You already have a digital marketing strategy for driving potential clients toward your website. But perhaps you've heard me say that traditional search engine optimization (SEO) and website updates are becoming less crucial than they have been in the past. There is, however, a digital tool available that will allow you to provide valuable resources in a way that makes Google more likely to send search traffic your way: this tool is known as Google My Business.
Companies, such as Facebook, Google, and others want to keep users inside their walled gates, instead of watching them and the money they represent click through to external websites. You, as a reputable business owner, could be used to providing many features and types of information on your legal website, but Google now has tools that can allow you to provide that valuable content from inside their own search results.
In this guide to local SEO for lawyers, we’ll teach you how to optimize a Google My Business listing for your law firm and generate better results with unique tips you might not have heard before.
Why is Google My Business Essential for Attorneys?
A Google My Business listing is a branch of local SEO that targets prospective clients in your law firm’s local area via organic search. The most remarkable benefit is that law firms with a well-optimized Google My Business (GMB) listing show up in the “three-pack” at the top of their potential client’s search engine results page (SERP).
For example, if you google “personal injury attorneys in Illinois:”
Notice how the three-pack is the first thing you see when your search engine result pages load?
By positioning your law firm here, you’ll increase the probability of a prospective client finding you through organic search, instead of hoping they’ll scroll past the paid or the three-pack results to find your legal website on their own accord.
Plus, nearly a third of mobile searches are related to geographical location, and 86% of customers rely on the internet when searching for a local business. This means that your potential customers are actively using Google to find your law firm.
But here’s the best thing about creating a Google My Business listing for your firm: 50% of potential clients who conducted a local search on their mobile device visited a local business within a day. It’s highly likely that prospective clients searching for legal help call the law firms they discover. After all, a legal matter is like an aching stomach: it needs prompt attention.
That means if you can gain more Google real estate in your potential client’s search results, there’s a significant chance your prospective customers will click through to your legal website, or book a consultation with your attorneys in the near future.
Google My Business listings are a brilliant way to drive more clients toward your legal practice, especially those all-important clients who are searching specifically for the legal service you offer.
In fact, Google My Business Listing is especially useful for law firms, because your target client could be someone who’s going through a personal legal matter, such as divorce, and is looking for divorce lawyers. Lawyers in legal practice areas, such as criminal defense, bankruptcy, and divorce often find that potential clients won’t follow them on social media because social media activity can be public.
How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing to Attract More Clients?
There are several steps you should take to ensure you are getting the most out of your GMB listing:
Fill in all the Required Information in Your GMB Listing
If you're still in the process of creating a GMB listing for your law firm, it's essential to note that the more detailed your Google My Business profile is, the more likely your law firm will rank higher on local law SEO results. Adding a detailed business description with your website link and your law firm's name isn't enough.
Also, you must pay attention to your contact details, your business location, your official business hours, and your business address. These small details are essential and they can take your GMB account from being just a mere listing to a well-optimized GMB profile for law firm SEO. These business details can help you get Google’s attention as a reputable law firm and allow you to rank higher on Google Maps searches.
Verify Your GMB Listing
Even if your law firm already has a GMB listing with its address information already filled in, you must verify that information. This verification process offers your listing more credibility and helps you improve your search rankings among local lawyer SEO results. Claiming an existing GMB listing or verifying a new GMB listing is a straightforward process that makes this verification step much easier.
Sometimes, Google offers you more than one option for verification. But given that you're creating your GMB listing for your law firm, you must provide a mailing address to receive the verification code and optimize your law firm SEO. Make sure that your business address is accurate and one where you can receive mail without any problems because getting that verification code is crucial to the verification process.
Focus on Online Reviews
It is a known fact that client reviews have a significant impact on your overall local keyword rankings. Any law firm that has more customer reviews on their GMB profiles has a higher chance of ranking on the coveted three-pack results.
Also, the overall rating of your law firm influences this because businesses with a lot of five-star rating stand out from the average joe. Thus, it's crucial that you focus on getting real, authentic Google My Business reviews from your customers. Just make sure that you deliver stellar legal service to your clients, so you get nothing short of a positive rating from your clients to enhance your law firm SEO.
Thanks to social media platforms, most online clients are used to interacting through visual cues. Thus, mere text post updates don’t gain as much prominence as posts with photos do. This phenomenon is more crucial than ever in your Google My Business profile. Research shows that Google My Business listings that have photos on them generate more views, direction requests, and clicks than listings with no images.
As an attorney, you have the opportunity to stand out from your competitors by merely posting high-quality photos of your law offices. Presenting your organic target clients with images of a highly professional environment causes more potential organic clients to trust your legal practice with their legal issues.
This simple task has a ton of impact on your law firm's SEO and allows you to attract more prospective clients through search engines. With the availability of high-end cameras in mobile phones, getting such photos has never been easier. But if your law firm wants to go the extra mile, hire a professional photographer to take your cover photo while capturing the essence of your legal practice.
Add a Booking Button
It wasn’t so long ago that GMB added a messaging feature for clients to book direct appointments right from the GMB listings. This messaging feature helps customers to book appointments without having to contact your law firm beforehand or even leave their browser window. Since this contact feature isn't dependent on business hours, it enables you to take bookings from new clients and also existing clients after your hours of operation. Most law firms aren't using this feature, which can make your law firm stand out from the competition.
Focus on Valuable Content
One of the best ways to tackle digital marketing and improve your search rankings on Google and other popular search engines is through focusing on creating high-quality content, such as Google posts for your business. By creating content with relevant keywords and engaging post updates that link back to your legal website, you can create a network of credible internal links that serve a purpose. In the long run, this strategy establishes your credibility to Google and improves your local search rankings. Ultimately, it helps you generate more organic traffic clients through your GMB profile.
Include Questions and Answers in your Google My Business Listing
Adding a FAQ section is a win for your law firm, and the good thing is that Google My Business allows you to prepopulate and optimize your GMB listing with questions and answers, making it easier for your prospective clients to access the answers to their queries. The Q&A is displayed on the Knowledge panel on your GMB dashboard.
There’s one drawback, though – while this strategy works well for your digital marketing strategy, pretty much anyone on the web can type out answers, which means there can a lot of incorrect answers for internet users to deal with, and you’d have to review questions on your web page regularly. But it is valuable to pre-populate the Q&A section.
Contact The Team at GoEngine Today for Help With GMB Optimization for Attorneys!
At GoEngine, we specialize in conducting law firm SEO audits to help lawyers get the most out of their online marketing efforts. Whether you have just started your legal practice or if you want to improve your current digital marketing strategies, our SEO and digital marketing strategies at GoEngine can help you generate the search engine optimization results that you desire.
Our digital marketing team understands that digital marketing or google analytics isn't a walk in the park and a proper SEO campaign and providing excellent user experience matters to building an effective online marketing strategy for your firm. Thus, we use up-to-date SEO strategies and we understand that the right blog posts and legal directories can make a significant difference. A proper SEO strategy, with the relevant keywords in an overall effective online marketing campaign that is performed by the right firm, can yield organic traffic that will ultimately increase your caseload.
If you have any questions about SEO for lawyers or need further clarification regarding blogs or the way our SEO company handles digital marketing, search engines, organic search, overall google search, and our search engine optimization strategy, contact us today at (864) 300-0344.