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Should Attorneys Create Google My Business Listings Separate from the Law Firm?

google my business logoIndividual attorneys may create Google My Business pages separate from the law firm’s Google My Business page if certain conditions are met. That said, it’s usually not a good idea.

Google My Business Guidelines for Individual Attorneys:

Google My Business (GMB) classifies attorneys as “individual practitioners”.

According to Google: “An individual practitioner is a public-facing professional, typically with their own customer base. Doctors, dentists, lawyers, financial planners, and insurance or real estate agents are all individual practitioners. Business Profiles for practitioners may include title or degree certification (e.g. Dr., MD, JD, Esq., CFA).”

GMB Guidelines also state that an individual practitioner should create their own dedicated Business Profile if:

  • They operate in a public-facing role. Support staff should not create their own Business Profiles.
  • They can be contacted directly at the verified location during stated hours.

Source: https://support.google.com/business/answer/3038177

Individual Practitioner GMB Pages for Practicing Attorneys is Usually a Bad Idea.

If you’re reading this, you’ve likely seen an attorney or doctor with their own listing in GMB. And if you’re extra curious, when you discovered this, a light bulb probably went off in your head and you are now wondering if you can dominate the 3 pack with your own listings. That generally doesn’t work – because – Google filters and suppresses listings coming from the same address. Getting a personal injury lawyer or a workers’ compensation attorney to display twice in the 3 pack from the same address is nearly impossible, unless you’re the only law firm in town.

When You Could Use a Practitioner Listing for an Attorney:

The exception to this that we’ve implemented here is when a law firm has multiple practice areas. For example, if a law firm handles both personal injury and criminal defense, they could set the law firm’s GMB page to “personal injury attorney” for the primary business category, the create a GMB page for a practicing attorney who focuses on criminal defense and set the primary category of that page to “criminal defense attorney”. In theory, the firm’s GMB page could then display in the 3 pack for personal injury related search terms and the individual practitioner could display in the 3 pack for criminal defense search terms.

Potential Problems with Practitioner Listings:

I always advise law firms to be sure they own the GMB listing for the individual practitioner. That way, they can manage the profile and delete it whenever they’d like. If the attorney owns the individual practitioner listing, they will have control over the listing and you will not. Real Estate agents sometimes like to control their own GMB individual practitioner listing as they can move it with them when they quit working for one agency and go to work for another. What usually happens with attorney’s listings is they get forgotten – then you have to go through a process to claim the listing which is a big pain.

Recap.

Individual attorneys may have a unique GMB page separate from the law firm, however, the page is generally useless unless it targets a specific area of practice separate from the firm’s GMB category.

Hunting down owners of practitioner listings can be a big pain if the law firm doesn’t “own” each listing.

99% of the time an individual listing is not merited. Instead, focus your energy on getting reviews for your law firm.

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