As a lawyer, you know that online visibility is key. You need to be where your potential clients are searching for legal services. And more and more, people are using Google to find local businesses. That’s why it’s important to have a Google Business profile. In this blog post, we will explain what a Google Business profile is and how it can help your law firm’s digital marketing and rank your business higher in local searches. We’ll also give you some tips on how to optimize your profile for maximum impact!
What is a Google Business Profile?
A Google Business profile is a free directory listing that allows you to create an informative page about your law firm and control the information available to potential customers. It enables you to include important information such as your address, contact details, legal services offered, opening hours, photos and more. When someone searches for local businesses on Google Maps. Google search, or uses voice search to ask for “lawyers near me”, your profile will appear in the search results. This gives you an opportunity to stand out from other local law firms and be more visible online.
Benefits of Having a Google Business Profile for Lawyers
By utilizing a Google Business Profile for lawyers, law firms can expect to see an increase in leads as well as improved visibility in local search results. An optimized profile helps customers easily find the information they need, and also increases trust in a law firm’s services. When properly utilized, a Google Business Profile can be an invaluable marketing asset for lawyers, helping to drive more leads and increase business growth.
Google Local 3-Pack
A Google Business listing is also able to appear in the Google Local 3-Pack. The Google Local 3-Pack is the three business listings at the top of the organic keyword search results that appear on Google Maps. There are only 3 listings – thus why it’s named the Google Local 3-Pack. Check out an example Raleigh Divorce Attorney – The Doyle Law Group in the Google Local 3-Pack. The Google Business listing in the Google Local 3-Pack allows the user to easily find the law firm’s location, website, phone number, hours of operation, Google reviews and driving directions.
Google Business Integrates with Clio
If you are currently using Clio, a legal practice management solution, then you can integrate it with your Google Business profile. With Clio, you can quickly create your listing and connect it to Clio Scheduler so that potential clients can book consultations directly through Google. You can also use the review request link specific to your firm to solicit more Google reviews.
How to Claim your Google Business Profile
Claiming your Google Business profile is the first step in optimizing it for local searches. To get started, you’ll need to create a Google account if you don’t already have one. Once you’re logged in, simply search for your law firm and click “Claim this business”.
Verify Your Google My Business Listing
Once you claim your listing, Google will ensure that the listing is being claimed by the appropriate business owner by verifying the listing. Google will snail mail a postcard that includes a unique pin number to your business location. Once the postcard is received, log into your Google account and enter the pin number from the postcard into the verification portal of your Google Business listing. Once the pin is entered, your Google Business listing will be activated and you can make enhancements to your listing.
How Can You Optimize Your Google Business Profile for Lawyers?
Optimizing your Google Business profile is key to getting the best local SEO performance. Here are some features that you can use to make sure your law firm’s profile stands out from the competition:
- Include keywords
- Add categories and descriptions
- Upload high-quality photos
- Create Google Business practitioner listings for individual attorneys
- Respond to Google reviews
- Utilize Google posts
1. Include Keywords in Your Google Business Profile
Incorporating keywords in the title and business description of your profile will help potential clients find your business when searching for specific legal services.
Your law firm’s description is a great chance to explain what you offer and how you can help potential clients. This concise description (750 characters max) should be as persuasive as possible. We advise our legal clients to include their most important keyword towards the beginning of the description. However, it’s important not to overstuff keywords, and make sure the content is informative about your business and highlight your experience and differentiators.
2. Build Out Categories
A critical element of any legal practice’s Google Business Profile is the category. This is what both Google and users rely on to understand the type of services you offer. It’s important to select a primary category that is relevant to your firm. Google has predefined categories, so choose the one the best fits your practice. If you don’t want to select a particular practice area as primary, you are able to choose “law firm” as the primary category.
Here are a few examples of categories:
- Civil law attorney
- Divorce lawyer
- Personal injury attorney
Once you have selected your primary category, Google Business gives you the option to add additional services that you offer. For instance, if you are a personal injury attorney you can add services like: auto accidents, truck accidents, wrongful death, and medical malpractice.
To further optimize your secondary categories, you are able to add up to a 300 word description to each service, which will give Google and users more context on the legal services you offer.
3. Upload High-Quality Photos
Visuals are important to give customers an insight into your law firm and the work you do. Google Business gives you the option to add your logo, a cover photo, and any additional photos. Include images of the office and staff, as well as relevant legal documents or processes if applicable.
4. Create Google Business Practitioner Listings for Individual Attorneys
Google Business outlines the guidelines for individual practitioners/attorneys that are seeking to create their own Google Business profile, which are as follows:
- They operate in a public-facing role. Support staff should not create their own Business Profiles.
- They can be contacted directly at the verified location during stated hours.
5. Acquire and Respond to Google Reviews
5-star Google Reviews are by far one of the best things you can collect to significantly improve the ranking of your Google Business profile. It is impossible to have too many 5-star Google Reviews! The more 5-Star reviews the better. Encouraging customers to review your services and leave comments will help build trust with potential clients, and help your profile rank better.
Whether you receive a positive or negative review it is crucial to respond to every review, thanking your client, being receptive to all feedback, and encouraging unhappy clients to call you directly to resolve the issue.
6. Utilize Google Business Posts
Once your Google Business profile has been optimized, it is important to keep your profile current and up-to-date. One of the ways in which you can do this is to post regular updates on your profile. Google gives you 3 different options to either:
- Add update
- Add offer
- Add event
If you have won a recent case, added an additional staff member, or have business updates, these are all great ways to post informative, relevant content that can also help increase your visibility and traffic to your website.
Remember – your firm’s Google Business listing is free! Google Business for lawyers is a powerful tool, and is an essential aspect to your overall law firm SEO strategy.