Is Google My Business the New Home Page for Your Law Firm?

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For many law firms, you have to rely on Google to drive local traffic to your business. But what if your WordPress site currently doesn’t sit at the top of search results? How do you get potential clients to notice your law firm?

Well, Google has an answer for that and it’s called Google My Business.

Think of it like another home page for your website. Rather than hope that consumers are willing to sift through pages of search results to find your firm, you can use this business listing tool to place it front and center in search.

10 Reasons Your Law Firm Needs a Google My Business Page Today

I know, I know… You’re probably thinking, “Great. Another social media platform I need to set up and manage.” But this is different.

Yes, Google My Business exists outside of your website. But, no, it’s not a social media platform (Google has Google+ for that). Think of this as a mini website or billboard for your law firm – one that, when optimized well, will show up at the top of local search results.

If you’re not sold on the idea of creating yet another web property for your firm, consider the following reasons to turn your attention to Google My Business this year:

  1. It’s 100% free to use.
  2. It’s quick and easy to set up.
  3. You have full control over what information is published on it.
  4. If it satisfies Google’s algorithmic requirements – “relevance, distance, and prominence” – you’ll find your listing pushed to the top of search even if your site hasn’t made it there yet.
  5. It’s directly attached to the Google universe, which means this information directly feeds into local search results, Maps results, and even Google+ posts.
Google My Business in Maps
  1. A Google My Business page results in a more detailed and visually attractive search engine result.
Google My Business in Search
  1. This provides another opportunity for you to collect reviews from satisfied clients. Google will, in turn, include those reviews and ratings in your search results.
Google My Business Reviews
  1. You can link to your law firm’s website, which gives you another strong backlinking opportunity to use in your SEO efforts.
  2. Since it’s connected to Google Maps, this will make it easier for prospective clients to navigate to your business from their mobile devices.
  3. This will be especially helpful in reaching local clientele now that Facebook has changed its algorithm [link to “Facebook Is Changing Its Algorithm Again… And It’s Not in Your Favor”].

How to Set Up a Google My Business Page for Your Law Firm

We’ve already seen why a Google My Business page is essential for your local law firm, so let’s review how quick, easy, and painless it is to get one up and running.

Step 1: Search for Your Firm

Before you create a new Google My Search listing, be sure there isn’t one already created.

To confirm, run a search in Google for your law firm’s name. If a Knowledge Graph pops up on the right with expanded details of your business, then the profile exists. Click on “Claim this business” and take over ownership rights.

Step 2: Create a New Page

If a Google My Business listing doesn’t exist, then it’s time to create one from-scratch.

Step 3: Fill in the Details

Google will lead you through a series of questions to populate your listing with relevant data.

Enter the name of your law firm:

Name of Business

Provide the address of your firm. If you have more than one location, create separate My Business listings for them:

Business Location

Make sure the pin drops in the right spot:

Map Position

Choose a category for your business:

Categorize Business

Want clients to call you and visit your website? Enter that here:

Add Details

Step 4: Verify the Listing

Google requires that all Google My Business pages be verified by the owner of the business at the exact address of the business. In the next step, confirm the location of your law firm’s offices and request that a postcard be sent to your address:

Verify Business

You will then receive a postcard in the mail with a PIN. Follow the directions on the card and confirm your page.

Step 5: Add Other Relevant Details

Once your account is verified, add other relevant details like hours of operation, additional categories under which your firm falls, etc.

You should also upload photos here. Your firm’s logo is one that should definitely be included. Add a cover photo as well. This could be a photo of the firm’s offices or your team. Upload other high-quality and professional photos as you see fit.

Step 6: Monitor and Manage the Listing

First, review the Settings for your page. Set up automated alerts for:

  • New customer reviews
  • Tips on what to do with photos
  • Status updates on your listing’s health
  • Tips about clients visiting your page
  • And more

This will take some of the work out of monitoring your page for activity. Then, make sure you acquaint yourself with the Insights for your page. These will tell you about how many people view your listing, where they encounter it (in search, Maps, Google+, etc.), and so on.

In Sum

When a consumer finds your law firm in Google search results, your Google My Business page is often the first impression they receive when they encounter it.

So, if you have an incomplete profile that looks like a ghost town, what does that say about you?

Take the time to create a complete Google My Business profile for your law firm and give your business a competitive advantage in local search.

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