Location, location, location – it’s a critical factor in search.
Whether your law firm has one location or several, it’s critical that each office has a unique address. Sharing addresses may seem like a way to save time and money, but it’s just the opposite – if Google doesn’t trust you, then your site will struggle organically. That means no rankings, no visibility, and no leads.
Make sure Google can trust your business.
Every time you search for a business on Google, a lot is happening “under the hood” to ensure that the search results are relevant and trustworthy for the user. And one of those critical factors lurking just under the surface is trustworthiness.
If Google isn’t sure whether it can trust your business, you’ll be penalized in search – and because legal search is so competitive, law firms have no room for error.
You have to show Google that you’re a legitimate business, and that includes showing that you have a legitimate location. There are two criteria Google wants to verify:
- You’re actually doing business in the location you list.
- No other business is also using that address.
Your Google Business Page (GBP) is directly linked to your physical office address. Here are two things you need to ensure so that Google trusts your address:
1. Make sure your law firm is in a location zoned for “business.”
If your office is in a residential area, that’s a huge problem because you won’t be able to get a verified Google Business Profile (GBP). An area with mixed zoning can also cause problems with Google. Doing business in a non-business location is a fatal flaw.
The best practice is to ensure your law firm’s address is in a location zoned for business. If you also use a home office or other residential address, that’s fine offline, but don’t put it on your website or try to set up a GBP. As far as your online presence is concerned, your address must be an actual business address.
2. Make sure you aren’t sharing your space.
For Google to view your location as trustworthy, they need to have a unique address that consumers can go to. If there is more than one business at the same address, Google doesn’t view it as “trustworthy.”
So, if you’re sharing your address with another law firm – whether that’s your friend from law school sharing space to cut costs, a referring firm using your address for marketing purposes, or any similar arrangement – that’s a fatal flaw. Likewise, if you’re leasing space without a permanent presence – from an executive suite company, using a co-working space, or similar – that’s also a fatal flaw.
You need a unique street address, suite number, or floor number to ensure that a specific location is uniquely yours. If there are other businesses sharing your address, you need to either get a distinct suite number from those businesses or ask them to leave.
If you need help getting a unique address or are looking to move or expand to a new office, Big Voodoo can help. We have extensive experience helping law firms vet office locations to position themselves for greater success in organic search. Give us a call or contact us online today.