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Setting up your Google My Business profile is a must to improve your local visibility online. Being free, it is a great marketing tool for law firms of every size, so don't lose potential customers by not having one.
First and foremost, What is Google My Business? As mentioned in our previous post, “Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool for businesses and organizations through which they manage their business profile(s) and presence on Google, including Google Search and Google Maps.“
This post will address how you can create and verify a new Google My Business listing (we will cover claiming an existing listing in a future post)
Creating a new GMB listing involves these two steps:
1. Create your new listing.
2. Verify your listing.
Create Your New Listing
Before you start off the GMB creation process, you need a Google account. If you do not have a Google account, you can sign up for one here.
Once you have a Google Account, go to google.com/business, sign in to the Google account you want the listing to be associated with, and then enter your law firm name.
Next, you’ll have to choose the category that best fits your business; there is a wide variety of categories to choose from.
Attorney categories you can choose from are:
- Personal injury attorney
- Criminal justice attorney
- Family law attorney
- Bankruptcy attorney
- Real estate attorney
- Employment attorney
- Immigration attorney
- Civil law attorney
- Elder law attorney
- Patent attorney
- Tax attorney
- Trial attorney
- Insurance attorney
- Law Firm
- Legal Services
- Medical lawyer
- Divorce lawyer
Then, select “Yes” or “No” if your law firm operates in a location where your clients can visit you. If you choose “Yes,” the address you will register later may be eligible to show up on both Google Maps and Google search.
Type in your law firm address and click on “Next.” If Google cannot locate the address on the map, you will have to confirm it directly on the map by manually moving the pin to the correct location.
Next, you will be asked whether you serve clients outside your physical business location If you do, you can choose the areas you serve. Keep in mind that this is optional, and you can list more than one service area.
Finally, you enter your law firm phone number and website address. This information is critical as clients may want to call or visit your website looking for further information regarding your legal services.
As soon as you are done with these initial setup steps, you will need to verify your business listing.
Verify Your Listing
You must verify your business listing to manage your GMB profile and information on Google Maps, Search, and other Google properties. The verification process helps ensure that your business information is accurate and that only you can access your law firm’s GMB profile.
There are a few different ways to verify your Google My Business listing:
- Via phone (text message or call)
- Via email
- Via postcard by regular mail
Note: Some options might not be available for certain businesses.
Verification by Phone (available for select businesses)
Some businesses are eligible to receive a verification code by phone. If your law firm listing is eligible, you’ll see the “Verify by phone” option when you request verification. This phone number to verify your law firm will be one Google has discovered through other sources, such as business databases, directories or public filings.
Step 1: First of all, make sure the phone number shown is correct and select “Call” or “Text.”
Step 2: You will receive an automated call or text message from Google that will deliver a 5-6 digit code.
Step 3: Enter the verification code.
Verification by Email (available for select businesses)
Email verification isn’t available for all businesses. If you don’t see this option when you attempt to verify your listing, use another verification method. If this option is available, follow the steps below:
Step1: Make sure the email address is correct and select “Email.”
Step 2: Go to your email and look for the Google My Business email with the verification code that Google sent you and enter the code.
Verification by Postcard
If you choose this method, Google will send a postcard with a verification code. The postcard should arrive at your law firm location within two weeks. Before you request the verification of your listing by postcard, make sure that your law firm address is compliant with Google’s quality guidelines.In particular it needs to be a real address, not an appointment only address or mail drop.
Step1: Make sure the business address is correct and enter a contact name.
Note: The contact name is the name of whom the postcard will be addressed to.
Step 2: Select “Mail.” Please note that the postcard may take up to 14 days to arrive.
Step 3: Once the postcard arrives at your business location, go to google.com/business and select “Verify Now.“
Step 4: Google will ask for the five-digit verification code sent in the postcard. Enter the code and click “Submit.“
Setting up a Google My Business profile is an easy, straightforward process and benefits your business by increasing traffic, sales, and providing useful information to your clients.
At Justia, we can help you set up your Google My Business profile and optimize it to get the most out of it to help your business. Contact us today if you are interested in getting advice with your Google My Business listing.