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The most important thing to know about Google My Business is that it can move your small law firm up into the coveted upper regions of a local Google search, capturing the attention of potential clients. Google My Business for lawyers can showcase your small law firm, promote its online presence, and present a positive image to anyone who is searching. Google My Business is essential for small law firm marketing!
Why Use Google My Business for Lawyers?
Google My Business is free real estate for any law firm to get to the top of Google quickly. Google My Business listings are spotlighted in a larger displayed panel, showing up bigger and better than in a standard Google search. Although sometimes paid ads are featured here, the business listings are free. Long story short, if you have a law firm, you must take some time to grow and develop your Google My Business page in order to gain traction with SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
If you desire to have your business featured in Google My Business, all you have to do is complete a few simple steps. Once potential clients find your law firm displayed on Google My Business, an incredible amount of information about your law firm is featured, including:
- The exact name of your law firm
- Brief description of your law firm
- Link to the law firm’s website
- Hours of operation
- Holiday hours
- Contact information
- Client rating
- Questions and Answers
Take full advantage of this space. Google uses it to synthesize that you are an expert in your field, along with your reviews, your blog posts, your website and your overall presence throughout the internet.
Getting Started with Google My Business for Lawyers
Every law firm can list on Google My Business for lawyers at no cost — which is a pretty savvy marketing move. Again, small law firm marketing should take advantage of this space at no cost! Although it should not replace your law firm’s website, it can lead people directly to your law firm’s website, and do a lot more. Four out of five Google searches are looking for businesses in their own localities. Google My Business not only pinpoints your location to local seekers, it offers instant information, making your business accessible and credible. If your law firm does not pop up in a local search, this means that a competitor is taking your spot, and you are losing business.
If you have not already claimed your business listing with Google My Business, do this first. Getting started with Google My Business is easy. When you land on the Google My Business page, click “Manage Now” and Google will lead you through all of the information you need to enter, such as location, business hours, and contact information. If your law firm has multiple locations, they will each require a separate listing. If your law firm shows up automatically without any effort on your part, chances are it is not yet optimized, so read on.
Make sure to list your law firm exactly as the actual name of your law firm. Many people suggest using keywording here. Do not do this. It simply confuses Google and therefore will the Google bots will be unable to synthesize your entire digital footprint into one cohesive unit (which is what helps your SEO and gain first page rankings on Google).
Choose Your Grouping
There are many categories for lawyers, so add more specific information than just “lawyer”, for example use “criminal lawyer.” Including this specificity will draw in your target audience. If your law firm has more than one area of practice, be sure to get it listed on your profile, because Google My Business for lawyers offers various categories from which to choose. Your small law firm may specialize in estate planning, but your partner has experience in family law, and this can be specified in your listing. When choosing your areas of practice, the categories are ready-made; you cannot craft your own. Be sure to choose carefully the first time around, because if you decide to change categories, you may be required to complete the next step more than once.
Confirm Your Business
Before your law firm can show up as a bonafide listing, Google has to confirm the integrity of your business address, and it does this by sending a postcard to your business location. (Yes, Google uses snail mail to verify.) This is usually completed within a week, and once your location is confirmed, your firm will be visible and accessible to all of your future clients.
7 Ways To Optimize Your Law Firm’s Google My Business Profile
After you have secured your business listing, it is critical to input all necessary information regarding your law firm and consistently comb through your listing regularly, in order to maximize effective online visits. You can optimize your law firm’s quality results in seven easy steps:
Perfect Your Profile
Do your law firm a favor: never cut corners on your profile. Fill your profile out completely with office hours, address, website link, and contact information. List and update all of your locations on Google My Business for lawyers by clicking on “manage locations.” Display all the information that will make it easy for future clients to find their way to your door.
Craft Your Law Firm’s Business Description
You will have a limited number of characters to describe exactly what your law firm offers, and this description rests underneath your ratings and reviews. The description of your law firm should reflect exactly what you do, can display your mission and values, and it gives people a shout out about what makes your law firm unique. When writing your law firm’s business description, be sure to:
- Be honest and clear about what you offer
- Avoid links and special offers within the description
- Publish non-offensive and quality content
- Use effective keywords, especially long-tail phrases that your potential customers would search in Google
Along with a profile picture and cover photo, take the time to add fresh photos to your small law firm listing as often as you can. This can include new members to the law firm, location photos, and shots of recent events related to your law firm. Here are some tips for effective images:
- Show off your friendly faces — do not just use location shots. (People do business with people, not buildings.)
- Display your branding by adding the law firm’s logo.
- Use quality photo resolution, such as 720px x 720px or greater.
- Add creative pictures, such as a virtual tour of your office.
Take Advantage of Free Advertising
Google My Business offers free listings for your special events. Once you choose this, the event appears under your law firm’s listing and runs until the event is over. This is an excellent, free opportunity to show searchers, and potential clients, what is going on in your law firm, and it gives them a flavor of its energy and mission. Again, people do business with people.
Offer Consistent Updates on Your Law Firm
There is nothing more puzzling and frustrating for a client than a non-responsive business, so when there are changes or interruptions in your regular business hours, update your law firm’s listing on Google My Business. Google will often auto-add a standard disclaimer such as: “holiday hours may be different,” but clients will appreciate eliminating the guesswork by seeing your specific and updated listing.
Maintain Your Law Firm’s Online Reputation
In an ideal world, a satisfied client would automatically document a positive experience with your law firm by way of an online review. However, you might need to provide an easy path for your clients to do this with a gentle series of reminders, links, or other help. To keep a healthy online reputation, it is vital that you feature as many positive reviews on your Google My Business listing, because personal recommendations are one of the strongest tools a searcher will find on your listing. Positive online reviews offer:
- Social proof that your law firm is credible and reliable: 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a friend’s recommendation.
- Accessible research for potential clients, resulting in more leads
- Improved search rankings, since Google favors listings with more positive reviews
Unfortunately, disgruntled customers usually do not need a reminder to leave their negative impressions. If you do get a sour review on your listing, never let it go answered, and never attack the reviewer. A calm and gracious response to a nasty review is an opportunity to showcase your professionalism and diplomacy. Also, if you truly feel the review is unwarranted or left by someone who never received your legal services, you can petition Google directly to have the review removed.
Answer Potential Client Questions and Provide Value
On your Google My Business listing, there is a question and answer function that should be checked and updated frequently. This is a great way to spotlight how responsive and helpful your law firm is toward its clients, so be sure to check for these questions on a regular basis and provide specific and thoughtful answers.
Additionally, every Google My Business page allows law firms to post articles. Consider this to be additional free real estate on the internet to provide value and showcase your expertise. While articles “expire” after a certain period of time, you can consistently provide fresh content in this area to not only help potential clients receive value and answers to questions but also provide an additional location online to show the Google bots and algorithm that you are truly an expert in your area of legal practice.
Google My Business For Lawyers
Along with having a quality website, fresh content, a social media strategy, and positive reviews, Google My Business is an essential tool for a small law firm marketing strategy to truly increase their overall online visibility and digital footprint. If you have any questions about how your law firm can include Google My Business in your SEO strategy, or if you would like our team to help you create fresh content for your law firm’s Google My Business page, contact us today at Support@LawQuill.com or visit us online today at www.LawQuill.com