Legal Marketing

3. Secondary Directories – New Perspectives

legal directories & NAPS

The Importance of Secondary Directories and Citations for Law Firms

law firm directoriesA law firm’s strong online presence in today’s digital age is essential. One way to do that is by utilizing secondary directories and citations. We call these “secondary” because most people think of Google Business Places and Bing Places for Business as Primary Directories. These secondary directories are online platforms where businesses can list their information, such as their name, address, phone number, and website. Citations are mentions of your business name and information on other websites, even if there is no link to your website. Secondary directories and citations are crucial for your law firm’s success.

Case Study: The Law Office of Johnson & Associates

The (fictional) Law Office of Johnson & Associates is a small law firm specializing in family law in Miami, Florida. Although they have a website, they’ve struggled to attract new clients from online searches. So they decided to improve their online presence by focusing on secondary directories and citations.

Step 1: Identify and Claim Listings in Directories

The first step for the Law Office of Johnson & Associates was to identify and claim their listings in legal directories like Martindale and Avvo. These directories provide a platform for law firms to showcase their expertise, gain recognition, and increase their online visibility. In addition, by claiming their listings in these directories, they could ensure that their information was accurate and up-to-date, which helps improve their online reputation and rank higher in search results.

Step 2: Ensure Consistent NAP Information Across Directories

Next, the Law Office of Johnson & Associates needed to ensure that their business name, address, and phone number (NAP) were consistent across all directories. Inconsistent NAP information can hurt a business’s online visibility and make it harder for potential clients to find them. They used a tool like Moz Local to find inconsistencies in their NAP information and fix them. By ensuring consistent NAP information, they could improve their online presence and rank higher in search results.

Step 3: Build Citations from High-Quality Websites

The Law Office of Johnson & Associates then built citations from high-quality websites. They found that citations from reputable websites like legal directories, local news sites, and industry publications helped improve their online reputation and increase their visibility in search results. They used a tool like BrightLocal to find websites that cited their competitors but not them and then reached out to those websites to ask for a citation. By building citations from high-quality websites, they were able to increase their online visibility and attract new clients.

Step 4: Monitor and Maintain Listings and Citations

Finally, the Law Office of Johnson & Associates needed to monitor and maintain their listings and citations. They set up alerts for their listings and citations using tools like Google Alerts and BrightLocal to ensure that any changes or inaccuracies were addressed promptly. They also noted checking their listings and citations every six months to ensure their information was still accurate and up-to-date.

Directory versus Data Aggregator: Why Your Firm Should Be Listed in Both

Regarding local search engine optimization (SEO), directories and data aggregators are crucial in helping businesses get found online. While “directory” and “data aggregator” are often used interchangeably, they are actually two different types of platforms. Understanding their differences is critical to developing a comprehensive local SEO strategy.

Directories

Directories are platforms that provide information about businesses, such as their name, address, phone number, website, and hours of operation. These platforms are often industry-specific, with examples including Avvo and Findlaw for legal services or Zillow and Realtor.com for real estate. Other directories are more general, such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, and Google My Business.

The primary purpose of directories is to provide users with accurate and up-to-date information about businesses in their area. This information is used to create online business listings that are then used by search engines and other websites to display business information in search results, maps, and other online directories.

Data Aggregators

Data aggregators collect business information from various sources, including public records, phone books, and other directories. They then consolidate this information into a single database, then sell it to other websites and directories.

Unlike directories, data aggregators do not create business listings. Instead, they ensure that business information is accurate and consistent across all platforms. This is important because inconsistencies in business information can negatively impact local SEO by confusing search engines and causing them to display inaccurate data.

Here is our list of Preferred Data Aggregators.

  • Neustar
  • Data Axle (formerly Infogroup)
  • Foursquare
  • YP Network
  • GPS Network

Why Your Business Should Be Listed in Both

Listing your business in directories and with data aggregators has several benefits for your local SEO efforts. Here are a few reasons why your business should be listed in both:

  1. Increased Visibility: By listing your business in multiple directories and data aggregators, you increase the likelihood that your business will appear in search results and other online directories.
  2. Improved Search Engine Rankings: Having consistent and accurate information across multiple directories and data aggregators can help improve your search engine rankings. This is because search engines use business listings to verify the accuracy of your business information.
  3. Better User Experience: Ensuring that your business information is accurate and consistent across all platforms improves the user experience for potential customers. This can lead to increased customer trust and, ultimately, more business.

Both directories and data aggregators play an essential role in local SEO. You can improve your online visibility, search engine rankings, and customer experience by listing your business in both.

 

google eeat for law firmsGoogle Search Signals, EEAT

EEAT (Expertise, Experience, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) has become increasingly important in Google’s search algorithm. It aims to provide users with high-quality, reliable, and trustworthy information. For law offices, directory listings can positively strengthen EAT signals and enhance their online reputation.

Directory listings, such as general platforms like Yelp and industry-specific directories like Avvo, can contribute to the Expertise aspect of EAT. Law offices can showcase their specialization, practice areas, and relevant credentials by having a presence in reputable directories. These listings serve as an additional platform to highlight attorneys’ expertise and experience in specific legal fields. This presence can enhance the perception of authority and expertise, instilling confidence in potential clients seeking legal services.

Moreover, directory listings can significantly impact the Trustworthiness aspect of EAT. When a law office is listed in well-known and trusted directories, it adds credibility to its brand. Positive reviews, ratings, and client testimonials displayed in these listings are social proof of the law office’s competence and professionalism. These factors contribute to building trust with potential clients who are searching for legal services and seeking reputable law firms.

Industry-specific directories like Avvo hold particular significance for law offices. Avvo, for example, focuses exclusively on legal professionals and offers detailed attorney profiles, peer endorsements, and client reviews. Being listed on Avvo can increase visibility within the legal community and boost credibility among potential clients. The platform’s rating system and user-generated content contribute to establishing an attorney’s authority and trustworthiness.

Directory listings for law offices can positively influence Google’s EEAT signals by enhancing their Expertise through showcasing specialization and practice areas and boosting their Trustworthiness through reputable platforms, positive reviews, and client endorsements. By strategically leveraging these directory listings, law offices can strengthen their online presence, attract potential clients, and align with Google’s emphasis on providing reliable and trustworthy search results.

Top USA Business Listing Sites

 

Legal Specific Directories

Niche-specific directories are essential for businesses to gain visibility and attract potential clients within their specific industry. For law firms, listing on legal directories can effectively showcase their expertise, reputation, and experience to potential clients. This section will discuss some of the top legal directories and their benefits.

  1. Avvo: Avvo is a popular legal directory that provides ratings and reviews of lawyers. It allows users to search for lawyers based on location and legal practice area. Avvo also offers a Q&A forum where users can ask legal questions and get answers from lawyers. Listing on Avvo can help law firms gain exposure to potential clients and build credibility and trust.
  2. Martindale-Hubbell: Martindale-Hubbell is a long-standing legal directory that provides ratings and reviews of lawyers and law firms. It is one of the legal industry’s oldest and most respected directories. Martindale-Hubbell ratings are based on peer reviews, and it also provides a search feature for clients to find lawyers based on their location and legal practice area. Listing on Martindale-Hubbell can help law firms build credibility and trust with potential clients.
  3. FindLaw: FindLaw is a legal directory that offers a range of services to law firms, including website design, SEO, and online advertising. It also provides a search feature for clients to find lawyers based on location and legal practice area. FindLaw’s services can help law firms increase their online visibility and attract potential clients.
  4. Justia: Justia is a legal directory that provides free legal resources, including case law, codes, and legal articles. It also offers a lawyer directory where users can search for lawyers based on location and legal practice area. Listing on Justia can help law firms gain exposure to potential clients and establish themselves as experts in their field.
  5. Lawyers.com: Lawyers.com is a legal directory that provides ratings and reviews of lawyers and law firms. It also offers a search feature for clients to find lawyers based on location and legal practice area. Martindale-Hubbell owns Lawyers.com and can provide law firms with additional exposure, and credibility.Lawyers.com Lawyers.com is a popular legal directory that helps users find attorneys and law firms across the United States. It provides a comprehensive lawyers directory organized by practice area, location, and name. Lawyers.com also offers legal resources and a Q&A section where users can ask legal questions and get answers from lawyers.
  6. Super Lawyers: Super Lawyers is a legal directory that recognizes outstanding lawyers in various practice areas. Lawyers are selected based on a rigorous selection process, including peer nominations, independent research, and evaluations. Listing on Super Lawyers can help law firms showcase their expertise and gain recognition within their industry.
  7. Nolo: Nolo is a legal directory that provides free legal resources, including legal forms and articles. It also offers a lawyer directory where users can search for lawyers based on location and legal practice area. Listing on Nolo can help law firms establish themselves as experts in their field and gain exposure to potential clients.
  8. HG.org: HG.org is a legal directory that provides a range of legal resources, including legal articles, law firm profiles, and a directory of lawyers and law firms. Listing on HG.org can help law firms increase their online visibility and attract potential clients.
  9. LawInfo: LawInfo is a legal directory that provides a search feature for clients to find lawyers based on their location and legal practice area. It also offers various marketing services, including website design and online advertising. LawInfo’s services can help law firms increase their online visibility and attract potential clients.
  10. LawGuru: LawGuru is a legal directory that offers a range of legal resources, including legal articles, a Q&A forum, and a lawyer directory. Listing on LawGuru can help law firms establish themselves as experts in their field and gain exposure to potential clients.

Niche-specific directories such as Avvo, Martindale-Hubbell, and Lawyers.com can be valuable tools for lawyers and law firms to increase their online visibility, establish credibility, and attract potential clients. By listing your firm in these directories, you can help ensure that potential clients can find you when searching for legal services. At least as necessary, niche legal directories are also very focussed on law firms. As such, the links provided from a Niche directory are of high Search Engine Optimization value. It is also essential to consider listing your firm in general directories and data aggregators, as they can help improve your online presence and search engine rankings.

Secondary Directory Conclusion

Secondary directories and citations are essential for any law firm that wants to improve its online presence and attract new clients. By claiming their listings in directories, ensuring consistent NAP information, building citations from high-quality websites, and monitoring and maintaining their listings and citations, law firms can improve their online visibility and reputation and, ultimately, attract more clients. So if you’re a law firm struggling to attract new clients from online searches, consider focusing on secondary directories and citations to improve your online presence.

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