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Study: Law Firms Need 90 Citations to Rank in Top 3 in Google Local

Unless you have a micro-niche practice, your law firm likely draws its clients from a relatively small geographic region. In other words, your clients are locals. Which means you want — you need — to rank high in Google Local search.

A new study from BrightLocal examined how many citations (online references to your NAP — name, address, phone number) businesses need to rank in the top spots in local search results on Google. They examined several industry categories, including Legal, where the study sample was 5,347 keywords and 25,091 law firms.

What the study found was that law firms that had 90 citations grabbed the first three spots in Google Local ranking; those that ranked 4-6 had 89 citations and those that ranked 7-10 had 86 citations. The average number of citations for all law firms was 77.

So, to outrank your competitors, you need at least 90 citations.

The most popular citation sites for law firms include:

When compiling citations for your law firm, you must follow this steadfast rule: use a consistent firm name, address and phone number. Your listing must be exactly the same everywhere on the Internet to earn citations. Not doing so will negatively impact your search engine ranking!

This is because Google uses citations to gauge a business’ authority, an important component of SEO. Google looks for the number of citations, the accuracy of the data, and the quality of the platform where the citations are found. If you have few citations and the data is inconsistent, your Local Search rank will suffer!

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About this Author

Stephen Fairley legal marketing expert, law office management

Two-time international best-selling author, Stephen Fairley is the Founder and CEO of The Rainmaker Institute, the nation’s largest law firm marketing company specializing in marketing and lead conversion for small to medium law firms. Since 1999, he has built a national reputation as a legal marketing expert and been named, “America’s Top Marketing Coach.” He has spoken numerous times for over 35 of the nation’s largest state and local bar associations.