If it doesn’t, your prospective clients are going to see your competitor instead.
Google Maps (and the closely related Google My Business listings) have a profound effect on how many clients find your firm… and whether or not they ultimately hire you.
This is one of the most important things you can focus on to land more clients and attract better cases within your local area.
In fact, we’ve made local search an integral part of our efforts here at Black Fin, where we’ve had one of the top spots for the keyword “Attorney SEO” on Google for years.
Our entire business is devoted to just one thing: marketing law firms on the web. And while local search didn’t matter as much a few years ago as it does now, if you aren’t optimizing for Google Maps and Google My Business, you are now missing out on an entire sector of search results. The fastest-growing sector, in fact.
Below, we’ll map out the why and how of local search marketing for lawyers. It’s an extremely powerful tool that you can and should start making use of today. Our approach at Black Fin is extremely effective at getting the top spots for the law firms we serve.
How Do We Optimize Google Maps Listings?
Search engine optimization is a science, and not an especially easy one. That’s particularly true for law firms, because so many attorneys have woken up to how much potential profit is on the line with a single change for the better in search rank.
There’s a lot we can do to make your local business listing stronger than your competitor’s. The best approach is one that begins by assessing your current strengths and weaknesses, playing to the former, and tackling the latter.
But in general, effective tactics for improving Google Maps SEO include:
- Getting highly relevant and local businesses in your community to link to your firm
- Attracting coverage for your firm in local newspapers or other media
- Creating local-specific written content for your firm’s website (web pages or blog articles highlighting legal issues pertinent to your community, for example)
- Ensuring your firm’s social media campaigns are linking back to your local listings (and vice-versa)
- Aggressively finding and fixing inaccurate information in public listings or directories (junky, auto-generated business data is everywhere!)
- Ensuring NAP consistency (NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone number, all of which need to appear consistently across the web… often, they don’t, which confuses search engines.)
- Claiming every available listing
- Getting current and former clients to leave Google My Business reviews for your firm (while complying with your state bar’s ethics rules, of course)
- Extending many of the same strategic attorney SEO services we use for your website itself
What Do We Mean by Google Maps SEO?
While Google Maps’ primary purpose is navigation, it also includes a built-in search engine. You’ve probably come across it yourself.
For instance, if you open your smartphone right now and search for the words “law firm” in Google, you’ll likely see a list of offices in your area.
Click on one of the law firms. If they’ve done their job, you’ll see at least the following:
- Their address and phone number, complete with a convenient click-to-call feature
- Pictures of the attorneys and their office
- A link to the firm’s website
- A map to their office location
- Their office hours for each day of the week, including the most popular times
- Reviews from real people (Google users) and an overall star rating
If their business doesn’t have those features, both users and Google are likely to give more authority to their competitors. The same goes for yours.
These same features show up in desktop and laptop Google searches too, part of the Google My Business listings. So optimizing all this local data directly influences your overall Google rank.
In fact, Google’s local listings now appear above the organic search results. That’s a huge deal. After years of Google emphasizing organic search (which remains an important target), Maps SEO has now taken some of that traffic.
Why Google Maps Matters for Law Firms
If you have a physical office open to the public — and most law firms do — Google expects you to have equal footing in the virtual space. Google wants to be a guide to the whole galaxy for its users, so the engine wants as much information from you as it can get… to the point that your business is going to suffer if you don’t play along.
Sure enough, we’ve seen Google Maps making a bigger and bigger difference in the number of cases law firms acquire through their websites. There are a few reasons for that:
- More people are using mobile devices to access the web. Maps is particularly relevant to mobile searches (though that’s not to say that it’s not extremely important for desktop, as well).
- Google considers its Maps feature a priority for improving their local search capabilities, so local business listings are now factoring heavily in determining search rank.
- The legal services web space is more crowded than ever, and many of your competitors are beefing up their local search marketing to stand apart. If they’re doing it, you need to too, or you’ll get drowned out.
- Clients are more trusting of law firms when they can see where you’re located, how far you are from them, and whether other people have reviewed you. Google Maps gives them this information.
- If your business doesn’t have an active Google My Business listing, web users might conclude you’re out of business. That’s how prevalent this has become. True story.
So even if this sounds like some newfangled SEO tactic, it really has become an extremely important and powerful tool for growing your firm.
And look, at Black Fin, that’s what we’re all about. Growing your law firm’s client base and case load. We don’t care which medium or tactic that involves, we perfect the things that matter for bringing in more cases so that our clients don’t slip behind.
In other words, we aren’t here to put you in the Google Maps / My Business listings purely for the sake of being there and looking relevant.
Rather, we’re here to utilize Google Maps as one of several weapons in our arsenal for winning you the Google war against your competitors.
The prize for that victory: bigger, better cases coming in through your website — a prize we’ve already claimed for so many of our clients.
Start with an Audit
You can’t know where you’re going until you know where you are. That’s why we start with an audit. We’ll look for any local listings you haven’t claimed yet, and we’ll find out how much mileage you’re getting out of your existing efforts.
Does Google Maps know where you are? Is your information consistent and clear across the board? How many local searches are you currently missing out on? We need to know, and so do you. Our audit identifies the info we need.
And then we shoot straight. We’ll tell you what needs to change, how we can change it, and how much work you need to do in other areas to get on Page One (or move up within Page One).
[banner for audit request goes here]
How Maps Fits into Our Multi-Pronged Approach
Black Fin is a full-service digital marketing firm, and we work exclusively with law firms and attorneys. Every member of our team is an experienced expert in a specific field of internet marketing.
Being a full-service firm means we have flexibility to combine our Google Maps / My Business efforts with all our other services — web content, organic search, pay-per-click advertising, social media, and web design. Each of these prongs complements the others so that your firm is firing on all cylinders.
Of course, as the client, you’re always in control of how much we’re doing for you and when. Whether a la carte or as a suite, we stay on top of our services to make sure they’re getting you the best possible results and highest-yield ROI possible.
We also happen to be absolutely emphatic about being here for our clients, answering the phone when you call, and proving ourselves to you with results you can see — on paper, in front of you, in plain math and English.
Why You Can’t Fix Your Local Search Problem with Google Maps SEO Alone
We aren’t the only ones who take a big-picture view of SEO. Google does, too.
In determining your local search rank, Google looks not only to your local listing but also to the quality, performance, and popularity of your website.
So even if you’re bringing your A Game to Google Maps, if your website isn’t doing its part, it can hold you back in both organic and mobile search.
Specifically, Google will assess:
- Your website’s loading speed
- The quantity, quality, and relevance of the site’s written content
- Whether the site is well designed
- How many authoritative and relevant domain names link back to yours
- Whether your site is well organized (e.g. site map, navigation, menus, internal structure)
- Whether users tend to stay on your site or quickly click away
- And more
In other words, excellent web design and content marketing aren’t just good for your website — they’re also critical for an effective Google Maps SEO strategy.
Ready to Get Started?
As with any other legal marketing project, improving your Google Business SEO requires a commitment to success.
If you’re determined to beat your competitors, you absolutely can, and we can make that happen for you.
Speaking of long-term commitments, we don’t require them. At Black Fin, we expect you to expect results from us. From day one, we’re going to take solid action to grow your law firm. And if your law firm doesn’t grow, you shouldn’t keep using our services. That’s our philosophy.
We offer a different kind of web marketing for law firms:
- Honest and transparent communication
- Pricing that makes sense for your firm’s size and needs
- Results you can read and understand on a regular basis, and
- A passion for being excellent in everything we do
Stop worrying about your law firm’s Google performance and start actually improving that performance today.
Real results are only one contact form or phone call away. Get in touch with Black Fin right away.