Why is a Google Business Listing important for my law firm?
Updated 3 November 2022
Commencing earlier in 2022, Google has been rolling out changes to business listings. Businesses used to create a "Google My Business" listing which could be displayed on Google Maps and Google Search. The name of this type of listing has now changed to "Google Business Profile". We've subsequently updated our content.
With stiff competition among business growing daily, it’s essential for SME’s who deal directly with consumers, to create and continuously build a digital presence online. The legal industry is not immune to the need to drive an online presence and your Google Business Profile is an excellent starting point.
Many law firms are now making use of several social media platforms and SEO tools to attract new clients and your firm’s Google Business Profile listing should always be on the list of platforms you maintain. Without it, you could be looking at paying good rent for an empty reception area.
Why a Google Business Profile is relevant for your law firm?
Google Business Profile (“GBP”) is a free tool that any business can create a listing on. Alongside your website and your other digital strategies, GBP (formerly GMB) gives your firm a new and powerful platform to share the firm’s contact details, services, locations, expertise, photos, videos etc, and it’s also where your clients can review you and your law firm’s services.
When your account is set up and published, there are three key places GBP provides visibility for your firm.
Google Knowledge Graph
This is the box located to the right-hand side of a Google search page, describing a business and information about the business; contact details, website, hours, photos, reviews etc.
We all know Google Maps and we probably all use it. When you’ve set up your Google Business Profile listing, potential new customers can find you using search terms or, where they know your business name, simply entering it directly to Google Maps.
Google Local 3-Pack
Not all businesses get listed here however, if your business doesn’t appear here it will still show on Google Maps.
The Google Local 3-Pack is usually for what Google decides are the top three businesses in a particular location. You can work your way up the ladder to be viewed here, with regular and accurate content on your GBP listing and with good and ongoing Google reviews.
To get the most out of your Google Business Profile listing, it’s imperative to create a comprehensive listing, entering as much detailed information as possible. Let’s go through the primary components to get your listing going.
Create your Google Business Profile listing
You will need a Google account to create a Google Business Profile listing. If you do not have a Google account, you will need to sign up for one – it’s free.
Claiming your business
Once logged in, go to Google Maps and search for your business name.
If it does not show up in the results, you’ll be invited to create a listing – look for “Add a place”. Simply complete all the sections and click submit. This will create a Google location listing of your business. (Note, it may take up to 24 hours for it to appear live in Maps).
If your business does show up in the Maps search, you will need to “claim it”. If you didn’t create the listing yourself, don’t worry as sometimes they get created by Google (in very simple format) from third party sources about your business.
To claim your business if it’s already on Google Maps
To claim it, if there is a listing:
- Click on the name of your business on the map
- An option should appear to “Claim the business”
- Click on “Claim the business” and you’ll be directed through the relevant steps
- You’ll also have an opportunity to update any incorrect details and add new details like your URL etc.
Google will want to check that you are actually the owner or responsible person for this business. They can do this in a few different ways, including:
- They will send a postcard to your physical “bricks & mortar” address. There will be a PIN on the postcard and you use this to claim your listing.
- They will phone, text or email you to provide a PIN – using the phone/email details attached to the account.
- You will get instant verification if your business has already been validated in Google Search Console.
Maintenance and promotion tips going forward
- Remember to keep all your basic details updated at all times and, for all locations. This includes things like addresses, phone numbers, website details, hours of business etc.
- You can add “unusual hours” to your GBP listing – for example add public holidays you are closed on, or any other days you have different hours.
- You have an opportunity to add images to your GBP. We suggest you add new images regularly, including updating your cover image.
- Your Google Reviews will be visible on your GBP page. Remember to respond to all your reviews – good or bad.
- Google Business Profile provides you with insights on visitors to your listing; number of people searching for your business, map views and actions (like calling you or visiting your website).
So what are you waiting for? There’s no time like now to create your Google Business Profile listing for your law firm.
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