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How law firms can make the most of local Google Search

Get in touch to discuss how our local SEO strategies can boost your firm’s online presence and drive more business your way.

Key topics discussed

Local Google Search

In recent years, organic search (non-paid search results) has become far more competitive for law firms. Within the UK marketplace, where Google is the dominant search provider, search results pages have become crowded with more and more firms competing for less space.

Google Business Profiles for UK law firms

Increasingly, UK law firms are using paid ads to acquire traffic and generate enquiries, and this comes within the context of search engines sending less traffic to websites in general.

So while SEO (search engine optimisation) remains an important channel for law firms looking to compete online, it is evident that firms need to update their strategies here in order to continue improving results.

Where do current opportunities lie? Google is constantly developing and refining the format of its search results in order to improve its user experience and ultimately to grow its ads business. 

As part of this process over the last few years, Google has been creating more features and opportunities for local business owners and this is where there are opportunities for law firms to compete.

Local SEO for UK law firms

While traditional SEO covers overall visibility within search results, local SEO is the process of improving search visibility at a local level, related to a geographic location.

One of the easiest ways to improve local SEO for a law firm is through Google’s Maps platform and their Google Business Profile product.

Formerly known as ‘Google My Business’, Google Business Profile is a free tool that allows business owners to connect with prospective clients on Google.

A Google Business Profile allows you to gain visibility within Google Search and Maps for the relevant products and services that you serve.

This might seem like a lot of information, but you should encourage call handlers to work these elements in a conversation and maintain a central database for this data. 

Google Business Profile checklist

Below is our 8-step checklist for optimising your law firm’s Google Business Profile: 

1. Create a profile

The first thing to check is whether your firm already has a profile for each of its locations. To do this, simply Google your firm’s name and location and then review the search results.

If you don’t see a Google Business Profile appearing, you’ll need to create a new profile.

Important: Make sure that the new account details are shared with your team.

Even if you see a profile you may still need to claim or verify it.

2. Business information for your law firm

You should try to fill out as much of the information as possible.

Pay particular attention to the following:

  • Business name
  • Description: A brief overview of your firm and what it does. Searchers will see this information via the search results page
  • Address
  • Opening hours
  • Phone number (try to use local office number)
  • Website URL: If your firm has more than three locations, try to link to a specific location page on your website
  • Appointment URL: Link to a contact page or appointment calendar
  • Products and services: See products % services section below for more information
  • Attributes: Types of payment accepted, disability access etc
  • Opening date


3. Reviews

Positive reviews are extremely important within the context of local SEO. They help your law firm to stand out, directly affect visibility and are an important factor in generating enquiries (conversion). They also help to provide social proof and more importantly, trust.

Law firms should use a structured approach in order to gain reviews and to respond to reviews (positive or negative). For more, read our insights piece ‘Master the Art of Online Reviews: How Law Firms Can Boost Their Reputation’. 

4. Products and services

There are different ways to approach listing your products and services but law firms should be mindful of the following.

Think of services as being related to your practice areas and each practice area should have a set of relevant products – for example, ‘family law’ as the service and ‘divorce’ as the product.

While it’s good to create as many relevant products as possible, keep services to the bare minimum. Too many can dilute your relevance and visibility within search results and map listings.

5. Posts

Posts allow you to create and share relevant content directly with searchers via your Google Business Profile.

You can create events, compelling offers, and product updates along with different calls to action (CTAs) that link back to your website.

Try to share relevant updates related to your key service areas on a regular basis.

6. Photos and videos

You should consider adding the following types of image:

  • Identity: Your logo and a cover image
  • Team: Team profiles, group photos, team at work
  • Exterior: Photos of your office front, relevant local landmarks
  • Interior: Inside of your location so that clients know what to expect


7. Questions and answers

This feature allows searchers to ask questions via the search results page and can be a useful source of information for prospective clients.

As a best practice you should try to pre-populate this using frequently asked questions from your website. Typical questions could include pricing, legal aid availability, and services offered.

NOTE: You manage this feature directly from the search results page.

8. Tracking
The Google Business Profile dashboard provides a basic insights report which provides up to six month’s data. If your firm is already using a web analytics platform such as Google Analytics, there are additional steps you can take to help analyse the performance of your Google Business Profile. Many firms are now using call tracking platforms to provide additional marketing intelligence that helps them to understand their return on ad spend via various marketing channels. This can also be applied to your Google Business Profile by adding a tracked number. A tracked number allows you to understand how many calls and enquiries are being generated via your listing. In addition, you can also add link tracking to any URLs that you add to your listing. Claire Carlile has created an excellent resource for this > Google Business Profile – URL Tagging. The point here is to be able to measure discernible results from activity around your Google Business Profile.

Looking to generate more business through local SEO?

As Google puts more emphasis on search intent, they aren’t just showing results based on keywords but on what they know a user is looking for.

When someone searches for a lawyer to help them with a particular legal need, Google will use its location-based information and show law firms within that user’s local area. 

With a properly optimised and maintained Business Profile on Google, you can manage how your law firm shows up across Google products, like Maps and Search. If your firm services clients within a particular location or locations, your Business Profile can help people find you.


Get started with local SEO

If you’d like to chat about how you can more fully leverage the opportunities local SEO can offer your firm, get in touch with our specialist team or complete the online enquiry form.

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