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Managing Online Directory Listings

NAP is not a short snooze that you enjoy after lunch. It’s Name, Address and Phone, and having this information appear consistently wherever your law firm appears on the web is very important. NAP is sometimes referred to as Local Citation Building, and sometimes just “citations,” in case you do further research and come across this phrase. Google takes this data into account when its algorithms are placing values on sites for geographic-targeted searches.

Most professionals make the mistake of assuming that their NAP or citations are consistent, but you’d be surprised how often errors occur, and how they build up over time. Scanning our law firm websites across the internet shows an extremely high rate of errors due to out of date information, duplicate listings, and even hijacked listings.

The most common problem with NAP occurs when the name of the firm changes and suddenly all of these directory listings are inaccurate. Some of them can be uncovered and updated, but others are less easily accessed. The same problem occurs if your phone number or address changes.

Anytime there is a change made that impacts your NAP, you’ll need to do some digging to make sure that you update any online listings that can be updated. Best starting place? Google your practice and your name, and make sure to include Yelp, Facebook, and any regional directories. Don’t stop after you’ve gone through the first page of Google, by the way. There are literally hundreds of directories that could have your listing, and even if you or your clients don’t use them, inaccurate listings will still impact Google’s algorithm for SEO.

Why should you care about your NAP?

The most important audiences you don’t want to confuse are Google and clients and prospects. If Google sees more than one address, a variation in your firm’s name, or phone numbers that don’t match, it may think that you are different law firms. Google also may lower your quality score on local search. Consistent NAPS indicate authority and relevance to both the algorithms and the humans you are trying to reach.

And by the way, your address needs to be complete, wherever it appears. If you use the phrase “159 Main Street, Suite 100” in one location and “159 Main Street, #100” in another, you will create some confusion for Google.

The consistency of your NAP matters. Because updating, monitoring and correcting these listings is both difficult and labor-intensive, IMS offers the Essential Directories and Listings service.

The Essential Directories and Listings service

  1. Scans your listings across the web to identify duplicates and inaccuracies
  2. Allows us to update your listings and maps from a single dashboard
  3. Once updated, we can lock down your listings to provide further errors
  4. When something changes on your end: firm name, phone number or address, we can apply the updates from a single dashboard to ensure consistency and accuracy across the web
Updated on June 11, 2018

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