Updated: Nov 15, 2021
These days, the vast majority of people make use of Google and other search engines to find a selection of service providers, and lawyers in particular. In order for your law firm to show up in the top of the search results, you need to make sure your online presence is optimized. Since most people use Google, you’ll want to focus your efforts almost exclusively on ranking for Google.
The best way to do this is to make your website and online presence as Google-friendly as possible. This means taking advantage of the other products Google offers to law firms and other businesses like yours. One of the most important things your business needs to leverage is it’s Google My Business (GMB) profile. Here’s how you can start utilizing GMB to increase traffic and leads to your law firm.
What is Google My Business?
You can think of your Google My Business profile as a type of social media platform run by Google. When people search for a certain business or particular keyword, and that business has claimed their GMB profile, the business’s GMB may be prominently displayed on the right hand side of their mobile device or computer screen.
This is where they’ll see your law firm’s hours, contact information, what practice areas you specialize in, and other critical information potential clients may use to determine whether to choose your law firm as their legal representative.
In an industry as competitive as the legal world, you can bet that your biggest competitors have already claimed their GMB profiles and are taking steps to optimize those profiles over time.
Utilizing Local SEO
Understanding how Google searches work and how your law firm can benefit from local search engine optimization (SEO) can help boost your law firm’s rankings online. When you claim your Google My Business profile, you’ll need to provide your firm’s office location. You may need to verify your listing with a postcard mailed from Google to your law firm’s business address. Once that’s done, you can start showing up in local search results.
When a user starts a search for a lawyer online, they will likely start their search with a location. In fact, nearly 46% of users say that they search with local queries in mind. Someone searching for a car accident lawyer in Denver will search “Denver car accident lawyer” to find a selection. The ones who have taken the time to set up their GMB are more likely to join the map pack. These are the top three selected law firms closest to the user.
The more your GMB profile and website are optimized with local SEO in mind and continually updated with information that tells Google your law firm is providing all the answers your target audience is looking for in your area, the better your odds are of ranking in those top spots.
Make Sure to Complete Your GMB Profile
Has your law firm claimed their Google My Business profile yet? Or maybe you claimed your profile and then never took another look at it again. It is important that you keep your GMB profile updated and completed in full in order to gain the most benefits. There are many different elements that Google wants you to add to your profile. Contact numbers for your office, the business location, and your practice areas are only the tip of the iceberg.
You’ll need to select your primary and secondary categories, and choose all the appropriate attributes. Next, take the time to write a compelling business description that tells your audience what your law firm does and how it can help your prospective clients.
You will also want to start to plan out how you can continue to keep your profile optimized for local. You should make sure that your law firm is publishing new GMB posts regularly in order to stay at the top of the rankings.
Don’t forget to add in any other services your law firm offers. For example, if you’re a business attorney but also spend time with real estate cases, you’ll want to feature both on your GMB profile.
Get the Most Out of Your Google My Business Profile
Your Google My Business profile is never truly finished. Just like fashion and social media, your GMB profile should always be ever-evolving. There are many features your GMB could offer that you might not currently be taking advantage of. Make sure to upload photos frequently that keep your audience up to date on where your law firm is and what you’re doing to give back to or participate in the community.
You’ll also need to keep a careful eye on your reviews. Your potential clients need to know whether your law firm is going to win for them at a glance. The best way to find out is to see what your law firm’s ratings look like on your GMB. If you don’t have a GMB, that’s going to look worse to users than if you had a couple of negative reviews you responded to with professionalism and grace.
Don’t make the mistake of not responding when a former client, colleague, or peer gives you a negative or positive review. This is a good opportunity to show clients how communicative and reliable your law firm is.
It is important to continue to keep an eye on your GMB profile frequently. Use this time to make posts, update your information, and interact with your target audience. Utilizing your Google My Business profile is going to be an incredible asset to your firm. Whether you’re an established practice looking to stay on the cutting edge of SEO or are new to the industry and have no idea where to start, leveraging your law firm’s GMB profile is a great place to start.
Meranda M. Vieyra is the owner of Denver Legal Marketing LLC. She is one of the most visible legal professionals in Colorado law with over 20 years of service in the Denver legal community. Her award-winning marketing firm has earned a strong reputation as the go-to for impactful, cost-effective legal marketing strategies. She has helped her clients secure coverage by well-known publications and has obtained local, national, and international awards on their behalf. Meranda enjoys working with solo practitioners and small law firms helping them attract recognition, promotion, and visibility to their practices. She also advises medium-sized and national law firms on business development and marketing strategy. Meranda is a lecturer and author on issues related to marketing including how lawyers can use LinkedIn effectively, how to develop a personal brand, and the promotion of legal services through community service. In 2018, she was honored to be named to the 40 Under 40 list by the Denver Business Journal and to be given the 10 Under 10 Award by the Metropolitan State University of Denver Alumni Association (top 10 alum of the decade). In 2019, Meranda was named in the Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Business by the Colorado Women's Chamber of Commerce and in the Top 100 young professionals in Colorado through the Gen XYZ Awards published by ColoradoBiz Magazine.