As the principal of a family law firm in Perth, one of the key areas of my business that needs regular attention is online marketing.

Whether it’s organic social media posts, SEO, or paid advertising options, marketing for service-based businesses can be both challenging and time-consuming.

However, there is one channel that as a business owner, I believe can make a huge impact on brand awareness and lead generation for service-based businesses of all sizes and across all niches, and that’s Google Business profiles.

What is a Google Business Profile?

Formerly known as Google My Business, Google Business profiles allow your business to appear on Google, even if you don’t have a website ready to publish yet. In this day and age, every business should have a website, but if you don’t, or are in the process of setting one up, a Google Business profile gets you online quickly and relatively simply.

Once verified, your Google Business profile can appear in the organic search results in the Map section when people search for the kind of services you offer. It usually shows key information about your business, including your business name, phone number, website, opening hours and location.

Most Google Business profiles have public addresses listed, but there is also the option to create a profile that shows the locations you serve if you do not want your private address listed, for example if you work from home or only visit your clients at their own properties.

There are several huge benefits to having a presence on Google Maps which I’d like to share with you based on my own experience of using it successfully for my family law firm.

First Impressions

Having your Google Business listing show up on Google Maps instantly makes a good first impression especially with a new potential client.

It shows them that you are a legitimate business with an online presence locally. You aren’t a fly by night, and having correct information and good reviews helps tremendously too.

Builds Trust

When your profile shows up in the Maps results, it helps to build trust with your clients. They can see your business exists both online and in reality in a physical location.

If your profile has regular updates and the information on it regarding your contact details and opening hours is kept accurate, this shows your clients that the business is still operating and can help them decide whether to take the next step and get in touch with you.

There’s nothing worse as a consumer than finding websites or social channels that don’t look like they have been updated for years – this makes people feel like the business no longer exists and often based on this alone, they will not choose to even try to contact you.

Shows Social Proof

Google reviews are one of the most important ways to build trust with your potential clients. Seeing a majority of positive reviews on Google (as well as other review platforms), will establish more trust and drive more clients to get in touch with you.

According to a 2023 local consumer review survey by BrightLocal, 46% of consumers said that they trusted consumer reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family.

When it comes to the legal sector, 81% of consumers felt that reviews were ‘important’ or ‘very important’ to their decision-making.

This shows us that building as many positive Google Business reviews can make a huge difference to your, website visits, phone calls, lead generation and conversion rates.

Now, don’t panic if you get a bad review – it happens to everyone! If you do, the key here is to respond calmy and factually. Many people will judge a business not just by its consumer reviews, but by how your business responds to negative ones.

Improves Local SEO

With so many different aspects to SEO, as a service-based business I would always recommend focusing on local SEO and ranking as highly as possible on search engines like Google or Bing.

This means that you would get more benefit from ranking for ‘family lawyer Perth’ rather than just ‘family lawyer’ or even simply ‘lawyer’.

Going after location-based keywords is usually a more effective SEO strategy and Google Business profiles are a great aid for this.

This is because Google knows your exact physical location (even if you choose to hide it for privacy reasons as outlined previously). So when people are searching for your services in a location that is close to you, chances are your Google Business profile will appear in the results and has a better chance of appearing higher than other similar businesses that might be physically located further away – even if they have a swankier website and spend more on paid marketing than you do!

Share Updates About Your Business

Google Business profiles have an additional feature which allows you to share updates on your profile – a bit like posts on Facebook.

You can add some text, an image and a button to your updates. This button can be one of the following:

  • Book
  • Order online
  • Buy
  • Learn more
  • Sign up
  • Call now

All options then allow you to add a link to a website, or if you choose the ‘Call now’ option, your phone number in your profile will be linked to.

Updates can be a useful way to share industry updates, news about your services, recent blog posts, or changes to your business. They can also drive more traffic to your website if you link to it using the button option.

And that’s it – my thoughts on why Google Business profiles are a must-have marketing tool for all service businesses.