That’s a lot of acronyms and if you’re not in marketing, they make not make a whole lot of sense. What is a NAP and what the heck is local SEO? Let’s talk about it and why they’re a crucial element to your law firm’s online presence – because they are.
What is NAP?
In marketing, the acronym NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone Number and it is one of the core components of attaining high visibility in local search engines online. Having an accurate and consistent NAP for your business has many benefits, not the least of which your customers being able to find you.
What is Local SEO?
In a way, there are three aspects to SEO your law firm should be employing: on-site SEO, off-site SEO and local SEO. On-site SEO consists of your Heading Tags, Alt-Text, meta descriptions, menu structure, content organization, schema markup, etc. On-site SEO helps the search engines figure out how to index your website appropriately, which is why you should always ensure your on-site SEO is accurate, relevant and properly configured. Your off-site SEO consists of link building to improve the Domain Authority of your website, indicating to search engines that your website is worthy of ranking higher. Finally, your local SEO consists of citations. These citations are your NAP listings in directories that can help your company rank higher locally. The citations are what tell the search engines and other local website where you are located, what your phone number and website are.
*Citations/NAPs can contain more than just Name, Address and Phone Number – it may also include your website or various other details regarding your law firm.
Benefits of Accurate NAPs
Now that you know what NAPs are, it may be obvious as to why they need to be accurate. If your contact information is wrong and your potential customer can’t find you, you’ve just lost business. Here’s what you may not be aware of: many websites and directories scrape your information from other sites to fill their own directories and information. So, if your law firm rebranded its name or even moved locations, it’s possible you have bad contact information floating about on the web.
Here’s why it’s important to ensure you’ve gone through and adjust those records to match your current information.
- Search Engine Ranking
- Google My Business and your NAP
- Geo-Targeted Searches
- Customers Can Find You
Search Engine Ranking
That’s right, inaccurate listings can affect your search engine rankings. Here’s the thing – similar to your on-site SEO, if the search engines don’t have the correct information or there’s a discrepancy, they’ll simply downrank your website as they don’t know which of the listings is accurate.
Do a search query for your law firm’s name and go through the first couple of pages in Google. It will
quickly become apparent if there are some issues out there that you need to correct.
Google My Business and your NAP
Google my business or GMB is the most important citation you can accurately have setup for your law firm. If you do nothing else after reading this, go to google and make sure you have your GMB listing claimed and properly filled out. If you thought passing go and collecting $200 was important in monopoly, then this will be your favorite marketing ploy of the year. As we mentioned above, many citation aggregators pull their information first from this citation. So, it is critical that it be accurate. Make sure to include your hours of business, photos (more than one), your logo and more. Basically, fill in as much information as you possible can.
Remember we talked about there being three aspects to SEO? Your NAP and the citations connected with it do help your overall rank on the search engines. For instance, if we were to query the search engines for “family lawyer in Virginia Beach”, those citations in the various directories will help your law firm show up in the correct location. A law firm located in Maryland would not necessarily show up in the search results for “family lawyer in Virginia Beach” as they are not located out of Virginia Beach. They would have no citations in that area and no keywords on their website either. This is why SEO is so important, it literally helps to control where you show up geographically, for the right keyword searches.
Customers Can’t Find You
If you have inaccurate information on your listings, your customers aren’t going to be able to find you and will quickly move on to your competition. Without having good reason, many clients aren’t going to dig through various results to find your correct information. So, you want to make sure that they get it right the first time.
When it comes to finding new clients, ranking in the search engines, etc. you really have to prove that your website and law firm are legitimate. One way to do that is through enhancing your SEO efforts with local SEO/citations. Get your firm’s name out there and listed in as many places as possible. Trust me, your competitor has already done just that for their own law firm.
Many find that they don’t have the time or the desire to comb the search engines to look for these inaccuracies or to build those citations themselves. This is where your law firm may find it easier to contract the services of an experienced legal marketing agency. Precision Legal Marketing can help you get your local SEO cleaned up and built up in no time. Schedule your consultation today!