Why is it Terrible That FindLaw Changed The Phone Number on My Google Business Listing?
I’m going to try to lay out why I think FindLaw should NOT be replacing the phone numbers on the Google Business Listings of their clients. I believe it’s at least dishonest and in this post I’m going to try to lay out why I think it’s borderline fraud.
What is a Google Business Listing?
Let’s just make sure we’re all on the same “page” here. When I say Google Business Listing I am referring to the page pictured below, your listing that you should see when you Google the name of your business.
Your Google Business Listing is an important source of calls and traffic, but it's NOT a result of FindLaw's efforts and it does not belong on your insights report
What is a FindLaw Tracking Number?
When you buy a website from FindLaw, they will purchase a local number to use on your site that forwards to your main office number. The purpose is to be able to quantify the calls that are generated from the website.
Here’s Where the Problem Comes In
When I worked for FindLaw I used to second guess exactly what SEO results we should be taking credit for. When FindLaw sells websites, they are usually promising that their SEO will get you top placement and traffic for searches like “St Paul Divorce Lawyer” or “St. Paul Asset Division”.
When I worked at FindLaw, I was never comfortable preparing reports for clients showing the “efforts” of the SEO team. It was easy to show a client high Google traffic numbers… But, when looking further into which searches are generating the SEO traffic, it’s not what the client was promised. Look at Statler and Waldorf, a pretend family law firm in St. Paul.
These aren't the Searches Waldorf & Statler were hoping for.
Ron Waldorf Lawyer
Waldorf & Statler
Statler Waldorf Law Firm
Statler Law Firm
Lawyers Waldorf & Statler
And to be clear, name-based searches are great; they are a result of name recognition. But while name recognition is great for a law firm, it’s not something that an honest SEO company would brag about or use to pad their stats.
Most FindLaw clients will find when they reduce the keyword list to only the words that brought in new business, the reports go from impressive to downright embarrassing.
What Does This Have to Do With The Google Phone Number?
The larger question here is “what traffic does FindLaw have the right to claim it produced?”. If you’ve spent time in your FindLaw “Insights” report, you saw that they are full of self-congratulations from FindLaw. Insight reports show gaudy numbers of contacts and clients generated, but they are padded with the wide placement of your FindLaw tracking number. I’ve talked to numerous clients seeing no meaningful contacts from their site, but their reports will look just amazing – like their phone is ringing off the hook with new business.
FindLaw has always shown SEO reports that were inflated because of name searches.
With this Google phone number stunt, it’s worse:
FindLaw is intentionally taking credit for phone calls generated from your free Google listing.
I Can Help You Fix This
If you have questions about the content in this article, or would like to work with me on replacing your site, please do not hesitate to reach out. I can help you understand your current reports, give you options to move away from FindLaw, and get you set up for reports that might not always sing their own praises, but they will be an accurate reflection of what’s happening with your website.
If you have a FindLaw website and are tired of over-paying for your site, I’d love to talk to you about how I can rebuild your site, improve the quality and leave those high monthly payments behind.