Before making the decision to hire you, it’s likely that a potential new client will conduct a Google search to feel confident in their choice. If you’re not sure what they may see when they Google you or your law firm, it’s time to Google yourself.
Performing a Google search on yourself at least once a month is essential to maintaining an effective online presence. Read on for guidelines on how to effectively Google yourself and your firm as well as some best practices.
How to effectively Google yourself
Start by opening a new window in incognito mode or clearing your browser cache. This helps to give you an accurate view of what is on the first page of search results without the interference of past searches or location settings.
To open an incognito window on your browser:
- Google Chrome: Click the stacked dots located on the top right corner of your browser. Navigate to “New Incognito Window”
- Safari: Hover over “File” located on the top left corner of your screen. Navigate to “New Private Window”
Once you’re ready to conduct your search, enter each of the following queries into Google, one at a time:
- Your name
- Your firm’s name
- Your name + your current city
- Your firm’s name + your current city
- Your name + your firm’s name + your current city
- Any past and current email addresses
- Any past and current phone numbers (including your office phone number)
- Any active social media account usernames
For each of these queries, review the first page of search results for any misinformation or red flags. You will also need to inspect the “Images” tab for any pictures that you would not want to appear publicly. If nothing seems out of the ordinary, then you are in the clear for this month and can return to this process next month.
What to review for every firm listing
Similar to how you want yourself represented accurately on Google, your firm should receive the same treatment. While you may be able to reasonably predict the search behavior of your potential clients, you can’t control what Google search result associated with you or your firm they may find.
Below is a list of what you should check for accuracy on each of your firm’s listings:
- Office phone number
- Office address (if there’s an auto-generated map image, double check this for accuracy too)
- Website address
- Contact email
- Any headshots or office images
Setting up Google Alerts
To stay ahead of every mention of you and your firm on Google, set up a Google Alert. This is a free service that will send you a daily or weekly email breakdown of any mentions of your name online. Google Alerts will help you stay on top of every new place you or your firm is mentioned online.
Social media and Google
Keep in mind that your personal social media accounts are an extension of you as a professional as well as your law firm. If there is any content that you would like to keep private from a potential client, it’s best to set your social media profiles to private and refrain from associating identifying information about yourself with your profiles. This could reduce the likelihood of your personal social media profiles appearing as your top Google search results, but be wary that anything you post online can be saved as a screenshot and sent anywhere regardless of whether you’ve previously deleted it.
Only post content that you feel best represents you and your values and always err on the side of caution. If you are conducting your monthly Google search and notice your personal social media profiles are taking precedence on page one, you may want to make a few tweaks to your profile settings to push these farther down in the search results.
Controlling your image on Google
You may perform a Google search on yourself and stumble upon information or an image that you don’t wish to represent you or your firm. In this case, you have a couple options for removing the information from the top search results.
If the information is from a site or platform that you have access to, such as a social media profile, you’re free to delete this information or change your privacy settings. However, if the information is on a website or platform that you do not have direct access to, you will need to contact them and request to have it removed. This may require a few additional steps, but it’s important to managing your digital presence.
If you’re not a LawLytics member and are looking to grow your firm’s online presence, LawLytics can help. We handle the design and the technical details of your firm’s website to provide everything you need to attract and convert your ideal clients.
To see it in action, schedule a 20-minute interactive demo.