Local 3-Pack provides businesses a way to be front,center, and top of mind on the search result page. The visibility gained from securing a placement in the Local 3-Pack is invaluable to a business where clients are searching the internet for your services.
We know the importance of appearing in the Local 3-Pack, but how do we get there? What do we do to “optimize” our brand, business, and website to make our way into the gold-plated Local 3-Pack? And more importantly, how do we convert and monetize the leads that are generated from this first page visibility?
How to Get Yourself Visibility in the Local 3-Pack
Optimizing for the 3-Pack is all about explaining to Google what services your business provides and who your audience is.
Start with your Google My Business (GMB) Listing (you must have a GMB profile in order to rank in the Local 3-Pack):
Make sure you have claimed your listing and erase any duplicate listings.
Always use your business name.
Double check the business name and address on your listing match your website, directories, and citations across the internet.
Add a local phone number, hours of operation, and photos to your profile.
Be sure to fill in all fields on the back end of your GMB profile – the more information Google has, the more it understands how you can help their searchers.
Once your GMB listing is created, look to add reviews and update your GMB profile regularly with items such as weekly GMB posts. Google gives you opportunities to engage with your consumers through your GMB profile so that Google can use the engagement as data points to truly understand who is most interested in and helped by your business.
Converting and Monetizing Your Local 3-Pack Leads with Strong Intake Systems
With great visibility comes great responsibility. This newfound influx of leads need your firm’s help. How equipped are you to handle volume? Whether you’re in the first two years of running your firm or an established, multi-lawyer firm, intake systems are a challenge to perfect.
If you have the bandwidth to DIY an intake team and create strong processes, do it. But if you are focusing on core competencies and trying cases, do not put extra pressure on yourself to handle more than you can. Intake is far too important to give only a percentage of your attention.
As the most important steps in signing cases, your intake system needs to be free of bottlenecks and process flaws.
Here are a few intake best practices for signing more cases:
DO answer calls 24/7. As many as 25% of calls come in after-hours, on weeknights and weekends. Update your hours on your Google My Business page to reflect your “open” hours and gain a competitive advantage.
DON’T miss texts, chats, and Facebook messages. If you’re prompt to answer calls, but you're missing requests on other communications channels, you’re not delivering the responsiveness legal clients expect.
DO proactively share information with leads to help them make an informed decision. The 2019 Clio Legal Trends Report shows us that 71% of legal clients want to know what to expect in terms of cost, duration, effort, and more. Furthermore, 64% say not getting this information specifically led to them not hiring a firm. Potential clients don’t often have experience working with lawyers so make sure that you convey expertise and proactively set expectations by sharing FAQs and not relying on the lead to know what to ask.
DO enable website chat and texting. We know legal clients aren’t always comfortable talking about legal matters with a “stranger” like a law firm intake team. Put them at ease by allowing silent communication channels like website chat and SMS texting so they can discreetly communicate the issue they’re facing. In workplaces, silence also means your potential client isn’t overheard calling a law firm. Offering website chat and texting helps your clients feel comfortable with you, which builds trust. Trust leads to higher conversions.
DO entrust an answering service to screen leads. And screen heavily or lightly, based on your firm’s growth stage. If you have more leads than you can handle, be pickier about who you consult with. If you have just hung your shingle or you’re in expansion mode, be more open to consulting with more clients and building your caseload.
DO use online scheduling apps to secure appointments with leads if a call transfer cannot be made. You absolutely want to lock down the lead, even if the intake specialist, paralegal, or attorney is on the other line, out of the office, or heads-down on a big project. To lock down leads so they don’t call the next firm in their search results, have your receptionist schedule a consult on the firm’s calendar with the person who can “win” them and get the retainer signed. With an appointment in place, your lead will feel relieved, like their search is finally over.
To give your leads the 100% attention they deserve and enable you to sign more cases, looking into an intake service like Smith.ai may be the best option for your firm. Intake services can offer invaluable perks such as multilingual operators, 24/7 communication options, and very quick first touches with follow-ups for effective lead screening.
Getting your law firm into Google’s Local 3-Pack can be the difference between surviving and thriving in a highly competitive industry. It is important to know how to earn a 3-Pack spot as well as how to handle the resulting increase in leads. Identifying your strengths and your weaknesses, focusing on what you can handle, and delegating out other important items will put you miles ahead of the competition.