Google Plus for lawyers; 5 things you need to know

When it comes to legal marketing you need to understand where the value is in each social media platform, before deciding which ones to invest time in.

Facebook and Twitter dominate the landscape, and every professional needs a perfect LinkedIn profile these days, but we believe that Google+ is one area where any forward looking law firm should allocate at least some of their resources.

Here are our top 5 reasons why law firms should be on G+

1: It is a big part of the future

Although Facebook and Twitter currently win in terms of sheer numbers, they are both minnows compared to the infinite size, reach and scope of Google, and Google+ is an integral part of the company’s future strategy.

When you look at the way that Google is connecting all of its platforms through your Gmail account, and think about the vast resources that they are prepared to spend, it makes logical sense that not having a presence here is a sure fire way of making yourself invisible in the future.

If anyone has told you that G+ is a flash in the pan, or a knee jerk reaction to Facebook, then think about how this is a core part of Google’s functionality, that the head of G+ reports directly to the CEO, and that this is a platform with an almost limitless supply of talent and money behind it. We wouldn’t bet on it disappearing anytime soon.

2: It is hyper-local brilliance at its best

For almost any law firm it is the local business that keeps the lights on and all activity points to the fact that Google is very focussed on local search.

Its most recent updates to its search engine algorithm are designed to improve local search results. Google Maps and Google My Business all help people to find services locally. It is important to realise that all of these services are integrated through G+.

If you want people in your local area to find your firm using Google you really have to have an active presence on G+ if you want to rise above the competition.

3: It helps you get found by your customers

Does having an active G+ account make it more likely that you’ll be found by potential customers?

Officially Google states that being active on G+ does not have any beneficial consequences for your rankings in its traditional search engine. However, it is not unreasonable that Google should favour websites that are very active on their platforms, simply because they are much more likely to see this activity.

On the contrary, it is well known that Facebook and Google are not the best of friends, and that much of your Facebook activity is effectively blocked from Google’s indexing robots.

There are a whole host of more technical reasons why G+ works well for search, but this is not the place for a deep level SEO discussion. Suffice to say that all our experiences show that G+ is a great place to showcase the value you add to your customers and that this feeds through well to your overall Google rankings, if done properly.

4: It protects your content from Internet nasties

One of the our favourite things about Google Plus is the fact that you can officially link your account with your company blog and website.

For anyone who is active online this has tremendous benefits as it stops dodgy websites from stealing your articles and passing them off as their own.

As a verified website, your content will be indexed by Google’s search bot, and if anyone else comes along and tries to pass it off as theirs, then they will be issued with the duplicate content penalty and not you. In the past this has always been a problem as Google had no way of knowing who had written the article first. Now they do.

This is good news for anyone looking to build a lively and active website designed to really help their visitors. And bad news for lazy leeches.

5: It has much more to offer than the competition

From 10 person video conferencing to the fact that 100% of all your G+ followers see every post you make (as opposed to around 12% of Facebook fans), there is little doubt that Google Plus is only less popular than Facebook and Twitter because it was last to the party.

In the long run, it makes sense that a platform offering loads more exciting features, that’s closely integrated with your Gmail, YouTube and favourite search platform and has the backing and brains of the most technologically advanced company on the planet is going to eventually win through.

Twitter is a great place to hang out and watch what’s going on in the World; Facebook is where you go to catch up with friends and family; but G+, with its strong emphasis on personal connections and local searches for businesses makes it hugely important for your law firm in terms of attracting new business.

If you are interested in finding out more about the ins and outs of Google Plus, try reading What the Plus! By Guy Kawasaki (don’t worry, the book is a lot better than the title!).