Peter BoydLaw Firm Best Practice Guidelines for a Name, Address, Phone or Domain Name Change

If your firm is moving locations, adding a partner, switching phone numbers or going with a new domain name, then there is work that needs to be done.

Why Should You Update the Information Online?

For accurate information and rankings, your firm has a vested interest in making sure your correct information is up-to-date.  Google uses your name, address and phone number to rank websites in local search (aka the map pack). First, you want the information to be accurate so that clients can find you.  Second, you want to maintain your rankings, so you need to have accurate information.  Third, you do not want to end up with duplicate listings with inaccurate information. So how do you update everything?  Good question…

Step 1: Notify Us In Advance

First, notify us in advance.  Give us as much time as possible to assist you.  We can even give advice about choosing a domain name and office location, as it could impact your search results long term.

Step 2: Set a Budget

Second, we will need a budget to update all your directory listings. An average law firm has anywhere from 25 to 100+ directory listings with their name, address, phone number and domain name (URL).  All of these have to be updated – often manually. We need to login to each directory to update and re-verify that information.  On average it takes about 10 minutes per listing update.  As such you can budget anywhere from $750 to $2,500 for an update of 25 to 100 citations. We can also use a few automated tools to bulk load the data and check on the listings, but that still takes time to verify and update. Call us to get an accurate quote: 954-523-2181.

Step 3:  Make a List & Update

We can make a list of all directories that need to be updated.  You can start with the big directories, such as avvo.com, martindale.com, findlaw.com, superlawyers.com, Best Lawyers, and other legal award websites. However, keep in mind you also need to update the main data providers. Again, there are some tools we can use to automate the process, but overall it is still a manual listing and review process to verify the update.

Other Considerations to Note

  • Phone Numbers – Changing phone numbers is relatively easy. Just update the phone number on your website and in the listings.  Make sure it is consistently used and try to avoid toll-free numbers for your main directory information – you want a local number.
  • Address – If you are moving offices consider where you are moving. If you are moving outside the city where you previously ranked, you will probably lose rankings in that city search.  In short, you could be dropped from the local map pack.  You should also consider distance to city center.  If your new office can be closer to the city center, then typically that is a factor in ranking competing firms.
  • Name Change – New partners can affect your firm name and this should be updated in all directories, branding, website, and social media. Often it calls for a new logo too.  Budget time for a site-wide update, update of social media artwork, logos and, of course, all the various directories that list your firm takes even more time.
  • Domain Name – When considering a domain name change, always redirect the old domain to your new site. Do not let it lapse – ever. Moreover, if you are choosing a new domain name, consider one that has keyword phrases in the actual domain. Often that can boost your rankings for a specific search. Additionally, it is important to note that changing your domain name can affect rankings. It can take up to 3 months for your rankings to restore back to normal, especially for a large website. If your site is very small with few pages, it is possible to regain rankings within a few weeks, but this time will vary depending on the site.

Next Steps

If you are planning on a firm name change, office move or domain change, give us a ring before you make anything final.  We can consult with you on the work that needs to be done and provide an accurate estimate for how much time and money the updates will take.  Just realize that it is not a quick or easy change.


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