The 3-Pack, or the local pack as it’s sometimes called, is a prime piece of real estate on a page of search results. It’s the group of results you see at the very top of the page, right after paid ads. That means law firm websites that earn a spot in the 3-Pack garner the most attention from prospects searching for information.
However, Google assumes the searcher is intent on searching for a local law firm, so the searcher’s location is a strongly weighted ranking factor. All things being equal, the 3 law firms located closest to the searcher’s location will rank in the 3-Pack. But all things are rarely equal and there are steps you can take to optimize your web presence to improve your chances of ranking in the 3-Pack for local prospects. Here are a few quick tips:
Create and optimize a Google Business Profile
Formerly known as a Google My Business Listing, be sure that your listing is as complete as possible and that the information, including law firm name, address, phone number and domain, match your website exactly. Google compares the contact information listed on your website versus the information listed elsewhere on the internet. NAP (name, address, phone number) consistency is important and can also have a direct impact on consumer perception of your law firm and whether prospects have a positive or negative experience with your brand.
Add Contact Information to Your Website
List all pertinent contact information, including your firm name, address, and phone numbers, on your website. Note, all that information should be included somewhere as text. This ensures that Google can easily read your contact information and verify its accuracy. That means, if your law firm name is part of your logo, you’ll need to make sure the firm name is also included wherever your address is listed as text.
Optimize Website for Location and Primary Practice Areas
This is likely something that your webmaster or SEO team will need to do. Have them update your title tags, meta descriptions, image alt tags to include your location and practice areas. Add fresh relevant content on a consistent basis and be sure that your site is mobile-responsive. Responsive sites are pushed to the top for mobile searches and all but the top 3 are hidden behind a scroll or page turn.
Establish Complete Listings in Top Local Business Directories
Google, Yelp, Bing, YellowPages.com, Avvo, CitySearch, MapQuest, I could go on and on. There are literally thousands of directories available to list your firm in, so you should be selective. You likely already have listings in a lot of these directories, just waiting for you to claim and update. Google your law firm name to find which directories you have listings in, then begin to build out your listings on the most popular sites. Be sure to include more than just your basic contact info. Prospects are looking for additional information, such as your hours of operation, service offerings, and other relevant information.
It can be incredibly time-consuming to submit to each directory individually, but there are some tools available to simplify the process. While automated tools aren’t perfect, both Moz Local and BrightLocal offer tools which enable you to distribute your law firm info to thousands of local directories.
There’s a LOT of competition for that prime spot at the top of the search results, so your site may not immediately land in the 3-Pack. But over time, implementing these techniques can have a valuable impact on your local SEO rankings, helping your website capture one of those top 3 spots, as well as the attention of a significant number of local prospects.
Director, Web and Online Marketing Services
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 453-2128