On Behalf of Small Law Firms, I Sat Down with Google: Here’s What I Learned

August 17, 2020

Walking into the colorful office of Google’s Boulder headquarters, I prepared myself to ask every question I could about how small law firms can use Google better for digital marketing. I had an hour-long interview scheduled with a Google representative, and aimed to walk out of that appointment knowing everything I needed to know about how small law firms can use Google’s business tools.

My first impression was a memorable one. I took in the crisp designs and logos, spotted the lunch tables and snack buffets, and noted the presence of office dogs and modern art pieces that all contributed to the unique Google work style. It painted a picture of modernity and cutting-edge business practices.

The representative was incredibly informed. I felt at times like I was talking to Google in human form. Every question I asked received a thorough, in-depth answer. The hour went by almost too fast. I walked back to my car armed with excellent new strategies for legal professionals, along with some tips and tricks for using Google effectively.

In one hour, I gained valuable insight into how Google works behind the screen and how we can use these tools to attract clients. Here are some of the highlights of my conversation, and some valuable takeaways for small law firms and solo practitioners alike.

Reviews: The Good, the Bad, and the Useful

The good news about reviews is that they can be extremely helpful for drawing in new clients for law firms, especially those that are consumer facing. The more positive client reviews, the better you look to potential clients. A firm with a high average star rating and plenty of positive, detailed reviews is set up for success, at least in terms of your first hook.

Unfortunately, for every good review, there may also be reviews left by angry clients or clients looking for a discount on their legal services invoice. Review blackmail, as it’s called, is not uncommon. When a client leaves a bad review, not because they had a bad experience, but because they want a refund or discount, you do not have many options. Google likes to maintain a neutral role in terms of services. You can reach out to Google support about dishonest negative reviews, but you will very rarely receive help from the company.

Your best option is to engage with all reviews. Good reviews, bad reviews, and dishonest reviews can all be used to your benefit by showing that you care about your clients and want to provide the best service you can. Thank clients for good reviews, sympathize with bad reviews to neutralize them and show that you are invested in client satisfaction.

Reviews can be a double-edged sword, but a savvy attorney can turn them all to their advantage. The more reviews, generally, the better. Provide your clients with an incentive to leave an honest review through raffles, discounts, and other ethically compliant strategies.

Competitor Research

One of the most useful Google tricks for small law firms is probably one you are already using. Researching your competitors is a great way to identify blind spots in your online presence, keep on top of trends in your practice area, and identify where you stand in terms of reviews, SEO blog activity, social media, and other lead generation benchmarks.

Competitor research can also help you stay abreast of developing client pools and awareness opportunities.

Using Google My Business

To put it plainly and simply: Google yourself often and fix what you can.

Your Google My Business page is often your first line of communication with potential clients. You will want to keep it up to date, specific, and credible.

Regularly check to make sure your phone number, address, website, and practice information are accurate. Clients should not have to dig for contact information, and your business page should make it easy for them to get to your website and learn about your services. If needed, you can hide your address from your page and delete extraneous or confusing details.

It should also be as specific as you need it to be. If you work in a co-working space, find a way to distinguish yourself from other professionals in the space and the provider of the space. Putting down a suite number or phone extension can help you make your firm distinct from others in the same building or suite, as can adding more photos of your specific location.

Establishing credibility is another major goal of curating your page. Clients should be comforted by your online presence. Uploading pictures of your office and professional headshots can help you build confidence with your clients. It is also important to keep photos on your page professional and effective. Google’s algorithms often crawl the web and automatically pull images and text from your web page.

Keep tabs on your law firm’s Google My Business page monthly and make sure that your clients see the best face you can offer.

How Denver Legal Marketing LLC Can Help You

If you are the owner of a solo or small law firm and are struggling to manage your caseload and your online presence, reach out to us. Denver Legal Marketing LLC has been helping small law firms grow their presence and increase visibility for years. Contact us today to get started on your marketing strategy.

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