In this episode, Seth, Jay and Nalini talk about directories – both legal and regular, and their value in building your footprint online. We talk about the value of NAPs (not the afternoon siesta version) and take 2 questions from our audience members live and answer them!
Hey there, everybody. Jay Ruane here. Welcome to another edition, the Thursday, June 18 version of Maximum Growth Live. I’m happy to be back with you. Got myself a little Corona cut. My wife broke out the clippers, I don’t know what side looks better, I think this side looks better. You know, kind of new to us still live in this new normal, but I had to get, the hair just was too, was too much. So, that was my exciting news for the week, my Corona cut work. Seth, how are you doing this week?
We’re doing well. We’ve had the clippers presented by the wife already, and excited for a great show, and headed off to the beach for a couple of weeks working remotely, just getting a change of scenery.
Oh, nice. Where are you guys going to be heading to?
Outer Banks, duck.
Nice, nice. I’ve always loved the times that I’ve been down in the Outer Banks. So, that’ll, that’ll be really great. So, we’ve had a lot of stuff going on. You know, we just talked this couple days ago on the lawyer mastermind webinar that we do every week, and there was some really good questions that came up about directories. And I know, we had talked last week about making this a directory specific show. So, in our talking offside, I wanted to let all the people know that we’re not bringing on a guest, a special guest this week, we’re going to really focus all about directories and talk about them, talk about the value to your practice, how they can really help your practice grow from a digital footprint, and I think that’s going to be something that’s going to take up a lot of time. And of course, we’re going to have Nalini with us as we get into it because I think it’s important to bring somebody who’s got that level of detailed knowledge to it. You know, Seth, tell me, when you started out practicing law and really starting to build your digital footprint, the landscape was totally different, you know, we’re talking 20 years ago, and back then directories were just sort of starting out. Now it seems that directories are really sort of an established layer in the, in the, in the digital landscape. So, why don’t you tell everybody here so that we all have the same sort of base knowledge of what a directory is? Tell them that, explain what a directory is, so that they can understand it and we move forward without sort of having a simple framework for understanding the context of our conversation today.
Absolutely. This, this whole conversation is almost sentimental, because I started the firm building, got a website, great. But in order to get it found, I knew that I needed to do something and directories were free, many of them still are. Where I would Google legal directory and find dozens of places to list our firm name. Now, what are the benefits? So, these are not your own websites, but a third-party website, many of us know the big, big-name ones that didn’t even exist when we started like Avoo and then Fine Law, and all sorts of name directories, justia. And one of the things that significant, those are the big-name ones, but there’s a gazillion directories, some are not just exclusively legal, some have a section about law. Some don’t have a section at all, but they’re for businesses in your area. And there are a lot of benefits for getting your firm listed in directories, from an SEO point of view, which was what I started with and is still the epicenter of what I do for Price Benowitz, and now what we do at BluShark with Nalini and the team there is, one of the advantages is that assuming that it’s not sort of a spammy directory, assuming it’s one that passes what we call the laugh test that, you know, it’s a legitimate place to get a link from, that If you can get yourself in the directory, a link follows back to you. Now, understand that some of the paid directories, which is not necessarily allowed, like fine law only give you the link if you’re paying them sums of money, but there are a gazillion directories out there and Nalini in a little bit is going to talk about some of the third party services that can do a bunch of those directory citations for you, so that what I did by myself, sitting at my desk, typing Price Benowitz address, phone number, website over and over again. There are now groups that will pre-populate dozens if not hundreds of different directories. Most of those are focused on local, trying to get your Google My Business show by getting nap consistency, your name, address and phone number. Having that consistent with directories around the country or the world, all showing Google just like you want links pointing back to you, having your name, address and phone number in directories crawled by Google shows that you’re in places that are trustworthy and that building up a large number of those can help it be authoritative, and is that extra component that is needed besides general SEO, which is content and links, to put yourself into that three pack.
So, really, it’s like, if we go back and take some of the analogy of when there were four phone books going on, the salesman would say, well, you want to be in all four phone books, right? You want to have your place everywhere. That’s what these directories have now basically supplanted, right? Does that make sense?
Yes. And I would put them in different categories, there are A directories, and we’ll talk about this, that might actually get you cases, and then there are B directories that you’re never getting a case from, could you? Yeah, you could, lightning could also strike you. But the idea being that it has an authoritative link to you, and it has a nap and name, address and phone number that helps with your citation. It is a citation that basically helps Google see where you are and what you do. And so, I think that it’s very important, when you think about it, you want to be able to get the large number of directories, to be able to show Google where you are and who you are, and what you do consistently, but then there are the sort of A directories that are both important because they have huge domain authorities’, authority, but also, they could be potentially an opportunity to get cases. Now most of them have figured out, hey, if you really want to get cases in any meaningful number, you need to pay. But for people in smaller markets or doing an odd area of law, you can still get free traffic and free cases, if you put yourself in some of the higher-level directories that are shown, and as you know, when you do a Google search for whatever term you are looking for, particular in the b2b space, b2c space, that not only is it hard to rank top, but these directories are now taking up spots. So, we have ads, we have three packs, now we have 2, 3, 4 directories that you’re fighting with. And so, the question is, are you going to join them and have, have a position there? Or do you want to spend your resources fighting to get on top of them? And, my answer is both, figure out what is cost effective, is there something, and it’s harder and harder. We’ve talked about this a lot, Jay, where we’ve seen directories that used to be performing great, like I’ve had a lot of trouble with the recent algorithm updates and the sale their company, and then you have others that are doing well, like Super Lawyers, but at the same time, the cost to be included, particularly at the top, is extremely high, and you’ve got to figure out each time, do I want to spend my money there where I will get some leads presumably? Or do I want to take that money and invest it in my own site, because you have limited resources, and how do you want to allocate that money?
Yeah, that’s certainly something that I think becomes an issue because, you know, at the end of the day, if you have $1,000 or $10,000 that you’re gonna put into it, buying the directory listing is great, but people have to go through multiple clicks to get to, you know, to get to that directory listing and find you. And usually on those directories, you may be ranked with other lawyers that are competing with you, whereas if you…
Right, you know, exactly, what, but I think that the one thing that is so powerful, I’m gonna give a positive for directories, which is you’re not making a lot of clicks, that when those directories come up, they’re not bringing you to justia.com. They’re bringing you to criminal lawyers in your area of Connecticut. They’re that savvy, so it’s there. The question is, is that, you know, where you want to put your resources? And, look, for somebody like yourself that already has a dominant position, SEO wise and understands paid search, the answer is, why not? And measure it. But I gotta tell you that just like Legion, which is where you basically give people money and you get x number of leads for X amount of money, these directories, you know, are expensive, there are no guarantees, you’re locked into contracts. So, when Corona hit, and if you’re locked into a contract, you’re paying month after month and there’s nothing coming. So, you know, if traffic is down, they’re still getting their money, and you need to not just look at the whole run month, but what is that? What is that money converting to over time? So that if you have a spot and find law, and there are people I know who have sworn by that they’ve gotten value from it, I think less than less that when you buy that spot, you know, making sure that you’re tracking as best you can. It’s not perfect, but are you getting any meaningful traffic/revenue from that? Because if not, then you have to figure out, is that the best place to spend my money? At the same time, this is the piece where your head starts to explode, you bring the lenient to sort of help us walk through this is there are, there are times where the link from the Super Lawyers and, or fine law can be powerful enough, and this is, this is where that sort of buying decision comes in. Sometimes there’s an opportunity just to buy a cleaned up or premier profile that may not put you at the very top, but at least gets you listed with a follow link. And figuring out when do you want to spend money for the link juice for your own site’s SEO? And when do you want to really go all in and be one of three or six rotating top spots, hoping that enough traffic comes through sees you and converts? It’s not, I don’t have a lot of perfect answers, a lot of it depends, but I think the more people are educated as to what they’re getting, that’s really important. And I’ll conclude with, there are some times opportunities where you don’t, let’s say it’s the statewide Connecticut DUI listing is available, and you’re like, you know what? I don’t need that I’m getting enough business for my pay per click, for my organic, my three pack, all of that, where you might find that if you’re able to get just a tiny little town and list your, get the office listed there were it’s really inexpensive, $50 or $75 a month that those things even still exist, you may get the follow link from a fine law. And even though you know that New Canaan, Connecticut DUI lawyer is not going to get you meaningful traffic in the next 10 years, but that you’re able to get the link for less, because you really just want the link juice, versus if you’re saying, hey, I’ve expanded, I have some young attorneys, I want to really ramp up my marketing and get more meaningful traffic. That’s where a statewide deal might make sense with a Super Lawyers or otherwise, but those could be $500 to $1,000 or more per month with no guarantee of what you’re getting, and that’s, it’s, it’s a tough decision to be made.
Yeah, that’s, you know, that’s, you just gave us a ton of information there, and trying and packed it to unpack, it is going to be a bit of a challenge. What I’d love to do now is add Nalini to the call. I do have a question for you because you added something there and I think Nalini might be in a good position to explain to us, so let’s bring Nalini in right now. Just give me a second here. Call up her picture. Hey, there we go. And we’re here with the lady. Hey, Nalini, how are you doing this week?
Good. Good. I was on mute there for a second.
How is it going?
Good. So, listen, Seth just said something, and I think we need to take a step back and maybe you can help us explain that, twice in his diatribe that we just went through. He talks about a follow link and I don’t know if everybody understands what a follow link is or a no follow link, so can you explain that to me like I’m a kindergartener so I understand it? Because I think that’s something that everybody’s needs to understand if we’re going to start talking about directory. So, what is a follow link? What’s a no follow link? And why do those things matter?
Yeah, absolutely. So, when you get a link or an endorsement from another website, that website has the choice of saying, hey, I want Google to read this link from my site as me giving endorsements to this other site, and by having it be a follow link, by me putting my coding in the back end to say, this is a follow link to Price Benowitz. I’m giving all this extra juice from my site to your site, right? if I am a huge corporation, and this is where this really came from with this follow, no follow, let’s say I’m Washington Post, and I don’t want people to call me nonstop asking for them to or asking me to put their, you know, a link to their site, to their organization, to their company on my website. I’m going to make it a, just a policy that I’m not going to give any follow links for my site, right? Just so that I’m not going to get all this spam coming at me. So, it’s, it was, back in the day, just a choice that some organizations made so that they wouldn’t get all that spam coming to them.
Yep, exactly, exactly. And so, and they also made themselves seem like these really authoritative, awesome websites because they weren’t out there selling themselves. They weren’t selling their juice to other people for backlinks, right? So that’s where it started, where the developer of the website that is linking to you can in the coding literally write follow or no follow so that when the bot reads that link and understands what it is, so follow get juice, no follow was very questionable and that you didn’t get juice. So, why even fight for no follow links, right?
So, so, that’s not something that the consumer sees, right? That’s just something that the Google bought or whatever the computer algorithm is, it’s reading the site. Can you guys see it?
You can’t, it, and that’s how we, as you know, SEO folks can actually tell if we look at the source code and it gets to this like technical stuff, but if we look at the coding behind the page, we’re able to see if it says follow or no follow. That’s how we know, should we build this link because we want juice? Or is this a link that is still valuable on something like Wikipedia or Washington Post so that maybe in the future just having your name out there as a linkless mentioned it could matter, right? But the real question, and the thing that I always debate with people on is, well, why even try for no follow links then if you get no juice, right? What’s the point? And one, it’s still name recognition out there, and I think for the future, if we see that linkless mentions become a thing, meaning it’s not actually hyperlinked but the Googlebot is sophisticated enough to see your brand and say, oh, this site is endorsing your brand, then that’s a good reason to put it on a no follow website, right? A second is, if you put a good enough piece of content out there, let’s say that you were writing a guest post and you put it on a site, and it is no follow, but that piece is so good that other people want to share it. They may take that information, put it on their profiles, or their mom blogs, and then it becomes follow because in their coding on their site, they’re not making that tag say no follow, right? So, it’s, it’s kind of like putting information out there is still valuable because it can get picked up. And then as recent as just the end of last year, Google said, okay, well, this follow, no follow is having people do certain things when they’re trying to build links, right? And so, what we want to do is we want to take away this idea of no follow, and they changed their no follow idea into a couple of different new things. So, there’s new ways to tag some of these backlinks such as this is a guest post, I am letting you know that someone has written content for my website, it’s a guest post, it’s no longer saying no follow, but we still don’t know if it’s giving so much juice either. But there’s a couple of different tags like that, so that it’s, it’s all sorts of different things, but at the end of the day, it’s up to the discretion of website owner as to whether they’re going to pass that juice or not. But you never want to stop getting your name out there because that is always going to be helpful in the future.
And I’ll go a step further, Nalini was just talking about some of the new tags that are available, but let’s focus on the follow, no follow. Google has always been very cagey about what they’re actually doing with a no follow, and that, it’s not that Google knows where that is going and how it fits in, so things like Wikipedia links, while still no follow, and Huffington Post primarily went no follow. These are powerful places and we anecdotally have seen that these are things that you want to have, and there’s almost like you would see, like a Talmudic scholar talking about it. There is lots of sort of tea leaf reading within Google, nobody knows exactly how the algorithm works, but to ignore, you know, to sort of poopoo a no follow link from these hyper powerful places, does not seem like a good idea. We still want those and put effort into getting them.
Gotcha. All right. So good that explains sort of the follow, no follow thing. Seth, why don’t you, you have something you want to talk?
Yeah. So, basically, I wanted Nalini to talk a little bit about, so when i started this gig, no dozen plus years ago, I would sit there and have to sit at my computer to find dozens of directories that I wanted to submit to. And I’d find it, I literally every couple of weeks, I’d go through it and do a, you know, legal directories, file, whatever, and popped up once I’ve never seen before, but it’s not that difficult anymore. There are ways for people to get a corpus of directories quickly and relatively inexpensively. Can you talk a little bit about what are the best practices for those?
Yeah, absolutely. So, whenever someone sees an issue, there’s an opportunity for business, right? So many of you have heard of Moz, many of you’ve heard of Yext, bright local, these are companies that are literally doing exactly what Seth said, they have taken the top 50, top 100, 150 citation sites, directory sites, and Google has said, yeah, we think those are important. And they have created an algorithm, they’ve created a machine, a program where you can literally type in your name, your address, your phone number one time and it will kick out to all of those directories, so overnight, within 24 hours, you’ll have a listing on the sites, and then over the course of a week or two, they start to get verified, because it does take a little bit of time, sometimes for these individual websites to do that. A lot of time bright local and UX will also do the support, part of this as well. So, if you have, you’ve changed your brand, or you changed your address, and you need to update, you can go in, and again, just simply put in your new address in that one fee and it will kick overnight to all of these directories for you, as opposed to, you know, how Seth said. He had to sit there and he had to go in and log into every single website and then deal with the people who are saying, oh, no, we can’t actually change the addresses, you know, our citation sites only a year old, we don’t have all those capabilities. It was just, is just a crazy show at the time. But yeah, these programs are good. They’re all in different levels too, so we have often said, you know, if you’re a solo firm and you want to do this in house and do something easy, Yext was the front runner for a long time. Moz, I, personally…
The thing about Yext, which was always dangerous, was it was suppression, which meant that if it stopped, if you stopped paying them, all your the information that they were pushing out would disappear, which is not ideal.
Right. Absolutely right, because then you would have to go back in and do the manual work that Seth was talking about, to pick up where you left off. But as, as we’ve seen, these companies grow, just my personal opinion, you know, Yext is a little bit more expensive. It has the same features, in my opinion, that Moz has. Moz is even a little bit more user friendly, so if you are going to do this yourself, or you have an intern, a 15-year-old, 16-year-old that’s helping you with this, Moz is very user friendly. It’s $100 a year compared to, I think Yext is still, you know, over $100 a month, essentially, or close to that per location. And they’re, they’re adding review platforms, and they’re adding a lot of things to become more robust, and so the price is going to continue to go up. And then you have this bright local, which is, has come out of the woodworks recently, probably in the last year, and they have become an awesome platform that I would say agencies are using. It does have a lot of robust programs and things that you don’t need as an individual lawyer who’s just trying to get through citations, right? The, the deeper things that you can use, there’s, we can actually reverse engineer your competitors and see all of the directories they’re on, side by side, so that we can go and build those for you. But those are not things that you’re necessarily going to sit there and do once a week, right? You just need to have your things correct, the citation is consistent, and you can do that with Moz.
There’s also one thing that I, it’s important to note, which is date, those services are great for the masses, but for the VIP ones, like, like Yelp or not that it’s Foursquare used to be a big deal. When you see those, their number like top 10, would you have to go back by hand, and don’t forget to do that because they’re doing the 90% that are second tier, but the top top ones, they push to it, but generally you have to go yourself, even when using those groups and login by hand to the top directories that don’t allow them just to push up, where the lesser directory very often there’s an API that they, that they have created that goes directly in and allows them to adjust those listings, the top ones don’t have that same relationship with them for the most part.
And even with that, you know, talking about that, you get the name, the address, the phone number that’s going to go directly in with the API, but what about your photo? What about, you know, additional categories? What about all these extra fields that you have the opportunity to fill in on these directory listings that are not done by Moz, or Yext, right? And a really cool bonus thing here is, Seth mentioned that you want this link from the directory listing, but in some of these sites there’s actually a separate section where you can put another link, so you can say, here’s my home page, because that, that’s what has to go in the website field, but in the about me section, you can say I handle car accident, I handled, handled car accident, car accident cases, and you can link to that, right? And you can do any kind of thing that is your, your bread and butter cases. So, I kind of like that idea that you actually go back and look at some of those more important tier one directories, and that’s kind of where Seth has this distinction too. Here’s all these directories that you need, but here are the ones that are extra special and, or have paid components, right? So, that’s a whole nother side of citations.
And, you know, there’s the paid part of them, but there’s also, look, something like a Yelp, unless there’s a paid player in your space, if you curate your reviews and build it out and make it look good, there are definitely people that make money, particularly people who don’t want to invest in the paid directory, you can get meaningful traffic off of these more substantial tier one directories. Some are impossible, like a fine law, I just don’t see that happening without paying, but a number of them, If you take advantage of the bells and whistles, you may be the first on a rotating basis, the first person below the paid results, and if there are no paid results, you could be, you have the opportunity for a lot of eyeballs, you might as well have some sweat equity in and try to build up those platforms as best you can.
And the one thing I think, you know, talking about the history of citations and why they even mattered, was back when Google had the three pack but didn’t have as many fields on your Google My Business, right? Not as many data points to collect information on how consumers are engaging with your Google My Business through posts and through the services you offer and all these different buttons and gadgets I can click on, uploading photos, right? The one of the main factors in figuring out who was going to be in that three pack was determined by who had the most consistent directory listings, because it was one of their only things they had, and so people understood the importance of it back then. The folks who have been doing SEO for as long, as Seth says he understands the importance of these because he saw it in a different light in the past, those are still very important in that, even if it’s not the only factor and it’s a smaller factor now, right? Because Google has all these new fields on the Google My Business itself, it is foundational. It’s almost as important as you’re saying, technical is important to your website, because you can put great content on your site, but if the Googlebot doesn’t understand what that content says, what’s the point? So, you can put all this great energy and reviews and all this stuff into your Google My Business, but if you don’t have your foundation of your citations together, what are you even doing? So, it’s kind of still important in that light, if you think about it that way.
Lots of stuff going on here. So, one of the things that we did last week is we asked for questions about directories from our audience, and we got a couple of questions, and I don’t want to not answer them. So, right now what I’m gonna do is I’m going to bring up the question that we got from one of our viewers, Justin, and Justin’s question is this.
Hi, Seth. Hi, Jay. Love the show. My question is a pretty simple one. Associates come, associates go, does it make sense to maximize their Avoo with your sweat, if they’re going to roll out potentially and become a competitor later on?
Okay, so that’s a great question from Justin. Seth, why don’t I throw it to you? Because you’ve had associates come and go over the time. What is your position on building out profiles for associates?
You know, it’s a, it’s a great question. I think the answer, like many things, depends, but what I’ll say is, in one sense, I always think of CLE as, you know, you know, why should you send your associates to CLE, they might leave, but what’s worse is you don’t send them in, they might stay. And so, I, you know, I look at it that way. The, at the moment, Google My Business is really the only directory that I’m worried about somebody competing with me, competing against me with, and so that the Avvo itself, which has taken a hit of late, to me, I want my, the attorneys representing us and anybody who’s Googling and doing some dig, digging deep. I want my people to attend, and that’s something that we’ve prided ourselves on is making sure that we, even if it’s a junior associate, that we go and dig enough into their bios and get enough positive points through the Avvo algorithm to make sure that the attorneys present well publicly. So, to me, I think on balance, you build them up, if so, you know, somebody’s walking out the door, obviously different, but on somebody’s first week at the firm, I want them to be as close to a 10 on Avoo as possible. And Nalini has actually put some great collateral material together to help people figure out how to do that more easily.
The other thing…
Seth, why don’t we put that down in the, in the comment section? I’ll link to, for that, Nalini, so people can get that guide on building out your Avvo profile.
I’ll definitely do that. The other thing I want to add to what Seth said, there’s a little quick tip. So, if you have multiple locations, right? So, you’re optimizing for three different cities, one of the ways to use your associates to your benefit with the SEO and help them as well is to build out more directories using different maps, different name, address, phone number, so you as your, you know, the managing partner, main location, that’s what’s going to be built out on your directories. When you build out associate number two or partner number two, make sure to get different information on there, so put your secondary location as the name, address, phone number on that build out. Don’t keep building out with the same location, that way you’re building juice to all of your Google My Businesses, and obviously prioritizing them from, if you’re very concerned that people are going to leave you, then take your, take your A game players, right? That people have been around for a while and build them out first.
Because that would answer Justin’s question, which is with Google, I think the bar is it a more serious move and that you want to not take somebody who you’re not sure about, as knowing you just said that Google you should save for people that are most likely to be with you for the foreseeable future, whereas an Avvo, to me, you want that as a trust factor while they’re with you, and that, you know, again, I’ve seen it and adjusted, I felt the pain when I’ve done something and built people a beautiful social platform and they leave, that’s part of the game and almost a parting gift when somebody leaves the firm.
And part of it too, right, Seth? Is that if you build out all of these lawyer profiles for somebody, it’s associated with the firm and it’s associated with your logins. At the end of the day, you can update that to your newest associate, that’s not something that necessarily goes with them, like Google My Business.
And I’ll leave just the adjusted question with a funny sort of tidbit. Agree, but if somebody is leaving to compete with you, they’re going to take all the profiles and move them and deal with them. What I have found is if you look historically, we’ve had a lot of people leave us to go to the government, to go do some, something else in life, and many of those profiles and links are still linking back to our website. So, I think on balance, we’ve probably done better. I’m always amazed that many people don’t update their LinkedIn, you know, and the number of people whose profiles are out there. So, I think that while, yes, if somebody is going to become a niacl, and go after you, you know, you’re giving them a push in the right directio. I think on balance, my attitude is, make sure it’s a great team because if you get the most of your, as successful as you can, and can pay somebody as much as possible, you have the best chance of retaining them for as long as possible, and that, that, to me, is a better move.
You know, it’s interesting that you guys talk about this, you know, I’ve had some associates leave and they’ve set up to compete with me, and it has had the situation where somebody has come in and said, well, you know, I talked to your former associate, who, you know, has an Avvo rating of 10, and you have an Avvo rating of 10, why should I hire you? You’re three times the cost, and I tell them very simply, you know, they, they’re absolutely right. I, I taught them everything that they know, I didn’t teach them everything that I know, and so that’s where we can separate my firm and my practice from the other people who’ve left. So, then it just comes down to salesmanship. We have another question here, so I’m going to bring in the next question, and it’s going to be from John Drab.
Hey Jay and Seth. My question is, from the perspective of links, is there any benefit to going with a paid directory listing instead of sticking with a free one? Thanks, guys.
Well, you know, that’s a really interesting question from John. Seth, do you have any input on that question?
Well, I guess paying the directory, first the question is, is there a possibility of meaningful traffic of lead generation from it? That’s the first thing. The second question is, is it possible to get the link without pay? Because if not, then you’re actually getting that fall that you get may violate Google’s Terms of Service, but a lot of directories don’t care. The third point is, where is the placement on the page? There are some directories that will have a couple of 100 different profiles on a page and if you pay, or if you have some sort of partnership with that organization, you will be higher up. And that is a debated point within SEOs, whether having one of the top couple of links on a page is significantly better than just being on the page. Nalini, what are your thoughts on that?
Yes, absolutely. So, there is such a thing as, and this has been like you said, it’s back and forth. There’s no right or wrong answer. But not only where the placement of the link is on the page, so we say it’s higher on the page than the body is reading your link, first and foremost, and you’re gonna get more juice, but there’s also this idea of, how many links are on that page? If you have 40 links coming from one page, that page gets a little diluted and it starts to be someone who’s endorsing everybody, right? Not just a couple of people. So, that both of those kind of tying together and I think you’re absolutely right that a lot of people do still and I, I haven’t really looked at the research myself, or seeing people’s research that is convincing enough to me to say that, you know, having your link at the bottom of the page versus the top of the page gives it more juice or less use, but I’ve definitely heard that and it makes sense, common sense.
And the final component why somebody would pay, and we talked about this, whether it’s a Yelp or Avvo, paying something usually around $50 a month for a listing will very often not get you, you’re already getting a link let’s say, but it’ll clear way your competitors give you a more robust profile, and I think that’s where it’s a combination of lead gen, although it’s kind of hard, so, it’s not that much money, but are you really going to get anything if you’re not at the top? But figuring out, for example, with an Avvo some people use that as a touch point, so they may find you in one of their places, and then look to see your Avvo profile, and that’s one where it’s a defensive payment, where you want to try to make sure that if somebody likes you, you know, and they’re checking you out that you have the most impressive profile as a trust point and that’s where that lower dollar may pay off on a limited basis to clean some of that up.
Great. Okay, so I got a question for the two of you, before we wrap up, because we’re nearing the end of our time here. So, I’m a solo, you know, I’m like, I’m like Chris from last week, right? I just, I just sort of opened my shingle, resources are limited and I have a couple of different ways to go. Number one, I could go with a service like Moz, and so that’s one thing. Second thing I could do is I could build them all myself and just sit down on a, on a Saturday afternoon with a with a, you know, the nice tall glass of cold milk and, and fill all those things out. There are companies like white Spark, I’m sure that you’re aware of, that can actually manually build things for you. There’s the option of having a virtual assistant do it. You could go on to a company like Yext and see the services, the directories that they have will sync you with and then have somebody manually do it. What do you think is the best act and the best use of money? You know, depending on where you are in your practice, I mean, you’re brand-new solo, what do you do? Say if you’ve been out for a couple of years, you’re making a little money and you want to get more robust, what do you do in that situation? Because we have a wide variety of people in our audience and I think giving them some guidance might help.
Right. I think the first thing you do is, assuming you do it yourself, is grab a Moz, get whatever you can afford, that is just such a valuable piece, and that the time could be better spent. In fact, use the time that you would have spent building nonsense directories, that those ones will help get you to, to focus on those top 10, whether, whether you do it yourself or with a VA, you know, whichever, whatever you can get to where somebody meaningfully is going to do it. But, to me, those direct, those, those groups are great first steps. I know, there was a long time where I said, for us as high-end SEO is always wanted to like we want to do it ourselves, and we started building out staff, what I found was these third-party services and pick which one you feel is right at your price point gives you such an amazing place to start that not to do it is just a missed opportunity. The resources can be used, used elsewhere. If you have a virtual assistant, once you’ve done that, and you’ve built out your VIP ones, and you have all the ones that third party group is going to get for you, having somebody go back and tweak and add photos and do those things. Great. That’s Part B, but the bang for the buck, using one of those different organizations off the bat is tremendous on so many different levels. I can’t think of a better way to start if you have limited resources.
Awesome. Nalini, I’m assuming you concur?
Yeah, I concur. I would add one thing that you, we talked a lot about how important it is for your citation to be consistent. The name, address and phone number should match exactly, but there’s also if you are not brand new, you mentioned different, you know, walks of life in terms of how long you’ve had your practice, while you’re watching this. If you have had addresses in the past and you have moved or you have rebranded, then there’s always the opportunity for you to have duplicate profiles out there, and that causes a lot of confusion for Google. So, if you’re building these out by hand, for whatever reason, you know, you don’t have the resources to pull the trigger on one of these programs, then I would first always make sure that, that listing doesn’t exist already and make sure you’re updating it instead of creating a second one, it can cause confusion. Secondly, just like Seth said, lots of sites out that will have the top 50 directories for you, and I’ll actually share one of those for you guys.
And I can share with people a bunch of different choices, my feeling is, if you are going to be spending any resources, like one of these should be done, I’ll be that blunt. Like, if you’re not doing that, then just, you know, you should just assume it’s a referral practice and you hope people have the phone number. But even there, you want people to be able to find you most easily but I feel like it is such good value for what you’re getting that I’m gonna, usually don’t wanna spend people’s money for them, I’ll spend their money for them to do it.
Well, that’s a great takeaway from this. When at the end of the day, you know, get, get a directory service in place, whether you use white spark to manually create it, whether you got a VA that’s doing it, whether it’s, whether it’s Moz or Yext, depending on your budget. I’ll be honest, I’ve been a Yext customer for years, and I’m actually looking to take over and do it in house because as my marketing team has grown, I think it’s something that we can control as necessary and I can repurpose that money. You know, I’m spending, I think I’m spending about $10,000 a year with Yext. Among all my thoughts…
We had a life; we had a life moment like that, you know, there’s a lot there are benefits, dx did some good, but there’s also some questions about how the suppression works, and how are those profiles being reviewed by Google. And I think that it was one of those life moments where we looked at the bill and realized we could allocate those resources much more efficiently. It can be right for some people, but as we scaled that was not the best answer for many of, for many of our clients.
Yeah, I think that’s one of the challenging questions I have, especially now in Corona time, is the, is the proper allocation of your resources. So, that’s, that’s going to, I think that’s going to be a good place to sort of end for this week, because we are already overtime and we don’t want to bore people too much as we get into the weeds on directories, for sure. Any final words? Nalini, do you have something you want to add as we end of this week?
Now, I’ve given, I’ve given you that Avvo one pager how to get to a 10.0, I’m going to put that business, the top 50 business directories according to bright local in the bottom. And then I’m also going to give you a new program, the bright local came out with where you put in your name, address and phone number, and it will actually scan all your citations and tell you how you’re doing. What can you make it’s fine. Yeah, that’s, that’s an excellent tool. Do it.
Yeah, it’s excellent, excellent, excellent. So, all right, well, so with that, I think we should sign off now for myself, for Nalini, as well as for Seth. I want to say thank you for tuning in for this edition of maximum growth live. We are live every Thursday at 3pm, Eastern here on our Facebook page. And so, for us, we will say goodbye, and we’ll see y’all next week. Have a great week and we hope you have a very profitable one. Bye for now everybody. Thank you.