Google My Business (GMB) gives you a chance to show up in the Google Local 3-Pack on a Google search result page, allows you to showcase your law firm, and gives you the opportunity to interact with your potential clients.
Having a great Google My Business (GMB) profile allows you to improve your Google local ranking and show up in the 3-Pack when potential clients search for legal services on the main Google search. Your GMB profile is the first impression that prospective clients will have of your law firm, so it is essential that you create an outstanding profile with professional descriptions and up to date information.
How GMB Influences Local Search Results
GMB is the most important listing that you should have for your law firm because it drives local search results. Google has clearly stated that “you can improve your business’ local ranking by using Google My Business.” They mention that if your law firm does not show up for relevant searches in your location, you should work on improving your GMB listing. Some of their recommendations to enhance your presence in Maps are:
- Complete your data. Accurate and complete information about what you do, your location, and your service hours makes it easier for Google to match your law firm with the searches relevant to you.
- Your location(s). Make sure that your business location(s) are verified so that they are eligible to show on Google.
- Keep your service hours accurate. Tell people when you are open, including holidays and special occasions. Letting potential clients know that you are available gives them the confidence to call you or go to your office.
- Reviews. Having high-quality, positive reviews on your listing will improve your law firm’s visibility and will increase your chances of getting contacted by potential clients. Interact with your clients by responding to reviews and encouraging them to leave reviews on your listing.
- Add photos. According to Google, businesses with photos receive 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don’t have pictures. Add your law firm’s photos to your listing. Use images that highlight your services and that you think people will find attractive.
GMB Algorithm and Google Local Ranking
Is your business related to the search query? If your business matches what someone is searching to find, Google will see your site as relevant. Google looks at various factors to determine relevance, such as business name, listing categories, GMB profile content, related website content, NAP (name, address, phone number) citations in other business directories, and client reviews, among others. Google also looks at the searcher’s intent and physical location to deliver tailored results. Using legal service and location keywords in your GMB listing profile can help the local algorithm identify your business as relevant in a particular locality service search. That said, overly spamming your GMB listing with keywords could get your listing suspended.
Distance, or proximity, looks at how close you are to the person searching on their phone or their computer. Google will calculate the distance based on what they know about the searcher’s location. Keep in mind that a more relevant result has a better chance to rank, even if it is further away than a less relevant result. Thus, searching for “criminal lawyer” in Los Angeles will give local Los Angeles results, while searching for “criminal lawyer” in Miami will give Miami results. But even the location of a person within a city will affect the results. Searching for “criminal lawyer” on the westside of Los Angeles will give different results than searching in downtown Los Angeles or in the San Fernando Valley part of Los Angeles.
Prominence refers to how well-known a business is online and offline. Google considers all the information that is found on the Internet, such as backlinks, citations, articles, online directory listings, etc. Google reviews are also considered for local search ranking. High-quality, positive reviews on your GMB listing will most likely improve your firm’s local ranking.
There is a strong relationship between organic and local SEO. Improving your website’s organic search rankings will help improve your local GMB presence.
Google wants to showcase websites that provide the best content and user experience. What makes a Google-friendly website? A great website provides useful information and gives visitors the information that they want to find. The most important thing that you can do is provide high-quality content on your site, especially on your home page. Make sure that other sites link to yours; natural links to your site develop as part of the dynamic nature of the web. Finally, make sure that your site is easy for Google to access.
6 Key Elements in GMB Optimization
- Verify your listing. The first step is to claim or create your listing (if it doesn’t exist already) and verify it.
- Add or edit your business details. Make sure that all the information on your listing is accurate, complete, and up to date. Name, address, and phone number (NAP) consistency is very important. Your law firm website information, along with the information on other online directories or listings, should match the information on your GMB listing.
- Choose an appropriate category for your law firm. The category should describe your business and services.
- Add videos and images. As we mentioned before, GMB listings with photos are more likely to be considered reputable. Add appropriate, high-resolution photos and videos, and upload photos regularly.
- Get client reviews. Positive, high-quality reviews will boost your Google Local performance. Reach out to clients and respond to reviews.
- Use Google Posts. Google Posts will help provide potential clients with easy access to your business information, and will help you promote your business by improving your clients’ experience.
Showing up in the Google Local Pack is strongly related to your GMB listing’s quality. Don’t miss the chance to improve your local performance by actively working on your GMB listing.
At Justia, we can help you with Google My Business and let you know how the tools, products, and services outlined above are useful to your specific business. Contact us today if you are interested in getting help with your Google My Business listing.