Does your law firm have a Google Business Profile? Do you have control of the listing? If not, now is the time to take charge of the listing to help the firm gain more visibility online. In this article, we will go over why you need a Google Business Profile and best practices for the listing.
Why does my law firm need a Google Business Profile?
Google Business Profiles are prominently displayed when you do a search on Google. Your company can not appear in the local pack below without a Google Business Profile. A search for Chicago lawyer showed the following results. First, you see Google Screened profiles, which you can learn more about here. Second, the search results show Google Business Profiles with the map below it.
A BrightLocal study reported that approximately 5% of Google Business Profile views result in an action, which includes visiting the website, calling the business, or requesting directions to the business. The study also reports that the number of calls from a Google Business Profile grew by 22% in one year. Without a profile, your law firm is missing out on these potential actions.
How do I set up a Google Business Profile for my law firm?
First, visit https://www.google.com/business/ and sign in with the account you want to own the profile. Next, you will click on Add a Business and search for your business. If your business already has a listing, you will want to Request Access. If it does not, then you will want to add your business to Google.
Once you have access to or have created your Google Business Profile, you will want to make sure your law firm’s listing is filled out completely with accurate information.
What information does my law firm need to include on our Google Business Profile?
A lot of information can be input for a Google Business Profile, but don’t get overwhelmed by it. Below we will go through the most important information to include on your Google Business Profile.
Name, Address, Phone Number
The most important items to include on a Google Business Profile are your business name, address, and phone number, or NAP, as we call it in the search industry. It is important that this information is consistent with the NAP information on your website.
For your name, you want to use just your business name. There is no reason to include keywords here.
When adding the address to your business profile, be sure to include any suite numbers associated with your business.
A profile has the option to list more than one phone number. If possible, make the primary phone number a local phone number and a toll-free phone number can be listed as an additional option.
Selecting the correct business categories helps Google know what your business does and is crucial for your profile to appear in the search results for industry-related keywords. The following are commonly used business categories for law firms:
- Criminal Justice Attorney
- Divorce Lawyer
- Estate Planning Attorney
- Family Law Attorney
- Immigration Attorney
- Law Firm
- Legal Services
- Patent Attorney
- Personal Injury Attorney
- Real Estate Attorney
- Trial Attorney
A profile can have multiple categories so after selecting the primary category, be sure to add additional categories that are fitting for your law firm, such as the specific type of law that is practiced.
The business description is just that, a description of your business. Here is where you will want to utilize keywords to explain what your business does, for example, what law your firm specializes in. If you service a specific city, it would be beneficial to include it in the description as well. The business description can be up to 750 characters.
Including images on your profile helps users become familiar with your law firm. The crucial images to include on your profile are a logo and cover photo. The logo should be 250px x 250px and cover photo should be 1080px x 608px.
It is beneficial to include additional images on your profile. According to the BrightLocal study previously mentioned, businesses have an average of 11 photos on their profile. Due to this, it is recommended to share images of the interior office and the exterior of the building. Google recommends images be high quality and 720px x 720px.
Searchers can see your business hours directly in the search results, so it is important that they are accurate. You don’t want someone to try and call or visit your office only to find out it is closed. Additionally, your law firm should utilize the special hours section to report closings for holidays.
Getting reviews for your Google Business Profile isn’t always easy but is necessary. BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey reported that 77% of users always or regularly read reviews in 2021. Having reviews is an easy way to stand out against the competition, especially if they do not have any.
It is also important to respond to reviews, both positive and negative. It shows that you are actively listening to your customers, which can go a long way with potential customers. In fact, nearly 90% of searchers are highly or fairly likely to use a business that responds to all of its online reviews.
Google recently started to display the number of years in business in the search results. This information is calculated by the opening date on your Google Business Profile. Having this information appear in the search results can help you have a leg up on the competition by showing your experience and longevity in the law industry.
Does your law firm need help with its Google Business Profile?
There is a lot to tackle when setting up and optimizing your law firm’s Google Business Profile. If tackling this seems like too much, contact the Netvantage team. We offer lawyer SEO services such as optimizing Google Business Profiles.