It’s no secret that having a presence on Google is important for any business. When it comes to your law firm’s performance on Google, do you know how you’re doing? Whether you consider yourself a Google expert or not, it’s important to maximize the value of your law firm’s Google My Business listing. Google My Business drives local business search results in Google search, maps, Google voice search, and more. In order to ensure your law firm is getting the most out of its listing, we’ve put together a checklist of best practices. Read below to make sure you have your law firm’s Google My Business bases covered.
Claim The Listing
Businesses are eligible for a Google My Business listing as long as they either have a physical location customers can visit, or they travel to visit customers where they are. If you haven’t already created or claimed your firm’s listing, here’s how to get started:
- Search for your business on Google and look for the knowledge panel, like so:
- If the business is found (such as above image), then it already has a Google My Business Listing. If there is no knowledge panel (area in the rectangle) then you will want to create a listing following these steps.
- Next, make sure your law firm has a Google account that owns and controls the listing. If you see the question “Own This Business?” inside the knowledge panel box that means no one has claimed the listing. Click the question and claim your listing from there. If you don’t see the question, then your listing has already been claimed. If you need to confirm ownership, you can do so following these steps from Google.
Verify The Listing
Once you have established ownership of your Google My Business listing, you will want to verify the account. Verifying your listing is required in order for your law firm’s listing to be eligible to appear on Maps, Search, and other Google properties. It also means Google deems your law firm a legitimate business, providing third party verification of your company’s credibility when people search for your law firm online.
In order to verify your listing, sign into your Google My Business account where you will see a “Verify Now” option. As part of the verification process, Google will contact your business to ensure your contact information is correct and legitimate. You can select which method you prefer to be contacted. Most businesses are able to choose from: postcard, phone call, text message, or email.
Optimize The Listing
Now that your Google My Business listing has been created, claimed, and verified, you will want to build it out and optimize it for search engine success. To do this, complete the basic information available on the listing, such as:
- Business Name: make sure it is consistent your other digital properties, brand mentions, and firm branding.
- Information: make sure the firm’s phone number, website, and a general email address (if available) are properly listed.
- Business Categories: make sure to categorize your business as a law firm. This will show up in Google searches and help people find your business.
- Business Location: only add this if you have a location clients can physically visit. Make sure the address is properly formatted.
- Service area: here you can add cities, zip codes, or specific regions your law firm serves.
- Service hours: list your law firm’s normal hours of operation. During holidays, be sure to specify whether your office will be opened or closed or operating under different hours.
Keep The Listing Active
After the basics are set up, you will want to share at least one Google Post every week to keep your listing current and relevant. Post events your firm has coming up and blog posts or other online content you’ve published. This will not only help establish your lawyers as experts, but Google Posts also help with the SEO efforts for your listing.
Check for reviews on your Google My Business Listing every week and reply to any and all reviews. Whether positive or negative, it is considered a best practice for a business to respond to each consumer review in a meaningful way.
Google My Business Help For Your Law Firm
It is important to keep in mind Google My Business makes changes constantly. We recommend logging into your account at least once or twice a week in order to make sure your law firm’s information remains accurate and up-to-date, and also to see if Google has made any changes for which you need to accommodate.
We understand managing online networks can be time consuming and tedious. Google My Business is arguably one of the most valuable online listings your law firm can have. If you need help creating and/or managing your Google My Business listing or any other social media networks, contact the legal marketing experts at Stacey E. Burke P.C. to learn how we can help.