The process of claiming and setting up the listing is often lumped in with SEO tasks and techniques, but it really goes beyond just being a good SEO practice. In addition to giving you extra chances for showing up in organic search results, a My Business listing can also help your firm appear in Google’s Local Pack search results, Local Finder and within Google Maps.
Following are some tips and tactics to help you get your My Business listing set up properly and take full advantage of this extra space that Google gives you to reach your future clients.
Claim and Verify Your Listing
The first step is, of course, going to be claiming and verifying your law firm’s listing if you haven’t done it already. The process itself isn’t difficult, but it may take Google anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks to verify everything. They’ll call you or send a verification code via snail-mail to make sure your organization is legitimate. You can get the ball rolling by going to http://google.com/business.
Answer Everything Google Asks For
The listing is free, and, once claimed, will allow you to display the name of your law firm along with business hours, address, phone number, and a few other items. Google will ask some different questions depending on various factors as you fill out your information.
It’s important to answer all the questions Google asks as well as you can. Each bit of information gives the search engine more of what it needs to target your business listing at the right people. The more accurate and complete your listing is, the higher the chances it will show up in relevant search results across Google properties.
Encourage And Respond To Reviews
A follow-up email sent to clients after their case has been resolved is the perfect place to encourage some online reviews.
Regardless of when your firm was established, a listing with no reviews gives the feeling of something completely new. Getting a few reviews on your listing will let readers know that they aren’t going to be the first person to call and ask for your services.
You should also make it a regular part of your routine to check on reviews and respond where it’s appropriate, to both positive and negative reviews. Showing the public that you take the time to read and answer these reviews can go a long way toward winning over new clients.
Be Ready To Answer Questions
Google’s My Business listings give people the ability to ask questions about the business. It is important to check on and answer these questions for a number of reasons. First, the person asking the question, of course, deserves an answer. Second, much like responding to reviews, if people see you’re taking the time to answer questions, it projects a much brighter image of your law firm. And finally, anyone can answer questions, not just you, which leaves the door open for inaccurate answers that you’ll want to correct A.S.A.P.
Check In Often And Keep Things Accurate
Above all, it’s important to remember that your Google My Business listing is not a “set it and forget it” kind of thing. Although you have claimed ownership of the listing, everything is still open to modification from the public.
This means you’ll need to check in every so often to make sure that the information displayed is still as accurate as possible. It’s not too often that you’ll have someone intentionally defacing your listing, but accidental misinformation added by a well-meaning past client will need to be corrected just the same.
By making sure your listing is accurate now, and updated as soon as things change in the future, you’ll maximize your chances of reaching new clients searching for the services your firm offers. It would be foolish not to take advantage of this highly targeted, free listing that Google is offering. You’ve got nothing to lose and plenty of new business to gain.