What is Google Screened for Lawyers?
Google Guaranteed is a concept that Google has used for a while, largely to boost consumer confidence in-home services providers appearing in Local Services Ads, and to provide some extra protection to its users online. But, more recently, in 2020, Google introduced another program for professional services, called Google Screened. If your law firm qualifies and is approved, you have the ability to run Local Services Ads (LSAs) and receive a Google Screened for lawyers badge of trust.
When a search is done for local lawyer services, you will see the Google Screened for lawyers icon next to the law firms that have been approved.
When a lawyer applies and is approved by Google to become a Google Screened lawyer, they will be awarded a visible badge and be propelled to the top of search results, prominently displayed in an exclusive section on the page. The purpose of the Google Screened badge is to show prospective legal clients that an advertised law firm has been thoroughly vetted by Google in an extensive screening process to help them find trustworthy and reputable local attorneys. Google Screened for lawyers helps boost the attorney’s credibility making it easier for them to attract calls and new clients. Getting an edge on your competition in the legal field can sometimes be difficult, but the Google Screened badge provides an excellent opportunity to not only gain extra visibility online, but also boost your overall expertise, authoritativeness, and trust in your potential client’s eyes.
What Types of Lawyers Can Become Google Screened?
Although Google Screened for lawyers covers most primary categories of law, there are still some more niche areas of law that are not yet included. Before looking to become a Google Screened lawyer, be sure your area of practice is in the list below:
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How to Become a Google Screened Lawyer?
In order to become a Google Screened lawyer, you must pass Google’s screening and qualification process for the lawyer category. This screening process is free for businesses that want to participate, all that’s needed is some time to apply and information about your credentials and practice. The process varies by business category, but all subcategories of law (mentioned above) are overall the same.
To see if Local Services for Google Screened lawyers is available in your area, visit the Google signup page for more information. To begin the signup process, you will need to identify your specific area of practice as well as enter some additional information about your business. You must provide Google with the address for your main office, ideally, the same address that is verified in your Google My Business account, so Google knows the specific area that you’re targeting. If you want to grow your law firm’s reach you can also add additional cities in the future.
The more information you provide to Google the better. For example, providing information like the number of lawyers at your firm. Lawyers applying for Google Screened also must provide their license information, which Google will use to create individual profiles for each.
Once you’ve finished entering all of the information above, you’re finally ready for the screening process. During this process, you’ll need to provide the following:
- Headshot to use for your ads
- Bar membership information
- Proof of malpractice insurance
- Submit to all background checks
- Pull customer reviews to link to your account
Currently, each step takes around 2-3 days for verification and approval. However, background checks might take longer to complete, estimated times have varied, but a few days has been the typical wait time. All in all, Google Screened for lawyers is a bit of an extensive process, but given the level of value and insurance that it provides, Google wants to have all information before accepting new lawyers into this program.
Google Guaranteed vs Google Screened
Google recently rolled out its new Google Guaranteed and Google Screened program. While both of these programs provide consumers with ease of mind when searching for local services, the main benefit of Google Guaranteed is that it offers a money-back guarantee to those who use a service from a local business who is Google Guaranteed. It works as an online insurance policy, if a consumer is not satisfied with the services provided by the Google Guaranteed business, then they could receive a maximum of $2,000 (lifetime limit).
Both of these programs require businesses to pass extensive background checks, however, lawyers who apply for Google Screened must also have at least a 3-star rating from past clients in their verified Google My Business account. Additionally, it’s for professional business services, like lawyers, while the Google Guaranteed program is only offered to in-home service providers, such as plumbers, electricians, roofers, carpet cleaning, etc.
Although this feature is still in beta, Google Screened is a fantastic way to grow your law firm. Ranking organically for the keywords your potential clients are searching for is difficult and takes time. However, Google screened presents the opportunity of showing at the top of the Google results page for those same keywords. Imagine your law firm appearing as the first visible element on the page for searches like car accident lawyer, truck accident lawyer, or motorcycle accident lawyer. That’s exactly what Google Screened can provide and when this feature is utilized the right way, the value can be a game changer for your firm.
What Lawyers are Eligible for the Google Screened Program
Although Google Screened for lawyers is a very popular feature and growing by the day, it’s still in it’s still new and has not fully rolled out to all law practices. As of 2021, to apply for Google Screened for lawyers, your law firm must practice within certain areas, and your law firm must also meet the following requirements:
The requirements listed above will ensure potential clients that you were thoroughly vetted by Google Screened for lawyers, and as a result, will provide high-quality and dependable legal services that they need. When a potential client searches for law services online, they will be met with your name, contact information, and a prominent badge. Potential clients will also be able to see what other clients were satisfied with your services and receive the same level of care.
Get Started With Google Screened For Lawyers Today
The results that my clients have seen thus far from Google Screened for lawyers have been very positive. If you’re interested in learning more about becoming Google Screened, boosting your law firm’s online visibility, and generating more leads and phone calls, give me a call today and we can discuss the benefits of Google Screened for lawyers.
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