Google Business Profiles (GBP), formerly Google My Business (GMB), encourage business owners, including law firms, to highlight unique features of their business that also enable their listing to appear for relevant local searches and Google Maps queries. Selected attributes will also appear as badge icons in mobile Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) listings. Available attributes vary from industry to industry so the legal sector will not find “menu” or “brunch served” attributes to choose from (those apply to, you guessed it, restaurants!)
Instead, Google has provided a stock list for the legal sector that includes the features listed below:
- Identifies as women-owned
- Wheelchair accessible entrance
- Wheelchair accessible seating
- Gender-neutral bathroom
- LGBTQ+ friendly
- Transgender safe space
- Appointment required
- Mask required
- Staff get temperature checks
- Staff required to disinfect surfaces between visits
- Staff wear masks
- Temperature check required
- Online appointments
- Onsite services
In practice, when a person searches for “lawyers near me online appointment” they will be presented with local search results that highlight the relevant attribute (in this instance, ‘online appointment’) see image:
Where can you add these attributes to your GBP listing?
Simply go to your GBP listing and select the “Info” tab, then select the edit icon where you see “From the business”:
And tick the options that apply to your business:
While you’re there, what about your holiday opening times?
This is an excellent opportunity to let Google and your customers know your holiday opening times. This will limit opportunities for any confusion regarding your ability to serve your clients as you would normally. The below image is from the same “info” tab in GBP.
Why does any of this matter?
Google treats an incomplete listing as having less value than a complete listing. Simply leaving your listing incomplete makes it slide down the rankings a little bit. Google also rewards complete and well “attributed” listings with more opportunities to display with “features in bolded text or badge icons”.
These subtle but important highlights allow your business to stand out from others and invariably increase conversions/click-throughs to your site or a zero-click interaction with your listing (like a direct phone call).
So regardless of whether attributes are a ranking signal or not, we would strongly suggest that they are part of an improved User Experience (UX) and conversion optimiser that takes little time to set up. This makes doing so a no-brainer.
The importance of your GBP in your local search rankings continues to grow each year. It is now estimated that an optimised profile, and the interactions that users have with it, contributes almost 50% towards your local rankings. This means all business owners should ensure their listings are complete and optimised, that their reviews are as good as possible, and any negative reviews are responded to quickly.
If your “attributes” change over time, update them as quickly as possible. This is particularly true for COVID-related attributes.