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Google My Business for Lawyers: The Ultimate Guide

16 min
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Updated

Apr 12, 2024
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An optimized Google My Business (GMB) profile is vital for lawyers, given that 97% of consumers search online for local businesses. If your law firm's GMB profile isn't optimized, it may not appear in local search results or map packs, making it harder for potential clients to find you. Now known as Google Business Profile, this free tool can boost your online visibility, enhance credibility, improve local search prominence, and facilitate cost-effective marketing. It helps your law firm appear higher in local searches, establishes trust with detailed information and positive reviews, and allows your firm to appear in Google Map search results. This guide will help you set up and optimize your GMB profile to attract more local clients.

What Is Google My Business for Lawyers

Google Business Profile for lawyers (previously Google My Business) is a complimentary online tool enabling attorneys to display their law firm's data on Google Search and Maps. This tool assists legal professionals in enhancing their visibility in local search outcomes, making it straightforward for prospective clients to locate them.

Google Business Profiles allow attorneys to list their firm’s name, location, contact number, website link, operating hours, services provided, among other details. They can also share images of their workspace or team members to provide potential clients with a preview of their firm. By meticulously optimizing their GBP profile with precise and current information, attorneys can ensure they're discovered by the appropriate audience at the ideal moment.

How Do Law Firms Get Clients From Google My Business

Did you know that customers are 2.7 times more likely to consider your business reputable if you have a complete, optimized Google Business Profile? They're also 70% more likely to actually visit your location! That means that an optimized Google My Business lawyers' profile is a lot more likely to bring you clients than you'd expect. Since the primary goal is to boost client engagement, this serves as a persuasive incentive to enhance your business listing.

How to Create a Google Business Profile for Lawyers

Creating a Google My Business profile for your law firm is an important step in getting your business found online. With a GMB profile, potential clients can find your legal business on Google Maps and learn more about the services you offer.

Make Your Law Firm GMB Profile

Here's how to create and set up your law firm's GMB profile:

  1. Go to GMB website, open google business profile dashboard and click the "Manage now" or "Sign up" button to begin the process of creating your law firm's Google My Business Profile.
  2. Type in the name of your law firm in the provided field. Ensure that the name is accurate, as it will appear in Google search results and on Google Maps.
  3. Select the most appropriate category for your law firm (e.g., "Law Firm" or "Attorney") from the list of suggestions. This helps Google understand the nature of your business and display it in relevant search results.
  4. Enter the complete address of your law firm, including your street address, city, state, and zip code. This information is crucial for appearing in local search results and Google Maps.
  5. If your law firm serves clients in specific regions, you can add those service areas by clicking on "Add service areas" and entering the relevant locations.
  6. Enter your law firm's phone number and website URL. Ensure that both are accurate and up-to-date, as this information will be visible to potential clients.
  7. Google will need to verify your law firm's location to ensure the accuracy of the information provided. You can choose to verify your business via a postcard sent to your address, a phone call, or an email, depending on what options are available for your location. Follow the prompts to complete the verification process.

By following these steps, you'll have created a Google My Business profile for your law firm, making it easier for potential clients to find you in local search results and on Google Maps.

See if Your Law Firm Listing Already Exists on Google

If you're wondering if your legal business already has a Google My Business profile, the easiest way to find out is by searching for it on Google. Simply type in the name of your business and see if a profile appears in the search results. If it does, then you have an existing profile that you can manage and update.

See If Your Listing Already Exists

Another way to check is to go directly to Google My Business and sign in with your Google account. You will be able to see any local businesses associated with that account, as well as any profiles that may have been created without an account.

Finally, you can also use the Google Maps app on your phone or tablet to search for your business and see if a profile appears in the results.

If none of these methods work, then you may need to create a new profile for your business on Google My Business so customers can find it on Google Search and Maps.

How to Optimize a Google Business Profile for Lawyers

Optimizing a Google Business Profile for lawyers is critical to enhance their online visibility. This free tool can significantly boost your firm's local search rankings, making you more accessible to potential clients. Below we'll cover everything from listing accurate business information, adding relevant photos, to updating service details, all designed to ensure your law firm is found by the right audience at the right time. Let's dive into the world of Google Business Profile optimization for lawyers.

Here are some useful tips for Google Business Profile optimization for lawyers:

  • Choose the most representative business category
  • Choose a service area, storefront, or hybrid
  • Update your business hours
  • Add contact details and keep them up to date
  • Include photos of your law firm and attorneys
  • Add a high-quality photo of your law firm's logo
  • Include detailed descriptions of your various practice areas
  • Encourage satisfied customers to leave Google reviews
  • Respond to both positive and negative reviews
  • Answer questions that are posted to your profile
  • Enable messaging to allow prospects to contact you directly
  • Complete any other profile information, whether it is mandatory or not

It takes time to complete these optimization steps. However, it's important to do so. The information you provide helps Google to determine where your site should be ranked in local searches. Additionally, it helps prospective clients understand your services and engage with your law firm.

1. Specify Your Law Practice Areas

When you complete the Google Business Profile for your law firm, the category you choose is critical. It's how Google understands the specific legal services that you offer.

Specify Your Law Practice Areas

When you complete the Google Business Profile for your law firm, the category you choose is critical. It's how Google understands the specific legal services that you offer.

Google already has defined categories for most law firms already. It's up to you to select the ideal one for your Google Business listing. Think of this as your focus keyword. It should reflect your primary area of legal practice.

Here are some of the categories for law firms:

  • Criminal justice 
  • General practice
  • Personal injury
  • Bankruptcy
  • Family law

There are also secondary categories you may add after you have selected your primary business category. These provide even more detail about your area of practice. For example, you could add “Trial attorney” as the primary business category if you selected “Family Law.” This secondary category may also be available for other main law categories as well.

A secondary category is not displayed on your GMB listing. Instead, Google uses it to return better results in Google local searches.

2. Add Your Law Firm's Physical Location

Add Your Law Firm's Physical Location

It isn't mandatory to include a physical address for your GMB listing. However, if you choose not to, your business won't show up in Google Maps searches. Also, when you give an address, people will be able to select directions to your office based on various transportation options.

If you do use your business address, make sure it is complete. Add your suite or floor number if you have one. Also, review existing listings. Google will provide you with instructions to follow if there is already a Google listing for a business at the address you listed.

3. Include Contact Information

Add contacts on Google My Business profile

Use your GMB dashboard to customize your attorney Google My Business account and optimize it for Google search. You will be able to add pictures, hours of operation, descriptions, and contact information.

You want to ensure that your name, business location, and phone number are always consistent. This consistency should include information that is located offline. Also, if your law firm goes by a nickname or abbreviation, this name must also be used consistently. All of this is necessary for better SEO and lead generation for lawyers.

4. Include the Link to Your Law Firm Website

This part is quite easy. Select your website URL and add it to your Google Business Profile. If you have more than one website, choose the most authoritative one. Unsure which is best? Our lawyer website services can help. The selected site will show up on your GMB listing for people to click.

5. Write an "Optimized for Search" Description

Write an Optimized for Search Description

Your law firm's business description will have a maximum of 750 characters. It should be as informative as possible. Consider what you want your potential clients to know, how you are different from other lawyers, and how you can address their problems.

An example of law firm description on GMB profile

You can add your focus keyword to the top of your business description to improve search engine visibility - just as you would research legal keywords for content on your website and blog, it's best to use the same terms in the business description of your Google Business Profile. However, strike a balance between using keywords and providing useful information to create a persuasive case for clients to contact your firm.

6. Specify Opening Hours

If you are a business that accommodates customers at your location, you will be asked to provide your operating hours. This is applicable to most local law firms.

Specify Opening Hours

Make sure to add your business hours and update them if there are any changes. To modify your firm's operating hours, follow these steps:

  1. Access your Google Business Profile.
  2. Navigate to "Edit profile" and choose "Business information."
  3. Select the "Hours" tab.
  4. Click the pencil icon next to the tab.
  5. Opt for "Open with main hours."
  6. Check the boxes for the days your business is open.
  7. Utilize the drop-down fields to establish your hours.
  8. Click "Save" to apply the changes.

Remember to keep your hours updated to accurately inform clients of your availability.

7. Use High-Quality Photos and Videos

Use High-Quality Photos and Videos

Legal clients will feel better about doing business with you if they are familiar with you. Law is a sensitive area, after all. One way to create this familiarity is to upload high-quality videos and photos of your legal team to your Google Business Profile.

High-quality photos and videos of a legal team

These elements will also make your profile more attractive and engaging. Visuals cause people to pay more attention and spend more time on your profile.

If potential clients click on your law firm GMB profile, you are more likely to get leads. Additionally, those clicks indicate to Google search that your listing is relevant for those particular search keywords.

When it comes to pictures, sharing a picture of your law firm logo, team photos, and images of your office space will yield the best results. Try to get over any camera shyness, and tell your associates to do the same. These photos can really impact your profile in a positive way.

8. Create Practitioner Listings if Necessary

The primary business category that you choose for your Google Business Profile is important for local search results and for letting people know what you do. However, you might be wondering what you should do if you have more than one key practice area.

If so, you can use Google Business Profile practitioner listings.

An example of istings on GBP profile

Think of Google Business Profile practitioner listings as individual profiles for your attorneys. They can set primary categories describing their services, such as contract law or litigation. This helps rank in search results for relevant keywords. However, each attorney must optimize and maintain their listing to avoid confusion for clients.

This strategy suits diversified firms with lawyers targeting different service areas. Otherwise, it's typically better to create listings for each physical branch of your offices.

9. Gather and Answer the Reviews

Google reviews importance

Keeping your Google Business Profile for lawyers up-to-date and responding to reviews is essential for business listing and local SEO for lawyers success. Searchers on Google can immediately see your law firm's outstanding reviews and ratings from verified past clients, lending credibility to your multi-practice-area law firm's business listing.

As users scroll down the Google Business Profile listing, they can view a selection of reviews and even submit one of their own. By clicking "View all Google reviews," prospective clients can read about past clients' experiences with your firm. Make it easy for clients to leave feedback by integrating the review request process into your client intake procedure, as part of the standard case "wrap-up" process. This can be automated using law firm software.

Upon receiving reviews, promptly respond and express gratitude for their feedback, even if it's negative. Law firms that address both positive and negative reviews achieve higher search engine rankings, emphasizing the significance of interacting with all clients.

10. Add Posts to Your GMB Profile

An example of posts on Google My Business profile

Google Posts allow you to share information about your attorney services, upcoming events, special offers, and other newsworthy items that may be of interest to potential clients. You can also use them to link directly to helpful legal blog posts or other resources on your website that provide valuable information.

By regularly updating your law firm GBP profile with relevant content, you can ensure that it remains visible in local searches and attract more attention from potential clients.

To create a Google Post, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Google Business Profile Manager account and navigate to the Posts tab.
  2. Click the button in the lower right corner to initiate a new post.
  3. Select the post type you'd like to create from the available options.
  4. Compose your post, incorporating photos as needed.
  5. Include a call-to-action button or link.
  6. Preview your post before hitting the Publish button.
  7. Keep in mind that while posts can contain up to 1,500 words, only around 75-100 characters are visible in the preview. Make sure to provide a concise and informative overview of the topic at the beginning.

11. Add FAQ to the “Questions & Answers” on Your GBP Account

FAQ on GMB profile is a great way to provide necessary information

Adding FAQs to your attorney Google Business Profile can be a great way to provide potential clients with the information they need to make an informed decision about your services.

When adding FAQs to your attorney Google Business Profile, it's important to keep them concise and relevant. You should focus on answering questions that are likely to be asked by potential clients, such as what services you offer, what areas of law you specialize in, and how much experience you have.

It's also important to optimize your FAQs for SEO purposes. This means including keywords related to your practice area in the questions and answers so that they appear more prominently in search engine results. Additionally, you should link back to other pages on your website whenever possible so that visitors can find more information about your firm if needed.

Factors That Affect Your Lawyer GMB ranking

Keep in mind that Google's algorithm thrives on data it can analyze and interpret, so emphasizing key phrases can make them more noticeable for robots and crawlers. Here are a few ways you can increase your GMB rankings online:

1. Keywords: The foundation of SEO, keywords are the terms and phrases that potential customers use to search for businesses like yours. Including relevant keywords in your website’s content, titles, and meta descriptions helps Google understand what your site is about, making it more likely to rank your site for those searches.

2. Content Quality: Google prioritizes high-quality, valuable content that satisfies the searcher's intent. This means creating informative, well-written articles, blogs, and product descriptions that provide real value to your audience. Regularly updated content also signals to Google that your site is active and relevant.

3. Mobile Usability: With the increasing prevalence of mobile browsing, Google rewards sites that are optimized for mobile devices. This includes responsive design, fast loading times, and easy navigation on a smaller screen.

4. Page Speed: The speed at which your website loads is crucial. Slow-loading sites not only frustrate users but also rank lower in search results. Optimizing images, leveraging browser caching, and reducing redirects are ways to improve page speed.

5. Backlinks: High-quality backlinks from reputable sites signal to Google that your site is trustworthy and authoritative in its field. However, the emphasis is on quality over quantity; a few strong links from respected websites are more valuable than many from poor-quality sites.

6. User Experience (UX): Google uses various signals to gauge user satisfaction with your site, including click-through rates, time spent on the site, and bounce rates. A well-designed website that's easy to navigate can improve these metrics and, consequently, your search ranking.

By focusing on these factors, businesses can improve their Google search ranking, enhancing visibility, driving traffic, and ultimately, achieving greater success online.

Track Results Using Google Business Profile for Lawyers

When you go into your Google My Business dashboard, click on the Insights tab. This tab will pull up helpful data and business insights about your business.

Look Up How Clients Find Your Law Firm

How Clients Find Your Law Firm

This report will give you insights into the number of people who found your firm online and how they did that. You can click on the chart in the dashboard, and it will show you a breakdown of the customers and which percentage of them found you by:

  • Direct business name or business address search
  • A discovery search of your services or location
  • A branded search for your company brand or related brand

Branded search does not apply to all law firms. It will only show up if your law firm's name has appeared in a branded search.

You will also see a total of all searches in these categories.

The numbers you see reflect impressions, not clicks. Google tracks every time that your listing appears in search results in local or map listings. The report does not count instances when your firm appears in organic search listings, Google Ads, or Google Local Services Ads. You can find that information in Google Search Console or Google Ads Dashboard.

You can also check our guide: Google Ads for Lawyers

See Where Clients Find Your Law Firm

In this section, you will be able to see how prospective clients discovered your law firm using Maps or Google Search. You can see the total number of views that your Google Business Profile received through each service individually.

When someone finds your legal business using Google Search, that will show up as “Search views” on reports. If they find your business through Google Maps, it will be displayed as “Maps Views.” "Total views" displays the summary of views from both sources.

There is a drill-down function that allows you to see how many people found your law firm on a specific day or by searching for a particular product. To use it:

  • Choose the day that interests you
  • Click or tap on that day
  • Use the checkboxes on the right side of the graph to turn your filters on and off

This view provides insights into searches done through both maps and regular search. So if one person viewed your law firm profile from both places, that would show as two views in the report.

Look at Clients Actions

In this section, you will learn how people act once they have found your company's Google Account Profile. In the graphic, you will see the details regarding how many people have taken the following actions after viewing your law firm GMB profile:

  • Requested directions to your location: Will show as “Directions Actions” on reports
  • Called your business: Will show as “Phone Call Actions” on reports
  • Visited your website: Will show as “Website Actions” on reports

Total actions on this report reflect the sum total of all three of those metrics.

You can also view the number of people who completed an action on any given day. To do this:

  • Select the day you want
  • Use the checkboxes to the right of the graphic to change the filters

This view will show the total number of times that somebody clicked on a particular action. For example, if somebody taps to call your legal business twice in a single day, that will be reported as two separate phone calls.

Track Client's Calls

Calls

This section is where you can see when potential customers contact your law firm and how often. It only records the calls that are made through your law firm's Google Business Profile entry.

You can review the total calls graph to identify trends in the phone calls you receive for particular days of the week or by the time of day. This analysis will reveal exactly when people are calling your firm most often.

Check the dropdown in the top right corner. You can choose an option there to adjust the range. You may view call information from the past week, month, or quarter.

Remember that the numbers you see reflected in these insights may not match the number of calls that you receive. For example, if someone copies a phone number and calls it on their own, that won't be recorded. Calls that terminate before connecting will also not be recorded.

The Power of Attorney Google Business Profile for Your Practice

Google Business Profile, formerly Google My Business, is a potent tool that gives law firms a competitive advantage. By optimizing your profile, you can attract more potential clients, highlight your services, and establish why your firm is the right choice. This free tool allows users to learn about your practice, check your hours, and read reviews, all within local searches and maps.

If you're keen on maximizing this platform's benefits, Grow Law Firm, an expert law firm SEO company, can assist. We'll guide you through effective local SEO strategies to enhance your presence in local search results, including setting up and optimizing your Google Business Profile to drive more direct traffic to your website. Contact us today and schedule a conversation!

FAQs about Google My Business for Attorneys

  • Can I Add More than One Location on My GMB Listing?

    Yes, you can list multiple business locations on GMB! To do this, you can use Location Groups in GMB or create a folder to manage them.

    To add multiple locations:

    • Go to the Manage Locations tab in GMB
    • Select "add location"
    • Choose either single location entry or bulk import
    • If importing, create a spreadsheet with required headings (Shop Codes, Business Name, etc.)
    • Import the file and review changes before applying.
  • What Else Can I Add to My GMB?

    One option is to add attributes and highlights to your attorney GMB profile to showcase different characteristics like "family-friendly," "wheelchair-accessible," and "woman-owned." You can also use call tracking in GMB to analyze your performance and sources of calls. Google has made it easier to maintain your name, address, and phone number for this feature.

  • Can a Rich Keyword Business Name Rank My Firm Higher?

    Yes, this can improve your ability to rank in searches. Google will see a keyword in your business name as a match. For example, if your firm is called "The Labor Law Office," the assumption is that you do labor law. However, this must be the actual name of your law firm. You will be penalized otherwise.

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