Do you feel caught up on all things Google? With their complex and ever-changing models, it can be hard to understand how to be successful in their search engine. Just in case you’re feeling like an expert – they’ve launched a new API update to keep you on your toes! Google recently launched version 4.4 of its Google My Business (GMB) API. They’ve announced changes to how Google treats service area businesses, improved metrics, and more. Here is a breakdown on how it could affect your firm and what you need to know.
Key Updates for Service Area Businesses
This is terrific news for service based businesses – such as law firms! Companies from home improvement to plumbers will now have the opportunity to initiate verification via API. Law firms that serve a specific geographic area can bring their services to clients within that area, without necessarily pushing clients to visit their offices. Before, these types of law firms could not initiate verification for their GMB listings by postcard. Now, you will be able to supply an address parameter in the API to begin the verify-by-postcard process. This means it will be easier than ever to validate and market your law firm through Google’s business offerings.
Follower Count on Google Maps
With this update, users can follow your firm on Google Maps. By doing so, they’ll see any Google posts you create in a special “For You” tab. This is helpful in determining how engaged your local target market is with your company. Pull your follower count, by location, directly from the GMB API. Make sure you understand you will not be able to see exactly who is following you, but how many. It’s a great measure of brand awareness, loyalty, and engagement – and will give you a good feel for if you need to ramp up your local presence.
Create Location or User Groups
If you have more than one office (or remote employees who function as a satellite office), now you can sort locations by region. In doing so, you can also allow location access to employees based on region.
Set Opening Dates
If your firm is growing and you plan to open a new location or move into a different building to house your larger staff, you’ll want to take advantage of this feature. You can set opening dates in the future using Google Maps. Google had previously enabled this feature in the GMB dashboard, but now it’s been added to the API for easier access.
Google My Business offers a lot of features that can help law firms. If you’re not totally comfortable using it, let us know! We can manage it for you, or simply answer any questions you might have. Don’t miss out on leveraging this powerful tool to promote your law firm.