[feat-text]Getting found on Google’s search engine results pages is vital toward the growth and success of your law firm. If you don’t capitalize on solid search engine optimization (SEO) tactics, your prospective clients won’t find you online when they perform legal-related searches.[/feat-text]
There are dozens of components that make up a SEO strategy for a law firm, but perhaps one of the easiest – yet most important – steps you can take is to set up your Google My Business page.
This free service by Google helps propel your law firm’s presence with digital marketing on places like Google Search, Maps, and Google+.
How to set up your Google My Business Page
It’s pretty remarkable just how simple it is to set up your Google My Business page. Simply go to Google’s dedicated site, and click Start Now.
You’ll then either select or create the Google account you want to use and then sign in. Conduct a search for your business in the prompted area by business name and address.
If you can’t find your business, don’t worry. Just click on “None of these matches, add your business” and go about your business of adding your business.
Once you’ve either found or created your business location and type, click on it. Google will create a Google+ page and will ask you to confirm that you are authorized to manage the business.
Google will then need to verify your business. To do that, you’ll want to click on “Mail me my code.” You’ll then receive the code – via paper mail – to your business location. The letter you receive will give you instructions on how to verify the number and account. Once you follow those steps, your Google My Business page is good to go.
Navigating Google+ page types
Before you establish your Google My Business page for your law firm, you should be familiar with the three types of Google+ Pages available for you to choose from.
The Person Page
The Person Page is automatically created when you set up your Google My Business page, but we urge you not to use it to represent your firm. For lawyers, in particular, this can be confusing because your name could be synonymous with your firm name. But if you want to show up on local search results and have clients leave reviews, then don’t use your personal page for your business.
Instead, use a local page.
Local Google+ pages for your law firm
Local business pages allow you to receive reviews and appear in local search results. It requires verification (the letter Google mails to your physical location) and prevents the creation of duplicate listings. This can be an issue for law firms since many firms have several lawyers, all of whom might want their own Google+ presence. There’s a workaround for that, which we’ll discuss in a moment.
The third Google+ page type is the Brand Page. These pages don’t require verification, nor do they require things like a phone number or address published on the page.
Brand pages are ideal for multi-location businesses that want to build a presence online, through channels such as YouTube. These multi-location businesses will have one page to represent the entire brand, without tying that page to any one specific store location. Retailers, like Target, use this option. They’ll have one main brand page, as well as location pages for each individual store.
If your firm has just one location, then you don’t need to set up a brand page. A local business page will work just fine.
But that begs the question: what do you do if you have multiple lawyers in your firm?
Digging deeper with local Google+ pages
As our online advertising agency discussed earlier, it’s not uncommon for law firms to have several lawyers working for them. How, then, can you use Google’s local pages appropriately?
First, let’s make sure you’re clear on how to set up your page if you are the only lawyer in your firm.
In this case, our SEO company recommends not setting up a separate page for your firm and yourself. Instead, create just one local Google+ page that represents both your business and yourself. Name your page like this: Law Firm Name: Name. Here’s a good example:
The Law Offices of Tyler Esposito: Tyler Esposito
Simple enough, right?
If, however, your firm features several lawyers, you should have a single local page with your firm name, and a local page for each lawyer who wants their own page.
Your individual lawyer pages should be titled with the lawyer’s name only, and can’t contain your firm’s name. For example, if our lawyer from above was one of several lawyers at The Law Offices of Tyler Esposito, then this is how he (and the firm) should develop Google+ pages:
Company Page: The Law Offices of Tyler Esposito
Individual Page: Tyler Esposito
By doing this you can ensure your pages won’t be flagged as duplicates, you’ll allow all of the lawyers within your firm to establish their own identity, and you’ll have the ability to control the branding of your firm as a whole.
All of this work takes little more than a few minutes to do and is well worth the effort. When your Google identity is set up – for both your firm and yourself – you’ll make it infinitely easier for your prospects to find you online with this simple digital marketing strategy.