If being visible in local search results makes sense for your practice, understanding how local search results work, can make a big difference in where your firm shows up.
While you’ve probably read that you need to claim, complete, and optimize your Google Places listing(s), you may not be familiar with some of the more nuanced aspects to Google Places. One of these lesser-known features are custom attributes:
While this data may not appear on the Place Page, this information continues to help our system understand more about your business and ensure your organic listings appears and ranks appropriately on Google and Google Maps when potential customers perform searches related to your business.
Many lawyers that I talk with are frustrated that younger, less experienced attorneys are displayed prominently in local search results. Data provided via custom attributes are one way Google might use more specific data to serve local results.
For example, for some search queries, Google may determine to serve up Google Places results for lawyers that have been in licensed for longer, have more significant professional affiliations, etc.
It’s important to keep in mind that Google’s ultimate goal (beyond making money), is to deliver the best search results it can to its users.
In the context of legal searches, it stands to reason that Google would want to serve up results for lawyers that have been recognized by their colleagues and clients. Likewise, it stands to reason that attorneys that have been licensed for longer, are recognized by established professional organizations, and perhaps even graduated from certain law schools, are “quality” signals to Google for certain local searches.
Since custom attributes don’t appear in Google Places listings, they aren’t as widely known about. If you’re working with an internet marketing consultant, you should ask them whether or not they are familiar with these specific custom attributes for lawyers in Google Places.