This is one of the most common questions lawyers ask me about business listings. Sometimes they are called citations and they are really important if your goal is high ranking in Google Maps. But, they are not as important as they once were.
The way they used to be set-up is this. If you searched for something like “Baltimore personal injury lawyer” the ad comes up. Below that there is the map section and below that there are the organic listings. To get in those maps you had to have a ton of citations, a ton of business listings. Google has backed away from that a little bit. While it is no longer important to have tons and tons (like thousands) of directory listings. But, certain directory listings are very important.
What we do for all our clients
There are a few things that we do for all of our clients. It is the first order of business for each client and we take it seriously.
- We make sure our clients have a handful of really, really good directly listings.
- We always ensure the listings have the correct name, address, and phone number, and they are always 100% accurate.
- We make sure each business listing is unique – we never take a business listing and copy and paste it. We always have a writer write a unique business description for every citation, every business
Which business listings should you use?
In a meeting with an Attorney, he will soon ask me which citations, which business listings should they should use. The reason behind this is, you can end up spending a lot of money, fast if you do not know where you are headed. Some of these business listings are a couple of hundred dollars for just one listing. It is easy getting carried away. You can get stuck in the rabbit hole and spend a lot of money and not get the most bang for your buck.
My SEO Team and I have named the top 5 most important citation or directory listings just for you.
I wanted to create something really special for you. I wanted to help clear the path to the top five most important directory listings, citations or whatever you want to call them. I will list the five most important directory listing sites for a lawyer in no particular order.
I hate Yelp. I do not think that they treat businesses fairly. It annoys me that people can a review for you, clients can leave a review, and Yelp will hide the review and say it is not recommended. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter what I think. It matters what Google thinks. Google loves Yelp, so make sure you have your Yelp listing completely optimized. I do not think you actually have to necessarily need to advertise with them, but be sure it is clean. Make sure your name, your address, your phone number, and everything is correct. Be sure to check your business hours and add a business description. Add photos to it and add everything you can to get Google to rank you higher in Google maps.
2. Better Business Bureau
Better Business Bureau is an important place to list your business. Google is all about returning trustworthy businesses in searches. One of the things Google looks at is, have you paid for a Better Business Bureau listing? They are about $500 per listing, so fly-by-night companies are not going to open these things. It is a little more expensive, but I think it is probably one of the more worthwhile directory listings to get listed in. We recommend all of our clients and all of our SEO clients to get listed in the Better Business Bureau.
You have probably never heard of this business listing before. Most people haven’t. It may seem like a generic, so it may seem strange to you. But, for some reason, Google really likes this directory and if you get listed here, you’re much more likely to appear in the knowledge graph. — you have your knowledge graph listings appear, and that’s a little bit more technical, but good things happen if you get listed in InfoUSA, so definitely, definitely, definitely make sure you get Yelp, Better Business Bureau, InfoUSA. Get your name, your address, your phone number, add photos, add a business description — a unique business description — make sure your website URL is correct, all that good stuff
These three business listings a kind of generic. Any business should be in these directories. Now, let’s talk about some of the sites that we can specify for lawyers. There are so many different ones out there specifically for lawyers. How do we know which ones are trustworthy? How do we know which ones are garbage?
I do not like Findlaw. But, Google likes Findlaw. Google thinks Findlaw is an authoritative site and Google also knows that pretty much every lawyer that is anybody has a listing on Findlaw. So, with that said, you need a listing on Findlaw. Go with the cheapest option possible. It may even be possible to get a free listing on Findlaw. Findlaw is definitely one you want to go for. Get the trust and relevancy to being a lawyer. You have to have Findlaw.
Last but not least is Avvo. Avvo’s is an up and coming directory. It is owned by Martindale-Hubbell now. So, it’s a good one. You will need to set up an Avvo profile. Make sure it is filled out completely. Get some reviews on there. I do not necessarily know that having a 10 out of 10 ratings on Avva has any impact on your Google ranking but be sure you have your name, address, phone number, and other information accurate. By verifying your personal and business information on each of these five sites, Google will see you as relevant and trustworthy. Having phone numbers, websites, addresses, and information exactly correct on all the sites give Google the information it needs to judge you in an authoritative light. That’s what we all need. That grows our business.
I hope this gives you the help you need to begin. I just wanted to drop a quick piece of information here that you will find useful. If you have any questions at all, let me know. But otherwise, I hope everyone has a great day. Talk to you soon.