Why Submitting to Directories is Important
In a previous post I talked about the importance of citations to your business if you want to rank well in the local results that all major search engines offer. This post is dedicated to directory listings and why they are important to both your SEO and Local search. If you make it all the way to the end, you might find some freebies.
Benefits of Directories
The way I see it there are three main reasons to submit your company to or pay for listings on directories.
- Targeted LeadsVertical directories tend to rank well for the keywords in your profession, and larger directories like Yelp and Online Yellow Pages generate a lot of traffic. It may take some marketing effectiveness or diving into your analytics to determine the return on paid directories.
- Relevant LinksAny good SEO strategy focuses on links. Listing your business on directories that allow “follow” links to your web site will help you rank for the industry-specific keywords you are targeting.
- CitationsMany SEO’s believe that citations are the new link when it comes to ranking. This is especially true for localized business – a DUI attorney in Los Angeles, for example. Several citations of your business name, address, and phone on directories are going to help with your local ranking. See my post on local citations, as well as 50 must-have citations for local businesses. (p.s. – Before you start submitting by hand, contact us. We can save you time and money.)
Types of Directories
Not all directories are created equal. As a legal professional, you should prioritize the directories you are submitting to or spending money on by value. It’s also important to have a good mix of places your company or firm is listed.
Whether you are a notary or a mergers and acquisitions attorney, there is a probably an online directory that exists for your profession. Directories in your specific field are a great way to to get inexpensive, relevant traffic and links.
Like vertical directories, associations for your profession and your client’s professions are also a good source of targeted traffic and leads. Not only are associations often seen as authority domains on a topic, but most association membership dues are reasonable and members tend to source business to other members. Identify who your most common buyer is, chances are they have an association. As a legal professional, it would make sense to identify criminal attorney associations in your state and join as a vendor member or sponsor.
Local Web Sites, BBB’s and Chambers of Commerce
Do a Google search for your city + businesses directory (i.e. denver business directory). Typical results will be chambers of commerce, local business directories, and other business groups. These are great citations and links for your business to help rank for local keywords. Better Business Bureaus will also offer the same benefits.
Online YP’s and Localized Directories
Online Yellow Page sites and localized directories (like Manta, 411.com, Brownbook, Merchantcirlce, etc) are good places to get citations. These are also sites you will occasionally see ranking for your localized searches. There are dozens of these sites though, and submitting them by hand is not efficient. Your best bet here is to find a local optimization company who can submit you to the datafeeds that seed these directories.
Include your NAP Data
NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone. For a directory, or any site for that matter, to give you a citation your NAP data needs to be present. In addition to that, your NAP data needs to match exactly to your Google Places profile.
A quick way to tell if the page you will be listed on is indexed by a search engine is to go to google and put “site:” in front of the URL in question. So, if you want to see if Google is indexing the Colorado page on the National Board of Collection Attorneys site, you would type in:
If the URL shows up in the search results, it means the page is indexed.
List of Freebies to Get You Started…
Even if you are working with an SEO or Local Optimization firm, you should constantly be looking for new places to submit your business. Below are a couple of freebies that you should take a moment to submit to. Remember to keep your NAP data consistent.
- CollectionAssociation.org ($9.95 per year)
And, Here’s the Pitch…
Lawgical has a product called Lawgical Local. The goal with this product is to help you rank better in Google Places and other local platforms. Whether you are working with us on your local optimization or another company, it’s something that you need to be paying attention to. In addition, if you are a bail agent, process server or private investigator we’d love to talk to you about getting you listed on our Trusted Networks.
Trent Carlyle is the CTO and co-founder of LAWgical. Trent works alongside the technology and marketing teams, developing products that help our clients grow their businesses and operate more efficiently. You can follow Trent on Twitter at @trentcarlyle.