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As law firms around the world continue to progress towards a “paperless” system (whilst the Courts lag far behind), a common question that I get asked is whether Cloud Storage, specifically Google Drive, is “secure” for storing legal files.

The short answer is yes; Google Drive is secure for lawyers and can be used to store confidential documents. Google’s services have ISO 27001 certification so, if used correctly, Google Drive, and all G Suite apps, are safe, private, and secure.

Of course, that’s only the short answer – “secure” is quite a vague term and its meaning in the context of law firms is lot different from its meaning to society as a whole. Likewise, it’s all well and good knowing that Google Drive is “secure”, but it’s also worth understanding exactly how to use it in an appropriate manner.

Physical Storage Security vs Google Drive Cloud Storage Security

As a law firm, you deal with both your own and your client’s important and private documents. If you’re a family lawyer, you might hold private information relating to a client’s personal life. If you’re a financial lawyer, you might hold a client’s confidential tax records. In addition, any notes you’ve taken relating to these files are likely not just confidential and private, but also covered by the “sacred” attorney-client privilege.

So of course, these documents need to kept safe and secure so that they are accessible to your eyes, and the eyes your client has authorized, only. The documents, for all extents and purposes, need to be entirely under your control as a lawyer.

Traditionally, the way in which this control was achieved was by keeping documents on site, or in secure physical off-site storage. Once the documents were no longer required, they could be shredded and discarded.

With this traditional set up, the only way in which a malicious actor could see these documents is by physically gaining access to them. Either by breaking into your office, and then into your safe, or by manipulating a person with authorised access. In both cases, the malicious actor had to obtain physical access, and this is no easy feat.

However, by storing your files in a Cloud Storage solution like Google Drive, this physical access hindrance is taken away. With Google Drive a malicious actor can attempt to access confidential documents from anywhere in the world. And they can do this in one of two ways:

  1. By hacking into Google and stealing the raw stored data.
  2. By obtaining your login credentials and accessing your stored files.

However, whilst at first this may make Google Drive seem less secure than the traditional way in which law firms store documents, there are a number of things to consider.

First, all files stored on Google Drive are encrypted to the same standards used by the US government. So even if someone managed to hack and steal data from Google (which is highly unlikely), they would only have a bunch of gibberish data, and they would not be able to turn that gibberish data into anything comprehensible.

Second, whilst it may seem that obtaining your login credentials is a comparatively easier task, there are still a number of easy steps you can take to mitigate risk in this area. In fact, if you set up your Google Drive account in a way that is intelligent and sensible, it will probably be significantly more secure that traditional, physical, forms of storage:

How Lawyer’s Can Use Google Drive in a Secure Manner
  1. Configure your Google Privacy Settings to be as secure as possible
  2. Use 2-factor authentication for logging in to your Google Account
  3. Use strong passwords (that are not used elsewhere)
  4. Disable file syncing
  5. Disable any third-party apps associated with your Google Account
  6. Disable Google Drive offline storage
  7. Disable the ability to share files outside your business domain

Realistically, the most important piece of advice here is enabling 2-factor authentication so only you can access your account.

Conclusion and Ethical Considerations

The general standard for storing lawyer’s client files is one of “reasonable care”. This usually means that there is an ethical obligation for lawyers to keep up to date on best practices for safeguarding confidential client information to guard against attacks.

Realistically, Google Drive is one of the safest platforms there is for securing confidential legal data. But as discussed above, this is dependant on your ability to use Google Drive in a sensible and appropriate manner.

So, to answer the question again: Yes, Google Drive is secure for lawyers. However, if you’re thinking about using Google Drive to store confidential legal documents, it’s probably worth speaking to an expert who can help set things up correctly for you and teach you best practices.

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As more law firms get their websites online and begin to really dial in their digital marketing strategies, the competition for “screen real estate” in search engine results has certainly started to heat up.

Despite this, there are still a litany of incredibly common lawyer SEO mistakes I see law firms make in their search engine optimization endeavors.

Often these are just relics of time gone past, such as spam backlinks from 2011. But if you’re not doing as well on Google as you’d hope to be, they might still be having an impact on your law firm’s search rankings today in 2019.

Here’s a list of 7 common lawyer SEO mistakes I see, and how they’re damaging your firm’s online visibility:

Why is SEO important for law firms?

Fundamentally, Search Engine Optimisation (“SEO”) is a set of strategies, principles, and techniques you can implement to increase the ranking of your firm in Google’s (and other search engine’s) results.

With a higher ranking, more potential clients will discover (and hopefully engage the services of) your legal practice.

For example, if I’m a potential client living in Wellington, New Zealand, and I want to find a divorce lawyer, I might do a google search for “divorce lawyer Wellington”, and this is what I will see:

The goal of SEO then, if you’re a divorce lawyer in Wellington, is to get your website closer to the top of the results (or at least on the very first page) for this search term, because the reality is, 95% of people won’t look past the first page of Google results.

7 Common Lawyer SEO Mistakes: 1. Duplicate Website Content

If you hired a company many years ago to design your website, there is a not-insignificant chance that they re-purposed content from another website they worked on (Yellow Pages = Guilty).

If your website’s content is not unique, then it is highly likely that Google will penalise you for it – and this includes content that you regurgitate across multiple pages (such as having two identical pages with the only difference being the suburb you use in the title).

2. Poor Quality Website Content

In order to excel in the search rankings, it is important that the content of your website aligns with the topic/theme “ascribed” to it by Google, is well-formatted, and is grammatically correct.

Your practice’s website content should be informative and relevant – having pages dedicated to topics unrelated to law (and specifically, the law you practice and the services you provide) will damage your SEO efforts.

3. “Keyword Stuffing”

In the past, a common practice in SEO circles was to “keyword stuff”. This would entail repeating a term like “criminal lawyer Auckland” over and over in your page’s title and content.

This simply does not work anymore (in fact, the negative impact it will have on user experience will damage your search rankings). Whilst keyword optimization is still a thing, Google looks for uses of your targeted keywords in ways that are relevant, coherent, and engaging.

Here are Google’s examples of keyword stuffing that should be avoided:

4. Spammy Backlink Profile

Backlinks (links to your website from other websites) are good. Spammy backlinks are not good, and Google has become very adept at recognising unnatural backlinking patterns like these:

If a black hat SEO provider pointed a thousand dodgy blog comments to your website back in the day, it’s worth considering using Google Search Console to disavow them (just be careful).

5. Ignoring Local SEO

If you’re a lawyer in Wellington, you probably deal mostly with clients in Wellington – and you should include this fact on your website. Furthermore, in order to improve your firm’s local visibility, it’s a good idea to set up and optimise your firm’s Google My Business listing.

6. Having a Slow Website

Another ranking factor that Google puts a lot of emphasis on in 2019 is page loading speed. The reason they like fast websites is that they know users like fast websites too, especially when they’re on mobile devices, and as a result, they prioritise faster websites.

If your website is built on WordPress, it is a good idea to install a caching plugin such as W3 Total Cache. If you don’t update your website on a regular basis, this is a really good way to get things running more smoothly.

You can test your website’s speed here: Google’s PageSpeed Tool.

7. Not Running a Blog       

Finally, a common phrase in SEO circles is “content is king”, and really, it’s true.

Websites with blogs rank a lot higher than those without because they contain relevant, comprehensive, and valuable content.

I wrote an article on this exact topic here.

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When I start working with a law firm on their marketing strategy, one of the first things I ask is:

Do you want more clients, or do you want better clients?

In many cases – this might not be something they’ve thought too much about.

Perhaps it’s because of the traditional approaches to marketing where they would place a listing in the Yellow Pages and an ad on the radio and just start taking calls. Or perhaps it really just isn’t something they’ve ever considered.

Either way, it seems to be a very common occurrence that “more clients” is the one and only marketing goal in many lawyer’s minds, and if they’ve got enough clients, they don’t consider marketing all that important.

Of course, I’m of the opinion that just because you have work coming out of your ears doesn’t mean you couldn’t have more lucrative, less stressful, more engaging work coming out of your ears instead. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. How many of your recent clients took up an incredible amount of your time for no substantive reason?
  2. How many of your recent clients didn’t pay (or paid with great delay)?
  3. How many of your recent clients were “difficult”?
  4. How many of your recent clients were rude?
  5. How many of your recent clients were dishonest with you?
  6. How many of your recent clients gave you work outside your core areas of practice?

If the answer to any of these questions was “more than a couple” – then it might be worth considering refocusing your current marketing strategy.

Instead of just broadly “getting the phone ringing” – why not figure out a more careful, targeted, approach, to get the right people to ring the phone?

Alternatively, even if you still feel like you’re at “full capacity” – does it not still make sense to look deeper into bringing more inquiries to your practice, just so you have more freedom of choice in the clients you take on?

If you can hash out a good legal marketing strategy, and work out a way to cultivate the sorts of clients you want, in the certain areas of practice that you’re passionate about, with a bit of work you could end up:

  1. Working less,
  2. Charging more,
  3. Receiving more recurrent business,
  4. Doing more engaging work that you genuinely enjoy.

Even if “any client” is more your firm’s style, it’s still something worth thinking about.

And if you want to have a chat about how we might be able to help, always feel free to give us a call on 09 884 0480.

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If you run a law firm on the smaller size, blogging is probably something you haven’t considered necessary or haven’t even thought about.

But in reality, legal blogging can and should be an invaluable component in your firm’s digital marketing strategy.

From my conversations with 25 Kiwi principals and barristers over LinkedIn in January, it seems that the number one hesitation towards running a blog is the required time investment, with cost and upkeep coming in a close second and third:

Almost 50% of the lawyers I asked cited “time” as the reason they don’t run a blog!

However, the power of a blog done correctly should be able to overcome any of these hesitations.

Having one on your website will enhance client perception of your authority in the legal sphere and provide you with new sources of referred clients that you never would have discovered otherwise.

Ultimately, there is not a single law firm, especially in a comparatively small market like New Zealand, that should not be running a blog in 2019 – and here are four reasons why:

1. A blog enhances your law firm’s authority and credibility

Most lawyers have websites that simply outline who they are and what they do.

The keyword here is “most”: If most lawyers are doing it, how are you different in the eyes of a potential client from any other lawyer they find with a Google search?  

With a blog, you can position yourself as an expert in your area of law.

One Immigration Firm that’s doing a great job of this at the moment is Immagine Immigration (operating in New Zealand and Australia) – their regularly updated blog shows that they know what they’re doing and establishes them as a credible source on the latest in immigration law (despite not technically being lawyers!).

Who is a potential client more likely to trust? Someone they can see demonstrating their expertise or someone that merely describes it?

2. A blog is great for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Gone are the days when anyone with an internet connection could get you to the top of Google with some metadata changes and 100 dodgy backlinks.

Google has got smarter, so if you want to maintain your place in Google’s hierarchy, you’ve got to be smarter too.

If you’re up to date with your SEO knowledge, you’ll know that the key to success now is having rich, relevant, and fresh content on your website.

A well-done blog ticks all of these boxes.

3. A blog gives your social media a purpose

Frequently, I will encounter a law firm with a link to their Facebook page displayed prominently on their website (often to the detriment of user-experience).

Of course, when you click on the link, you get taken to a Facebook page that hasn’t been used properly or updated in years – it makes you wonder why they even have one.

With a blog, you will have real, relevant, and up-to-date content to share across your social media networks – no more silent accounts.

Beyond this, being able to share your blog posts on Facebook, LinkedIn, and your other social media accounts of choice will act as an additional way to drive traffic to your website.

4. A blog humanises you

Most lawyer’s websites describe themselves in a very professional and matter of fact manner, and this is usually the correct way to go about things for “main content”.

However, it also creates a distance and disconnect between your clients and yourself.

A blog gives you an outlet to show clients a more personal side – and if they like your personality, they’re much more likely to engage your services.

Conclusion

At first, running a legal blog can seem like a daunting and unnecessary task. However, in 2019, it really is something that any and every law firm should be doing.

Once you get it up and running, the time investment won’t be as great as you’d expect, and the financial investment will be a lot less than something like Google Ads.

The fact that your main competitor isn’t doing it is not a reason why you don’t need one, it’s a reason why you do need one – to set yourself apart from the crowd, to get your website prioritised by Google, and to establish yourself as an authority in your areas of practice.

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There are a lot of barristers and solicitors advertising on Google Ads (previously known as Google AdWords) in 2019. But it can be hard to figure out if they can help your law firm, specifically.

Whilst smaller markets like New Zealand are understandably not as competitive as places like London or New York, there has nonetheless been a steady uptick in lawyers over the past few years that have been using Google’s pay-per-click marketing platform.

Why? Because it works.

Well, it can work, if used correctly.

The reason why it can work is that the platform allows for hyper-targeting, comprehensive tracking, and easy up-scaling.

Firms can choose to advertise on very narrow and specific keywords, they only pay for traffic on those very narrow and specific keywords, and they can directly track the amount they spend on their ads against the returns they receive from them.

Compare this to something like a listing in the Yellow Pages where you pay a fixed fee for a general annual listing, you receive perhaps ~15 calls from the listing (although you never really know because you have no way to track it), and half of those calls were people looking for someone to get them off a drink driving charge, but you’re an employment lawyer!

And if by some miracle the Yellow Pages does work for you – how can you scale that up? Pay for a larger ad?

(Ironically “pay for a larger ad” is also the advice Yellow will give you if your current Yellow listing isn’t getting results.)

However, Google Ads is of course not the only good route for legal marketing, and whilst I am a strong proponent of the platform simply because it’s easy to implement, track, monitor, and get results with – there are some law firms for which it might not work so well.

So, in this article, I will walk you through some simple steps to find out if Google Ads is right for your law firm or legal practice.

But first – here’s a quick example of when Google Ads really do work:

Case Study

We recently started working with a client that wanted to advertise in a niche area of commercial property law across Auckland.

We researched appropriate keywords with explicit buyers’ intent to focus on, we got our landing pages set up, we established call tracking, and the ads went live.

And what happened?

A ~$600 investment turned into 29 clicks, doesn’t sound so great right? Wrong.

Out of those 29 clicks, 8 lead to phone calls.

Out of those 8 phone calls, 3 turned into clients.

Every one of those 3 clients paid ~$3,000+ in fees.

(That’s not even their lifetime value – that’s their first purchase value.)

A $600 Google Ads investment became ~$9,000+ in revenue for this firm.

And now that our client has a marketing avenue that provably works, it’s incredibly easy for them to scale up:  All they have to do is increase the budget – they’ll still only ever be paying Google on a per-click basis.

Now, that’s an extreme example – and most firms will never get results that good. But the underlying point here is that because of the flexibility and targeted nature of Google Ads, it is possible to find gold.

What is Google Ads?

Google Ads is a platform provided by Google that allows advertisers to buy ad space on Google, YouTube, Gmail, and other Google-owned or partnered platforms.

However, when it comes to lawyers – Google Search Ads are almost always the best place to start simply because of their flexibility, targeting options, and cost structure.

As the name hints, Search Ads are the Ads that Google returns when you make a search on their platform.

For example, if I do a Google search for the term “property lawyer Auckland”, this is what Google gives me:

Google first returns Search Ads, then returns the local pack, and then returns the standard organic search results.

As you can see, the Ads take up a lot of screen real estate – and unlike traditional online marketing routes like SEO, they don’t take months/weeks/years to start getting results.

The law firms running Search Ads “bid” on ad space for the keywords they want to target, the higher they bid the higher their ad appears on the page, and if someone clicks on their ad they are charged the amount they bid for that click. If no-one clicks on their ad, they aren’t charged.

It’s really (almost) that simple.

How to know if Google Ads are right for your law firm? 1. Consider your area of legal practice and likely returns

If you’re running a law firm, it’s because you’re a good business person as well as lawyer.

If you’re a good business person, you will be averse to loss, naturally. Why invest money in something if you’re not convinced it will work?

A way to think of this is probably to attempt a basic investment/return analysis:

Let’s say the average cost-per-click in the legal industry in New Zealand is ~$10.00 (that’s actually a bit higher than the reality in my experience). So, every time someone clicks on your ad, you get charged about $10.00.

Next, you need to know your conversion rate, how many of those clickers will give you a call? If you’re unsure because you don’t currently have any sort of analytics set up on your website to track this sort of thing – I think a conservative estimate could be ~20% (assuming you’re running a well-targeted campaign).

And how many of those people that call you will become clients? Again, let’s be conservative and say 25%.

So, $10 a click. With a 20% call rate that gives us $50 a call, and with a 25% conversion rate on those calls that gives us a total cost of $200 per client acquisition.

That might seem expensive, but how much are those clients likely to spend with you?

Is the lifetime value of your average client greater than $200?

If you’re a conveyancing shop charging dirt cheap prices with accompanying cheap service – Google Ads might not necessarily be for you, especially if your margins are low and most of your clients are “one-and-done”. The same probably goes for some lawyers dealing with legal aid.

On the flipside, if you’re, say, a firm that establishes trusts for clients paying an initial ~$1,000+ in fees and then coming back for property purchases, estate management, and will drafting – Google Ads is more likely going to work well for you.

Of course – all of these numbers are estimates and every market, area of law, and every firm is going to be slightly different – if you already have analytics set up on your site you should be able to paint a clearer picture for yourself (and we’re always open for a chat if you’re having any difficulties, just click here to get in touch.)

It’s also worth mentioning at this point that if you’ve not got Google analytics set up or not tried free options such as setting up a Google My Business page and really getting your website optimised for:

  1. Attracting potential clients,
  2. Converting those potential clients into actual clients,

These might be better places to start – and it’s much easier to run successful Google Ads campaigns once you’ve set these sorts of foundations.

2. Consider the time you can invest

One thing the above analysis fails to engage with is the time that needs to be invested to get Google Ads running effectively.

Whilst Google tries to make the platform as simple to use as possible, getting things right is not as easy as one would hope – there are an incredible number of variables involved in any marketing campaign – but especially so in one that involves intricate targeting and tracking.

Managing Google Ads is a time-consuming task and if expected returns are already low then this might be a reason to look elsewhere.

However, if expected returns are not low, it might nonetheless be worth considering a Google Ads Management Agency (like us) so you don’t have to spend your own valuable time dealing with something outside your area of expertise.

That said, a 3rd party Google Ads Management Provider might not always be the best choice for a few reasons:

  • The one person that knows your firm best is you – many “general” professionals and agencies are unlikely to have, or to be able to acquire, the necessary understanding of your industry and areas of practice in order to make Google Ads perform as effectively as they could be for your firm.
  • Most professionals and agencies have a fee structure where their management fee consists of a percentage of your total monthly Google Ads budget. This leads to a conflict of interest where they have a financial incentive to make you spend as much money on Google Ads as possible whilst producing just good enough results to keep you as a client. (Note: We ourselves don’t use this fee structure for this exact reason.)
  • To be blunt, many of them just don’t know what they’re doing.
3. Research what other lawyers and firms are doing

If other firms are bidding on the sort of search terms that you want to target, you could reasonably expect that they’re getting some good results from them.

Just head on over to Google, type in the search term you’re interested in (make sure you have any ad blocker disabled for this) and see what comes up.

If your direct competitors are running ads, it likely means that they’ve found something that is working for them.

If it’s working for them – it can probably work for you too.

For example, let’s say I’m a family lawyer in Wellington, I could do a search for something like “divorce lawyer wellington” and this is what comes up:

Many other firms are running ads on this term and most of them are solid, relevant ads – it looks like a trend that’s caught on because it is provably working.

The fact that one law firm is running a weak, irrelevant, and poorly targeted ad on this term would also indicate that the competition is not too high – and therefore running your ads is likely to cost less than you would expect.

4. Launch a trial run ad campaign for just one area of law

Ultimately – there’s one way you can truly know if Google Ads is right for your firm – try it.

The beauty of the platform is that you don’t have to commit to any huge sum – you can set things up, establish a daily budget of any amount, let things run, and instantly stop things if it isn’t working for you.

The risk is minimal and Google doesn’t lock you into any long terms contracts, at all. You pay only for the clicks you receive, and you only run ads when you want to.

Don’t be afraid to test the waters. Set a small budget, run a few campaigns, and see how it goes.

If you don’t want to do it yourself, enlist a Google Ads Management Provider like ourselves to help you get set up.

The worst case scenario is that you lose a minimal, controlled investment.

The realistic case scenario is that you see the great results Google Ads can bring your firm and you want to see more.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a marketing platform that can really boost client acquisition, Google Ads is, in my opinion, one of the best options out there. That said, it’s not the best option for all law firms, and you’ve got to do a bit of thinking before you put them into practice.

Begin by considering the area of law you are in and the kind of clients you attract – are you a “one-and-done” conveyancing shop or a more “full-service” provider for family, trust, and estate law? If it’s closer to the latter, the time and money investment is a lot more likely to be worth it.

Check out what competing firms are up to – if it’s working for them there should be no reason it can’t be working for you.

And ultimately, if you’re uncertain, there’s only one real way to find out if Google Ads is right for your law firm – and that’s by trying it out.

And if you need any help with that – we’ve got you covered. Book a free consultation today and let’s see how we can help your law firm build steady streams of quality clients.

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It would not be completely hyperbolic to say that Google “owns” the internet. If a person needs a particular service, they use Google. If they want to find a restaurant, they use Google.

Most importantly for you, if they want to find a lawyer or a barrister, they use Google.

When it comes to being an online search “directory”, no one comes even close to them – in New Zealand, they have 96% of the market!

So, when a potential client fails to get the information they need about your firm from Google they will often just skip to the next lawyer they can find (unless someone gave you a really good referral).

When framed this way, it quickly becomes clear that having a Google listing, specifically a completely free Google My Business listing, is pretty much a necessity for any law firm in 2019.

In this article, I’ll fully explain how to set up a Google My Business Page for your law firm, but first of all, let’s dive a little bit deeper into how important having one of these listings is.

The Importance of Having a Google My Business (“GMB”) Listing for Your Law Firm New Clients

In the old days of Google, when a potential client made a search for a term like “Auckland Central Lawyer”, they would usually get a page of results similar to this:

However, a lot has changed since then – our phones got smarter, the internet became a busier place, and in response, Google introduced features like the local 3-pack and page cards.

Now, when I do a Google search for “Auckland Central Lawyer”, this is what I see:

Google understands that when someone searches for a specific service in a specific location, that person wants to see the businesses providing that specific service, in that specific location, preferably on a map.

For most search terms like this, or ones like “lawyer near me”, Google will return this local 3-pack.

If you don’t have a Google My Business listing you are highly unlikely to appear in the local 3-pack at the top of the search results unless:

  1. You’re in an area of really low competition, and
  2. Google’s AI has deduced your business details and location independently,

And if you’re not in the local 3-pack, potential clients are unlikely to scroll down far enough to find you.

Existing Clients

Google My Business is also one of the easiest ways for your firm to interact with and provide information to current clients.

If you have a My Business listing, whenever a client searches for your firm, Google will show them your contact details, address, and reviews in a prominent page card on the right-hand side of the page. For Turner Hopkins Lawyers, it looks like this:

As you can see, it’s a really simple and user-friendly way to provide correct and relevant information about your practice to your clients.

Furthermore, it acts as an easy gateway to Google Maps.

Clients no longer have to click through multiple pages on your website to find out where you’re located and how they can get there – with a My Business listing it’s just a single click:

Given the benefits for existing clients, potential clients, and your firm – there really is no reason to not have a Google My Business page set up – especially when you consider that it’s incredibly easy and completely free to do so.

How to Set Up Your Law Firm’s Google My Business Listing:

First, do a quick Google search of your firm’s name to see if a Google My Business listing already exists for your firm or not. Often, Google will automatically create listings using the information they gather from other pages on the web. If a business page does already exist for your firm, then just click the button that says “claim listing” and follow from Step 2 onwards.

Step 1: Go to https://www.google.com/business/ and click on ‘Start Now’ in the top right to begin the process.

Step 2: Sign in to the Google account that you would like to use to manage your listing.

Step 3: Provide the name and address of your firm. Make sure it’s correct and matches the information present on your website. You don’t want to make any mistakes or have any inconsistencies – Google really doesn’t like them!

Step 4: Check that the location shown on the presented map matches your practice’s real location. If it doesn’t, move the map pin so that it’s pointing to the correct location. Click on ‘next’ once you have confirmed this.

Step 5: Indicate your service category (“Law Firm” or “Legal Services”) and add the contact details that you want clients to see when they look you up on Google.

Step 6: Click “finish”. Now all you need to do is verify your listing and you’ll be up and running – yes it’s really that easy.

Verifying your GMB Listing:

After you have created your listing you will need to verify it so that Google knows it’s authentic. Google has a number of options for verification, you just need to follow the instructions they provide to you.

In New Zealand, Google usually requires postcard verification to verify your address and this takes about 15 days.

Optimising your GMB Listing:

Once you’ve successfully created and verified your My Business page, you can start optimising it to ensure it gets seen by as many potential and existing clients as possible.

The most important piece of advice I have here is that you should ensure that all information provided is correct and consistent with the information available on your website.

As mentioned above – Google doesn’t like being confused and they can penalise you for it.

Beyond that, here are two other easy ways you can make your listing the best it can be:

Upload Good Photos of Your Firm and its Branding

Professional and polished photos of your firm’s interior, exterior, and lawyers will take you a long way.

I know it sounds obvious, but if you present yourself as professional, trustworthy, and competent (especially online), clients are much more likely to engage your services.

Encourage Client Reviews on Google Maps

Now, I’m not saying start directly asking clients for Google reviews – it will probably come off as tacky.

A more passive way to encourage client reviews is simply by responding to reviews that have already been left by existing clients – people feel a lot better about leaving reviews once they know they actually get read!

The reason this is important is the simple truth that potential clients do read reviews – most potential clients will want to do research before they engage your services.

If you have many good reviews, both Google and potential clients will reward you for this.

Conclusion

So, here were all the things that you needed to know about how to set up a Google My Business listing and all the steps to follow to successfully create one for your law firm. Considering the great benefits it can have for your traffic and reputation, and considering the ease with which it can be set up, there really is no reason not to have one in 2019.

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As more law firms get their websites online and begin to really dial in their digital marketing strategies, the competition for “screen real estate” in search engine results has certainly started to heat up. Despite this, there are still a litany of incredibly common mistakes I see law firms make in their search engine optimisation endeavors. Often these are just relics of time gone past...

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When I start working with a law firm on their marketing strategy, one of the first things I ask is: Do you want more clients, or do you want better clients? In many cases – this might not be something they’ve thought too much about. Perhaps it’s because of the traditional approaches to marketing where they would place a listing in the Yellow Pages and an ad on the radio and just start taking calls.

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If you run a law firm on the smaller size, blogging is probably something you haven’t considered necessary or haven’t even thought about. But in reality, legal blogging can and should be an invaluable component in your firm’s digital marketing strategy. From my conversations with 25 Kiwi principals and barristers over LinkedIn in January, it seems that the number one hesitation towards running a...

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There are a lot of lawyers advertising on Google Ads (previously known as Google AdWords) in 2019. Whilst smaller markets like New Zealand are understandably not as competitive as places like London or New York, there has nonetheless been a steady uptick in firms over the past few years that have been using Google’s pay-per-click marketing platform. Why? Because it works. Well, it can work...

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