GEO-Targeted Pages for Local Law Firm SEO

| March 24, 2014

geo-specific-pagesSay you are in a large, metropolitan area, but there are other locations nearby that you want to target. You have to create geo-targeted pages with location-specific keywords.

The SEO strategy for your firm will be modeled after how you do business. For law firms with multiple offices in different cities, optimizing web pages with location-specific content can help generate more visibility in search.

Google, Local Results and the Venice Update

With every change to Google’s algorithm, the company is looking for ways to improve the user experience with its service. Back in 2012, it rolled out a lot of changes, one of which was the so-called Venice Update. That update provided an improved ability to recognize when results were relevant to a user based on their location.

Basically, what this means is that Google now delivers results that are localized for very broad queries. So, when a user types “personal injury attorney” (with all other factors being optimal), they will get results relevant to their location above others. Check out the results in the screenshot below where my default location is set to Chicago, IL, and I’ve searched for the keyword phrase “personal injury attorney.

Even though you can’t control some of the factors Google looks at when serving up localized results, it’s important to know about the factors that you can manage. Part of the reason why certain results are served is because of the presence of a keyword plus a location name in the content.

Following this theory, you can optimize pages for localized queries. If your firm operates offices in multiple cities within a given geographic area, you can create a page for each city + keyword combination.

Unique Location-Specific Content

You should make a unique location-specific landing page for each office or location that you have. Many site owners who manage location-specific pages use cookie-cutter content that they dump on every page they create, only changing the location name. This may be easier to do, but it does not add value to your site. Write the content for each page from scratch.

Include your keyword + location name in the page copy. This is the tricky part because (in order to be well optimized) your page must be about the keyword and its relation to the locality you are writing about. If you just insert the phrase without any context or further elaboration on why it’s in the copy, you run the risk of looking like a spammer.

Optimize Page Elements

As always, you should optimize other page elements with your keyword + location name. This includes title tags, meta tags, image file names and alt attributes (if appropriate), captions on images, link titles and any other elements.


SEO should be done on multiple levels and not just on your site as a whole. Google serves relevant documents to searchers, so you should be building highly specific links to your location landing pages. Ideally, they should be from local organizations (i.e. chambers of commerce, partner businesses, location specific directories, etc). Some links should also contain the target keyword + location name. Be careful not to overdo that part, and always keep your anchor text distribution in mind.


Schema and other types of markup are important here. Users benefit from markup because relevant, useful information will show up in SERPs (like phone numbers, ratings or other contact info).

Search engines use markup to help find, index and display content. They use the data to populate maps, driving directions and other applications that could be incredibly useful to searchers.  You can use geolocation-specific markup to identify the exact location of a building or business.  You can learn more about schema tagging at

  • Hi Chris, this is Elle. Thank you for the great information. I run a similar service agency in the SF Bay Area and I would love to ask you for advice on one thing. If a law firm doesn’t have multiple offices but of course wants to rank for multiple nearby cities, in this case, does it sound right to build geo pages still and hide them from main navigation? (I know some SEO agencies do this but it sounds a bit spammy to me and I don’t know if Google likes that). Look forward to hear your feedback. Thank you!


    • Chris Dreyer

      Hi Elle, good question…unless the city you’re trying to rank for has very low competition these interior location based pages are going to have a difficult time ranking because of the relevancy already established for the main GEO the website is targeting. I’ve seen some attorneys create micro-sites or sub-domains to target additional locations. Here are some examples of sub-domain GEO pages Michael Ehline is utilizing:

      I used to be all about one major super-site but nowadays I’m having more success with additional micro-sites. Some will be afraid to link the two sites together but in my opinion if it’s a good user experience and can serve as a helpful resource to the consumer then you shouldn’t worry. Look at FindLaw and the giant link network they’ve created and look at how well they are ranking organically for most locations throughout the US.

      – Chris