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Setting Up a Google Business Profile

Google Business Profile

Alright, so here’s the thing: I know that most digital marketing you think about is sexy. Sleek websites, captivating social media posts, awe-inspiring branding – there’s a certain appeal that comes with new photos, videos, art or masterfully written content.

It just feels good. So we end up wanting to chase that high whenever we’re looking to more firmly establish ourselves in the digital ecosystem.

But, I do have some bad news. Even the less sexy things, like SEO, link strategies, website load speed, and image resolutions are important. This type of work isn’t going to earn you any wow-factors or kudos at your next social mixer, but they will starkly improve your digital performance, and, at the end of the day, your bottom line.

At the top of this not-sexy-but-absolutely-necessary list is none other than setting up your Google Business Profile (GBP) – (formerly “Google My Business”) for the purposes of local SEO. If you aren’t familiar, it controls that little box that pops up on Google which displays critical information like your website, hours of operation, phone number, reviews, etc when your business name is searched.

It’s not showstopping, but it is one of the most important digital tools available to you. Not only does your GBP inform people of your business information, it is responsible for populating Google Maps for search queries like “divorce attorney near me” or “orange county contract lawyer,” plus helping Google understand your business more generally to help match you with relevant searches.

Setting up the profile is pretty easy to do with the step-by-step process Google provides, but, unfortunately, Google doesn’t tell you the optimal approach to maximize your visibility.

Four of the best GBP practices for 2024

1. NAP Consistency

NAP consistency is making sure your critical business identifiers (Name, Address & Phone Number) are consistent on your website, your Google Business Profile, business listings, directory profiles & social media. NAP consistency helps Google validate the credibility of your business, and improve their confidence in displaying your business in Google Maps.

The most important thing to remember is that NAP consistency is a fundamental requirement if you want to get as much exposure as possible. Google is smart enough to make associations to your business using NAP – so long as they’re at least fairly consistent.

So, if your name is Jetson & Jetson & Sons, Google will automatically associate that with your Google Business Profile. Your social media profiles, website, GBP, reviews, business profiles – everything on the internet will be connected by these three components. It is what allows someone to search your address and get results for your website and social media profile, in addition to your GBP.

The easier it is for Google’s algorithms to sort this information, the more confident they are with your business profile when delivering options to its Users.

Not to mention, users hate inconsistent information. Check out these stats from BrightLocal:

  • 93% of consumers say they are frustrated by incorrect information in online directories
  • 80% of consumers lose trust in local businesses if they see incorrect or inconsistent contact details or business names online
  • In the last 12 months, 71% of consumers had a negative experience because of incorrect local business information found online

I think it’s safe to say you want to steer clear of giving your potential clients those frustrations.

2. Use High Quality Images

I often tell our clients to think of GBP as a very small, pseudo-social media platform. Why? Because for the most part, it operates in the same way. You’ll need to make sure your profile is optimized, but part of that optimization is giving users something interesting and appealing to look at.

It’s the perfect chance to show off that stellar office, crisp new headshot, some candid photos of you working with clients or in a (posed) courtroom. Whatever image you want to project to your potential clients.

These images will help build the relationship with potential clients leading to some very definitive improvements. Here is some data from Google themselves:

Businesses that add photos to their Business Profiles receive 42% more requests for directions on Google Maps, and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don’t.

Of course, the better your images, the better your results will be. So it’s often worth investing into professional photography to set yourself apart from your competition. (Just make sure your images are aligned with you and your firm’s branding.)

3. Spend Some Time on FULLY Filling out All Fields and Your Description

One of the biggest mistakes that we see made is a hastily claimed profile without all the options completed, poor category selections, and poorly written description all done to quickly get through the creation process which is never revisited or improved in any way, shape, or form. It’s a shame because your description is the only chance you have on your GBP to truly sell yourself and your brand.

If you need to write something to get through the page-creation process, I get it. Just make sure you then spend some time researching all the appropriate information. Creating an effective business description for your Google Business Profile is crucial for making a strong first impression and conveying your brand identity to potential customers. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to craft an engaging and informative description for your Google Business Profile:

  1. Focus on Credibility – Use your business description as a way to build credibility, convey your experience and showcase your accomplishments. This isn’t the opportunity to be too “salesy” – People want to know that you do what they need you to do and you’re good at it.
  2. Be Concise: Begin with a brief and attention-grabbing introductory sentence that encapsulates your business’s core value or unique selling proposition (USP). Keep the overall description concise and to the point.
  3. Highlight Key Services: Mention the primary products or services your business offers. Focus on what sets you apart from competitors, such as quality, specialization, or a unique approach.
  4. Emphasize Location: If location is essential to your business, make sure to mention it. Highlight your geographical area or service area if you operate across multiple locations.
  5. Share Key Achievements: If your law firm has won awards, received recognition, or has a long history in the legal industry, don’t hesitate to mention it. These accolades can build trust and credibility.
  6. Address Client Needs: Consider what problems your business solves for clients and how it helps solve their problem and improves their situation. Address these needs or pain points in your description.
  7. Call to Action: Encourage potential customers to take action. For example, invite them to visit your website, call for more information, or visit your physical location.

Remember that your Google Business Profile description is often the first impression customers have of your business online. It should be engaging, informative, and reflect the essence of your brand, ultimately motivating potential clients to choose your law firm over competitors.

After you’ve nailed down these aspects, don’t be afraid to spend some time tinkering with the perfect structure and messaging. How you are saying is just as important as what you are saying, especially when you are asking people to trust you with their legal problems.

4. Reviews, Reviews, Reviews

You might’ve heard the old real estate adage “location, location, location.” It’s drilled into buyers and sellers alike. Some realtors even get it tattooed across their chests in Old English font. It matters that much.

When it comes to your SERP presence, your “location” is your review quantity and consistency. Reviews are one of the most important factor you need to worry about. Solicit them early and often, particularly from clients you know thoroughly enjoyed their experience.

I could explain why reviews are so important, but sometimes, it’s more effective to look at the data:

  • 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
  • 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business.
  • 72% of consumers say that positive reviews make a business more trustworthy.
  • 92% of consumers will use a local business if it has at least a 4-star rating.
  • 86% of consumers will hesitate to use a business that has negative reviews.

I mean, I could actually keep going here for about 19 more pages – it’s a very heavily researched area – but I think you get the point. If you don’t have good reviews, you aren’t going to get very far. If you aren’t earning and asking for good reviews, then you’ll be at the mercy of the bad ones. Better to avoid that situation altogether.

Contact Everest Legal Marketing

There you have it. Four GBP setup best practices to follow. If you would like to schedule a call to talk about how we can improve your law firm’s Google Maps optimization, reach out to us at (909) 697-7484, or submit a contact form and we’ll get back in touch with you at a better time. We are local to Southern California and are happy to meet virtually or in-person to discuss your SEO strategy.

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