Hey Jeff! Kelly Street here, I am super excited to be talking to you today. We have been getting a lot of questions from our current clients and potential clients about satellite offices and as the COO and co-founder of AttorneySync. I thought you would be a good one to direct the questions to.
Thank you so much, Kelly. Super exciting.
So the first question that we get asked a lot is,
Can you help me understand the role and value of having satellite offices?
Sure. So oftentimes only get this question is focused around the benefits of it from an SEO point of view. We’ll get to that in a minute, but one thing that doesn’t always get brought up is the idea that it can be really good for conversion. Right. So when someone is looking for helping them an office and they’re kind of sold on, you know, reaching out to you, but they have to travel a distance to get there. They can be more likely to choose someone that’s a little bit closer. So having a satellite office where they can be that that’s closer to them can really help from a conversion standpoint. Yeah. Convenience is of the utmost importance in importance in this day and age.
Awesome. So as you kind of mentioned SEO strategy.
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So how do satellite locations play into an SEO strategy?
Right, so, uh, usually to kind of frame, things like that. The different channels. Right. So when you’ve got a paid search strategy. You have a lot of flexibility over where you can show those ads and even though there may be conversion facets of that. You can basically advertise those anywhere you want. However, on the SEO side of the house. There are rules of the game from the perspective of how Google set things up that can be more limiting. Right. And one of the big ones is how Google is showing local packs. Right. So, from that end the way that local packs are showing they’re tied directly to physical office locations. And in the case of a lot of different services where people are doing things like a personal injury lawyer or even just something like a personal injury attorney. Those local packs are going to show. And just to make sure that everybody knows what I’m talking about what that, what I mean is, you know, you got ads on top right and then the local packs are going to be a map with reviews typically there are like directions or call buttons on there and then the Google my business listing for the firm and then below that the actual SEO organic results.
So the business locations are tied to the local packs and Google will serve these up, but a big one of the big components of what they’re actually showing is going to be proximity to where someone’s doing a search, right? So if someone has a mobile phone, you know, Google is going to know like the foot of land that they’re literally standing on a lot of cases with desktops and different types of IP routing, they can figure out where you’re at. And so they want to show you results that have offices that are businesses that have offices that are close to the proximity of where you are when you’re doing the search, right. So to that end, let’s say, a firm. Was in the suburbs of Chicago, because that’s where our offices located and they’re in a suburb of Chicago, they’re not going to be able to compete for Local Pack visibility. In downtown Chicago, unless they have an office there as well. Right, and vice versa. Even a law firm that has a really good presence in the city. If the searcher is out in the suburbs, they’re going to get local results for the suburbs there if you are looking to have an SEO presence in a specific area. And you don’t have a physical office location where you’re going to be trying to do it with one hand tied behind your back because you’re not going to be able to compete based on the rules of the game. Separate from what you know any kind of SEO agencies actually doing on your behalf to generate those types of results so, what we do is, you know, we want to articulate and explain this to a client that we can’t, it’s not about just sticking “Chicago personal injury lawyer” bunch of times as a keyword on your site and you’re going to be able to compete there, you actually have to have the office a physical office in order to do that. Then you push into a kind of a gray area because guess what a lot of people figured this out. Right. So they said, All right, how can we take advantage of. Getting in the Local Pack. If we have a real site through authoritative. We have a lot of reviews and different things built up so that we’re going to be able to compete show up there. And so what a lot of firms were doing is they were going through and setting up satellite offices in like shared office spaces where they didn’t have any kind of permanent lease. I’m doing it all over state right and so just like instantly having all these local pack advantages in these areas as a result of that, so Google’s on to that and the clamp down.
So when we’re making a recommendation, the purest, you don’t have to worry about it. Way to set it up is that you have an actual physical office location that is your office. It’s not a shared office that you have your own suite number or, you know, obviously, if it’s own building that that’s yours least then you’re going to be fine. As you shift into these other types of setups. You can get a little bit more in the gray area right where it depends on what else is going on and how Google views the buildings. Right. So in some cases. You have your own suite, it’s an office building with a bunch of other offices and you’re actually okay in that sense. Um, but in other situations. There may be competing firms that are already being associated with like a firm that also does personal injury and it’s in the same office location. And they’re already being associated with that location. It can be difficult to bump over them, or Google uses it as a straight shared office space where your listing will work until it doesn’t work anymore. Right. And then they can just pull it as a result. So you want to be cognizant of that going into it. You’re not just opening up spaces and try and execute strategy on them and then running into issues where it’s not working or not able to get leverage for some of these other reasons, and as a part of what the way that will approach that will do some of that research ahead of time so before someone’s actually committing or signing a lease. We’ll give recommendations, saying, hey, this is what the building. Looks like we think that this will be okay. You know, you’re, you’re in a safe spot over here to try to help guide that so you’re not signing something that creates longer-term issues that could have potential issues like that. Yeah, I didn’t even think about that being reaching out to your SEO company and asking them about the possible location that you’re looking at. I didn’t even think about what an advantage that has over just kind of going, hey, this is the spot where we want to be. Yeah, there’s a law firm down the street, but definitely a consideration and something we’ve run into issues where attorneys have to contact us after signing the lease and moving, moving okay I’m moving to this location. And there are significant problems that we will be able to catch ahead of time. Sometimes those decisions are made completely independently and you can’t help it. But if you have options and some choice, making this a part of the decision making process with where you’re signing up for the location. Should be a big factor, especially if you’re putting you know a lot of resources, time, money into an SEO strategy. This is a killer. If it’s not done right. Yeah, I mean big I’m not even big P I’s but like regular sized personal injury firms are probably spending as much a month on their SEO as they are for their business location and that’s huge.
Alright, so how far up far out geographically speaking.
Does your online business listing help you and how far out does it work?
And I’m going to give the classic longer answer of it depends, right. So when you’re in really dense areas is typically by dense. I mean like obviously population, but also density in terms of the number of other law firms doing some of the practice areas in your radius. It tends to shrink it right so if you’re in, like, you can be consistent with the example, if you’re like downtown Chicago. We’ve seen studies. Where they have been every zip code, which is, you know, really small area has a different Local Pack that’s being served depending on searching there umAs you get out to areas where the volume of law firms, little more spread it can increase you know the radius or amount of area that it’s showingI’d say, like, on average, you’re looking at maybe like like five miles as a radius. But again, when you get into more dense areas that that’s going to shrink depending on you know the proximity of the searcher to where your actual disqualifications yeahI’ve seen. I know he talks a lot about he’ll just walk around downtown Chicago and as he’s walking. He’ll see what comes up in the local pack there and its amazing one block can change everything. Actually an interesting point is when people will ask me sometimes about rankings and you know, when can I be for this particular term in this area and is one of the examples I use is this exactly were saying but you need to understand that it’s so personalized and one of those factors being where you’re searching from right then. If you take your same phone and you’re walking around the city and you perform the same keyword search and different areas, you’re going to get different results. Specifically, the local pack soIt’s just something to be aware of. From the standpoint that it’s that rankings, not the best metric. Because of that, even though you know there’s value in being there and ultimately generating traffic and calls and results. So, yeah.
Jeff, thank you so much for your expertise in satellite offices and I hope this helps.
If you have questions about satellite offices for your law firm definitely reach out and give us a call or go to www.attorneysync.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.