If you want your law firm to be noticed, it must be on Google+. Google+ Local, formerly known as Google Places, is a free online platform provided by Google for businesses across the globe. Its purposes are to help people find, engage with, and review businesses in their local areas and to help business owners increase their online visibility.
What is Google+ Local?
Google+ Local pages are for businesses that serve consumers primarily in their local areas. Whenever someone is using anything related to Google and searches for a term or keyword that Google determines to have local intent, such as “personal injury lawyer New York City” or “restaurant in San Diego,” a list of seven locations, listed from A to G, will be displayed.
These listings are valuable for several reasons:
- A direct link to reviews left by your clients is provided.
- A direct link to your law firm’s location on a map is provided.
- Your law firm’s address and phone number is displayed.
- The listings are usually located above the standard search results.
If a potential client clicks through to your law firm’s Google+ Local page, he or she can see your law firm’s name, address, and phone number as well as your law firm’s hours, a description of your firm and where your firm is located on a map. Additionally, he or she may be provided with a link to your firm’s website, videos or photos related to your firm, and reviews left by past and current clients.
Why You Should Embrace Google+ Local
1. Access to More People
In terms of connecting your law firm with clients at the exact moment in which they’re searching for an attorney in their area, nothing comes close to the reach of Google. Google is the default starting point for most consumers who are using the Internet to search for information.
2. Better Presence in Search Results
Google+ Local pages are generally listed above the standard search results, meaning that the law firms and other businesses listed there get more attention and have a greater online presence. It’s also possible to be listed in both the standard search results and Google+’s local business listings, which means that law firms will have two first-page listings instead of just one.
3. Gain Trust with Customers
To clients searching on Google, the unbiased rating/review system and the verification process for Google+ Local pages makes them more trustworthy than traditional firm websites and rightly so. Google purposefully makes it very difficult for unscrupulous firms and businesses to attain good rankings in their local search results.
4. Increase Social Engagement
Sharing videos, photos, and updates on your firm’s Google+ page can also affect your Google+ Local search status. The more information you share, the faster your content and website is likely to be indexed by Google. Consider this: Every Internet user with a basic YouTube, Gmail, or Google web service already has a Google+ page. Regardless of whether potential clients prefer Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, Google’s social network is increasing. As such, information about fundraisers, recent settlements, upcoming events, or video clips pertaining to your firm can be automatically cross-posted from your Google+ page to your Google+ Local page, increasing the likelihood that potential clients will find your firm.
5. Showcase Positive Reviews
Google makes it easy for clients to find nearby businesses, so positive reviews on your firm’s Google+ Local page can help you to stand out among the competition. The higher that clients rate your law firm and their experience with your attorneys, the more clicks your page is likely to receive. While you can’t control what every client thinks or says, you can encourage satisfied clients to log on and leave a review or a star rating. It is also important to take the time to leave a professional, polite response to negative reviews.
Let Us Put Our Google+ Local (Maps, Places) Experience to Work for You
Studies have shown that nearly all consumers use the Internet to search for law firms. Overall, 20 percent of all searches conducted online have local intent, and that number increase to 40 percent for mobile searches according to Google. If you want your business to be in the mix, it’s important to take action as soon as possible. The more you and your law firm actively engage with Google’s ecosystem and establish a Google+ Local page, the more visibility your law firm will have in both types of Google searches.
If you want our help to see your business rise to the top of the Google search results but don’t know where to start, contact Black Fin as soon as possible. We value our client relationships and enjoy watching them succeed. Fill out our contact form or call Gerrid Smith, our CEO, at 530-215-1159 to learn more about Black Fin and ways in which we can help your firm today.