Google provides nearby results in places like Maps and Search whenever someone searches for a business or service. Does your firm make the list?
If you want to maximize how often users find your law firm in local search results, your Google My Business information must be accurate, complete, and engaging.
Start by ensuring your listing provides a physical address and phone number, the correct category for your law firm, and relevant attributes.
Next, you’ll need to verify your location. You can find instructions on how to verify your firm in this Google My Business Help article. Your firm will have the option to verify by mail, email, phone, or Search Console.
After verifying your firm’s location, you’ll want to make sure your hours are up to date and accurate. Don’t forget to include special hours for holidays and events to let clients know your availability.
Always respond to reviews promptly. Reviews are essential in today’s digital age, and by responding to reviews, Google acknowledges and credits your level of engagement. Plus, high-quality reviews from clients can increase your firm’s visibility.
Finally, showcase your firm and tell your story through photos. You can add photos directly to your Business Profile. Doing so will help potential clients relate to you and your team.
Once you’ve accurately updated your firm’s information, you’re ready to go a little deeper into Google’s local result algorithms.
Google’s search algorithm is highly intelligent. Results are provided according to relevance, distance, and prominence. This means firms aren’t merely shown to users based on distance from a location. If your firm is more relevant to a user’s search, you’re more likely to be higher in the local results even if you’re further away.
Google’s first search ranking factor is relevance. Attorneys can use several tactics to ensure their Google My Business listing is as relevant as possible. Take the following steps to improve the relevance of your listing.
- Don’t just choose “attorney” for your primary category. Be more specific, for instance, “personal injury attorney” or “criminal defense attorney.”
- Max out the character limit and incorporate keyword phrases about your law firm in your profile description and service sections.
- Be comprehensive when listing service areas. Make sure to include all cities surrounding your office location in your profile.
Unlike organic search results, which are shown in order of ranking, proximity is used to determine which local Google My Business directory results are shown to users. The relationship between the user’s IP address to your office location is the number one factor for local search queries. So make sure your address and surrounding locations are listed on your profile.
Prominence is the most challenging aspect of local search engine optimization. Competing law firms dictate the amount of prominence needed for your firm to appear high in search results.
Factors to boost your prominence include:
- having more authoritative backlinks than the competition
- publishing articles on external sites
- a liberal use of imagery and video, 50+ images tend to get a boost
- having a high number of reviews with high ratings
When it comes to maximizing how often users find your law firm in local search results, you need to master the relevance, distance, and prominence of your Google My Listing directory. Taking the extra time to enhance your profile will give your firm an edge over your competition.