As search engine algorithms continue to evolve, it is important to recall the importance of creating a legitimate presence online. While constructing an eye-catching website and creating useful backlinks1 is a great place to start, making sure that you are mentioned by others in your own community has become crucial. By making use of local geographic citations aka “local SEO citations”, you can attract clients to your website and ultimately to your business through localized search results.
A local SEO citation is a mention of your business NAP (name, address and phone number) on a website other than your own. Popular citation sites may include: local chambers of commerce, local website directories, lawyer niche directories2, social sites and/or local business agencies. In many ways, citations are similar to the information that clients might have acquired on your firm before the Internet was available. This process still requires some legwork on the part of the client, making their understanding of your firm more thorough and relevant. Citations can enhance the presence of your law firm online by making the information available in more places than just on your website. Many citations can also include links to your website.
Once you understand the importance of local citations3, you can move on to finding the right citations for your business. While you can track down individual sources on your own, there are paid services that can do the majority of the work for you. Brightlocal4 is a popular source that offers various SEO tools, including tools for making local SEO citations. The site’s tools are particularly useful for tracking appropriate local citations, especially for those looking to use the same sources as their competitors. The service does come with a cost, but a 30-day free trial should help you to figure out if it is worth your time.
Whitespark5 also offers a particularly useful service. They offer numerous citation opportunities (currently around 245 per keyphrase), but they also provide practical tools that can help you monitor and analyze your local SEO citations. A limited service is currently available that allows three searches per day, but other relatively inexpensive ($20-$100/month) services give you access to more searches, more tools and a higher level of support.
Yext6 is one of the leaders in this space. Their service can populate hundreds of business listing websites in a very short period of time. They have solid partnerships with a lot of authoritative websites like Yelp and Bing. Their service has a pretty robust interface that allows you to track information, added product descriptions, pages and other information that can go along with your business listing if applicable to a particular site. For about $399 annually, Yext will populate dozens of listings for you and you can manage them from within the Yext interface.
Moz Local7 is a new player to the game. They did not have a citation service until 2013 and now they will submit relevant business information to the major data aggregators for a nominal fee (currently 80 dollars annually). Moz Local is a cheaper alternative to the higher priced tools mainly because they do not have all the other features. You pretty much submit your business information and that is it.
Local SEO citations can help an attorney to bring in new clients to his or her physical location, but most importantly, it helps an attorney’s site to rank better in a local search. These local citations help to establish the presence of your firm in a physical space, creating a more substantial presence on the Internet. If you have questions about your local SEO citations8 or want to establish a better presence online, you can always contact us at AttorneyRankings.org.