Any online marketing expert knows the importance of optimizing your law firm website for better rankings in search engines. By researching and planning the right keywords to use in your online content, you can find yourself listed on the first page of Google, and even hit that coveted number 1 spot. A high search ranking will drive a consistent stream of quality traffic to your website, and spur steady growth for your firm. Keywords, however, are not the only way to improve your rankings. A crucial component of promoting your law firm is optimizing your site for local searches. For law firms in particular, potential clients tend to come from the local area. Therefore, including strategies that capitalize on those types of search queries can help raise your profile and maximize your brand exposure online. Here’s how to use Google My Business to promote your law firm in local searches.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free service designed to make it easy for local businesses to manage their listings in Google search results. Anytime you search Google for local services in your area, you have likely seen Google My Business at work. It displays results on a map, and lists other important details about businesses, including their contact information, website, and even reviews.
Since Google is the premier search engine online, listing your law firm with Google’s My Business is essential for proper search engine optimization, or SEO.
A basic approach to Google My Business is to list your law firm’s name, address, and contact information. When someone searches your firm by name, your firm’s listing appears to the right of the Google search results. The display therefore gives your firm much more attention than a search link in a list of other firms.
How Improving Local Search Raises Your Law Firm Profile
Google My Business automatically takes your law firm’s info and runs with it–at no cost to you. Once you’ve entered your address, for instance, your firm’s location appears on the local map search results with its name highlighted and labeled.
Your listing also automatically displays prominent links to your website and the directions page on Google Maps. For local search, this promotion is a great way to show potential local clients how convenient it is to find you and how to reach out for more information.
The Google search engine considers many factors when displaying search results. No one knows everything about how it works, but search engine optimization (SEO) experts have been able to discover methods that do increase rankings. For local search, the primary three criteria to focus on are relevance, location, and authority.
Relevance is a measure of how well the keywords in your content match up with the search terms put into Google. One of the most important spots where relevancy matters is within the site’s title tag. This is used to tell Google what the website is all about.
For example, Rothenberg Law Firm demonstrates this with their incorporation of “injury lawyer” into their title on Google. Including this keyword both within the title tag and the body of the description affirms for Google that your page is relevant to the search, allowing the firm to naturally rise in the rankings and achieve higher visibility.
Choosing similar keywords to the business category on your Google My Business platform is another way to leverage SEO for your benefit. Additionally, it’s a way to make sure you’re appearing high on the list in relevant searches.
Location is pretty self-explanatory. As a local law firm serving a local community, your firm should highlight that fact with accurate location information across all your online profiles and your website. The Google My Business admin area allows you to verify your geographic information and correct it if necessary, including controlling how it shows up on the map.
Authority is an SEO term for high interest or a quality link. In general, websites gain authority in SEO by having other sites link to them, although there are many other considerations which Google takes into account. Having high authority means your website is likely to be the best place for someone to find information related to the search query.
More Google My Business Features = More Opportunities
Google My Business offers several additional features that will give your law firm more prominence in the search results. Here are a few of the major ones that you should know:
When someone uses Google to search for “local law firms in Boston,” a highlighted box, known as the Local Finder, appears in the results. The Local Finder will display your law firm (among others) and a small map with a flag showing your firm’s location.
As above with Local Finder, Google My Business also promotes your law firm on mobile devices. On the search page, a box similar to the Local Finder will appear below the main results for easy viewing and link-clicking
The newest feature for My Business users is Google Posts. Google Posts takes the concept of a business listing and takes it one step further. They are basically the Google search equivalent of blog posts on your website, giving you the ability to share recent updates about your firm, such as news and current events directly on the search results page.
How To Use Google Posts to Your Advantage
Google Posts provide the opportunity to deliver updates about your law firm right on the search results page. You can reach local searchers with quality content about your firm even before they visit your webpage.
Using Google Posts is a great way to show Google that you are an active business in your local community, and Google will reward you by featuring your firm more prominently in local search results.
How to Create a Google Post
Google My Business makes it easy to create Google Posts. Simply log into your My Business dashboard and navigate to the “Posts” section. From there, you can upload text, an image, or even a combination of both in order to share an update about your law firm.
Your Google Posts can offer additional news and information that go beyond just your business listing. For example, you can use Posts to:
- introduce existing and new staff members
- advertise current events your firm might be running, such as seminars or consultations
- links to recent articles about your law firm
- demonstrate recent case successes
- highlight reviews and testimonials from satisfied clients
The idea is that you want to keep an active profile within Google to show that you are a well-managed local business, and one that is trustworthy not only in Google’s search algorithm, but more importantly with potential clients.
As more people turn to the internet in order to find legal help, it’s important to factor search engine optimization into your overall law firm marketing strategy.
Google My Business is an easy-to-use, free, and powerful tool which can help you boost your rankings in local search results. By using the features that Google offers for local businesses, such as updating your geographic information and creating Google Posts with recent updates about your firm, you can ensure that Google will know your law firm is a valuable service provider in the local community.
In turn, Google will reward you with a higher search ranking, which is sure to deliver more clients to your law firm for years to come.