What is Google my business, how does it work, and how should you use it?
First off, you may be wondering, ‘what exactly Google my business actually is?’ According to Google, GMB (google my business) is an application launched in June 2014 to give business owners greater control of what shows up in search results regarding their business.
As a lawyer or a law firm, you may find that Google my business will come in extremely handy to help new clients find your services, contact information, website, or even reviews of your work – all pointing towards why they should hire you over your competitors.
The remainder of this article will discuss how to set up your GMB profile alongside the importance of each section.
Claim Your Profile
The first step to creating your Google My Business profile is claiming the GMB profile for your law firm or small business. The sooner you claim this, the sooner you will appear in organic search results and listings when users are searching for attorneys, lawyers, and law firms in your local area.
Often, Google will take the initiative and create a GMB profile for businesses, this may have already been processed for your firm. This allows clients to discover and engage with your business via organic results.
However, claiming the profile yourself will enable it to become verified – this allows you to respond to customer reviews alongside the ability to edit existing content regarding your business.
When setting up your GMB profile you will be asked to provide a company name. Ensure this is entered accurately to help clients find your business.
Providing a business phone number is essential to receive business. If you’re a sole practitioner, this could be your mobile, however, for bigger firms, this should be the number of reception.
Without an address, how are clients going to find you? Ensure you enter your address both accurately and as simple as possible. If it’s a hard to reach area, be sure to specify which number, colour door etc…
Linking your GMB profile to your website will increase leads while allowing customers to see exactly what it is that you do, alongside providing them with means to contact you.
To complete the hours’ section simply provide your business open hours. This allows customers to know when to ring, when to visit, and when you can be reached for business queries.
Images (Inside, Outside, People)
One aspect of the GMB profile, which many businesses skimp on is the images. This is your time to shine, to show others your impressive law firm or small business and most importantly build trust by displaying employees and their role in the business.
We recommend adding as many pictures as possible to optimize your GMB profile – this will help you rank in search engines such as Google while displaying what exactly you have to offer.
Here’s what to include:
- Pictures inside your law firm (reception, offices, impressive views?) or small business (entry, work stations, sales floor)
- Photos from outside of your law firm or small business (where it is, what it overlooks)
- Images of those who work there (employees, reception staff, attorneys, even cleaning staff)
The description is arguably the most important aspect of your GMB profile. You want this to be both informative and SEO (search engine optimized) friendly. A popular way to approach this is to answer popular questions regarding your business.
For example, what do you do, where you are based, who do you work with, and what you believe in.
You are given a total of 750-characters to fill for this section, we suggest leaving no page unturned and making use of each and every character. The more you answer the better.
As a business owner, Google allows you to select up to ten categories to best suit your business. For example, as a law firm, these categories may include:
- Law firms near me
Keep in mind that the categories you choose will influence your organic search results. Ensure these are as accurate as possible, best reflecting your businesses interests.
The minimum size for your logo is 250 x 250 pixels, ensure your logo is not too big nor too small and should be a square. As I’m sure you’re aware, your logo is how clients identify and relate to your business. Keep it simple, relevant, and easy to remember.
Cover Image Size
As well as uploading your company logo, you will also need to provide a cover photo. The minimum dimensions for this are 480 x 280 pixels while the maximum is 2120 x 1192 pixels. When uploading your cover image ensure this is saved in either JPEG or PNG format, this will provide the highest quality resolution for your profile.
Ask and Answer a Question
As a business owner, Google allows you to ask and answer popular questions. For example, you may ask, ‘where are you located,’ ‘what sort of law do you deal with,’ or alternatively, ‘how do I contact you?’. These questions and answers provide users answers hassle free answers without the need to consult your business beforehand.
Reviews on Google provide valuable information about your business to both you and your customers. Business reviews appear next to your listing in Maps and Search, and can help your business stand out on Google.
To get reviews on Google, encourage your customers to spread the word about your business by following these best practices:
- Remind your customers to leave reviews. Let them know that it’s quick and easy to leave business reviews on mobile devices or desktop computers.
- Reply to reviews to build your customers’ trust. Your customers will notice that your business values their input, and are more likely to leave more reviews in the future.
- Verify your business so your information is eligible to appear on Maps, Search, and other Google services. Only verified businesses can respond to reviews.
As mentioned previously, clients may leave reviews based on dealings with your business. Once your account is verified, you’ll be able to reply to these reviews. Keep it friendly, short, and thank your reviewers regardless of their comments.
For further information on how to deal with both positive and negative reviews, you can visit Google’s support page here.
Profile Verified and Owned by Your Firm
Verifying your business allows it so that your business appears to customers in search results and maps. This will also allow you to respond to reviews, along with other management benefits. For further information on verifying your business, you can visit this link here.
Need help creating or optimizing your Google My Business profile? Contact IFTS and we will get you started with a free 13 point profile audit.