What is a citation?
A citation is often a local directory listing that has the correct “Name,” “Address” and “Phone number” (NAP) for your firm. No link to your website is necessary to be considered a citation source.
An example of a citation would be a listing for your firm on YellowPages.com or SuperPages.com.
Why are they important?
Citations are a key component to Google’s local algorithm. Generally speaking, the more quality citations you have, the higher chances you have of ranking well in Google’s maps.
Please notice I said it’s a “key component,” not the only component 🙂 You must have a strong website with great content, quality backlinks, etc. to rank well in the maps.
How do I acquire citations?
Citations are relatively inexpensive to purchase so from a time management/cost consideration, it’s much more productive to purchase citations from these sources. Over the last 10 years I have tried countless providers but these services are very reliable.
- Get the Data Aggregators for $55
- Obtain 50 other citations that you don’t currently have for $100 ($2 per citation)
- Their report will show you the top ranked citations that you don’t have.
- Buy the $399 package.
- If budget does not permit, acquire the $199 package.
- I wouldn’t suggest the $599 package for a newer firm. If you have a large firm or have been around for a very long time (more than 5 years), you can acquire the $599/package if budget permits.
Citations You Need to Acquire
Unfortunately, the best law firm citations are those that only you (or an assistant in-house) can acquire. If you don’t yet have a basic listing on these websites, please work towards obtaining one.
- FindLaw – You may have to call a rep to have a basic listing created.
- Opt for a free listing. I do not recommend advertising in FindLaw.
- Lawyers.com – You may have to call a rep to have a basic listing created.
- Opt for a free listing. I do not recommend advertising on Lawyers.com.
- Justia – https://accounts.justia.com/
- NOLO – You just need a basic directory listing for the flat annual fee https://www.nolo.com/advertisers/programs
- hg.org – Free option available. Budget permitting, the $199 yearly fee is worth it https://www.hg.org/addlf.html
- AVVO – You probably already have a listing so make sure it’s claimed https://www.avvo.com/
- Local Bar Association – Are you a member? Make sure you get a citation and hopefully a link back to your site.
- Yelp – It’s not a legal directory but it’s the most important non-legal directory with which you can be listed. Verify this listing yourself.
- Your local Chamber of Commerce – Also not a legal directory, but a very important citation that you should acquire for yourself.
- Facebook – Please make sure your Facebook page is completely filled out with accurate NAP info and a link back to your website.
- Thumbtack – Rapidly growing directory. If they rank well in Google for keywords you feel are important to your business, consider becoming a Pro member.
By far, the most common mistake is not using the exact information from your Google My Business/Map listing on your citation source. If your Google Map listing says “Suite 405b” use EXACTLY that same suite information on your citations. I mean EXACTLY. Do not deviate at all from what is on your Map listing.
- Maximize your listings by filling them out completely. Citations that are filled out completely do have more power than those with only minimum information.
- For example, if you have the ability to upload 5 images to a Yelp listing, upload 5 images. Include images of you, your office space and the outside of the building.
- If you’re feeling ambitious, you can obtain citations that are popular in your local area here https://whitespark.ca/best-citations-by-city/
Getting Geeky: Advanced Tip
- Use a tool like https://www.roboform.com/ to remember your Name, Address, Phone information so you don’t have to type it into each new site you visit.