While it’s true that Google is on everyone’s radar in terms of its popularity across the globe, what’s not so well-known is a (relatively) new feature that puts your practice on the first page of search results. Google My Business for lawyers is a crucial part of a successful digital marketing strategy. Here’s what Google My Business means for your practice, with eight tips to help you get the most out of it.
What is Google My Business?
Launched in 2014, Google My Business takes local search to the next level by creating a listing of the top three local business results in a given area.
These are displayed underneath a map and sometimes one stand-out business is highlighted in the side bar with a picture, contact information, and even reviews. In terms of law firm marketing, you can’t get any better results than your business featured in full color next to a map and above all other search results!
With “near me” searches exploding in popularity as more people look to the internet for quick information on everything from dog groomers to family attorneys, a well-fleshed out Google My Business profile can quickly help your practice rise to the top (literally). Using a combination of information you add and other data scraped by Google, this free tool can help place your practice on the first page of search results.
Then visit the Google My Business page and click “Manage now” to get started. Google leads you through adding all of the information for your business, including contact information, location, and hours.
Step 2: Define your space
Make sure you include a map marker for a brick-and-mortar location, or a service area for your practice.
If you offer services to your clients at a specific location, use a map marker. If you come to them, a service area is your best bet.
Step 3: Choose the correct category for your post
There are many Google My Business categories for lawyers, so get specific. Enter “criminal lawyer” instead of “lawyer” to better target your audience.
Step 4: Take Google up on their offer of a free website
Among other perks, Google offers Google My Business users a free website based on the information they provide. This can be helpful if you don’t already have a website up.
Step 5: Verify your business
Google needs to verify your business by sending a postcard to your address. This step takes about two weeks.
So you’ve set up your business listing. Here are eight tips on how to optimize Google My Business for lawyers.
1. Flesh out your full profile completely
It might be tempting to skip some information in your rush to get your listing up and running. Don’t.
Fill out your full business profile completely with hours, email, phone number, and complete address.
2. Add images often
We are an image-oriented world, and Google My Business for lawyers is no exception. Add images to your listing frequently to generate (and keep) potential clients’ interest.
At a minimum, add a profile picture and cover photo. Consider adding announcements with new team members, photos of your location, and images from any professional or charitable events you attend.
3. Use Google My Business posts
Want more free advertising of specials, events, and changes in your practice?
Google My Business posts are free event listings that appear under your business name and contact information. Running for seven days (or until your event occurs), these posts let potential clients get to know you and what you offer.
4. Add profiles on Bing, iOS maps, and other search engines
Google might be the number one search engine, but don’t neglect the others. Add (or update) your business’s profile on Bing, iOS maps, and other search engines to reach the broadest audience possible.
Taking time off for the holidays? Expanding summer hours or staying open late for an event?
Google will guess or add the disclaimer “Holiday hours may be different,” but eliminate the guesswork. Take a few minutes to update your listing when your hours change or when you’re closed for a holiday.
6. Ensure you show off your practice areas
If your firm has multiple areas of practice, make sure you have them all listed in your Google My Business profile.
Google My Business categories for lawyers are listed as primary and secondary categories, so if you specialize in family law but have a partner with significant experience in estate planning, make sure you add that in.
7. Update your listing for all locations
If you have more than one location, make sure you have all of them listed.
Locations can be added from your Google My Business page by clicking “manage locations.”
As with most service-oriented businesses, your practice should work hard to solicit reviews from satisfied clients. These are featured on your Google My Business page, providing potential clients with vital information and personal recommendations about your firm.
Google My Business also offers a question and answer function and a messaging feature that can highlight your approach to clients. If you optimize your listing for these features, make sure to check for questions (and provide answers) regularly.
With other tools like local finder and mobile listing, Google My Business for lawyers is an important part of any effective law firm marketing plan.
At NIVAN, we specialize in Google My Business for lawyers so you can focus on your clients. Get in touch to see how we can help you set up your profile today.