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“Just Like Me, They Want to BE….. CLOSE TO YOU…”

If you are tremendously old school, like me, then you immediately recognize the above lyrics as coming from the chorus of the Carpenters’ Classic pop song of the 1970’s “Close to YOU.”  But this blog is not a deep dive into 1970s hits or a parley of “Name that TUNE.”

This is a blog about Law Firm Marketing and leveraging Google’s Vicinity Algorithm Update to help you stand out from the pack of other law firms clamoring for space and attention in a saturated digital landscape.

If you are already a GOOGLE Algorithm expert, or an SEO guru, then this blog is not for you. Just keep scrolling.

On the other hand, if you are a law firm owner who wants to make sure your GMB (Google My Business) standing is and continues to be strong in the coming year, then read on.

 Making Google’s Vicinity Algorithm Work

Now, although I’m passionate about Legal Marketing, I’ll be the first to note that I’m not an SEO expert. (In my experience, most of us lawyers aren’t…)

But I do try to make sure that our readers are apprised of current marketing strategies. Consider this blog a quick check or double-check to make sure you are leveraging GOOGLE’s current vicinity algorithm. (And let’s face it, staying up on what GOOGLE is up to and how it will potentially impact your firm’s standing and digital visibility can feel like painting a moving train….)

That’s why I was so happy to be sitting in the right seat at the right time last week for PILMMA’s (Personal Injury Lawyers Marketing and Management Association) Super Summit in New Orleans. It was 3 days of nonstop legal marketing and management presentations – one of which was given by SEO Experts, Seth Price and Nalini Prasad of Blue Shark Digital Marketing.

I couldn’t possibly do their presentation justice in a short, quick-read blog – but I wanted to try and give you a few pertinent takeaways.


Google’s Vicinity Algorithm isn’t late-breaking news and many of you are already familiar with it. However, the Vicinity Update to Google’s mysterious algorithm is still highly relevant and impacting the law firms that will show up when a prospect is searching for a law firm in their area.

The coveted GMB  3-pack is still the hot ticket but now GOOGLE is taking vicinity into account when ranking the top firms the user will see first in their searches. This makes sense, given GOOGLE’s commitment to the user experience. Searches for businesses “near me” have increased dramatically in recent years. And with the price of gas continuing to sore, that’s not likely to change.

So, it is only logical that GOOGLE has incorporated Vicinity updates into its mysterious and ever-evolving Algorithm.

In a nutshell, it seems that GOOGLE is now looking at both your firm’s relevance (content, # of 5-star reviews, and the likes) as well as your proximity to the user when it ranks the firms that will show up first on a local search.

What does this mean for you?

Now is a GREAT time to open legitimate Satellite offices.

open legitimate Satellite offices

Be strategic. Look at where you want to draw new clients from and also, where you will have the least competition.

There’s no substitute for being truly in close proximity to your target audience.  Numbers, or in this case, miles, don’t lie.

And remember, your satellite offices don’t have to be huge- they just need to be legitimate, with an individual built out GMB.

ADD Strategic SERVICE AREAS to your existing GMB.

While opening legitimate additional satellite offices is optimal, it may be cost-prohibitive for you. And it takes time to implement. Fortunately, there is a simple solution: The important strategy to leverage now is increasing your firm’s “areas serviced” on your GMB. Sometimes a simple tweak can be golden, and when it comes to Google’s Vicinity update – this is the ticket.

While Google’s Algorithms will continue to remain elusive, you have some strong proactive measures available to help you expand your reach and compete with other firms in your market. So make sure you are leveraging these Vicinity strategies today.

** And if you want to make sure that you get the inside scoop on the latest Digital Marketing Developments and the Important Law Firm Cyber Security Update, then make sure to register for PILMMA’s upcoming Internet Domination Bootcamp. Happening September 7-9, 2022 virtually! Register here: Internet Domination Bootcamp – PILMMA

***Helping you grow and navigate an everchanging legal marketing and management landscape with spot-on strategies is what PILMMA is all about. So, if you have some topics you want me to cover in upcoming PILMMA blogs, just let me know.