Last week, we blogged about a new feature that Google introduced to its Google My Business service, which makes it possible for law firms and other businesses that use the tool, to add a “women-led” icon to their profile. This week, we explore what Google My Business is in more detail and explain why all law firms should have a Google My Business profile.
Google My Business: 101
Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool that allows businesses to manage their online presence on Google, including in search results and maps. Google My Business is a great tool to use in conjunction with your other marketing efforts to interact with new and prospective clients and to paint a better picture of your firm.
Google My Business allows the organizations using the function to, among other things:
- Manage the information that Google users see when they search for your firm directly, or search for the type of law that you practice;
- Post relevant information about your hours of operation, address, and website;
- Update clients on changes such as adjusted holiday hours, or similar;
- Read and respond to reviews from your clients;
- Post photos about your firm and what you do, including photos of your office;
- Gain insights into how clients searched for your firm, and where those customers are coming from (including how many people called your firm directly from the number displayed in local search results.
Google My Business is intended to complement your existing website, and social media presence, by providing your firm with an official public identity on Google. The information you provide in your listing will appear in Google Search, Google Maps, and Google+.
Still not convinced setting up Google my Business for your firm will be beneficial?
Studies show that businesses which verify their information through Google My Business are twice as likely to be considered reputable by customers and clients.
In addition, studies also show that businesses which add photos to their Google My Business listings receive 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses which do not.
How Do I Set Up a Google My Business Listing?
The first thing you will need to do to set up a Google My Business Listing is to verify your business. Verification helps Google ensure the accuracy of your firm’s business information across Google. Until you complete the verification process, you will not be able to edit any of the information that appears about your firm across Google.
To verify your business, you will have to request verification from Google. Once you do so, Google will send you a verification postcard, via snail mail, to the mailing address you identify (in some cases it may be possible to verify through other means). The postcard will include a unique verification code, which you will enter into Google My Business to confirm that your firm is located at the address you provided.
Google My Business Best Practices
Once you are verified, you can edit information about your firm, respond to client reviews, and add photos.
Information that you should always include in your Google My Business listing is:
- Your business hours;
- Your address;
- Your phone number;
- Your website; and
- Category (i.e. what kind of business do you run).
The information you provide should appear exactly as it does on your firm’s website, including matching your address exactly. So, for instance, if your firm’s website is listed as 25 Liability Lane, Unit 1, it should appear the same way on Google My Business and not 25 Liability Lane, #1.
As soon as any information about your business changes (for instance, if you move to a new location), be sure to update your Google My Business listing. Updating your address will require you to complete the verification process once more.
There are several types of photos you can add to your Google My Business listing. These include:
- Profile picture (should be the same as the profile picture you use elsewhere online, such as Twitter, Facebook, etc.);
- Additional photos (these can include exterior or interior shots, or shots of your team).
Photos help give clients a more thorough understanding of your firm and will help them recognize your business on Google.
The key to optimally using Google My Business is to provide all the information that Google requests. This can sometimes get cumbersome, and it is always nice to have professionals take care of this on your behalf.
If you have questions about Google My Business, or about otherwise maximizing your firm’s presence online, contact Umbrella Legal Marketing. Reach us online or at 416-356-4672. We help law position themselves as leaders. With our guidance, you and your firm can stand out in today’s ever-changing legal landscape.