Creating citations (also called online directory listings) is likely one of the most time-consuming, labor-intensive parts of building a successful online presence. And beware anyone who says otherwise! We’ve mentioned before—on our blog and in our presentations—that citations must have the exact same information, down to the last punctuation mark, in order to positively affect your ranking. If your firm name is Smith & Smith Law Office on one directory site and Smith & Smith, Attorneys at Law on another, search engines may not view your business as credible. Similarly, if you have multiple citations for your firm on the same site, Google may think that you are attempting to game the system. Both of these practices can cause your site’s ranking to plummet.
As a result, you must take care when creating your listings. We do not recommend using services that promise to automatically “push” your firm’s listings to a number of directory sites: because these services automatically generate listings instead of manually checking each site, they often create duplicate listings. The only time we may recommend using such a service is if your firm is brand new or is moving to a city in which you have absolutely no online presence. Otherwise, citations must be done the hard way. (But we promise it’s worth it.)