Most of the marketing initiatives we cover in the Law Firm Marketing 101, take time, continuous effort and often a good bit of cash. Online directories on the other hand are relatively quick, cheap and they don't take constant effort.
The benefits of listing your law firm on directory services are the following:
- The link to your website from the directory listing (backlinks) is seen as a "referral" to Google and other search engines. The better the quality and higher the traffic volumes from those directory listing sites, the more the search engines will rank your site.
- These listings are very reasonably priced, if not free.
- People actually searching these directory listings will come across your listing and click through to your site.
- The more listings found for your law firm for a certain area of expertise, creates credibility. (5 listings for the same firm for the same area of law will seem more credible that a single listing.)
Your law firm website should be listed with DMOZ - Directory for Mozilla.Org, previously known as the Open Directory Project - this free directory listing is the mother of all directory listings and is seen as a solid backlink reference for your website.
Listing with DMOZ is relatively painless, but for the registration to be accepted and approved by the many volunteers who check and index the websites, takes up to a year. So my advice is to list your law firm website there and forget about it for at least a year.
The website address is www.DMOZ.org - on their home page, use the top menu item "Suggest URL", that will then give you the instructions on how to list your website on the directory. Be very sure to list it under the correct category.
There have been many debates as to whether submitting to DMOZ is still relevant, as it is no longer the go to place for big search engines to help create web indexes, but being listed in DMOZ will get you one step above the rest, it is a solid backlink, it takes little time to list and it is free. Also important is that Alexa.com (the website ranking, analytics and valuation tool) uses it for their research on websites.
To start, find out if your law firm website is listed on the big search engines. Sort of silly to find directory listings to list your website when the standard search engine does not know about it. Open the Google search page and enter "Site:yourwebsite name" - it should list your website, if not use this link to submit your site to Google:
I would recommend doing the same thing for Bing - visit Bing at www.bing.com, use "Site:yoursite name" and see if it is listed, if not use this link to submit it:
The number one “paid for” legal directory site is Attorneys.co.za, this site has been the most effective online listing service for many years, it is where you should start.
Others that you should subscribe to are the following - in no special order, see which you think are professional and deliver good return for your money:
- Find an Attorney - www.findanattorney.co.za
- Attorneys 4 Law - www.attorneys4law.co.za
- Attorneys SA - www.attorneys-sa.co.za
- Lawyer.co.za - www.lawyer.co.za
- HG - www.hg.org
- FirstLaw - www.firstlaw.co.za
Now, these are all legal online directory listings, so these will be a higher quality of backlinks to your website, but don't forget to list your website on regular online business directories as well - popular ones may give you better traffic than the legal directories.
A few regular business directories to consider would be:
- FindIt - www.findit.co.za
- Sweech - www.sweech.co.za
- Bing Places for Business - www.bingplaces.com
- Google My Business - www.google.com/business
- Ananzi - www.ananzi.co.za
- HotFrog - www.hotfrog.co.za
- Cylex - www.cylex.co.za
- Brabys - www.brabys.com
- SA Yellow - www.sayellow.co.za.
A good idea as an extension of these above listing sites, would be to find local online directories (generally suburb or town centric) and submit your listings to them as well - these local listings are really valuable when people are searching for services by local area.
The more listings you have the better, just make sure the site is credible and professional.