I have a law firm in a small California city. Should I mention some surrounding cities on my practice pages, or just use “California” for my location?

This is one of the biggest mistakes a new Internet user can make, and a simple search will tell you why. Go to your browser and type “California law firm.” Do you see your page? Probably not. Now, try “Los Angeles law firm.” You’re probably still not there. In fact, you may not show up until you type in the name of your firm—which isn’t much help when you’re trying to attract new clients.

The rule is simple: the more specific your search is, the more likely you are to find what you want. Words that describe your geographical area, called geo-locations, have an enormous impact on your search rankings, so leaving them out or settling on just one can drop you so far down the search page that no clients will ever find you.

The most effective geographic keywords on a law firm website include:

  • Nearby cities and counties. Customers will generally start in their home city or county when looking for legal representation, so include these keywords at least once.
  • General regions your state. There are many “Cleveland attorneys,” so that term will often get lost in the shuffle. However, a “Northern Ohio attorney” returns fewer results—and you’ll be one of them.
  • Landmarks and highways. If customers are not satisfied with their local businesses, their search terms will get wider and wider. Using landmarks such as lakes, parks, or beaches or a major highway that runs near your city will grab business from slightly further away, widening your customer base.

For more information on how to get noticed online, how to build a great legal blog, or how to turn your readers into clients, order our Great Legal Marketing book today. When you're ready to take the next step forward in small law firm marketing, call our legal advertising team at 888-791-2150.

Ben Glass
Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.