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Lawyer SEO For Competitive Cities

Aug 21, 2015

We’ve helped a number of law firms rank in major search engines for a variety of competitive cities, such as Phoenix, Los Angeles, NYC, Chicago, and a few others. We’re often asked by competitors and prospective clients alike, “what’s it take to get to page 1?”

It’s a hard question to answer. Hopefully we can address some of those questions, and help provide a guideline of what we’ve seen works – and why it works.

Cities like Los Angeles(the second most USA populated city), are no different than your every-day city with a population of 300,000 or less. There’s nothing special about a city like Los Angeles, the only difference is the competition is hyper-dense. In cities like Los Angeles, having one simple “variable,” like an SSL certificate, can mean the difference between position 4, and position 6.

Almost every one is neck-in-neck, gunning for the top. With the recent change in the local places, from the 7-pack to the 3-pack, the competition is only fiercer.


Local Citations Matters.

Local citations are a big tool, especially when it comes to creating organic, high quality backlinks, that in addition help Google understand where your business is located. The more high quality citations the better. Make sure to claim your Google+ listing, and of course ensure you’re business info is synchronized on all of these local citation platforms. Services like Yext are great – while they do charge a pretty penny!



Depending on your school of thought, or of your SEO vendors school of thought, you may feel one way or another about this. There’s no hard and fast rule about content – but frankly, from our experience – bigger websites rank better.

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Here are a list of all the proprietary websites (not including directories), on page 1 of Google for the highly competitive keyword: Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyers. In addition, we’ll include the list of pages each website has.   /// 715 pages  /// 566 pages  /// 106 pages  /// 161 pages  /// 2500 pages

Now this is by no means an exhaustive sample – it’s a very small sample. With the exception of, and, which are EMD/Partial-EMD domain names; the other 3 players both seem to have fairly large websites, and all 3 are on page 1 of Google consistently. I don’t think that’s a coincidence!



Once again, this conversion can begin and end, in many different ways. Some will argue quantity of links matter. Some argue, that the quality matter. Frankly, there’s no magic formula! Each city/legal vertical, has it’s “requirements.” What we’ve seen hold true across the board, is that if you want to succeed, your backlinks should satisfy the following:

  • They should be high quality, and should be natural.
  • If you insert the link in an article, the quality of the article matters! If all your links are in spammy/low quality written articles – it’s likely you’re going to see a penalty!
  • Site-wide domain backlinks hurt, avoid them. When we see websites ranking poorly and see a few thousands backlinks coming from, 1,2, or even 3 domain names – we always assume/know/have experience seeing this being a root cause of the rankings issue. While it’s ok to get site-wide links(where appropriate/natural), the quantity of links generated are a huge issue to consider!
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To be absolutely pragmatic, when you enter a city like NYC – you have to step up your game by a long shot. This means improving the type of links you get. It means creating innovative strategies to create links, above and beyond creating another tumblr blog, or some other redundant Web 2.0 property which has been spammed to death!

It means getting links from places like, engaging in outreach and only getting 1 link for weeks of effort! But that 1 link is more valuable than anything you could ever image. Eventually, when you do SEO campaigns for big cities like Los Angeles – you hit that mark, and the only way to go higher is to get that upper crust of “media attention,” which is normally reserved for the top 1% of lawyers/professionals. Without it, you’ll never cut through the people on page 1 – and frankly, that’s the one thing people forget to do.

Most lawyer SEO companies pretend that if they “stack up” enough redundant/low quality links, they can literally “out-build” / “out-number” their way to the top, and ignore those other high quality links such as a backlink – which their competitors have. Not true – not possible.