Ever wondered about that nifty Google Map Pack that magically pops up when you’re hunting for your next taco joint or the closest grocery store? You know the one that lists three local gems and pins them on a map? Well, it’s a game-changer when it comes to local search for law firms, too.
It’s not easy to earn a spot on the Map Pack. But you’ll earn peak exposure to local searchers if you can pull it off.
Here’s a quickstart guide to Google’s Map Pack, basics of the Google Business Profile and how to push your law firm to the top of the search page using the GBP for absolutely free.
The Map Pack includes mini profiles on businesses, appearing when some on Google searches locally
Imagine you’ve just been in a car accident. You turn to Google and enter a request like “car accident lawyers near me.” Voilà, you’ve just summoned the Map Pack!
The Map Pack is like Google’s version of a treasure map. However, instead of a single “X marks the spot,” the Map Pack highlights three local businesses along with their location pins.
Well, if the person is searching for burritos, they’ll find three Mexican restaurants. If they’re looking for a lawyer, then three law firm profiles will appear. These profiles are called Google Business Profiles (GBP).
Each GBP includes basic information to help local searchers pick the right business, such as:
- The name of the firm
- The category
- Physical address
- Hours of operation
- Contact information, like phone number and website
- Years of experience
- Reviews and Google star rating
If you were reading closely, you noticed that we said only three businesses appear in the Map Pack.
Based on the user’s search, Google plays matchmaker and tries to select only three businesses for the searcher to review. There could be 50 law firms in your area, but only three can appear in the Map Pack at any one time.
Earning a spot on the Map Pack is highly competitive—and highly rewarding
To earn a spot, you need to impress Google by optimizing your GBP (more on that down below). Your website actually has very little to do with this process.
It’s worth working hard to rank in the local pack, even though it can be difficult.
About 46% of Google users are searching for a local solution. If you get a coveted spot on the Map Pack, you’re in for the jackpot.
You’ll enjoy a level of visibility that SEO alone can only dream of. The Map Pack catapults local businesses and searchers into each other’s arms by flaunting nearby results right at the top of the search results, high above organic and paid results.
Google Business Profile (GBP) best practices
Now we’ve dangled the juicy Golden Apple, here’s how to go about sinking your teeth into the prize:
- Fill in every single section of your GBP: Every section should have something in it. Be clear and concise. Publish something to the update section occasionally to show Google you’re still alive—but only publish things that would actually impress users (aka not a picture of the half-dead plant on your reception desk).
- Seek reviews like a SCUBA diver seeks oxygen: Reviews are the life support keeping your GBP alive. You need a steady trickle of positive reviews, not a burst of excellent comments and then nothing. Use text or email campaigns to inspire a constant stream of reviews and fill your GPB with social proof.
- Toot your horn all over the Internet: Google cares about your online presence, so get your website listed in professional directories and local directories. Show up on social media (yours and others’). The more your link appears online, the merrier it is for Google to put you on the Map Pack.
- SEO is non-negotiable: Your profile must be keyword optimized. And while not directly tied to your listing, your website’s SEO matters, too. Load your website with keywords and info that locals and mobile users crave. Strengthening your online presence ups your credibility with the search engines.
Go see for yourself by Googling “[practice area] law firms near me.” Notice which of your competitors are ranking in the Map Pack. Check out their GBPs. They are probably thorough, with lots of good reviews and pictures.
If meritocracy were real, we couldn’t promise you any results with the Map Pack. Luckily, the wild world of SEO is more like a strategic Tetris game than a WWE match. It’s anyone’s game, if you know how to play it!
The Google Map Pack is your totally free shortcut to local stardom. So follow these tips, earn your spot, and funnel local searchers directly to your business.