It may seem like common sense, but clients can’t contact you if they don’t know you are out there. Thus, visibility is a crucial component in growing your practice. In the digital age, this means emphasizing SEO (search engine optimization) and online visibility as part of your law firm’s legal marketing strategy.
Local business directories help potential clients find lawyers in their local area and can connect these high-value leads with your practice. Being listed in reputable local business directories can also improve your credibility by demonstrating professional legitimacy to someone unfamiliar with your practice. Moreover, many reputable local business directories have a strong domain authority and can rank well in search engines – improving your overall SEO efforts. Finally, local business directories are often free or offer low-cost listings, meaning they are also a cost-effective way to grow your practice.
If you are starting to explore which directories can help you leverage these benefits, you have come to the right place! Here is our team’s list of the top 10 digital local and business directories in which law firms should create a profile ASAP.
1. Google Business Profile
Google Business Profile (GBP) is a free tool that allows businesses to manage their presence on Google, including Google Search and Google Maps. When users search for local companies, GBPs regularly appear in Google search results, along with a map and contact information.
2. Apple Maps
Apple Maps is a web mapping service developed by Apple Inc., creators of the ever-popular iPhone. Apple Maps is the default maps system for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and watchOS devices. Starting in 2023, Apple Maps will now allow business owners to update and manage their information on the platform via Apple Business Connect. While still new, these Apple Business Connect profiles will include key details such as business hours, location, photos, logos, special offers/promotions, and more.
3. Better Business Bureau
Better Business Bureau (BBB) has empowered people to find businesses, brands, and charities they can trust for over 110 years. BBB handles consumer complaints about companies and also publishes customer reviews.
4. Bing Places
Bing Places is the Microsoft answer to Google Business Profile. It is a local business directory allowing business owners to create free business listings in Bing search results and maps.
Founded in 2004, Yelp is a popular online directory for discovering local businesses ranging from bars, restaurants, and cafes to salons, spas, and gas stations. Yelp connects people with great local businesses and incorporates a strong social confidence aspect. It encourages its users to leave written reviews, star ratings, and photos of their experiences at each business they visit.
While often considered a mere social network, Facebook also functions as a business directory via its business profiles. It allows it’s one billion+ users to post comments, share photographs, post links, chat with other users/businesses, and more.
The iconic YellowPages phone book was a fixture of American society before the rise of the internet. Today, you can still get a telephone directory of businesses shorted alphabetically within categories, but there is also an online version of the directory where users can locate businesses in their local area.
Manta boasts that it has helped over 6,000,000 businesses grow online over the past two decades. Its Business Directory Listings service allows companies to develop authority and increase local rankings by also getting listed in other relevant online directories.
While the initial buzz has died down, Foursquare is a social networking service for smartphones. The app provides personalized recommendations of businesses near a user’s current location and also based on users’ previous browsing and check-in history.
10. Primary Data Aggregators
While not an individual local business directory, popular data aggregators collect local business information that they then validate and vet. These aggregators license data to search engines like Google and Bing, who then compare this information to their primary sources and, in some cases, override their primary information with data obtained from an aggregator. Thus, it is important to ensure primary data aggregators, such as Neustar Localeze, Data Axle (formerly Infogroup), and Foursquare, have accurate information about your business.
Final Thoughts: Why Should You Care?
Being listed in local business directories is a useful legal marketing strategy to help your law firm establish credibility, build your online presence, and reach more clients. Plus, these directories enhance your SEO strategy and complement your other marketing efforts, such as PPC advertising. Our team of SEO professionals strongly recommends all law firms take advantage of free listings in local business directories and further explore the additional low-cost options available.