Legal Marketing 101

Local SEO: Part 3: List Me Everywhere

May 06, 2024 Rosen Advertising Season 3 Episode 16
Local SEO: Part 3: List Me Everywhere
Legal Marketing 101
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Legal Marketing 101
Local SEO: Part 3: List Me Everywhere
May 06, 2024 Season 3 Episode 16
Rosen Advertising

Local SEO: Part 3: List Me Everywhere

Ever wondered why some law firms dominate the online space while others barely make a ripple? Unlock the secrets to enhancing your legal practice's online presence with me, Toby Rosen, as I take you through the critical role of local citations in legal marketing. We'll dissect the importance of those digital signposts—your firm's name, address, and phone number—across key platforms like Google My Business and Yelp, and dive into why consistency in these listings can make or break your firm's search engine credibility. Not only that, but get ready to learn the power moves for managing your citations to catapult your firm to the top of search rankings.

Visit: Legal Marketing 101 Youtube

For more, visit rosenadvertising.com

Brought to you by: ThumbsUp Survey

Support the Show.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Local SEO: Part 3: List Me Everywhere

Ever wondered why some law firms dominate the online space while others barely make a ripple? Unlock the secrets to enhancing your legal practice's online presence with me, Toby Rosen, as I take you through the critical role of local citations in legal marketing. We'll dissect the importance of those digital signposts—your firm's name, address, and phone number—across key platforms like Google My Business and Yelp, and dive into why consistency in these listings can make or break your firm's search engine credibility. Not only that, but get ready to learn the power moves for managing your citations to catapult your firm to the top of search rankings.

Visit: Legal Marketing 101 Youtube

For more, visit rosenadvertising.com

Brought to you by: ThumbsUp Survey

Support the Show.

Speaker 1:

This episode of Legal Marketing 101 is brought to you by Thumbs Up Survey. Build better online surveys faster with Thumbs Up Survey Mention Legal Marketing 101 when you request access to the beta at thumbsupsurveycom to get access to features and discounts first. Thank you to our partners at thumbsupsurveycom. Welcome to Legal Marketing 101. I'm Toby Rosen and welcome back to episode three in our local SEO series, where we are talking about local citations or local listings, and I'm probably going to end up using those two terms interchangeably throughout this episode. So just a heads up on that. There is actually a distinction between the two terms. You know if we're talking about it, but in this scenario they're kind of the same thing, so we can just dig straight in. In the vast ecosystem of online marketing, local listing citations at least for me, have stood out as one of the most potent tools we have for law firms that are trying to build up visibility and attract potential clients, especially in the last couple of years to build up visibility and attract potential clients, especially in the last couple of years. But when we talk about local citations, what exactly are local listing citations and why do they wield such influence over the search engine rankings, especially right now? These are the questions we're going to try and answer today so that you can fully grasp the significance of local citations. Let's understand what the essence of a local citation really is. So picture them as digital signposts that guide internet users to your doorstep. These citations consist of your business's name, address and phone number, which we're going to refer to throughout this episode, and a lot in general as NAP information, a lot in general as NAP information N-A-P NAP and these are typically found on a bunch of different platforms like Google, my Business, yelp, bing has a thing called Places and then a bunch of industry-specific sites like Avvo, fine Law, super Lawyers and these are different for every industry, but we're legal-focused. So the the legal industry, though those are just a couple of the big ones. There are hundreds of sites for you to consider, and when someone searches for legal services in your area, search engines crawl through all of these citations to help determine the relevance and credibility of your business.

Speaker 1:

The impact of local listing citations on search engine rankings cannot be overstated. Search engines, and in particular, google, prioritize businesses with accurate and consistent citations. Why? Because they serve as indicators of trustworthiness and legitimacy. Imagine you're in need of legal assistance right now. Would you be more inclined to trust a law firm with a myriad of consistent citations across a bunch of different reputable platforms, or one know some inconsistent information scattered through a couple of different platforms? The answer is easy we're going to go with the first one, and search engines recognize this consumer behavior and their systems are structured to generate results for users that feel like a natural extension of that behavior. This is one of the many things that keeps people coming back to Google.

Speaker 1:

So consider a scenario where a law firm's name is listed as Smith and Associates, with an ampersand for the and on Google my Business, but then they appear as Smith and Associates with the word spelled out A-N-D on Yelp and then Smith and Associates on Facebook. These discrepancies are confusing for search engines because they don't really know how to parse it. They're different letters, so they are different, and it undermines the firm's credibility when it comes to actual clients. So, as a result, online the rankings for the firm plummet. Potential clients are directed towards competitors with cleaner, more uniform citations. And we're not just worrying about the rankings here either. The firm's credibility is being undermined with clients too.

Speaker 1:

But it's not just about consistency the quantity and quality of local listing citations. They also play really pivotal roles in determining search engine rankings. The more citations your business accumulates across reputable platforms, the greater its online visibility. But quantity on its own just isn't going to cut it. Search engines are assessing the authority ratings of your citation sources, which means they're giving precedence to platforms with high domain authority and high relevance to your industry. In essence, a citation from a well-established legal directory is going to carry more weight for you than one from Joe's farming blog or some third-tier listing site. That is just sort of general business.

Speaker 1:

With this basic understanding of listings and citations in mind, how do we actually improve our rankings? What do we do? We're going to run through the key tactics for this right now, but first I want to say that this is a universe where the strategy has not really changed in a decade, and that means a couple of things. The tactics have not changed for this in at least 10 years, but the technology has improved significantly and the reward has improved significantly, so what we're doing now is at least a lot more worthwhile. So if you've already watched my local SEO webinar or if you've taken any kind of local SEO course in the last 10 years, this is all going to sound pretty familiar, but the reason for that is because these tactics really do work, and, yeah, they might not have changed, but they're going to be what gets us to the top. So let's go.

Speaker 1:

Number one ensuring NAP consistency. Consistency is absolutely key when it comes to local listing citations. What we are looking for here is uniformity in your business's name, address and phone number. Again, if you're still not clear on this, it's called NAP information. Okay, even minor discrepancies can confuse both search engines and real people. This leads to decreased visibility, and it will damage your online reputation. There are plenty of citation management tools out there, though, that you should really look into, and I even offer a product for cleaning these things up, but I'm going to avoid recommending any one particular service, even though I like mine particular service, even though I like mine. What you really want here is a system or a service that is going to go through all of your existing citations, fix them all up, make them consistent and add any new information that you need to those citations, and you then may additionally be able to manage the citations long-term through that platform or with that company. I know, for example, that Moz does this long-term management, but they only offer a couple of listing sites, but there are a lot of options in this universe. We don't have time for all of them today.

Speaker 1:

Number two is soliciting client reviews. We've talked about reviews on the podcast before and we're going to talk about them again and again and again. Client reviews are the most powerful social proof that we can all be taking advantage of, and we are now in a world where it is absolutely critical to be asking for reviews constantly. You should not let a client walk out the door without asking them for a review because your competitors aren't and because there is no number of reviews on your Google my Business profile at which you can consider yourself done. If you have a hundred reviews, someone's going to go get 200. If you have 500, someone's going to go out and get a thousand. This hill that we are on, unfortunately, it never ends, but we do get some pretty sweet rewards along the way, okay, number three managing online reputation.

Speaker 1:

Your online reputation can make or break your law firm's success and whether or not you still have a job next year. I've seen it happen on both sides of the coin, and the latter side, where it doesn't work, is not fun. You should be proactively managing your online presence by doing a couple of things. You should be monitoring for mentions all over the internet, for reviews on your profiles and for ratings on your profiles across a bunch of different platforms. And when it comes to mentions, big brands are monitoring even the platforms they're not active on. They want to know everything anybody is saying about them, because, don't forget, people talk and, when it happens, address negative feedback promptly and professionally. This demonstrates your willingness to resolve issues and prioritize client satisfaction and it's public. Other potential clients are going to see all of this and by addressing that negative feedback quickly, it can save your bacon.

Speaker 1:

When it comes to reputation, again, I'm not going to recommend anything specific here, but you need to be doing these things and it is well worth it to invest in a reputation management tool to streamline the whole process of managing your reputation and to make sure you're effectively mitigating any reputational risk. These things are important. And number four, last but not least, you need to be constantly leveraging technology and chasing innovation, and I know this might be a frustrating thing to hear from me when I haven't actually recommended any tools for this, but it should be kind of self-explanatory why this is important and why having an understanding of what's happening in this space is important. But let me go ahead and give you three specific ideas for how to start implementing this for your local SEO now, in case you just can't think of anything. So number one is automated citation management and monitoring. There are plenty of tools out there that will help you optimize your local SEO management process, but we can specifically utilize tools that monitor and automatically adjust our profiles if there are any changes or issues. Most of the time, unless your office moves or your firm name or your phone number changes, you won't need to update your listings or change anything, but on the off chance that you do or let's say, perhaps you have a disgruntled client or a disgruntled former employee that decides, hey, let's screw around with this law firm's profile and screw some stuff up for them. Monitoring tools can help alert you to the situation much faster than Google is probably going to itself, and management tools can help you fix the problem before it affects your actual business. I suspect these tools will continue to evolve too, and we'll get more options for improving our local presence, but even just knowing that something has changed on our profile can be enough to prevent what could be a pretty big problem.

Speaker 1:

So number two is looking at data analytics and insights. Sure, google gives us some analytics on the interactions with our Google my Business profile and we get some stats from Yelp and maybe you get some numbers from Avvo. But the reality is that the stats we get from the platforms themselves, they're usually pretty one-sided, they're not showing much in the way of competitive metrics, and this basically means we don't have the information we need to move up the rankings efficiently and effectively. It's always still possible to get a number one ranking on a particular site without more information, but if we can get a map to our destination, it's just so much easier to get there if we know where we're going. So using third-party analytics, this is an easy win. You know, know where we're going. So using third-party analytics, this is an easy win. And again, there are things from companies like Moz or SEMrush or SE Ranking or probably Ahrefs. There are a lot of local tools out there. These are the best ways to figure out where you really stand in your market and then start charting a course to the top of the results.

Speaker 1:

Number three is running local SEO audits and performing and performing optimization. Yes, we are at our favorite subject audits. Just just be glad for once that our favorite subject is not data for today, but actually I I can't stress this enough you do really need to be frequently auditing your seo profile, or your local seo profile specifically, but but your whole SEO profile is still important. Everyone has strengths, but what we really want to know is where our weaknesses are so we can fix them. These are our opportunities for optimization, and if you work in digital marketing, you know that that's a very important phrase. We don't have failures in digital marketing. We have opportunities for optimization and of course I'm kidding but frequently auditing your local SEO profile across all the platforms you're on and even ones you're not managing, and then actually auditing the health of your website too, because, like we've talked about with keywords and how local SEO works overall, your website does matter here. All of this is really critically important for long-term performance and when you find those opportunities for optimization, make sure you actually seize them and actually carry out those optimizations.

Speaker 1:

Look, at the end of the day, mastering local SEO is significant and it's multifaceted, and it's an endeavor that requires a combination of you know strategic planning and execution diligently, and then continuous optimization forever, essentially, and I've been working on local SEO for more than 10 years, but I don't think we even started selling services for it until five or six years ago. That's because this is a long game. It took me a long time to be confident about what we were doing and to get to the results that we wanted, but if you ensure accuracy, consistency and quality across all the online platforms you list on, you're going to enhance your visibility, your credibility and, ultimately, what we want your bottom line. So we're going to come back in episode four and talk a little bit more about local SEO, but for today, that's it for Legal Marketing 101. Check out RosenAdvertisingcom for more Thanks.

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