If you haven’t been confused by the plethora of Google business platforms and profiles, then you haven’t been paying enough attention. Over the past few years, Google has rolled out multiple business listing products, such as Google+ Local, confusing business owners and consumers alike. Now, however, the dust has settled and business owners, including attorneys, are left with a solid final product: Google My Business.
While you might feel jaded by yet another new Google something-or-other for business, you should know that Google My Business is a tool that is helpful, intuitive, and straightforward. Utilizing it won’t just improve how your law office appears in Google’s search results page, it can also improve your overall web presence if used correctly.
Below, we’ll walk you through everything attorneys need to know about Google My Business.
Wait, What Exactly is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a dashboard for anyone with a business, including, of course, attorneys and lawyers. It’s a tool that allows you to keep your Google+ business profile up to date while at the same time tracking things like online reviews (both on and off Google), website traffic, videos, and your AdWords account.
Google My Business’ Seven Main Tools
- Manage Your Profile.
First and foremost, Google My Business allows you to update your law firm’s Google profile, including your office hours, your location, your contact information, and your logo. Be sure to verify your business and be sure to fill out all possible fields, especially adding pictures of your office, staff, and logo. The richer your page is with information, the more useful it is as an SEO tool and the more useful it is to users.
The information you include on your profile will not just be seen on Google+, it will also appear in Google search results and on Google Maps, so it is well worth your while to keep your profile current and complete.
- Use Google Analytics.
Although it offers less useful information than in the past, Google Analytics still contains an abundance of data about your website traffic and user behavior. For example, it tells you how many visitors you receive, how long they stay, how many pages they view, and how many are returning to your site.
This information can give you insight into whether your website is attracting many visitors and whether they are finding what they are looking for. It can also alert you to a viral post, a new demographic gaining interest in your site, and new conversions. If you aren’t analyzing this information, you are not tracking the success of your marketing campaigns. And if you aren’t tracking the success of your marketing campaigns, you won’t be able to improve them in the future.
- Track Reviews.
Google My Business’ review tracking function is one of the most useful. Manage your reviews both on and off of Google by viewing your overall rating, reading new reviews, and personally responding to poor reviews.
More and more users are reading online reviews before they make a purchase, and a huge number of people read reviews of multiple providers before making a large purchase (such as hiring a lawyer). Keeping a close eye on your reviews on the web is key to managing your reputation as well as staying in contact with individual clients.
- Post on Google+.
Admittedly, Google+ is not the best social media platform for most businesses and it is certainly not vital for attorneys and law offices. However, if you are already regularly posting and engaging your community on more important social media websites like Facebook and Twitter, and if you have the marketing manpower, it doesn’t hurt to post on Google+ from time to time. You can share firm news, photos, case results, blog posts, and any other content you have been creating.
- Use Google Hangouts.
Google Hangouts can be an amazing tool for attorneys. This function allows you to video chat with multiple people or groups of people – a free way to hold a video conference. For attorneys that offer free consultations or for attorneys who often wish to meet with people located far away, this tool can separate you from the competition. Suddenly, it is easy to connect with a personal injury survivor who has a debilitating back injury that prevents him from driving – or with a business owner who needs legal help but is often traveling abroad.
- Track videos.
Because Google owns YouTube, Google My Business allows you to manage your YouTube account quickly and easily. The YouTube dashboard feature contains your channel visits, clicks, and views. Not only can you see if any of your videos are taking off, but it is also a great reminder if you haven’t added a video recently.
With the steeply increasing interest in online video, YouTube is one social media platform that should absolutely not be ignored. Check your stats often on Google My Business and use the information you find there to grow and nurture your YouTube community.
- Use AdWords.
You can now link your Google My Business and Google AdWords accounts, making it easier than ever to set up AdWords campaigns involving targeted locations. In addition, an AdWords feature on the dashboard lets you access your AdWords information quickly when you’d like to set up new campaigns or tweak current ones.
Online Presence Management Made Easier With Black Fin
Google My Business is not a one-stop location to manage every aspect of your web presence, but it is a very good start. In addition, improvements to the dashboard are made regularly and it seems like this platform will be around for a while. Making visits to Google My Business a regular task on your monthly marketing calendar is now a must if you want to keep up and keep ahead.
Do you need help setting up your dashboard, analyzing your website data, or taking control of your online presence as a whole? The team at Black Fin is here to help. Call us today to find out how at (216) 206-6855.