Do potential clients see one of these when they Google your law firm’s name?

That ultra-professional panel, which sometimes appears on the right side of search results, is a sample law firm Google My Business (“GMB”) profile. It’s important in the realm of legal marketing because the GMB profile typically appears when a user searches for a specific law firm or attorney name (known as a “vanity” or “branded” search).

You can’t buy a GMB profile, but you can create or claim yours for free!

What Is a Google My Business Profile?

Google wants to provide comprehensive information to its users, so it gathers and publishes business details with (or sometimes without) the input of the company the listing represents. The profile that Google creates for law firms serves as prime real estate when potential clients search for your law firm online.

It is up to business owners and professionals—like law firms and attorneys—to determine whether their business has an existing listing and to claim, verify, and update the information in the listing. If you fail to do this, the first information a potential client sees about you or your law firm may be inaccurate, misleading, incomplete, or altogether erroneous. Or potential clients won’t find you online at all, but will instead find your competitors who claimed and polished their Google My Business listings.

What Are the Benefits of a Google My Business Law Firm Profile?

A Google My Business listing is a free business profile that represents your law firm across Google products and services, including Google Maps and Search. This listing is:

  1. Highly visible;
  2. Particularly important for local, branded search; and
  3. A free way to market your law firm online.

What Information Is Included in a Law Firm’s GMB Profile?

Your law firm’s GMB profile displays critical information about your law firm that clients and potential clients want to know:

  • Law firm/attorney name;
  • Logo;
  • Website link;
  • Business categories (practice areas);
  • Location and address;
  • Office hours;
  • Appointment link;
  • Description/narrative from the owner; and
  • Photographs.

In addition to presenting a professional image for your firm, it’s critical in today’s mobile society to make information about your law firm easy to find. After all, your law firm’s GMB profile is probably where clients and leads will obtain your address, your phone number, and even directions to your office.

Most lawyers don’t realize that Google allows “public-facing professional[s] . . . with their own customer base”―such as attorneys―to create individual practitioner listings on Google My Business. Creating or claiming your attorney practitioner listing is a great way to ensure that leads who discover you via referral find you right away.

Google Unilaterally Creates Google My Business Profiles for Law Firms—Ouch!

Even if no one within your company has created a GMB profile for your law firm, Google may have done so sua sponte. We’ve often seen law firms with GMB profiles displaying poor reviews, yet no one at the firm even knew the profile existed, much less challenged bad reviews that violated Google guidelines.

Google your law firm name. Do you have a listing? Is it current and accurate? Does it include surprising information, such as negative reviews, that could tarnish your firm’s attractiveness to qualified leads?

Now do the same thing for your name, adding “attorney XX” to the end (where XX is your state postal code). What did you see?

When it comes to actively managing their digital presence, many law firms and lawyers bury their heads in the proverbial sand. Reactivity is not the right approach here. Google and other digital platforms will create listings for you and your law firm even if you don’t. And once that profile is up, people can leave reviews, positive or negative, that will impact you in the future.

Only proactivity will do.

TOPDOG Can Help Optimize Your Law Firm’s Google My Business Profile

Ready to get started? Contact TOPDOG today for help claiming and optimizing your law firm’s GMB listing.

The post Free Marketing! Google My Business for Law Firms appeared first on TOPDOG Legal Marketing, LLC.