Attracting a continuous stream of potential new leads is critical for the success of every law firm. Fortunately, the web offers a whole host of opportunities for firms to extend their reach. One of these is Google My Business. This amazing platform allows a business to appear in local searches for services they offer. But how does it work and how can firms capitalize on its features? Here is Attorney Business Consulting’s guide to Google my Business for lawyers.
What Exactly Is Google My Business?
Formerly known as Google+, Google My Business offers businesses of any size a powerful way to be found by potential customers. Google My Business features a profile which appears to the right of a user’s search results. This built-in profile offers a wealth of information to searchers, including the:
- Name of the business
- Address of the Business
- Business’ telephone number
- Business logo
- Hours of Operation
- Popular times people visit the business
- Directions to the business
In addition to these helpful features, Google My Business also provides one-click access to directions, the website of the business, and the phone number to place a direct call. There are also the most relevant and helpful customer reviews to further inform search users.
If you are just starting your local SEO journey, there is no better place to begin than by setting up a Google My Business account. After all, when people are looking for the services they need, they are often looking for somewhere local. By joining Google My Business, when someone searches for the legal services you offer nearby, your business will pop-up right away!
What Do You Need to Create a Google my Business?
If you decide to create a Google My Business account for your law firm, there are certain things Google requires. First and foremost is a brick and mortar location. Google doesn’t like sending people to locations that do not really exist, hence the need for a physical location. This, of course, is fine if you have your own office space, but can prove tricky if you don’t.
That’s not to say it can’t be done. While Google frowns on virtual office spaces, firms can usually set up a Google My Business account, provided they don’t rely on a P.O. Box. If possible, find a virtual office space which offers a psychical business address and not a P.O. Box. There are countless virtual office programs available at price points to suit every firm’s needs. If you choose not to use a virtual office, you can try to locate a United States Post Office, UPS, or FedEx location which offers mail service without a P.O. Box.
Create Your Listing
Once you are sure you have the information you need, now it’s time to create you Google my Business listing. Here are the four steps you need to follow to successfully create your account:
- Log into the Google account you want to associate with your firm’s listing. If you do not have an account for your law firm, go ahead and create one.
- Type in google.com/business into your browser and click the “select now” icon in the top right corner of the screen.
- Enter the name of your law firm.
- Enter the business address of your law firm, making sure you avoid using any P.O. Boxes.
Verify Your Business
Once you have created your Google My Business account, you will need to verify it to complete the process. While you have the option to verify later, it is highly recommended that you verify your listing as soon as possible since it can take several business days for the verification process to complete – and we imagine you want all your hard work to pay off quickly.
Google offers serval ways to verify your firm’s address on the google my Business listing, including by:
- Instant verification, or
- Bulk verification
The method you choose for verification will dictate which actions you need to take.
Phone verification – Sign into the listing you wish to verify and make sure the phone number listed is correct. Choose the “verify by phone” option by clicking the button. Finally, enter the verification code you receive from the text message from Google.
Email verification – Sign into the listing you wish to verify and make sure the email address associated with the listing is correct. Click the “verify by email” button and, when received in your inbox, click the verification button in the email.
Postcard verification – Sign into the listing you want to verify, and after ensuring your postal address is correct, click the “postcard by mail” verification option. Click “mail.” The postcard should reach your firm within five business days. During this time, be sure not to edit any information in your Google My Business listing, as this may delay your verification. Once you receive the postcard, log into your account and enter the code on the postcard.
Instant verification – Instant verification requires your law firm to have verified your business with Google Search Console, a free tool which allows your firm to successfully manage your website’s search health and performance. For more information, visit the Google Search Console page.
Bulk verification – Bulk verification is for those firms and businesses that have 10 or more locations. For that reason, bulk verification generally isn’t an option for most law firms. If, however, you would like to learn more about bulk verification, you can check out the Google My Business page.
Your All Set!
Once you have verified your firm’s listing, you are all set! Potential clients will now be able to find you through local searches for your firm’s services, and also access key information you have provided.
Now that you know the value of Google my Business, it’s time to take your firm to the next level. At Attorney Business Consulting, we’ve helped hundreds of lawyers take the next step in growing their firm – and we’d like to help you, too. As the premier law office management consulting agency, we can assist with every aspect of running your firm. Contact us today at (339)337-2655 for a free consultation.