3 Pillars of Local SEO for Law Firms: Distance, Relevance, Prominence

3 Pillars of Local SEO for Law Firms

Local search engine optimization (SEO) is a key component for any law firm looking to find success in their area. An effective local SEO strategy isn’t just about becoming visible online; it’s about being found by the right audience, at the right time, in the right place.

A lot goes into local SEO, but Google measures three factors to determine what websites and Google Business Profiles to place where on the SERP: Proximity, Relevance, and Prominence. Each of these elements is vital in shaping how your law firm is discovered and perceived by potential clients in your locality.

In this article, we’ll dive into the importance of each of these three factors and give you advice on how to master them.

Pillar 1: Distance – Connecting Law Firms with Local Clients

One of the three ranking factors Google looks at is Distance. Here’s how Google defines it.

google local seo distance
(Image Source)

It’s a bit vague, so let’s dive in a bit deeper.

The Role of Distance in Local SEO

Distance is a key determinant of how a law firm appears in search results. It’s about the physical distance of a business from where the search was made. Unless you specify an area, a search will generally display results in your local area.

Search engines prioritize law firms that are geographically closer to the user for relevant local queries.

Optimizing for Distance

It’s hard to optimize for distance since your law firm is where it is. You’re unlikely to move your physical location to perform better on search.

What you can do is make sure your law firm’s physical address and location information are accurately and consistently represented across all online platforms. This includes your firm’s website, Google Business Profile listing, social media pages, and all legal directories.

Another thing you can do is try to optimize your pages for local keywords. For example, searches for…

  • Criminal defense lawyer,
  • Criminal defense lawyer near me,
  • and criminal defense lawyer Austin Texas

May all show different results. Follow keyword best practices to improve your odds of showing up for these search terms.

Related – Keyword Research for Lawyers: A comprehensive guide to keyword research for lawyers.

Pillar 2: Relevance – Ensuring Law Firms Meet Client Needs

Another one of the three ranking factors Google looks at is Relevance. Here’s how Google defines it.

google local seo relevance

Understanding Relevance in Local SEO for Law Firms

Relevance is used to determine the best results for a given search query. This means your content needs to align closely with the search intent and needs of your potential clients. It’s about getting a read on what your audience is looking for and creating content relevant to those queries.

Content Optimization for Relevance

Optimizing your content for relevance involves understanding and incorporating the legal queries that potential clients in your area are searching for.

In the past, this would have been as easy as inserting keywords. But as Google’s algorithms become more sophisticated, it’s become about creating content that best answers the search queries (and is most helpful).

So, create content that’s hyper-focused on answering the queries your audience is searching for.

That could mean creating:

  • Blog posts
  • Practice area pages
  • Dedicated FAQ pages

Focusing on SEO as a Whole

Relevance really requires a holistic SEO strategy. Aside from just creating content, you can optimize your website’s meta tags, headers, and alt tags with terms that are not only legally specific but also resonate with your local audience.

Regularly updating your blog with articles on current legal trends, offering insights into local cases, or providing updates on changes in law demonstrates your firm’s engagement and expertise. And it also contributes to Distance.

You can also consider participating in social media discussions and contributing to local groups to cement yourself as a pillar of your community.

Pillar 3: Prominence – Establishing Authority in the Legal Field

The last pillar we want to discuss is prominence. Here’s how Google defines it.

google local seo prominence

The Role of Prominence in Local SEO

Prominence in local SEO is all about establishing your law firm’s authority and reputation online. It’s a measure used by Google to determine how well-known and respected your firm is both online and in your local community.

A firm that’s seen as prominent is more likely to rank higher in local search results.

Prominence is measured through several factors, including the quality of backlinks to your website, client reviews, and the presence of your firm in local and legal-specific citations.

How to Increase Your Prominence

Backlinks from reputable websites, particularly those in the legal niche, signal to search engines that your firm is a credible and authoritative source of information. Try to get featured in legal publications, participate in online legal forums, and contribute to legal blogs to gain valuable backlinks.

You can also look to get featured in segments or articles on your local news networks — a strategy good for all three local SEO factors.

Our client Yoav Niv is frequently featured in his local news, and he uses that to create content for his website.

law firm covered in the news
(Image Source)

Client reviews also play a huge role. Encourage your satisfied clients to leave positive reviews on your Google Business Profile and other legal review sites. These reviews not only improve your prominence but also build trust with potential clients.

Combining Proximity, Relevance, and Prominence for Optimal Local SEO

To truly thrive in local SEO, you should keep all three pillars in mind. This starts with understand all three pillars.

  • Proximity: Ensure your firm is geographically visible by accurately listing your location across various online platforms and engaging with the local community.
  • Relevance: Develop content that directly addresses the specific legal needs and queries of your local audience using targeted keywords and topics.
  • Prominence: Establish your firm’s authority through quality backlinks, positive client reviews, and consistent citations in legal directories.

These elements synergize well to create a robust online presence that attracts and retains clients more effectively.

For example, a blog post addressing a local legal issue (Relevance) can be shared on local news networks or social media (Prominence) while also including location-specific keywords (Proximity).

A Focus on Local SEO Can Lead To High-Quality Leads

Top law firms often have strong SEO strategies that focus on local SEO. So, yes, it really is worth it. But it has to be done correctly.

That’s why we suggest you get a specialist who knows all about digital marketing for law firms to handle your SEO.

If you need assistance with marketing your law firm, just let us know. We have a group of experts who are eager to help you out.