Search engines find out about your business in two primary ways:
1) Crawling links that point to your website, and tracking on what sites those links appear.
2) Crawling citations of your business, and on what sites these citations appear.
But search engines are perfect, yet. So, if your business is named one thing on one site, and another thing on another site, there’s a chance that the search engine won’t recognize that these two different names are really referring to the same business. This is also true for your businesses address and telephone.
That’s why it’s so important to make sure that your business citation information is consistent across the web.
Updating Your Business Information
Fortunately, updating your business citation information can be fairly straightforward. You can use tools like Getlisted.org and Whitespark’s Citation Finder to search for business citations across the web. Then it’s a matter of simply claiming, updating, and optimizing the profiles.
You may also consider using sites like Localeze to manage your business listing data.
You can also simply search for your name, address, and phone number in Google and Google Maps to see what business information already exists there.
While various sites have different quality guidelines for claiming business profiles, I recommend you start by becoming very familiar with the Google Places Quality Guidelines. After all, it is your Google Places listing that will command the best real estate for local searches within Google, the most widely used search engine in the world.
One of the guidelines that is especially important for lawyers is:
Businesses with multiple specializations, such as law firms and doctors, should not create multiple listings to cover all of their specialties. You may create one listing per practitioner, and one listing for the hospital or clinic at large.
In other words, don’t create a listing for every type of law that you practice. On the other hand, you can have a listing for each office location your firm has, as well as, individual listings for each attorney.
You might be surprised to find all the different ways your name, address, and phone number information appears on the web.
Perhaps your business location or phone number changed. Maybe your firm’s name has changed or is commonly called something else. Whatever the reason, updating and optimizing this information can have a huge impact on your visibility within local search results. Many of the main local business data providers allow you to claim your profile for free.