What it Means For Your Law Practice to be “Google Screened” in 2021

Google recently launched its Google Screened program for professional service providers, including attorneys and law firms. By successfully completing the rigorous application process, you’ll receive a coveted Google endorsement and reach more potential clients—but it’s not cheap.
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As you evaluate your digital marketing efforts to build your legal practice in the new year, it’s important to explore the new tools and services that could help you achieve your goals. As more clients are conducting online searches before contacting an attorney, it’s essential that your law firm establishes and maintains a solid and effective digital presence so that potential clients can easily locate you, read reviews about your services, and schedule a consultation. However, while client reviews are important, Google has determined that consumers need further assurances of a business or professional’s trustworthiness. The company recently launched its new Google Screened program, offering qualifying applicants an official endorsement of trust in the form of a green check mark next to their firm’s name. Let’s take a closer look at what it means to be a “Google Screened” professional service and what steps to take if you’re interested in pursuing this opportunity in the new year.

Taking Local Service Ads to the Next Level

By now, you likely recognize the importance of marketing your firm locally. By creating content that appeals to customers within your community, Google will start to increasingly display your services in search results conducted by people in your area. In fact, many businesses pay Google to display their ads at the top of the Google search results page, which often translates into lead generation. Of course, Google takes several other factors into account when ranking your website, including client reviews, your hours of operation, your average response time, and your location in relation to the potential client. Additionally, if you participate in the Google Guaranteed or Google Screened program, you’ll earn a coveted badge of trust from Google—in the form of a green check mark—solidifying and displaying your expertise to potential clients.

Verifying Your Law Firm’s Services

Google increasingly acknowledges that consumer reviews, while important, are not enough to authenticate the trustworthiness of a particular business. People can game the online review system, and consumers can lose trust in a professional service if they spot a fake review. By launching its Google Guaranteed program, the company allowed most Home Service businesses, such as landscapers, house cleaning companies, pet groomers, and more to provide the required information so that Google could verify and endorse these services. Next, the company launched the Google Screened badge for qualifying professional service providers, including lawyers, to participate in a screening process in order to receive verification. An attorney who successfully passes the screening process will receive the covered green check, allowing potential clients to trust that you’ve gone the extra mile to establish and inspire public trust.

What the Google Screened Application Process Entails

Google doesn’t hand out badges to anyone—the screening process is comprehensive and time-consuming. You’ll need to pass a business-level background check as well as a business-owner background check. Each member of the firm must pass a state bar membership check, and you must show proof of malpractice insurance. Finally, you’ll need to maintain an online client review rating of at least three stars in order to keep the green check by your law practice’s name. Additional documentation may also be required as needed to complete the verification process. It’s important to remember that this massive endorsement does require time, effort, and money, and your firm may simply not be in the position to pursue this option in the months ahead. No matter what you decide to do, at least you’ve taken the time to explore your available options so that you can feel confident in the choices you make to build and sustain your law practice in 2021 and beyond.

Call LegalRev today at (800) 893-2590 to learn more about customizing your law firm’s approach to digital marketing in the new year!

December 17, 2020