With 88.47 percent of the search market share in 2019, Google is one of the first places many legal prospects turn to when searching for a lawyer. And Google My Business (GMB) is the specific platform they use to learn more about law firms.
But a recent study from BrightLocal found that GMB doesn’t necessarily have the level of trust that you may think.
In fact, more people actually trust local business websites more than GMB. Here are the details and what this means for your law firm.
BrightLocal examined a lot of different elements in their study. But one of the main things they looked at was which resource people trusted for betting contact information.
One specific question they asked respondents was, “Which source do you expect to have the most accurate and up-to-date contact information?”
Here’s what they found:
- 56 percent of consumers expect local businesses’ websites to have the most accurate contact information
- 32 percent believe Google My Business has the most accurate information
- 12 percent trust directories to have the most up-to-date information
As you can see, people trusted local business websites far more than they did GMB or directories — something that I personally found surprising. Considering Google’s brand equity and the fact that GMB plays such a key role in connecting clients with lawyers, it’s interesting that more less than a third of people trust GMB to have the most accurate information.
Although BrightLocal points out that “44 percent of consumers trust other sources more than the local business’s own website,” I still would have thought that trust in GMB would be closer to local business websites than it is.
What This Means for Lawyers
While GMB has certainly become a popular way to direct prospects to law firms and help them find contact information, the majority of people still trust local business websites. This means you need to be diligent about optimizing your legal site and making it a key source for finding contact information.
You need to ensure it appears trustworthy and not make any critical mistakes that could prevent prospects from contacting you.
According to BrightLocal, here are the top issues that would make people less likely to use a local business:
- Out-of-date contact information – 50 percent
- Poorly written content/content with typos – 39 percent
- Out-of-date pricing information – 33 percent
- Prices weren’t displayed – 33 percent
- Hard to find in search results – 33 percent
- Not featuring images – 29 percent
- Poorly designed website – 27 percent
- No testimonials or reviews – 22 percent
These are the most important factors to address, and avoiding these mistakes should help boost your credibility and maximize the number of leads who contact you.
GMB is a top platform for directing people to law firms, and I definitely recommend putting plenty of effort into creating a robust profile. But it’s still no replacement for a great website.
According to BrightLocal’s findings, more people still trust local business websites than GMB. Covering all the bases and ensuring you’re not committing any errors that would make people less likely to use a local business should leave you well positioned and generate more quality leads.