One of the most exciting things about Google is they are always changing and evolving. This goes beyond the infamous updates to their search algorithm, and enters the realm of other offerings, including Google+, Google Local, and Google Maps. These constant “techie” announcements are enough to make your head spin. Staying at the forefront of these new products will often give you a distinct advantage when managing your law firm’s online presence, but there are only so many hours in the day. However, help is on the way! Google’s newest launch will solve a lot of problems and streamline the management process. Managing your online presence will be easier to fit in your busy schedule. It’s called Google My Business, and it’s essentially a brand new hub for you to access all of your firm’s Google applications.
Google My Business combines your Google+ page (you do have a Google+ page, right!? If not, My Business will walk you through the process) and also your Google Maps listing into one portal that’s easy to understand. Google My Business also features a fantastic app (currently on Android, coming soon to iOS) which lets you update information, track analytics, and create new social media posts. For any lawyers already knee deep in legal marketing, you will also be excited to know that you can add your website’s Google Analytics and/or AdWords Express accounts, making your traffic statistics and pay-per-click marketing campaigns easily accessible.
So how does this help you as a lawyer who is looking for clients online? Well, everyone wants to appear on Page 1 of Google, right? Using their products and services and playing their game can certainly help you. Allow me to clarify: staying active on Google+ (via My Business) can help you rank higher in their search engine results (SERP’s). Google My Business allows you to consolidate all of those listings as soon as you login to the service. When prompted to update your law office’s information, be sure to select the best phone number for a client to call your firm, and also provide the URL to your website (which should be optimized for conversion). Google My Business will pipe this data through their system and automatically update your listing.
Truth be told, this is the tool many lawyers (and legal marketers alike!) have been waiting for. A pivotal part in improving your digital footprint is to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Google My Business allows you to find out where your customers are coming from via Insights, respond to any Reviews posted about your practice, and even have a video Hangout with co-workers or potential clients. Think of it this way; if you know where your clients come from, what they’re searching for, and how to contact them, you can not only strengthen your practice’s brand, but also zero in on additional potential clients and learn new ways to target them.
Google My Business is an absolutely free service, and one that is crying to be taken advantage of. Finding new clients online can sometimes be an overwhelming task. Luckily for your practice, Google will connect the dots. There are tons of people out there right now who are going to Google, Google+, and Google Maps looking to hire a lawyer. Your goal for Google My Business is to help put your practice front and center for potential clients.
If you have questions about the process of claiming or managing your Google My Business page, please feel free to contact Lawyer.com. We’ve already spoken to a few lawyers about this new venture from Google, and if you’re as excited about it as they are, we’re happy to help optimize the listing for you. Once your page is verified, it will make it much easier for clients to find you on Google. Lawyer.com is hosting a Hangout on our Google+ Page next Tuesday at 4pm EST to talk about Legal Marketing, and if you’ve never tried a Google Hangout before, this is a great opportunity to become familiar with it!