SEO for Personal Injury Attorneys

How Rankings Work for Personal Injury Law Firms in Google’s Local Pack

The local pack drives a lot of calls. In many cities, attorneys can expect to receive around 60-90 calls each month from prospective clients. Of course, this number varies drastically depending on a wide variety of factors.

So how do you get there? The web is overflowing with a tremendous amount of absolutely ridiculous information. Today we will lay out exactly what works.

How Rankings Work for Law Firms in Google’s Local Pack

There are multiple factors which determine which law firms display in the local pack. Google claims the factors are relevance, distance and prominence. Their description is vague. More importantly, their description is unhelpful and useless because it’s only partially correct.

Here are the real ranking factors:

Law Firm Name.

Adding keywords, such as “injury lawyer” to a law firm name impacts that firm’s position in the local pack algorithm. Law Firms (or any other business types) are not allowed to use keywords in the title of their business name. The workaround is to rename your law firm or get a DBA. If you don’t want to rename your firm, no worries, you can probably still rank. Fun fact: We started this back around 2016 over in San Diego. By 2018 nearly every personal injury law firm in southern California had renamed their practice.


Review score, review count and review recency are all factors.

  • Review count is not a huge factor, however, firms with under 20 reviews usually perform very poorly. Additionally, if one firm has 8 reviews and the competitor has 350, they’re going to receive the vast majority of the phone calls.
  • Review score is important. Even if you rank in the local pack, if you don’t have at least a 4.0, you’re going to miss out on calls. If you’re under a 4.0 you probably have bigger problems than ranking in the local pack.
  • Review recency is a factor as well. It’s tough to pinpoint this one, but in a nutshell, you should always be receiving recent reviews. We’ve seen firms who have not collected reviews in over a year pop right into the three pack on numerous occasions after obtaining some recent reviews.

User Proximity. 

This is the big one that most people fail to understand. There is no ranking system to show up in one city. The local pack changes based on user proximity. In other words, in a city like Miami, Dallas or Los Angels, there are hundreds of possibilities. The local pack in one location will have totally different law firms in it based on a user’s location. In cities with lots of attorneys, a local pack can display a different set of attorneys at one location than a different location just a quarter mile away.

That said, if you meet ALL of the criteria your firm can have better “reach” than other firms.

Here we use a tool called LocalFalcon to determine where a firm ranks.

Organic Rankings.

Perhaps the most important factor is where you rank organically. Attorneys appearing in the top 10 of Google’s search results are significantly more likely to display in the local pack than other attorneys.


I almost overlooked this and it sort of goes without saying, but selecting the proper law firm category is a huge factor. If you have selected “criminal defense lawyer” for a “personal injury attorney”, you’re not going to display in the local pack for personal injury searches.

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This site exists to inform personal injury attorneys on how to do search engine optimization (SEO). My name is Len and my telephone number is 919-475-1883

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