How to Use Google My Business for Next Level Results
There’s been a lot of chatter on social media recently about Google My Business and for good reason. It is a very important tool for business owners including those of you who run law firms.
This is why we wanted to dedicate an entire episode of the podcast to Google My Business.
Up until now, we’ve been covering everything you need to know as you get ready to do marketing. However, Google My Business is a real marketing tactic. Here is everything you need to know about it to ensure you are creating and optimizing your GMB profile as well as you can.
What it Is and Where to Find It
Google My Business is the platform that allows business owners to manage their business information in Google’s system. It helps ensure that the right information is included in all the different ways that your business shows up in Google searches.
It mainly shows up in a few places. One is on the knowledge panel, the box at the top right of the Google search page with a business’s pictures, address, and phone number.
Google My Business also shows up on something called the local pack. This is when a user runs a local search (i.e. estate planning attorney St. Louis). Google will typically show a map and three listings underneath it. You want your firm to come up in that pack.
Finally, the third place where your Google My Business shows up is in Maps. If people go to Google Maps, they can see your business information when they search your law firm’s name through GMB.
Why It’s Important
In Clio’s 2019 legal trends report, they asked consumers how they would go about finding a law firm if they needed legal help. The data showed it was about 50/50. Half of the respondents said they would ask a friend, family member, or colleague while the other half said they would go search on their own.
That 50% who search for a lawyer on their own are mostly using Google to do so. However, the 50% of consumers who do ask their friends, family, or colleagues still head straight over to Google after getting a referral. They type it in and look up the website to try and find out more about the business.
This is why Google My Business profile is so important. It’s a great way to get the exact information you want in that knowledge panel when somebody searches your name. Many people won’t even visit your website if your Google My Business profile gives them everything they need.
Additionally, 50% or more of calls to some of Mark’s clients are coming straight from Google My Business. All of this shows that you need to make sure you’re claiming, optimizing, and paying attention to Google My Business.
How to Set it Up
The first thing you need to do is make sure that you don’t already have a rogue listing out there. Google your law firm name plus your city and see if the knowledge panel shows up on the right side of the search page. If it does, that means there’s something that exists on your business. If there’s something there, you can hit the claim button.
If not, create a new listing at http://www.google.com/business. Click “Manage Now,” search for your business name, and if it doesn’t show up, click on “Add your business to Google.” Google may need to verify you’re the actual owner by sending you a postcard.
After you’ve verified, you need to fill out the listing. The first thing to add is your real word business name (what’s on your business card). Don’t add keyword stuff here.
Next are categories which have an impact on your ranking. The primary category you’re likely going to use is law firm, then there are additional secondary categories where you can get more specific. Check back in on these categories once a quarter or so because Google updates them.
The next thing to add is your address. This will drive Google Maps results. Next, enter your law firm hours. Beware of putting “closed” in your GMB profile, though, because it can make clients worry that you’re out of business. Consider adding a call service that’s open late or 24/7 and show those hours. The next thing to add is your primary number.
We always recommend adding commonly asked questions as well. What are the biggest questions that people have before they even call you? One to consider (because most potential clients ask it) is what your process and timeline will look like.
If you want to learn more about Google My Business, check out Episode 014: Optimizing Google My Business.