Did you know there’s a free web space available to every law firm, from solos to megafirms, waiting for you to stake your claim? Google, the Search Engine ruler, provides space at Google Places to host information about your law firm—and this information can go well beyond the basic business specs Google has sitting there now.
Talk About Getting Found!
Why should you claim your Places space? Well, for a number of reasons:
- It’s free!
- It’s provided by Google, so you know it’s search-engine friendly, and geared toward local search results.
- It’s easy to claim and easy to customize.
- Did I mention it’s free?
What kinds of things can you do to spruce up your Place?
- Customize contact information and keep it up-to-date.
- Describe your law firm.
- Link back to your firm website.
- List your business hours and payment options.
- Upload up to 10 photos and five videos.
- Provide additional data, including such things as parking availability, links to social media, and so on.
- Fix your location marker on Google Maps to mark your firm’s exact “spot” (this improves Google Street view of your firm’s location).
- Provide a place for your trusted clients to write a public review.
- Access some basic analytics to see how many times your firm shows up in search, how many searchers click through to your website, and a list of the search terms used to land on your Place.
How Do You Claim Your Rightful Google Place?
You must have a Google Account to claim your Place. If you don’t already have one, you’ll need to create one (it’s free).
- Browse to www.google.com/local, type your firm’s name in the search box and then search.
- Click on the link to your firm’s Place page and check to see if it’s been claimed (you’ll see “Owner Verified” near the top right).
- If your Place is unclaimed, click on “Business owner,” then “Edit my business information” and continue.
- Edit your business information on the form presented (you can always go back and polish it up later) and click “Submit.”
- Choose from the options available to confirm you are qualified to claim your firm’s Google Place. The PIN option is very handy and immediate. Just prepare your receptionist in advance for the almost immediate robocall Google places to your firm number—you’ll need that PIN number, along with your Google account to complete your claim. To complete, just follow the instructions.
It’s as easy as that. Now all you have to do is add a bit of personality and make it your own.
For a great article on the importance of claiming your Google Place, see “Think Global, Search Local: Claiming Your Spot on Google Places,” by Stem Legal’s Steve Matthews (also an Attorney at Work Advisor) in Law Practice magazine.
Vivian Manning is the IT Manager at Burgar Rowe PC in Barrie, Bracebridge and Cookstown, Ontario. Prior to moving into IT, Vivian practiced law at Burgar Rowe primarily in the area of Municipal Land Development, with a total of 17 years in private practice before switching to the IT end of the law office. She currently indulges her love of teaching tech through her blog Small City Law Firm Tech, where she provides “tips of the day.”