Google My business is a powerful tool that connects Attorneys & Law Firms to potential clients. Google My Business is completely separate from Google search engine results page organic rankings and arguably the largest driver of leads to the law firms that hold the coveted 3 spots on the map.
Google My Business Overview – A Free and Powerful Tool for Attorneys and Law Firms
Google My Business listings are free and every attorney & law firm should have a profile. It can be set up in minutes and provides a direct connection from your business to potential clients.
The profile can include a wide variety of information that will help potential clients make a decision about retaining your services. This includes firm and attorney overviews, list of services, pictures and videos. This is also where clients can leave reviews about your service.
Since the Google Map Pack appears above organic website results, it is often the first organic results a searcher on Google sees. It is important to make the most of your free profile so that you can have the best opportunity at being displayed in the 3 spots on this map.
Recently (June 22nd, 2019 announcement) Google has added the ability to post from your Google My Business page. Think of Google My Business posts as a cross between social media and business profiles. You can publish posts, similar to popular social media sites, and they will appear in conjunction with your Google My Business listing. Posting is easy and you can include photos, videos, offers, events, learn more links and more.
Why are Google My Business Posts Important for Attorneys and Law firms?
Well Google My Business isn’t exactly a social media site, and people aren’t following your business, but the general rule of best practice with Google features related to your business, is that Google typically likes businesses who use them, and in many cases will give some preferential treatment to those businesses.
We already know that there are ranking factors that Google uses to sort and place not only listings in their map, but also organic website results on their page. We’ve all heard the word “algorithm” and know that it can make or break an attorney or law firm. While we don’t ever know exactly the formula, it is safe to assume that Google My Business posts are a part of the local map pack rankings factors now. This means that all things equal, those who post would see benefits those who don’t will not. This is already evident by the real estate (space on page) on Google search results that Google My Business posts are getting. More about that below.
Where Do Google My Business Posts Appear?
As mentioned above, Google My Business posts are now appearing on Google search results pages in a few places. The most common place to see Google My Business posts are in the Google My Business listing Local Panel when you do a name search for a business. Example of this search is to Google your business name. If you have a profile, Google will display it on the right half of the page, this is referred to as the Local Panel. Here all your Google My Business profile information is found such as your website, contact details, photos, videos, your client reviews and you guessed it….your Google My Business posts. Click here to see am image pop-up of a post in the Local Panel.
Further, if your Google My Business listing is in the map pack, and you have recent posts, Google can sometimes add an icon under your listing and include a bit of text from it, similar to how they do for reviews and website content. We’re not seeing this as often, but this variation is out there.
I’ve Heard Google My Business Posts Expire? Do They?
Expire is not the best way to describe what happens to your Google My Business posts, but after 7 days, they are removed from immediate view on your Local Panel. At this point, there is simply a link “View previous posts on Google”, that will bring up all previous posts in a pop-up. If your posts is date specific such as an event, it will be hidden 7 days after posting, or after the event has past, whichever occurs first.
Google wants to display current and relevant information in search results. The trick here is to make sure you are posting with some level of consistency so that you always have a few posts visible. Use images to grab more attention, and like social media, make your content short and sweet with a reason for people to click through.
Make The Most of Your Google My Business Posts
So how about some actionable tips you can employ right now? Sure thing. Here is a list to get you started:
- Craft a post. We are seeing that posts are displaying in the Local Panel with a review of about 90 characters, so keep the important details short. There is an option to view the full post, but grab attention immediately.
- Have a great image. Make sure the image is clear and high resolution. Makes sure it reflects the content of your post.
- Make sure your “logo” image is set on your Google My Business profile. This is under the “Photos” tab. This will display on the post as the post author. See example image here.
- Set a schedule. Remember to get in to your Google My Business profile at least once a week if you can. Remember that the posts will hide themselves and you must have one less than 7 days old for them to be present on your Local Panel.
How To Publish a Post in Google My Business
- Make sure you have a Google My Business listing, and access it from either the Google My Business app, or desktop dashboard at business.google.com.
- Desktop: Look for the new “Posts” tab. It is the second option on the left menu on the desktop website. Mobile App: It is a rainbow “+” button in the bottom right of your screen.
- Desktop: Click “Add Update”, and on Mobile, just hit the button. You’re ready to post.
- Add your image or video, and write your post content, no more than 1500 characters allowed, and remember to keep the important stuff in the first 70 characters.
- Add a button. Google allows a button, so why not add one. Choices are “Book, Order online, Buy, Learn more and Sign up”. These all let you put a custom url for the button. There is also a “Call now” button that will populate your Google My Business listing phone number. Make sure it is the correct phone number if you use this option.
- Preview or Publish. Always better to do a preview to make sure your post looks great, make any edits and then Publish. These listings actually populated really fast. You can see your post live in your Local Panel within minutes.
- Insights… Google provides some tracking data on your posts. This includes views and clicks on individual posts, total views for the week and while Google’s article above says “All posts from the last month”, we can’t find that in the desktop version dashboard anywhere…
Are There Companies That Can Manage Google My Business Posting for Law Firms or Attorneys?
There are many SEO companies that will manage and keep an eye on Google My Business listings for attorneys and law firms. The problem is, that this typically includes making sure the listing information is correct, and keeping an eye on reviews. Google My Business posts are structured more like social media, and many SEOs for attorneys and lawyers do not focus on that as much as they do other things. While these companies may be able to complete the task, they would likely have to change the contract or price point as there is a lot of moving parts to keep social media and Google My Business posts looking great, and also publishing consistently.
Enter Launchpad Legal Marketing. We have a few social media posting packages for attorneys and law firms, that can be subscribed to as a stand-alone product. We create a set number of posts each and every month. We first develop related content, and then awesome eye-popping custom images for each post. From there we not only post to your Google My Business, but also your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn page, LinkedIn company page and Instagram. We monitor interactions and can even handle responses and engagements to those interactions. If you’re looking for a full service solution to Google My Business, and other social media posting, we can help.