Google Local Listings for Law Firms Online Presence

Google Local Listings for Law Firms Online Presence

Google Local Listings for Law Firms Online Presence: The “Law Firm Entrepreneur” takes a look at the importance of local Google listings for law firms seeking to marketing their online services in its local geographical area.

 google local listings for law firms

The Importance of Google Local Listings

With the addition of Google Plus by Google, searching on the Internet has changed profoundly. Incorporated as part of the Google Local, (previously known as Google places) businesses can now be found on Google with or without an actual website. Upwards of 80% of Internet users employ Google as their primary search engine. Due to this fact, it is imperative that your business is listed on a Google Plus.

Local searches are quickly becoming the most common form of web browsing, and Google is even automatically tailoring its search results to local businesses. Using its technology, Google can pull your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and search history to target your local region when conducting almost any search. This is what makes your local business listing so important to initialize and monitor.

Google holds the lion’s share of the search market and they have several basic functions that business owners need to be aware of and utilize. Google Local is one of these functions, and prospective clients may see your Local Business Listing before they see your website.

In that sense, it is arguably more important to post your business listing before you begin construction of a website. The entire process takes less than 15 minutes, and it could generate valuable client leads. At the bare minimum, it will put your firm on a level playing field with competing attorneys in your neighborhood.

The behavior of search engine users continues to evolve every day. One way that users increasingly use search engines is as a local business directory. Local business searches are on the rise and search engines, like Google, are continuously evolving to provide their users helpful and relevant results. This is why Google developed Google Local.

Google Local offers local businesses, like law firms, a great way to get found when people are searching on Google. Google Local listings are completely free for you to use. However, effectively optimizing, managing, and maintaining your Google Local listing requires some strategy. There are several ways to make your law firm’s business listing generate more targeted traffic to your website. In fact, Google Local listings frequently generate more targeted traffic for local business than regular organic listings in Google.

Some law firms can get listed on the first page of Google in the organic results section just through their Google Local listing and not even having a website. Of course having a website is absolutely recommended but just by way of example that is how important and powerful a Google Local listing can be.

Most of these optimizations involve claiming and verifying your listing, accurately filling in the various fields and obtaining many authentic positive reviews. However, there are also “off-listing” strategies, like citation building, that can have a significant impact on your firm’s visibility within local results. On the other hand, you want to be careful to comply with Google Places guidelines. Failing to comply with the guidelines may get your listing suspended and removed from local business results.

If you haven’t done so already, the first step is to claim your Google Local listing which will basically require you to set up a Gmail account and a Google Plus profile. Places listings. From there, you can optimize your listing by following some basic guidelines. Download this free guide on Google Places for your law firm to learn more.

Google Local Overview

Google Local is revolutionary in terms of online search engines which allows visitors to map out any location in the world in a few clicks. Users can get directions to and from locations as well as search for local businesses. The most important property for an attorney or law firm is the “pushpin” feature, which represents the location of a business on top of the displayed map.

The map is movable and the user can zoom in or out to get a better idea of where the business is geographically located. As one clicks on the pushpin on the Google map with their mouse, the information for the business is displayed. Phone number, address and website URL are included, as well as reviews of the business, if applicable. The law firms website URL is live on the listing, which makes the feature very valuable. Basically, Google Local and other online programs and sites are phasing out hard copy directories, such as the Yellow Pages and White Pages and moving towards online business directories and local search listings just like Google Local.

For many keyword phrases, especially those involving business-related terms, Google Local Listings will occupy as much as 40% of the visible page for the first set of results. On the SERP (Search Engine Results Page), the Local Listings box dominates the higher section of the page. No matter how well you or an SEO firm optimizes your site for certain keywords, the Local Listings will often still show up above your traditional website.

Whilst your law firms website may not even rank well in the first page of organic Google search results it may still rank well if you have put effort in creating and optimizing your Google Local listing.

In the highly-competitive field of law, online searches play a major role in how clients seek out representation. Basic online presence is an absolute necessity today, and Google Local is quickly becoming one of the tools that you will have to utilize to make your business presence known. Google has complete control over what is displayed on their search results pages, and recently they have been heavily favoring the Local Listings results for businesses. It is simple to add your business to Google Local through setting up your Google Plus profile.

Setting up Your Business Listing With Google Local

Listing with Google Local is free through Google Plus. Simply head over to the Google Plus – https://plus.google.com/ to get started. From there, you will need to log-in with a Google Account. If you don’t have a Google Account, it is very simple to set up and you will just need to follow the simple prompts and this will also set up a new Gmail account which will be necessary.

After logging in, the first step will be to set up your Google Plus profile where you should complete all the steps in as much detail as possible. Important information to include will be basic information about your business such as:

  • physical address
  • contact information
  • law firms website URL
  • brief description of your business

A Google Local pushpin will be created with the address information that you submit.

On your Google Plus profile you will also be able to add articles, blog posts, pictures, videos and various other types of relevant content to your law firm.

After you have submitted your information, you will be asked to choose how you would like to verify the listing to prove it is yours. You can choose to be called at the number on your listing or be sent a postcard to the address on your listing. You can specify a different contact name for the postcard option, if necessary. The postcard can easily be lost in the mail and will take 2-3 weeks to arrive, however sometimes you may only have the post card option available to verify your Google Local listing. You then select Finish and once the listing is verified, it’s ready to go!

Verifying your Google Local listing is probably the most important step in getting your law firm to rank in the Google Local listings search results.

Listing your law firm with Google Local is free, and Google doesn’t accept payment to include particular listings or sites in their search results. It should be noted that the more active you are on your Google Plus page by consistently adding more relevant content and increasing the number of people added into your Google ‘Circles’ or friends then the more weight Google will most likely give to the authenticity of your Local listing and rank you higher in the search results. This combined with more positive reviews from “real” clients and the spread of the local listing contact details also know as citations through out the web will go a long way to increasing your Google Local listing search results.

Law Firm Case Study – Google Local Listing

Recently I set up a website in quite a basic form by setting up a WordPress account, adding a stylish website theme, adding some basic information such as an about me page, services page, fees page, FAQs page and a handful of helpful blog posts. I did some basic on page optimization for the website and added the website to a number of free business directory websites such as True Local, Yellow Pages and Yelp.

The website was up and active for about 2-3 months and certainly wasn’t ranking well in the Google organic search results.

I then set up a specific Gmail and Google account, I activated a Google Webmaster Tools account where I verified the website and I set up a free Google Analytics account. What this did was it basically made known to Google what my website was all about and that it was a legitimate website promoting legal services.

Finally, I went ahead and set up a Google Plus profile with my new Gmail login details, I filled out all of the requested information required as we have discussed earlier in this blog post. I then verified my email address and website through my Google Plus profile and literally within 24 to 48 hours my Google Local listing was showing up on the 1st page of Google search results.

Obviously we have just given you a snapshot of the basic procedure in getting your law firm Google Local listing up and showing in the search results – the reality is that is you are doing this for the first time it will take a bit of time and process to get your head around all of the Google setting up required. But I can assure you that it is well worth taking the time to do this and understand how to do it properly.

In our online course we will show you the exact detailed procedure involved in properly setting up your Google Local listing to help you get ranking in the Google search result very quickly.

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Google Local Listings for Law Firms Online Presence by Josh - "The Law Firm Entrepreneur".

Google Local Listings for Law Firms Online Presence by
Josh

Josh

Founder & Editor in Chief at Law Firm Entrepreneur
The Law Firm Entrepreneur aims to help solo lawyers and small law firms build successful businesses through a thriving online presence.
Josh
About The Author

Josh

The Law Firm Entrepreneur aims to help solo lawyers and small law firms build successful businesses through a thriving online presence.