Google Business Profile (Google My Business) for Lawyers
At some point in our lives, we have all told our friends, coworkers, or relatives, “Just Google it.” It would be hard to imagine our life without Google. Every day, users rely on Google to carry out their daily searches. From finding the nearest grocery store to finding the best restaurants in town, most of us depend on search engines to find what we need.
Google dominates the search engine market. With more than 9 billion searches daily, Google is one of the most popular engines, holding an estimated 90% of the market share of all searches done online.
But Google has a lot more things to offer. The company also provides other services, including Gmail, Google News, Google Shopping, Google Ads, and Google Business Profile, among others.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the main characteristics of Google Business Profile and how it can help lawyers achieve better online visibility.
What is Google Business Profile (Google My Business)?
Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) is a free tool from Google that allows users to manage how they appear in Google search results and Google Maps. Google Business Profile is one of the most essential tools to improve a business’ search engine optimization and local online visibility. The tool allows its users to connect with clients, update their business information, list their products and services, and respond to reviews, among other things.
This is what Business Profiles looks like on Google Maps:
Can Everybody Have a Google Business Profile?
No. Google Business Profile is only available to those businesses with a physical location that clients can visit, or those that provide services by meeting with clients in other locations (like consultants or plumbers).
How Does Google Determine Local Ranking?
According to Google, three main elements will help you succeed on Google Business Profile local ranking - relevance, distance, and prominence. Combining these three factors helps Google’s algorithms determine what options are more likely to be what the users are looking for. By optimizing your Google My Business Profile you can help ensure that your profile meets those requirements.
Are Google Business Profiles Important to Law Firms?
The short answer is yes. Your potential clients are finding what they need on Google, including legal services. According to data, more than 90% of people learn more about a local company online through search engines, social media, directories, websites, and reviews. Your Google Business Profile can act as a secondary “storefront”, allowing users to learn more about your firm and what you offer.
Your Potential Clients are Searching for Similar Services
Google Business Profile listings are an excellent way to drive more clients toward your practice, especially those who are already searching for similar services. Google is one of the first places your clients go to source legal information, so keeping your Google Business Profile up to date is vital in ensuring you capture the attention of any potential clientele.
Your Competitors Are Already There
The fact is that your competitors are probably already using Google Business Profile. If your Google My Business profile is not optimized, does not have enough reviews, or isn’t kept up to date, potential clients either will not see your profile or they will march past you to your competition.
Does Google Business Profile Improve Your Law Firm’s SEO?
Yes, it does. Google Business Profile can help you increase your SEO local positioning. As Google explains, the platform uses business information to help surface relevant local search results across Google.
4 tips for Lawyers to Get Great Results with Google Business Profile:
1.Keep Your Google Business Profile Updated:
Google is one of the first places your clients will go to source information about your firm, you need to regularly update your profile with your latest business hours and any other relevant information your clients may need.
Alongside the basics like your address, website, and phone number, you can also note several other key items about your firm:
- Locations that you serve - Generally firms serve provincially, or even nationally and internationally, so be sure to list where you’re available to practice.
- Links to your contact form - Google does allow you to receive messages right through their Business Profile platform, but you may want to direct users through your normal intake process. By linking the URL to your contact page, you can help navigate clients to easily connect with you.
- Firm attributes - You can also let clients know more about your firm by showing various attributes on your Business Profile. These include verifying if you are wheelchair accessible, have gender-neutral restrooms, offer online appointments, women-owned, and/or LGBTQ+ friendly.
- Photos - You can also include photos of your logo, team members, and office space. Adding can help differentiate your firm from the pack.
2.Specify Your Law Practice Areas
Google limits the names of categories that your firm can choose to categorize your firm as. For example, they do not offer ‘Personal Injury Lawyer’ as a category on their platform, but they do offer ‘Personal Injury Attorney’. In other instances, the areas the firm may practice in aren’t available as categories at all.
Often law firms will choose to just categorize their firm as a ‘Law Firm’ and specify their practices using the ‘Services’ section of their Business Profile. Here you can list all your areas of practice and service offerings, including a short 300 word overview of each. This will further help Google understand the specific legal services you offer, which will impact Google search results. It will also help potential clients understand exactly what you offer.
3. Include All Your Business Locations
If you are a firm with numerous offices, you can add multiple business locations to your Google Business Profile. It is important to include all the various branches of the firm to help clients find their nearest locations and to keep branch information up to date, as this will impact local search results.
4. Ask Your Clients to Leave a Review
Reviews are an important ingredient of your online success, and a meaningful way to build trust and credibility for your law firm. According to data, more than 80% of consumers use Google to evaluate local businesses. Reviews represent your client satisfaction with your firm and can help potential clients in their decision-making process.
Ensuring that you have a solid base of positive Google reviews can also help mitigate the impact of a poor review, should one come along. If your firm only has three Google reviews, the impact of a fourth negative review will be much larger than if your firm had a much larger base of positive ones.
Key Takeaways of Google Business Profile for Lawyers
Developing an online presence is critical to law firms. One of the most important free tools for your firm is Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business). This tool has many benefits, but one of the primary ones is maximizing the firm’s online visibility.
Creating, updating, managing, and optimizing your Google Business Profile is crucial as it will help connect you with potential clients and aid them in their decision-making process.
How to start on Google Business Profile?
The first step is to verify your business on Google. Once your company has been claimed, you can proceed to update and add all relevant information.