Following the 2020 ABA TECHSHOW, I wanted to provide a list of the top 10 online marketing takeaways. The non-traditional format of the “Un-Track for Doers” was filled with practical information, and one of the recurring topics in these sessions, along with the presentation by Joy Hawkins and Gyi Tsakalakis on Saturday, was the establishment and improvement of your Google My Business page. In light of the Coronavirus epidemic and its impact on all of our businesses, every small and solo-practitioner is evaluating how to cut costs but maintain market exposure, and your Google My Business profile, which is free to claim, update, and post to, should be a focus for us.
EASY (LESS THAN 10 MINUTES) GOOGLE MY BUSINESS TASKS
1. Claim your listing and verify it. Please don’t assume that your profile has been claimed. Check to make sure it has been claimed and verified. Also, make sure that you own control of your profile. Do not allow an agency to hold your profile hostage by controlling access to or ownership of your profile. If you don’t have a verified listing, you’ll need to claim your business’s profile and request a postcard from Google.
2. Make sure that your firm name, address, and telephone number are accurate in the listing. Consistency of your firm name, address, and telephone number – which is critical to local business listing success – begins with a correct listing on your Google My Business page. Many participants were concerned with technical issues in their address, such as whether they were listed corrected within abbreviations of the type of road, such as “#” versus “Suite”. Do not be overly concerned with these technical variations. They should not cause a problem with your listing. If you are considering moving your office, make sure that you are the only lawyer at your location within your practice area. As tempting as it may be, do not stuff your name on Google My Business with keywords unless your actual firm name includes the keywords.
3. Provide a profile picture of you, not your office, in your Google My Business profile picture. Your practice is defined by you and your team, so let visitors see your team, not your building.
4. Be purposeful about your hours of service. If you want clients to seek your service after hours, you cannot indicate that your office is closed. Clients will not call an office that indicates it is closed. Consider making arrangements for an answering service to be available after your normal business hours so that you can honestly say that you’re open if you want this to be an option.
5. Upload pictures. Pictures are an easy opportunity to build out your profile.
INTERMEDIATE LEVEL GOOGLE MY BUSINESS TASKS – *THESE ARE NOT TIME CONSUMING INDIVIDUALLY, BUT THEY ARE ONGOING TASKS THAT NEED TO PART OF A ROUTINE.
1. Respond to questions in the Question and Answer section. As a general rule, we need to take advantage of the opportunities that Google gives us to build up and make our profiles more robust. The “Q & A” portion of our profile is an excellent opportunity to build out our Google My Business profile.
2. Engage in the use of Google posts. There is not enough data to correlate the use of Google posts to improved Google ranking results, but Google posts are an opportunity for you to increase the amount of content that viewers of your Google My Business page have available to them.
SLIGHTLY MORE DIFFICULT/TIME-CONSUMING GOOGLE MY BUSINESS TASKS – WE’VE IDENTIFIED THESE AS SLIGHTLY MORE DIFFICULT TASKS BECAUSE YOU’LL NEED TO PERFORM PART OF THE TASK OUTSIDE OF YOUR GOOGLE MY BUSINESS PAGE.
1. Repurpose your reviews using Small Thanks by Google or Canva. Many people struggle with content to use for Google My Business posts. Reviews are a great source of content and you can use either the Small Thanks tool by Google (https://marketingkit.withgoogle.com/) or the Canva app (https://www.canva.com/app/) to create images from reviews.
2. Call tracking from Google My Businesss. One of the issues that continually arose in the Doers Track at the TechShow was trying to attribute your prospective clients to their source. (Casey Meraz of JurisDigital did a great presentation on solving the attribution problem.) Bottom line: You want to know where your clients are originating from so that you can properly focus your marketing efforts. We should all be using a call tracking service such as CallRail within our Google My Business page to identify those calls that come specifically from it.
3. UTM tracking. Following up on the attribution theme, UTM codes are essential for deciphering Google My Business results in your search analytics. This is a more complex tool, but it is completely doable (given our newfound free time) and thanks to a great step-by-step guide published by Joy Hawkins and Sterling Sky.
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Ben Sessions has been recognized as a Top 100 Lawyer by SuperLawyers Magazine in 2019 and 2020, and he has been recognized a SuperLawyer each year from 2015 to 2020. Ben has tried more than 60 jury trials. His firm represents clients in personal injury, DUI defense, and criminal defense cases.