If your law firm’s search engine optimization (SEO) strategy focuses on optimizing your website and Google Ads, you might be missing out on a key tool provided by Google to improve your local search presence: your Google My Business profile. This free, powerful tool provides a snapshot of your law firm to potential clients. Its importance in SEO can’t be underestimated, but too many law firms overlook this crucial step in optimizing their digital footprint.
In this article, you will learn the basics of setting up and optimizing your Google My Business (GMB) profile. These optimizations will improve your organic traffic and assist in bringing in quality leads. You will also learn why a Google My Business profile is so important to your law firm’s SEO strategy.
Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool provided by Google that puts business listings in Google Maps and search engine result pages (SERPs). This includes the “map pack” and Business Profiles themselves.
There are several reasons why optimizing your Google My Business profile is essential to attracting new leads to your law firm. It is helpful to understand how Google My Business works and why it is so important for your law firm SEO strategy.
Google My Business profiles are mainly shown on Google Maps. When a user searches for a keyword such as “personal injury lawyer near me” or “[city] criminal defense attorneys”, they’ll get results specific to their location.
Google My Business profiles are also shown when a user searches for your law firm’s name. If you have multiple office locations, they will be shown the location closest to them or to their search’s keyword.
If your law firm practices in a certain city, state, or region, it is essential to appear in the SERPs for these hyperlocal keywords. If your law firm is based in New York, you will likely want to attract clients from that state — not Idaho or another faraway region that you do not practice in. Google My Business profiles are helpful to attract clients from a desired location.
Did you know that over two-thirds of all clicks on SERPs go to the top five search results? Your website will garner more organic traffic if you rank higher on SERPs. More traffic means more qualified leads coming in and more revenue for your firm.
The map pack is another helpful tool that you will want your law firm to rank in. It shows three Google My Business profiles at the very top of the SERP, along with the locations of those businesses. You will not be able to rank in the map pack if you do not have an optimized Google My Business Profile.
Google My Business is a completely free service, and you have the power to harness it for advertising purposes. It is also a great tool to engage with potential and past clients: Google My Business has features that allow you to answer frequently asked questions, respond to client testimonials, and engage directly with users — all on one concise snapshot of your law firm.
Creating a Google My Business profile only requires a computer, a Google Business account, and some time. After signing into a Google Business Profile account with the Google account you use for your law firm, you will want to create a complete and thorough profile, prioritizing certain aspects of the firm:
1. Name. Your law firm’s name should be what it is on your office door and website. Including keywords or fake names can get you flagged as spam and will plummet your rankings on SERPs.
2. Address. Where can clients visit your office? Make sure to update this even if there is a small change in address, such as suite number.
3. Phone. What phone number should clients contact you at? This is likely your office phone and not a personal or cell phone number.
4. Website. Include your homepage link.
5. Hours. When are you open? Update this frequently if your hours change and for holidays.
You will also need to verify your Google My Business account. There are several ways to do this, but your Google My Business listing will not be active until it is verified — and you won’t appear in SERPs or on Google Maps.
Google recognizes thoroughly detailed profiles full of valuable information for clients and will rank them higher in SERPs. There are several tools you can utilize to continually update and optimize your profile.
Once your Google My Business profile has the basics, you can fill out more information to provide to users:
• Category and attributes. What field of law do you practice in? By providing more information than “lawyer” or “legal services”, your profile will appear higher on more specific SERPs. For example, if you are a personal injury attorney, you will want to define your profile under that category.
• Products and services. Make sure you maximize your “services” list, and create “products” for your practice areas with original copy and links to the respective pages on your website.
• “From the business.” This is a section of text that you can fill out to let users know more about your firm. Use all 750 characters, include keywords, and write original copy that restates your “About” page or your mission statement on your website.
• Images. Add categorized images from your website so users can visually familiarize themselves with your law firm. Make sure to carefully choose what images you want featured as the first images users see on your Google My Business profile.
Once your Google My Business profile is active, you will see user engagement start to roll in. This engagement includes user reviews and questions and answers. You should respond to reviews, especially positive ones, politely thanking them for their feedback. You should also answer any questions that other users could ask about your law firm.
Another way to continually update your Google My Business profile is through posts. Whether your law firm has updated its hours, changed addresses, won an award, or even if you posted a new blog to your website, you can let users know by posting about it to your Google My Business profile. Google tracks how many clicks to your website come from these posts, which is a helpful metric to understand how users are interacting with your Google My Business profile.
It is important to note that your Google My Business profile should not replace your law firm’s website to acquire leads. Instead, it should supplement your website with useful information, reviews, and links to your website to drive traffic down the marketing funnel and create conversions.
As you have learned, optimizing your Google My Business profile is an easy and efficient way to harness the power of Google Maps and SERPs, and to convert new leads. Any law firm can begin to optimize their Google My Business profile with implementing and executing these strategies. However, if you still need help with your law firm’s Google My Business profile and creating a comprehensive SEO campaign for your law firm, a law firm SEO agency can help.