Google Maps can be a fantastic resource when you need to find businesses nearby. Whether you’re looking to fuel up at a local gas station, you need to get your groceries in a new neighborhood, or you want to support an independently owned retailer in your community, you need look no further than Google Maps.
As such, you’d probably love nothing more than for your law firm to show up prominently in these location-related searches. Having your business show up in the “map pack,” a designated area in search results that highlights relevant options close by, can have a huge impact on your web traffic, brand visibility, and overall growth.
But how can you make that happen for your law firm? While there’s no guaranteed way to get your business included in the map pack, you’ll certainly increase the chances that your organization will appear more prominently in search results if you implement three steps recommended by any reputable managed SEO firm.
1. Claim Your Google My Business Page
The first thing you need to do is to create your Google My Business page. GMB is a free platform provided by Google in an effort to help smaller businesses stand out in search engines. If you have a brand new business, you’ll probably need to create your local listing from scratch. But if your firm has been around for a while, you may just need to claim it and fill out the required fields. You’ll then need to officially verify this information with Google, either via a postcard sent to your place of business, a phone call, or a texted verification code.
2. Ensure Accuracy In Your NAP
Once you’ve claimed your GMB page, you’ll want to provide as much information as possible. You can list your hours of operation, add photos, and even publish blog posts on GMB. But even before you get to that point, you’ll need to ensure consistency of your NAP (name, address, and phone number) across all other listings. In fact, all of the information you include on your GMB page should align with the business information you have listed elsewhere, like in online business directories, social media accounts, and review sites. Even small discrepancies can prove problematic; although Google is pretty good at figuring out context, you’ll want to make sure that every listing is the same — even down to “St.” versus “Street” in your address. Of course, accuracy matters, too. Double-check your phone number, address, and other information to help your clients find you more easily.
3. Optimize Your GMB Listing
It might seem like that’s all there is to it, but you’ll also need to provide some extra information so Google has a clear idea of what your business does. By adding services to your GMB page, you can make this more obvious to search engines and to human users. In addition, you’ll want to use search engine optimization techniques to make your listing more likely to show up in relevant searches. While you should refrain from over-optimizing with too many keywords, selecting some prominent key phrases to use in a natural way can work wonders. In particular, you’ll want to use keywords that focus on your area(s) of practice and the locations you serve. This can help you target those who would be most likely to be in need of your services. The more readily your law firm shows up in search results, the greater your chance of growing your business.
With SEO, there are no “sure things.” But following the steps outlined above can make a world of difference for your law firm. If your aim is to widen your client reach through search engine optimization, you’ll definitely want to start with Google My Business.