If you’ve done a local search in the past few months, you’ve likely encountered a number of local listings which are denoted by a single red pinpoint which can then be found on a corresponding map to the right of the search engine result pages. Since most prospective clients looking for an attorney in your community will likely search on a local level by town, city or county, it’s absolutely critical that your firm establish a presence in local searches by creating a local listing and Google+ Page.
Over the past few years, Google has started to view shares of content or +1’s on Google+ Pages as social recommendations that influence what searchers see in the search engine result pages while they are logged in. To increase your firm’s likelihood of achieving top spots in local searches, it’s no longer optional for firms to create and regularly update their Google+ Pages.
In the past, before Google unveiled Google+, the search engine provided Google Places which allowed firms to create a local listing without the social components which would eventually be included with Google+. It’s important to note that you may have a local listing without having a Google+ page, luckily Google makes it easy to merge the two.
Google provides an excellent manual which outlines how to setup a Google+ Page which I highly recommend that you download and follow to get your page up and running: http://www.google.com/+/business/resources.html#maia-main
Please note that before you can setup a Google+ Page for your firm, you will need to set up a Google+ Profile. The instructions for that process are also included in the manual. Once you do setup the Google+ Page for your firm, please send us the link so we can connect it with your firm’s website.
To create a more powerful local presence, take time to build your Google+ Page by performing the following:
- Create circles for all of the different groups you’d like to share information with (e.g. clients, colleagues, referral sources, etc)
- Do a search for contacts and add individuals to your circles
- Develop an ongoing plan for success, outlining what kind of information you will share with your various circles. You might consider posting events, links to your blog posts, quick updates on what’s going on at your office or comments on recent court decisions which may impact your contacts
- Try to post new updates 3-5 times per week.
- Actively engage your contacts by signing in and viewing your newsfeed. Here you can see what your clients and colleagues have posted and choose to share or +1 (Google speak for “like”) their updates.