Learn about 9 updates to Google My Business that affect law firms. Use these new Google services to improve your law firm’s marketing effectiveness.
9 New Google My Business Updates That Law Firms Need to Know
Google has announced several service launches and changes to functions that you should take advantage of to increase the effectiveness of your law firm’s marketing in the Google landscape. These changes have taken effect in the last year. If you are not up to date on Google’s latest offerings, you need to know how these changes can affect your firm.
Update 1 – Small Business Advisor
U.S. businesses can now schedule a 50-minute appointment with a Google Small Business Advisor to learn how you can use Google products like My Business, Ads, and Analytics to boost your firm’s marketing capabilities.
Update 2 – Health & Safety Attributes
Service businesses, such as law offices, can add attributes to your Google listing to inform clients about the safety measures at your firm. Safety measure attributes include:
Masks required for customers or staff.
Temperature checks required for customers or staff.
Appointments or reservations required.
Update 3 – Update your Business Profile directly from Google Search or Maps
On Google Search and Google Maps, you can update your business information directly. For example, on Maps and Search, you can add photos, reply to customer reviews, and create posts. Google Search provides a performance report with insights on how clients interact with your firm’s profile.
Update 4 – Set More Hours
Using the More Hours option, you can set additional hours for special features and services. With More hours, you can provide details to your clients about extended hours for in-office visits, video conference consultations, and special services.
Update 5 – Marketing Kit COVID-19 Materials
With the advent of COVID-19 precautions, Google has added printable posters and digital social media templates to help you communicate updates about your firm’s response and compliance. These items include signage, like "Temporarily closed" or "Call to make an appointment." You can download these items from their own section of the marketing kit.
Update 6 – Communicate COVID-19 Changes to Your Business Operations
Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Google enabled specific posts that address:
Hours of operation and temporary closures
Changes to how the business operates, such as video consultations only, call for details, and other options.
Updates about how the office complies with safety and hygiene practices.
Requests for support.
Update 7 – Job Types for Services
Law firms and other services-oriented businesses can choose from suggested types of services. For instance, you will see "Consultation", "Mediation" and “Arbitration” as services to add. You can also add your own custom services. These standardized job types make it easier for clients to find the services they need.
Update 8 – Add Up to 20 Service Area Businesses
Service businesses, such as law firms, are limited to using no more than 20 service areas. If more are needed, Google recommends expanding the existing service areas to cover larger areas. You set your service area based on a combination of cities, districts, postal codes, or other areas you serve. For example, if your firm identifies service areas by zip code and you expand to cover more than 20 zip codes, you may want to change your service area designator to cities.
Update 9 – Edits by Unverified Businesses
If your firm is “unverified” in Google My Business, meaning you have not yet taken the steps to verify your listing and location, you can still edit some core business information directly from your Google My Business account. This process is similar to “Suggest an edit”. Your edits will go through the regular review process, and pending review, these changes can go live before verification on Google Search or Maps. It is best, however, to verify your firm as soon as possible. Until your listing is verified, you risk reduced visibility in Google searches, changes in your business information by third-parties, and delays in legitimate updates to your firm’s information.