There have been major SEO updates to Google’s Maps SEO algorithm and most target legal client searches have the Maps listings (AKA the Maps Pack) at the top of the organic (non-paid) search results.
Therefore, if you want to rank your law firm in Google, Local SEO should be your primary focus. That is where most of your target traffic is!
If you’re a lawyer or work with a law firm, I shot a recent video explaining what’s going on and what you can do about it:
A screenshot of the Law Firm SEO video:
Relevant Lawyer SEO Content:
- Law Firm SEO
- Local SEO for Lawyers
- SEO for Personal Injury Attorneys
- Family Law SEO
- Criminal Law SEO
- On Page SEO for Lawyers
Approximate transcript of the video:
Hi, this video is about the most important focus for law firm SEO by far, I’m shooting this in the middle of 2022. I think this will be true for a while. My name is David hood. I’m the Dallas SEO geek. And let’s get into it. So I’m gonna use this picture to explain why what I’m picking as the most important and then give some extra context and go further and explain to you kind of what you couldn’t do what your options are for working on this most important focus. So the ads come first and Google but most people skip a small study a while ago that said 80% of people never click on ads. So there’s more traffic available in the organic or non paid section. Now there’s some terminology jargon that I’m going to try to clarify here. And then and this is true for most law firms is not true for all there are some markets in some specialties or sub specialties where the the searches that they want to rank for the maps listings do not show up, or at least they’re not the first non paid results. So these are the first non paid results called the maps three pack, or just the maps listings, or just the maps. These are the non maps organic results. Some people also call this just organic, even though I think the maps are organic. And these are consistently below the three pack and I had to work really hard to make this screenshot. Because if you actually do this search on a desktop or mobile device, you have to scroll down pretty far even to see this number one listing. Alright, so priority number one for most law firms is going to be greeted Google Maps. The because I say it’s greedy, because right now it’s soaking up most of the traffic, most of the people are going to click on this this area. First of all, it’s the first non paid result. Again, most people skip over the ads. And they know that this is this, these are ads. And these are also it’s also much more engaging and colorful. If you look at this, compared to this, this draws the eyes more has the reviews, people click on it and they engage with it. Alright, so the vast majority, the most traffic is going here. Not only that, but this the the non paid traffic is worth more than the paid traffic, it comes with this traffic comes with an implied refer almost like a referral from Google. So the quality of the traffic. I’ve seen this, over the last decade that I’ve been doing SEO have seen this over and over again, that the organic, the non paid traffic converts better. And it’s just generally higher, higher quality. And let’s look at the long term trends as well, because there’s some really positive long term trends that point towards this not going away. So first of all, I’ve been watching this you I’ve been doing SEO full time for over a decade now. And when Google started putting the maps listings into the search results, there was actually a seven pack. And even though it has more, it was ironically taking up less space, it was less bubbly, and it was just much more calm, compact. And they weren’t putting it in that many search results. What they’ve done over the last starting about 334 years ago, they started putting them make the maps take up more spaces and the ads as well. But the Maps listing take up more space, and they put it in more search results. In other words, they took their algorithm or decided or somebody decided to tune a knob that said, Okay, we’re going to turn up the localization on search phrases. So by localization, you can see here like it has Dallas in here, Dallas, Dallas, this is this is also this is very highly localized. Sometimes you do a search and there’s a mix amount of localization where maybe the maps listings is lower, or there’s a map listings and then a bunch of non localized results. That’s kind of a lower level of localization, they’ve turned up the localization, which means the maps listings is in more searches. So it’s in more searches. It’s it takes up more space, and it soaks up a lot of that traffic. And on top of this, in December, about December of 2021, Google made a huge update to their maps algorithm right here. And I do need to take a quick step back and just explain briefly how this works. Because this maps this thing, right here, if you search this, and you have your cousin search it, and you have somebody else search it, we might all get different listings in this result. And that’s because a huge factor for whether or not Google shows this, or what what Google shows in this list is where the searcher is actually sitting and how relevant your your brand and your your, your listing is to that location. Alright, so what Google did was they turn down that knob on localization on the ability of a listing to rank over a wider area. So a lot of practices that were
ranking, let’s say over a huge geographic area, their their geographic area was shrunk significantly. And they, in some cases, I mean, they could have lost, you know, 90% of their, their organic maps traffic because of that. And what a lot of people in my industry are doing is either nothing or more of the same stuff. But I want to work really quickly trying to figure out what’s going on here. And what what can I do to actually get back to ranking. And I feel very fortunate that I’ve, I’ve discovered a way that I can rank this actually really quickly. And very reliably nothing’s 100%. But to a very high percentage degree, we can get these maps and we can increase this, this influence to the number of areas for a keyword that you show up and this top three results, because you know, if you can see here, I click the View All. And that will take me to the long list. And there’s somebody who’s in fourth, who’s just barely off the first page, and going from fourth to third has a huge effect. So what we want to do is we want you to rank over a wider area, I’ve actually included a tracking software, the output of a tracking software that creates what I’m calling a geo grid. Right here, I’m gonna explain this will help explain what I’m meaning at the center is the listing. And this is for all these not a 13 by 13 169 data points, it searches the main keyword, and what you learn in what, where I where this listing ranks in the maps at the at these specific locations, okay, and you can see, while this is still really good, all these ones, twos and threes are on the first page over a wide area, this is each each of these dots is two miles apart, there’s still some really good opportunity with these fours. And you see, it’s a little tougher to rank in downtown Dallas, I’m actually give you I think there’s a better example that this is not this is a more developed project, a more common project is where that you rank right around here. And then you rank really poorly, pretty quickly out, let me find I’ll find one of those. Okay, here’s a more common example, there’s actually a really big law firm that does a lot of marketing, I know. And I’m pretty sure they make a lot of money. But their listing still does not rank that well, you can see this is actually 13 by 13, only one mile at the center. So if somebody’s sitting right next door, and they’re searching for their main keyword, like personal Personal Injury Lawyer, then they’ll actually rank in the maps, but only for like about a one to two mile radius, and then they quickly drop off. And so one of the so this is this is a common, I wouldn’t be surprised I didn’t run this before the upgrade, that if they had like a bigger influence before the upgrade, and if you envision all those different areas, there’s major highways along here that they’re missing out on. And because I believe this is a personal injury lawyer listing, you know, to where they could get a lot more traffic, a lot of valuable traffic. Okay, so there’s major updates, I think I’ve figured out how to how to really tap into this and how to really make it like this. And even better still working on this one. It does depend on the specialty, in terms of the amount of localization, a large amount of lawyers, again, like personal injury lawyers, Family Lawyers, criminal lawyers, and several others that can’t talk, think of off the top, my business lawyers, the maps listings, were going to be primary by a lot by a wide margin. I want to also point out, one of the reasons why I think this will stay, Google makes more money with this in this listing, it’s not shown but most of the time, or not almost a good amount of the time, there will actually be an ad in this first spot as well. And it’ll be marked as an ad. And if you click on view all
they serve up more ads. So they make more money by setting up these listings. Because people stay on their platform longer. They also get more data and Google loves their data. So they can understand more about what’s going on and what they can do to provide the results they’re looking for. Also, again, I mentioned verse ads, this takes up the maps listings soak up most of the searches versus ads and versus non maps organic. Okay. So let me let me compare this to some of the other areas of SEO real briefly and explain kind of how they are relevant to that them and from a Maps standpoint, and relative importance and all how also how they’re integrated. So where are you ranking the non maps organic does sort of, I wouldn’t say it necessarily has an effect on where you rank in the maps, it’s more than the things that help you rank in the non maps can influence the maps. But while there are definitely quite a bit of unique factors, and there is some relation there. So if somebody comes to me, and their Maps listing isn’t ranking very well, so they’re not getting a lot of traffic, but in the non maps are actually ranking really well. They’re typically going to rank faster in the maps than somebody who He comes to me and has no no rankings at all anywhere. And so what that means is that like Link Building to your website, does affect maps. And on page does affect maps, especially for like personal injury lawyers and business lawyers and criminal lawyers, a lot of lawyers that have a lot of longtail searches, and people are still putting those in. By longtail, I mean low volume, but long, there’s a lot of words and it’s specific. So a common example would be like a dog bite lawyer doesn’t get searched a lot. But if you get it, it ranks really well, by having content on your site in this specific way. And integrating it properly with your Maps listing. For dog bite lawyer, it will help your Maps listing actually rank better for dog by layer, lawyer, all right. And then target client brand engagement. This is important, because Google is tracking to see how people respond to your brand. It’s your website, and your your Google My Business page primarily. But there’s sometimes some other factors that come into play, you want to you don’t want to have poor engagement metrics on either one of those places, because that can actually hurt you. So what this also means is that, you know, just to give a silly example, it could go so far as the person who answers the phone is rude to people. And so as a result, they go back to the search results, and they call more people, Google is actually going to notice that so kind of having all of your kind of your sales process buttoned up is going to be a relevant factor here. But really, when it comes down to it, if you want to look at I’m a big fan of efficiency in my previous life, I was studied efficiency and systems and human integrated systems and very complicated systems. And oftentimes, I found it best and most efficient to focus on what’s most important. And the maps listings are there are the what’s the efficient focus here. But focusing on that, that provides, I think, the biggest return to most law firms, but also know that some of these other factors are integrated, and they can be either that can be a bottleneck or threshold that you need to meet to enable more rankings. If this is really bad. Like if your link building is super bad, it’s going to be harder to rank your maths not impossible, though, what I want to offer you is also I’m so confident that I will be able to rank you and that you’ll be it’ll be obvious to you that there’s good quality results, that I’m willing to offer a four month full month money back guarantee for the SEO okay, I don’t know anybody else who who does this. Because a sometimes it doesn’t work, you know, I’m not saying it works 100% of the time, but it works a lot of the time and it works quicker. Most the time, people are saying probably telling you wait six to 12 months, this can actually happen pretty quickly. A lot of times within a month or two we can start seeing the these these listings grow in influence. All right. So and if that if you’re interested in that call or book a call, I’ll try to put a link to my calendar, hopefully doesn’t get to spammed for a free SEO analysis and recommendations. I will give you a warning though, if one of your competitors hires me, I will not be able to work with you, I will our booked call will either be canceled or it will be very short. So if you’re interested, please go ahead and book a call or just pick up the phone and call me. Or you can even text the number that I’ll put on there. I try to answer my phone or I try to respond pretty quickly. So for example, if somebody hires me to work for Dallas, personal injury lawyer, SEO, and then you also do also want to rank for that I will have to turn you down because I won’t I don’t want to work for I don’t want to compete with myself.
I think it’s unethical. So anyway, so thank you very much, and give me a call or book a call and and you’ll get a free SEO analysis and recommendations and we’ll go from there. Thanks and have a good day. Bye