A recent study revealed that 86% of local SEO experts believe quality of citations is more important than quantity. Local citations are a big part of SEO and are vital to local businesses. How does this impact your law firm? Let’s cover some background first.
What Are Citations?
A citation is an online reference to your business’s name address, and phone number. Google uses citations when evaluating the online authority of your business and website. Local citations are important for your business because they are a key part of Google’s algorithm. Clean citations in combination with other SEO best practices has a positive impact on your organic search rank.
Not all citations are created equal. When choosing which citations to get, it’s vital to keep industry relevance and citation authority in mind. Industry relevance can be the most important factor of local citation success. For example, Yelp is a great place to list your law firm. But a listing with TripAdvisor or Zomato, which are geared toward helping people with travel and food respectively, would not necessarily be relevant to a personal injury firm. No one is looking for you there.
It’s important to keep the bigger picture in mind. While having lots of citations is great, it’s also equally important to put time and resources towards the ones that matter most (ex. Google My Business, Yelp, etc.)
How Do Citations Affect Search Rank?
Citations are even more important in competitive niches like law practices. There are hundreds of different directory sites now, which makes the task of managing listings time consuming and tedious. Many firms do not take the time to make sure their citations are accurate across the board.
Accurate citations through websites such as Yellow Pages, Chamber of Commerce, or a local business association page can greatly improve your local search rankings. This also ensures that potential customers know that the law firm is part of the community.
Why Are Quality Citations More Important Than Quantity?
As with any SEO strategy, you can blanket an entire area with a very thin layer and not increase ROI, or you can focus on quality over quantity and greatly improve local SEO. With local citations, quality is far superior to quantity.
In order to focus on quality citations, it’s important to search for aggregators that can add credibility and organic links to your business. Some of the largest aggregators include: Axiom, Superpages, City Search, Localeze, Yahoo Local, Merchant Circle, Dex Knows and Insider Pages.
This is also an ideal time to make sure company information is listed on the top social media networks, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Google+, and Twitter. Another great area to grab local citations is through local directories and newspapers. While they may not provide a direct link, the mere mention of your business can do a lot.
More than 20% of Google searches today are for local businesses; that number is double on mobile devices and is only expected to rise in the future. In order to be prepared, it’s essential to dedicate part of an overall SEO strategy to local citations.