In today’s digitized world, a modern law firm’s profile on Google usually becomes the initial source for most consumers using digital devices to review information when searching for lawyers or related queries. Long-standing Yellow Pages and other similar old-world directories have tried desperately to match up, but the sheer volume of reviews, and Google’s extensive reach across the world, have made a Google law firm profile the de-facto resource when researching a service-based business like a law firm.
Now, the question arises….
What exactly does a Google Business Profile contain?
A Google Business listing for your law firm contains (or should contain) all the foundational information prospective clients would like to know about your legal practice business, such as your office addresses, phone numbers, and daily business / working hours. Google My Business also goes deeper by providing additional information for users — think:
• Handicapped parking?
• On what days will your offices be closed (e.g., National Holidays)?
• What type of cases does your business specialize in?
• Is it owned by legal experts?
• What does the interiors of your office space look like?
• Want to book an appointment directly through Google?
And many more such questions.
In effect, Google My Business (GMB) is a law firm’s primary connect between its physical footprint and its online presence. GMB is fundamentally yet another business / commercial directory because of its built-in prevalence in Google’s search engine results. In today’s connected world, GMB thus becomes a very important component of a strategic and effective marketing strategy for law firms.
Additionally, GMB provides a wealth of critical information to prospective clients, both those who are looking for a specific firm (for instance “Mark Anthony’s Law Firm”) as well as those researching a specific issue (like “Car Accident attorneys near me”).
Is there any link between Google My Business and Local Search?
A well-filled-out Google My Business is extremely crucial for showing up correctly on local search results. Your business profile must pop up when Google determines that the web surfer has localized intent — for instance, “burger joints near me” or “criminal defence attorneys”. Thus, after filling up all relevant data about your legal practice and locking your profile, you can then gradually augment it with important information.
Correctly categorizing your law firm by its practice area orspecialization is most important for showing up as a specific, non-branded search query within Google’s system. You can quickly evaluate if your firm has the appropriate legal practice categories (or specialization) defined properly, by doing a brand query. For example, enter “<Your firm’s name> Law Firm” in the Google Search Bar. When the results pop up, see if the descriptor in the GMB profile (that shows up on the right of the screen in the search results) is specific to your practice area or just says something generic like “law firm” or “legal services”. This is the equivalent of telling Google you are a “Sushi restaurant” instead of just a “restaurant”!!
There are certain easy ways to list your law firm on GMB and ensure that it stays on top of search listings consistently. Let’s learn about them here:
Track website actions with Tracking Numbers
Asfar as possible, use Tracking Numbers to evaluate how much traction your GMB generates. Thistactic haslong been identified as problematic because of concernsthat Tracking Numbers would confuse Google with the actual true number of the firm — thereby throwing it out of local search results. Ideally the best practice would be to use a tracking number for the displayed number and list your firm’s primary number as a secondary number in the GMB listing.
List Multiple Categories of specialization
You don’t need to worry too much about listing multiple categories for your law firm. Research by digital marketing experts has shown that doing this does NOT negatively impact performance in any given category. So, if you specialize in both Corporate Contracts as well as and Family Law, by all means, showcase that on your profile.
Use UTM Parameters to Evaluate website traffic
When we mention tracking, you can also use UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) parameters on the click-through URL listed in your GMB profile (i.e., your website) to track the volume of traffic the GMB sends to your site.
Keep monitoring your business profile continuously
This should be quite obvious, yet many law firms simply fail to monitor and analyse what shows up when their business is being searched for, on Google. Sometimes poor-quality images or even negative reviews pop up, and modern law firms relying heavily on technology should proactively monitor these issues. Many a time, nefarious competitors (or their agencies) may suggest fake edits to your listing—and voila, your law firm suddenly pops up in local searches as a hair salon! Or open only on Tuesdays! Or closed even!!
It can be safely said that if done properly, Google My Business can shine a positive spotlight on your firm when prospective clients vet you online. Hence, it’s worth remembering that GMB can be a very effective driver of business for firms seeking to expand their business, if used to its fullest potential.