A Google My Business listing is essential to any law firm looking to boost their SEO ranking and generate more quality leads. Creating and claiming a Google My Business listing will make your law firm more relevant locally and allow you to compete with bigger law firms who normally rank higher.
Once you have created and claimed a Google My Business listing, your law firm will be able to manage and optimize the information that you provide to Google. The most important thing to remember when optimizing your Google My Business listing is to keep all of your information consistent and accurate.
#1 Name of Your Law Firm
Your business name reflects who you are and how you represent yourself: the name printed on your law firm’s door or contained in your logo. List your full law firm’s name, the same way it is on any of your advertisements or other internet listings, such as Lawyers.com or Avvo. Avoid either an abbreviation or extension of your law firm's name of any kind.
#2 List of Your Legal Practice Areas
The categories section is crucial for helping law firms draw in more quality leads. By accurately listing your law firm’s category, you are being more specific about what you do and therefore it is more likely that Google will pull you up in relevant search results.
The primary category is what will be listed underneath your name on your Google My Business listing. Although you are able to list multiple categories, your primary category is whatever you put first. This is one of the first things that people see about you, so it is important to make sure that it is an accurate description of your law firm's focus. Choose a category that best describes your law firm and the type of business you are most looking for.
#3 Law Firm's Address
The address you list is the most important factor for a Google My Business listing. Due to the fact that Google will not allow you to create a Google My Business listing without an address, the accuracy of your address is what is most important here.
Make sure that your address is listed exactly the same as on your website. To ensure consistency, you may want to copy and paste your address from your website and double-check its accuracy when entered into a GPS. For example, if your address includes a cardinal direction (North, South, East or West), then that must be included to avoid confusion. In addition, you will want to make sure that it is listed this way anywhere else it is published on the web.
#4 Accurate Business Hours for Your Law Firm’s Office
Your business hours should reflect a time frame in which someone can call the office and have someone pick up the phone. So, ask yourself, when are we really open for business? Is someone there to answer the phone at 8 am or is it better to be listed as opening at 9 am?
A big part of accurate business hours is keeping your special hours up to date. Special hours are irregular business hour changes. They can be caused by inclement weather, holidays or any other reasoning for closing. By adjusting your hours accordingly, you are helping Google keep your clients up to date with accurate information, therefore, building your law firm’s credibility with search engines. Be diligent about adjusting your hours — this will demonstrate your law firm’s dedication and reliability.
#5 Law Firm Office Location Phone Number
Having a designated Google My Business phone number may seem smart for tracking or texting purposes, but, in reality, this can hurt your search engine rankings. Use the same phone number you hand out to clients or other leads seeking your services. Just as with your address and business name, your phone number should match exactly what is listed on the landing page that your listing is linked to.
Avoid using 800 numbers that appear to be generic or an answering service because that will make you appear unapproachable and not easy to contact. To avoid any confusion, just copy and paste your phone number from your website into your Google My Business listing.
#6 Law Firm Website URL
Your website URL should take visitors directly to your law firm’s homepage. There are two exceptions to this rule — larger firms with more than one location and independent attorneys with a personal listing.
Multiple locations: The links you list on Google My Business should go to a specific landing page created for your location. This page should include information about that particular location as well as an address and phone number that matches the listing.
Independent attorneys: Any independent attorney listing on their own should link directly to their attorney profile on the website. Make sure that your name and contact information matches what you have provided Google.
#7 Quality Images of Your Law Firm & Lawyers
A Google My Business listing is about providing context for your location and making it easier for visitors to find your location. Your photos should give an accurate description of your building’s appearance, both internally and externally. Make sure that you post quality images that have a high-resolution.
Strategically naming your images is a crucial part of the process. Search engines can read your image names, which can help boost your rankings. The best rule of thumb is to incorporate keywords like your business name, law firm, the city and state in which you are located in and a word describing the image. For example:
Check Your Knowledge Graph to Ensure All Law Firm Details Are Accurate
After you have optimized your Google My Business listing, put your law firm to the test by searching your business name. A search that specific will bring up your knowledge graph, located in the right sidebar.
A knowledge graph is a full list of details included in your Google My Business listing. Use your knowledge graph to check the accuracy of all of your information and then ask yourself whether you would contact this law firm based on what you have seen and read. Your answer will be a good test of the effectiveness of your Google My Business listing. You can also take the time to monitor your Google Analytics account to see if the addition of an actively maintained Google My Business listing might be increasing your conversion optimization.