As we approach the end of 2022, we start wondering what changes and innovations are ahead of us, and this week our conversation explores announced and confirmed Google My Business updates. We mix that out with predictions on how the local pack will continue evolving next year.

This week we are also attending the CEO Lawyer Summit, one of the newest legal conferences to become popular that promises to provide a fresh perspective on law conference topics and content, where entrepreneurship and innovation are at the center of the agenda.

So tune in for a conversation that merges business growth with Google My Business, and offers basic but essential pointers to help you get your legal practice ready for the new year.

Resources mentioned in our episode:

Send us your questions at ask@incamerapodcast.com

Enjoy the show? Please don’t forget to subscribe, tell your coworkers, and leave us a review!


Transcript

Liel: [00:00:00] It is no longer optional to have a Google my business profile. It’s an essential component of any law firms online presence, and it’s frequently where conversions happen. I’m Liel Levy, co-founder of Nanato Media and author of Beyond Se Habla EspaƱol. How Lawyers Win the Hispanic Market. And This is In-camera podcast where we give the click to call feature in Google My Business, the respect it deserves.

Liel: [00:00:53] Welcome to In-Camera Podcast,

Liel: [00:00:54] Private Legal Marketing Conversations, Grace, welcome back. How are you?

Grace: [00:00:58] But how are you, Liel?

Liel: [00:00:59] Great Grace. I’m happy we’re here and I’m excited because next week we are meeting again, right? We have the last or what’s officially probably going to be the last in-person conference happening in 2021. And that’s the CEO Lawyer Summit, which is not new, not new. I’ve learned that this summit had taken place before. I believe in 2019, but it certainly grown in popularity and in size, it looks like this year. And so I think that’s going to be an interesting one. Grace, why don’t we start there? First of all, what do you know about the CEO lawyer and why are you going?

Grace: [00:01:38] So I actually had the pleasure of meeting Ali Awad at mass torts made perfect. He is very like minded lawyer, meaning like minded to our CEO and founder, Ed Lake, in that he believes that the business of law is just that it’s the business of law, not just doing trials or just doing X or just doing Y right. And that is the concept that we are constantly talk about, which is, hey, we know that you are a lawyer and that you love doing the law, but you have to run your business too, right? And so for me, that’s kind of what I see. The concept is and when I spoke to him while we were there at MTP together, that’s that’s what he said. To see CEO Lawyer Summit was about was teaching you what you kind of need to know to actually run your business of law.

Liel: [00:02:31] I can tell you, I’m very excited to be going. It’s it’s exciting to have something new like some some event that is not necessarily one of the of the usual ones.

Grace: [00:02:42] Yeah, it’s definitely different, right? I mean, we’re used to going to all these same sessions, all the same type of tracks, and it’s nice to have something a little a little unusual and a little more along the lines of what you and I talk about all the time, which is running your business. Yeah, you’re lawyer. But you still have a business to run. So you know, one of the things I’d like to mention is partly we’re going as attendees. They ran out of exhibit booths and things like that, so I wasn’t able to get one. Otherwise we would have been a sponsor of this event because we believe in it, you know, and so when we’re going, we’re going to have the opportunity to see what they’re talking about, which is stories, right? And we talk about stories all the time and they’re going to have stories from attorneys who have pushed through the same exact challenges that other attorneys have felt. You know, hiring and I mean, all the things that you and I talk about all the time. So for us, it’s going to be a really interesting. It’s two and a half days. It’s not super long. So it’s not going to take you away too much from your business, but it will hopefully leave you with more value.

Liel: [00:03:46] I’m going here through the to the to the sessions. And by the way, I mean, this podcast coming out on the first day of the event. But you know, hey, if you’re in Atlanta and you are available, definitely, definitely see if you can get yourself in to this event. So, yeah, as I’ve said first day, there is a lot of information going around, like the importance of proper diagnostics and imaging, when and how to use life care plans, how to find the best ortho pain doctor. Right. So like these are topics you don’t necessarily see in other conferences and then like looking in today to you have exactly what you were just saying now, Grace, like you have the Alis giving a session about the business of law versus the practice of law. And that’s obviously going to be interesting. And, you know, looking at all their speakers, presenters, Alexander Shunnarah it’s going to be there, Mike Morris is going to be there. So, you know, it’s a very interesting mix and I can Hardison is going to be there, so it’s going to be a very, very interesting one.

Grace: [00:04:52] Most definitely. And we’ve we’ve had a couple of these guys right on our podcast. So we know that what they can speak about and that they definitely know the business of law. So I’m I’m excited to see the lineup honestly.

Liel: [00:05:06] Yeah, it is. It’s their Grace. And so that’s going to be lots of fun.

Grace: [00:05:12] Yeah. Grace, if they want any more information. Ceo Lawyer Summit.com

Liel: [00:05:18] That’s it. Now, Grace, let’s let’s talk a little bit about the end of the year because it’s happening, right? And it’s really been one of those years that up to a certain extent, you know, had a lot of surprises, new developments. Just a few weeks ago, we were talking about performance max campaigns that just came out. And I want to share with you here a new update that we were just talking about. And while initially it may seem like just a user experience update, I’m sensing here and this is not something that I have additional information to share at this point, but I’m sensing here that. Google recently confirmed an updated version of the local pack for desktop. So what’s different, what’s going to be happening now in the local park? That is not the same as it was before, is that, you know, before the local park rates used to have the map in desktop, the map and then you had the listings like three businesses listed under the map. Right, right. So now they’re changing to something that, particularly in desktop, makes so much sense, which is the map goes on the right and the businesses go on the left and the entire, you know, and the entire section takes the whole week of the search results page. And so obviously, this makes the experience more user friendly because you can see things side by side, you don’t necessarily have to scroll up and down.

Liel: [00:07:01] And what I think even more important here to acknowledge is the fact that at least on the example that I’m seeing here, Google is positioning this as the first section in the search results page, at least in this example that we’re seeing here, which is obviously for a what would be consider like a local search, like coffee shops. And that’s the first thing that comes up. So to me, that hints that continue to focus that Google is going to have moving forward towards connecting users to really relevant local businesses based on where they are right there and then. So that’s one thing. The other thing is I have the I’m sensing here that Google is also going to be changing some elements of how Google my business works. And this is one of the things that make me believe that this kind of new updated look and format of the role that Jim becomes to play with this. But then we also have the Google approved, right? Do you remember the whole thing that we used to have Google guaranteed Google approved and right? And so there was also this not yet implemented, not yet in place kind of like certification from Google that will give you that additional badge of credibility that basically tells you users, Hey, we’ve vetted this business and it’s good to go. And so I think that’s going to come to play a role in 2022 in reshaping Google my business.

Grace: [00:08:53] Well, you know, it’s interesting, just like you said, because you see the the local service ads, you see, I mean, they just keep changing how they want things displayed. And obviously, after a bunch of testing, usually and I can see that in the article that we’re looking at together where they discussed that, that they, you know, they started rolling it out like they always do little by little to different people. I feel like this. It does make sense to a point, particularly on desktop, like you said, because I want to see the names of the businesses a lot of times with their reviews and stars. And and then, you know, looking at the map on the right does seem to make sense. And so on that right hand side, I think that I like the layout and I think that that seems to make more sense. And I guess we’ll see, right? They do change things their three pack, depending on what they’re doing at different times. So we’ll see what that where that leads to at this point. What do you think about I mean, you said you liked the layout. What have you? Have you seen anything happen to yours, to your listing? So.

Liel: [00:09:58] So Grace, this is not yet fully rolled out. So it’s something that is gradually being rolled out, just like Google does it right. So as you continue to explore in some search queries that you’re making, you’re potentially going to come across this. I haven’t yet seen it myself, but I’ll be honest I also don’t search that much, particularly for local businesses or on desktop. Usually, I do that on mobile and so on mobile. It’s not changing. This change is also it’s only been announced for desktop. But I do believe the like the local park is one of the sections in the search results page that has had. That hasn’t changed much over the past 12 to 18 months and is just doesn’t make sense for Google not to do something there to make it more relevant. And since a lot of search queries are indeed trying to find for local businesses, make a better user experience, not at the local. Right now, it’s not great, but it’s still not terrific, it’s still a little bit clunky, right? Because you have it’s it’s that thing, you have the map and then you have the businesses and you need to scroll up and down. And then the moment that you expand that list, like the map fully goes away. And so it just there’s certainly room for improvement. But what I’ve seen and this goes back to to the performance Mexican painter that we’ve talked is that Google is now showing in between search ads, performance max ads, which are or Google my business listing ads, right? Which is actually inserting the Google my business profile kind of as a nod in between search ads.

Liel: [00:11:49] And that again, right, that ties back to my business and using Google, the Google, my business profile beyond of where it lives, which is the local park. So I I think that there is going to be more growth there. And the reason why I think it’s important to keep our eyes and focus on this is because local traffic for law firms is hugely valuable. It has a lot, a lot of weight in many law firms client acquisition strategy. So any change from the local park is obviously likely to have some sort of impact. And I my my bet here is that it’s just going to continue to get more prominence. And one thing that you said there, Grace, which is local services ads, is the way that it has really changed, the way that the people go about interacting with results on the to search queries that are for hiring lawyers because now they have a great selection of options at the very top of the page that are extremely user friendly and they are socially proofed through reviews. So, you know, it’s definitely it definitely has changed the way that users go about navigating search queries like personal injury lawyer near me or family lawyer near me or anything like that. So I definitely see more more changes coming in this space. What do you think, Grace? Do you have any wild prediction for 2022 when it comes down to Google, my business or in general, the way that the search results page looks like?

Grace: [00:13:29] Well, I do actually a little bit because of the way I interact with it. It’s funny that you said you really don’t look on a desktop, but a lot of times, especially if I want to travel somewhere or if I want a very specific type of food near me. You know how it says coffee shop or whatever? Yeah, I use my desktop like I prefer to use my laptop. Not sure, obviously, but I prefer to use my laptop because I have a big screen and because of that situation, because I like scrolling up and down on the map and also seeing the listing at the same time. So I like my screen to be this huge thing where I can move stuff around. I can change the parameters, you know, the different requests that I might have to look specifically for that. Restaurant or whatever that I am looking for. So my prediction is that this will obviously help others help some and also hinder others, because now they’re going to have a better view. I feel right in their face of these businesses with the parameters that they’re looking for. So that search intent is going to be even more hyper focused on the individual search person. So the person that’s looking for like me, I can now be even more granular than before because now I have this big view that makes it easy for me to slice and dice what I actually want to see, not just the list on one side and potentially a map on the other. So I have seen this, and when I move the map on the right, the listings change on the left, and that makes it so much easier for me to pick and choose what I’m looking for without seeing all these irrelevant, potentially businesses.

Liel: [00:15:13] Yeah, I guess it’s just a matter of like when you’re in the move, you’re usually rely more on your phone for completing the search queries. And so that’s why I find mobile more relevant now. Grace, let’s talk about what are some of the changes that we already know that have been talked about when it comes down to Google, my business for twenty twenty two. So we’ve already mentioned this display of the map on the search results pages on desktop, but there’s more things already that have been announced. Let’s start with the fact that Google my business is now going to be called Google business profile. Ooh, so fancy. Right? So this is what Google has to say about it. The existing Google My Business Web experience will transition to primarily support larger businesses with multiple locations and will be renamed Business Profile Manager. We will share more details on these changes in the in the months ahead. But you see what I’m saying, Grace. Like Google, my business is already understanding that the market and the consumer behavior has kind of already evolved into something else and people want to have more options. And what I’m seeing here, Grace, about these new futures that are going to be on the Google business profile are actually very, very interesting. And I think I’m going to put I like are going to completely change the way in which we actually get business out of it. So here it is there. It’s going to be the possibility to start messaging from the search results page. So here’s what we know. Last year, Google added a way to let you chat with customers on Google Maps, but now they are rolling out that feature on Google Search too. So obviously there is going to be way more people that are searching and finding businesses in Google search, so this will be way more meaningful and

Grace: [00:17:09] More of that out early because I actually have that option already.

Liel: [00:17:13] So you may have an option, you may have it, but that will allow you as of now to to chat with users who are interacting with your listing. But on the Maps app, it is.

Grace: [00:17:23] It already does. Yeah, my dog pops up it. It’s the Maps app and it says Message.

Liel: [00:17:29] Exactly the firm. Totally. Yeah. And so that that already exist. What’s what’s changing here is now you’re going to be able to also initiate chats with a business from the search results page. So not from the Google Maps app. Yeah, right. And so that’s going to be way more significant because, you know, think about the amount of calls that the average law firm gets a month from Google. My business significant. Now think how many of those calls will potentially transition into chat? So that’s going to be very, very significant. Now other things that are some of them already available, it’s called history, which is great. Google, my business now gives you the access to actually know all of the different calls that came through your Google my business in in the shape of how many calls were answered, how many calls, where missed, which numbers called you the date and so forth. And so. So that’s very, very valuable data. Basically is enabling businesses to have a more comprehensive platform that will allow them to manage part of the client experience from Google, my business not just using it as a touchpoint, but potentially start to see an increased number of conversions through there. And I think again, for law firms that have multiple locations, this is going to be a very, very valuable and smart way of managing this. Because right now, Grace, I mean, it’s a really bad experience. We have several clients that have multiple offices in the same state or even the same city, and you need to have different separate accounts for each one of these. And so locations for each one of these. So I think it makes a lot of sense for them to be able to be joined in some way or another and to exist as locations, rather as individual listings, even though there can be associated to the same Google my business Gmail account it it is there kind of like very independent. So that’s one of the things. And yeah, Grace. I don’t know. Any final thoughts on Google my business for twenty twenty two?

Grace: [00:19:48] Yeah, it’s it’s less of a specific to, I guess, Google, my business. It has to do with YouTube. And I don’t know if many of you may, may or may not have noticed. But if you create a new, you know, Google my business listing, you can’t really connect it to your YouTube account anymore. It doesn’t work like it used to. When you create a YouTube creator account or a brand account, it’s kind of a stand alone account now. It doesn’t get created from the Google My business listing as an attached account. Have you seen that? Hmm.

Liel: [00:20:20] Hmm. Interesting. Haven’t paid attention to that, to be very honest.

Grace: [00:20:22] Yeah, I just recently created a YouTube channel for the Lake law firm, and I noticed that when I created the account I created as a brand account and it’s a standalone account. And when I went to look at the Google my business listing and connect it to like I have for Jack Corvino and Lake, which has been up forever. It does. It said very clearly that they no longer connect Google my business to YouTube that way anymore, and they don’t plan on ever, you know, having like that, that YouTube is kind of its own thing, and that’s how they deal with it. So it could be attached to your Google account, but it’s not the same as the my business listing connected to that YouTube brand account. Very interesting. It’s just a sort of a technical thing in the background.

Liel: [00:21:10] Well, Grace, one thing for sure is that we’ll be monitoring this, and we’ll certainly going to be sharing more details, InSight’s news and results of tests that we do right? So Grace, in the meantime, why don’t we come up with three good and actionable takeaways from this conversation so we can send off our listeners to a great week ahead of them?

Grace: [00:21:37] So let’s start with the conference that we’re going to be going to. If you if you don’t go to this one, CEO lawyers go to something that helps you work on your business of law rather than just constantly dealing with trials or litigation. Not to say that that’s not important. We know obviously that that without that you don’t have a firm, but you need to also work on the business of law. And so if you don’t attend something like the CEO Lawyer Summit, you should definitely work on getting some help

Liel: [00:22:05] On that front. Yeah, we should have talked about this before. We’ve really waited. We really waited to the last minute, but I believe there are also, you know, they have other other things going on. I’m not sure I heard something about a mastermind. Not sure about that, but yes, I did as well. Yeah. So anyhow, you know, there are resources, whether these are events, whether it is our online seminars, whether it’s a Facebook group of like minded lawyers, you know? Get yourself out and surrounded by people that can be of valuable or resource to you and that you can help them as well. It just, you know, works, works great, works better. That’s a really good one, Grace. Number two, I would say, keep your eyes open for new updates and changes and leverage new options and technologies. Don’t forget about your social media accounts and Google my business constantly. There is new things, new updates, new new enhancements to your profiles and such. So every once in a while, go in there, log into your account and see what else has come up or spend some time checking out your competitors how their profiles look like. What do they have listed, right? There’s a lot of businesses, law firms still that in your Google, my business, they don’t have listed yet their products and services, right? Which in this case would be the type of services you provide, the type of cases that you handle in this being around already for for a very long time. So 100 percent, there is a lot of things that you could be doing to better optimize the visibility of your Google. My business give more important and valuable data to Google that they can use in order to make you more visible to users that may be interested in what you do.

Grace: [00:23:43] Oh, I couldn’t agree with you more, right? I mean, you have to keep up where you’re going to be left behind.

Liel: [00:23:48] We all know that. And listen, you probably have someone in your team who’s been looking at this and keeps you up to date. And so but it’s always good for you to to go and explore and do some, some some research from your end so you can come up with ideas. Maybe you, you see or identify or have registered something else that it has got that wasn’t noticed. So what’s our final takeaway, Grace?

Grace: [00:24:14] The final takeaway for me would be it’s a combination, I guess, of the Google, my business and business of law. You know, don’t forget that you should at the end of the year, you know, at the beginning of the year whenever pick a time. But you need a refresher. What I mean by that, I mean, take a look at what you have currently in your marketing for your business of law. Look at what you have in Google, my business, in your social media, like Liel said Look at all of your different things that you have and just go through it and make sure that you’ve kept up to date with all these different potential changes. Because just like you said, you’d be surprised how many firms do not have their products and services listed, which is their practice areas. And that’s not hard. It’s not something that you you have to spend hours upon hours doing. So take take some time, take a small. You don’t even need a lot of time, but pick and choose and be consistent with it that you’re going to look at least once a month, once every two months, three months at your listings, at your social media, and just make sure everything is consistent.

Grace: [00:25:21] I’ll give you an example. As as odd as it sounds right, we’re call center, we handle calls, we find their volume for mass torts and things like that. I just told them I haven’t seen a call come through to me. I’m at the bottom of the line to make sure that if it doesn’t overflow, I pick it up. So I said, Hey, I haven’t seen any calls hit my line all day today. That means one of two things everyone’s picking it up in time or the calls. I’m working, hoping obviously for the former, not the latter. So I said, Hey, while we’re in the middle of the podcast, can you have one of our team members call the line and check the timing? As we were speaking, they just told me, yep, it was picked up by X person in X number of time. And this is what I had as a response. Fantastic. So I suggest that everybody does the same thing. Checking your phone numbers. Check everything.

Liel: [00:26:17] Yeah, exactly, exactly. Sometimes we just got too used to that. You know, the fact that there is a system of process and somebody taking care of it, and that’s great. Chances are that everything is working as it should. It doesn’t mean that you need to ignore it, that it’s not there is no value and you just, you know, open up the lead every once in a while and see what’s happening in there. You’d be surprised. And there’s the fact that you have your ideas, you have your input. One hundred percent doesn’t hurt for you to share those with your team in case you have people that are helping you or taking care of those things. Grace Great. Keep there. And I’m very impressed by your multitasking skills because I was all all this time. 100 percent sure that I had your your attention and you are not distracted. And little did I know that you were sending emails to your team while I was here having an engaging conversation with you.

Grace: [00:27:08] That was thinking it was just a team chat. Hey, I’m using productivity tools, right?

Liel: [00:27:13] Exactly, exactly. That’s that’s what you have. That’s what you need to learn. You need to be able to be in two places at the same time and be engaged in both things. That’s a skill, Grace. Excited to be seeing you in a few days. Take care and we’ll be back with another episode.

Grace: [00:27:32] That’s right. You too, Liel

Liel: [00:27:33] And I see you next week. All right. Take care. Bye bye. And if you like our show, make sure you subscribe. Tell your coworkers. Leave us a review and send us your questions to: ask@incamerapodcast.com. We’ll see you next week.

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