There are tons of platforms that a professional can use to promote their services. If you own a law firm or a lawyer, the best way to start promoting your business online is through Google My Business. However, you might be wondering: how should I start Google My Business for my law firm?
It’s easy to set up a Google My Business account. However, the tricky part is optimizing it to the fullest. You might ask yourself, how can I get my Google My Business account to work well when it comes to Google’s ranks? What tips should I follow to get my law firm in perfect shape and dominate Google’s pages? These questions will be answered in this article.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business (also called GMB) is among the best online listings you can find on the internet. Google powers it, and it is a great way to upgrade your business’ image online. If you aim to put your law firm’s website on Google’s top ranks and easily find people if they search via location, Google My Business can come in handy.
Google My Business is also considered an SEO tool and branch that is somehow connected to local SEO. In this platform, firms and businesses target your audience in a specific area through organic search. GMB is also a free marketing tool that you should not miss out on.
Other online platforms, such as Facebook and Google, always ensure that their users will stay on their website instead of letting them click on external links. As a law firm or business owner, you must provide all necessary information and details about your business and services on your website.
Having all the users’ information to know about your services will make them stay on your website and not look for other links. Google My Business account has all the tools and features that business owners and law firms can use to keep their content on the search results.
Why is Google My Business important?
If you have a Google My Business account and have not optimized it to its fullest capacity, you must not realize its maximum importance. GMB allows law firms to maximize their listing on Google and show up to the top three results.
For example, if you type in “lawyers in Ohio,” you will see three law firms and lawyers at the top of the search page. Optimizing your Google My Business account will let you position your firm on this rank and will most likely help you land on the right lead or client through your organic search. When leads see your firm on top of the search results, you don’t have to worry about them scrolling past your website after the top three are shown.
Also, as mentioned, GMB is a branch of SEO, which makes it a huge factor in SEO for your law firm. It will not only help you target new leads and local clients, but it can also bring a positive effect on your overall marketing strategy.
How can I get started with Google My Business?
If you are thinking of starting a Google My Business account for your law firm, there are some things you need to know first. Here are just some of it.”
- Every business entity or firm can use GMB. It is for everyone.
- GMB is free to use, so you don’t have to set a budget to make an account and optimize it.
- When you do a listing on GMB, you need to provide proof and documents that you own that listing. This is important to remember, especially for first-time listers.
- It works with an existing marketing strategy. Having a GMB account does not mean you don’t need a website anymore. Websites are still essential to have, especially for law firms because it serves as the portfolio for potential clients and leads.
- Google My Business is a newer version of Google Places.
- When you put a GMB listing online, it will automatically appear in Google Maps when someone does an organic search.
- If your firm has multiple branches and offices, you need to list each of the locations.
If you are new to GMB and want to get started as soon as possible, you will need to follow a few steps. You can start by putting your law firm in a listing, and for you to do so, you can go to the Google My Business page and register. You may use an existing Google account or your law firm’s official email address.
Start listing your information.
To start, you will need to register your law firm in Google My Business using a working email or Google account. You will need to fill up some information and details about your firm, such as the name, complete address, contact details (email, phone numbers, etc.), business hours, service areas, and your business category.
Edit your service location.
Once you have the information listed, the next thing that you need to do is edit your service location. This is among the essential parts when doing GMB listings because you aim to get leads within your area and not outside as a local SEO branch.
If your clients are mostly in your local area, you need to specify your vicinity to reach relevant leads. However, if most of your clients are far from the city or the province you are in, establishing your area is less critical.
For you to effectively optimize in editing your service location, here are some tips you can do.
- Click on “card view” once you have successfully made a GMB account.
- Next, click on “Manage Location,” and from there, select Info.
- Once you’re in the Info section, you click on “Address,” and a pop-up window will show up. When the pop-up shows, you need to select “Yes” next to the statement that says, “I deliver goods and services to my customers at their locations.”
- When you’re in the service location, you need to type in your ZIP code or the city to offer your services.
- If your law firm accepts walk-in clients, you need to select or check the box in the service location section that says, “I serve customers at my business address.” After that, your complete address will show on Google’s search pages.
- Once step number five is done, click on Apply, and your modifications will automatically apply to your GMB profile.
Choose your business category.
You will have to focus on one specific practice area for you to rank on Google’s top results efficiently for law firms. Selecting an area of expertise that you mainly offer is essential in setting up a GMB listing. This not only applies to law firms but other businesses as well in different sectors.
Setting a business category is critical to do it the right way. If you want to show up in many Google searches, you need to put up relevant law practices that you specify in your offered services in the firm.
If you have multiple practices that you offer in the law firm, you can always add a primary or secondary option. Let’s say, for example, your firm lists criminal defense as your first category, and then DWI defense as your second one.
Also, when selecting a business category, keep in mind that there are two things that you cannot do. First, you can’t make your category. Second, you will need to go through another verification process if you wish to edit or add some classes to your listing.
How can I add or edit categories?
If you want to add or edit some categories in your listing, let’s say you want to add legal divorce services in your listing, you will need to follow these steps:
- Sign in to your Google My Business account.
- Once you’re in and have more than one listed location, click on the area you want to add or edit a category service.
- Next, click the pencil icon, which is located beside your primary category. If you wish to edit your primary type, you can easily do so. But, if you want to add a new variety, click on Add Another Category.
- Once you have made all your necessary edits, you can click on Apply.
Verify your GMB listing.
After you have confirmed and saved your service locations, the next thing you will need to do is get your GMB listing verified. It is essential for law firms and businesses to check their GMB, or else your listing will not work effectively for you.
Once your GMB listing is verified, it will show up on search results, and you can also view the analytics, numbers, and reviews that Google users and your clients have done on your listing. Without going through a verification process, Google will not show your listing on their pages.
Verifying your GMB account is simple. All you need to do is have a working email enlisted for verification, and a code will be sent to it. Google still uses the old snail mail verification for them to identify that the email address listed on the listing is real and the street address you have provided.
Verification codes from GMB mostly come in like a postcard, and you can easily verify your GMB listing online. This process only takes less than a week to be done right away with no hassle.
How can I optimize my law firm’s GMB listing?
If your GMB listing is already verified and ready to show up in the search results, you are now prepared to introduce your law firm’s information and business details to the world. However, it is essential to know how you can optimize your GMB listing effectively before you do so.
Making sure your GMB listing is not a failure is not that hard to do. You have to fill in the necessary information about your law firm in the right fields. Once you’ve done that, you’re all set on conquering your SEO ranking.
For you to effectively optimize your law firm’s GMB listing, here are some guides and tips that you can follow that will serve your listing well in the future.
Your business information should all be accurate and consistent.
In this article, we mentioned that putting your business name, location, and contact information are among the essential items you need to put on your listing. In this case, you need to ensure that the information you have provided is consistent and accurate.
When you type in your law firm’s name, make sure it is spelled correctly as it should. Your firm’s location should also be correct, and you need to double-check it as much as possible. It is essential to ensure your site is accurate to be appropriately placed on Google Maps. This way, users and potential leads can find your business right away.
Your law firm’s address and contact details should also be accurate. If you are only open from Monday to Thursday, you need to correctly state that on the information sheet. Otherwise, people will mistakenly think you are available on all days of the week.
When writing down your law firm’s address, typically Google arranges it from the building number, street address, city or state, zip code, and telephone number. When you type in a building name or street, make sure to spell it all out because there might be times locals are not familiar with every place in the area.
To sum it all up, putting your address and contact information does not need any effort at all. Write them down correctly, or else users will be misled. If GMB users mislead users, Google penalizes them typically for it.
Mention your official website.
Before you get into all sorts of online marketing for your law firm, you need to make sure you have put up an official website for your office. Creating a website is essential, especially when you want to make yourself available online for leads and clients.
To effectively optimize your GMB listing, another best way to do it is to mention your official website. You can add a URL on the listing for leads and potential clients to click on when they want to check your business out or schedule an appointment.
Putting an URL link to your website on your listing will also increase the engagement and views as users will visit the connection right away.
Add business hours.
When you are still making the GMB listing, there is a section there where you need to indicate your business hours. Law firms must put their business hours on their listings and website for users to know when they can inquire or contact the office.
When putting in business hours, you must state the opening hours as well. Let’s take the pandemic situation as an example. Many law firm offices are closed these days. With that, they need to update their business hours on their listing so clients will stay informed of their opening hours despite the COVID-19 outbreak.
Optimize your GMB listing with effective and excellent keywords.
Of course, as a law firm owner, you need to make sure that your GMB listing should stand out from the rest. Thus, it is essential to make a brief yet optimized description of your firm. Using many keywords related to the industry you are in or the services you offer will effectively attract users and make your list rank high on Google.
When making a business description on GMB, you have 750 characters to use. The narrative comes typically along with your reviews and ratings on Google or below it. Some of your business reviews from your clients will also be shown on the listing as snippets.
When writing your law firm’s GMB description, you need to focus on the marketing perspective and use keywords that highlight your services. You can mention your practice areas and the expert services you offer in the firm. Some examples would be “Mediated divorce settlements in Ohio” or “Real estate planning and services in Michigan.”
Adding a photo of your law firm’s owner or the physical office itself is helpful when you want to optimize your GMB listing. The best thing about Google is they do not only depend on written content, but they also understand the power of other sorts of content, such as photos and videos.
When you check out a listing on Google, there will be photos shown on top of the business listing’s information. If the business attached multiple images, typically, there is a “See photos” section for you to check out. Putting your lawyers’ photos and your physical office’s snapshots can help the users see if you are a legit and credible law firm.
If you plan on adding photos to your GMB listing, make sure to keep these tips in mind:
- Please include all your lawyer’s photos (professional ones) on the listing so users can see who they need to see when they decide to visit your office.
- Post a clear image of your physical office. As much as possible, add photos with your office’s entire surroundings so people can use it as a guide when they plan to visit.
- All images should have an image resolution of 720px by 720ox, and the main cover photo should be cropped to a 16:9 ratio.
- When uploading photos, make sure the formats are in JPG or PNG.
Google My Business is the way to go.
It’s no joke that Google My Business is an essential platform for law firms and businesses to use when they want to explore the world of online marketing. It is a free tool, and when you optimize it correctly, you will see positive results in no time.
Google My Business is simple and easy to learn, and it is truly a win-win solution for all law firms. The potential gains that you will receive will indeed help your firm to be better in online marketing. Make sure to optimize your GMB listing the right way today, and you will not regret it in the future.