I’ve been getting a lot of people recently contacting me and asking me how do I get into Google Maps. Let’s take a look at Google Maps for the term Dallas Personal Injury Lawyer. This maps section is really important because a lot of times, people treat this just like the Yellow Pages.

A lot of times, a decent percentage of phone calls are going to go to these three listings right here. Usually, what it comes down to is the rating followed by the number of reviews.

In this instance, because all these firms have similar ratings, it’s going to come down to the number of reviews. However, if you get too many reviews, I have found that it almost seems fake and some people might not like that. That’s important.

How Google Determines Local Rankings

How do you get in these maps? You can see at support.google.com, but you have to prove your local ranking on Google. But how? First is relevance, which means how relevant are you to the topic. Relevance refers to how well a local listing matches what someone is searching for.

For example, if someone searches for car accident lawyer and you’re a DUI attorney, that doesn’t make any sense. But, if someone searches car accident lawyer and you’re a car accident lawyer, then that’s relevance.

There’s a ton of ways to become more relevant, and that’s for another video. You can probably look back on some of my other videos and see exactly how to become relevant for topics.

Mostly, it’s just making sure that you thoroughly cover a subject and you include all of the actual keywords on there, latent semantic indexing words, etc. There’s a website called text tools.net that I use all the time, and I have some tutorial videos on this that show exactly how to use this software. It makes a big difference when you can do this.

What About Distance?

The second thing is distance. I also created a video talking about why Google is treating lawyers like pizzas, and that directly addresses this distance issue. For this example, I will use Dallas, which is a pretty big area. If you’re on the north side of Dallas and you search for Dallas Personal Injury Lawyer, you’re going to get a different set of results than if you’re on the south side of Dallas.

The reason for that is because Google is using searcher proximity or who’s closer to the result, but what it’s doing is it’s returning results that are closer to the searcher. This is stupid because I have a lot of clients, and not a single one has ever told me that, “Oh, yeah. The client hired me because I was closest to them.” It’s just dumb. If you want a pizza, you want the closest pizza place. If you want a lawyer, you want the best lawyer.

Proving Prominence

The third and final thing is prominence, and this is something that refers to business citations, local citations, etc. We recently discovered something very interesting about the citations. We’ve seen reports on this, and then we actually tested this out on our own, and we found this to be true.

In short, prominence means other websites that list your website, that have all of your information. For example, I’m going to show you two different law firms and let you see what the difference is. These are both for the searches Dallas Personal Injury Lawyer. Here’s a guy, his name is Jerry D. Andrews, P.C., and what I’m looking for is his level of prominence.

Prominence, like I said, is citations. Citations are basically business listings. For example, Foursquare, Super Pages, Info Group, Yellow Pages, White Pages, Facebook, City Search, Insider Pages, Yelp, etc. These all are considered citations. The more of them that you have, the more relevant Google thinks you are.

There’s one thing that is more important than the number that you have, and that is the number that Google has indexed for you. What indexed means is when they actually store it in their algorithm.

For example, let me show you this. This is the Moz local search. You can go to Moz local and search your listings. You can also go to Google and search all of your information. What I did is I took Jerry D. Andrews P.C. 3030 Lyndon B. Johnson Fwy, basically his address and his name, and I put him in Google. I want to see how many citations or business listings actually show up in Google when I search for him.

Keep in mind, Jerry D. Andrews P.C. is number two on page 2 for the keyword Dallas Personal Injury Lawyer. He’s not getting phone calls for this keyword, it’s just not happening. What I did is I searched his information, and I see birdeye.com. Manta, super lawyers, local.yahoo, b2byellowpages, lawyers can help, Easy local, merchant circle, global health homes, yellow pages.

He’s only got nine listings on the first page. Let’s look at his Moz local. These are Foursquare, Super Pages, Info Group, none of these were on the first page. Local Lease, Factual, City Search, Insider Pages.

I’m going to do an index search. The way you do that is you just do site: in front of any URL, and that will tell you if the URL is indexed in Google. You see right here, I did cite, and I did the URL. Your search did not match any documents. This page is not indexed.

Here’s another one. SuperPages. Cite. Foursquare and Super Pages are major citations. This one’s not indexed. Here’s Neustar Localeze Sites colon. Not indexed. See Factual Cite colon. Not indexed. These are the major aggregators and they’re not showing up.

When I look at the number one listing in Dallas, and that is the Barber Law Firm. Here, we’re back to page one. Barber law firm. Let’s see. 3102 Maple Avenue, Dallas, Texas. When I look at that same report for the Barber Law Firm. Keep in mind, their stuff is not totally indexed, but they’ve got something that’s indexed, so let’s look at a few up here.

Let’s look at these three. Super Pages. Remember, Super Pages was not indexed for the other guy. Let’s see if it’s indexed for these guys. It is indexed. You see right here, there’s the link right there to the Super Page. Neustar Localeze. This is not indexed. Let’s look at City Search. Remember, City Search was not indexed. I’m not saying everything’s going to be indexed, but this is indexed as well.

When I search the Barber Law Firm and I put their address here, 3102 Maple Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75201. Let’s look at how many citations they have that are actually indexed. Not on what they have, but how many are actually indexed. We’ve got one, two, Yellow Pages, ARP, Super Pages, Super Lawyers, Univision. Here’s their website. We got a few that are on their website, so that’s seven on page one. Here’s some more of their website. FindLaw. HG.org. Yahoo. Now we’re on page three. White Pages. City Search. Better Business Bureau. Top Choice Awards. Top Insurance Companies. LinkedIn. Locality. Manta. Myeasybz. Get Fave. As you can see, there’s so much more prevalence.

They just have so many more listings that are indexed. What we have found is when you create these citations, they typically outsource the work. I know that we don’t do our own citations, we outsource our citations.

What happens is you provide the NAP, which is the name, address, phone number to the company that’s doing the citations, and then they’re going to want your website address, and then they typically want a description of the business.

The description of the business is where I think people run into a lot of problems because if you have the same description on every page, Google doesn’t index every single page because they see it as duplicate content. What we’ve seen is that if you use a different description for every citation and you don’t recycle content in your citations, then you get more pages indexed. When you have more pages indexed, you’re more prominent. When you’re more prominent, you’ll rank higher.

How To Check Your Local Citations

If you’re not ranking very well, try doing this search. Enter your name, address, and phone number, and see what comes up. Also, go to Moz Local and click check my listing. Enter your business information and then just start pooling those listings and see if they’re indexed.

If you’re having trouble ranking, this could be a big reason why. Everyone says build citations, but nobody says to make sure that your citations are indexed. It’s just something really to think about.

We, as a company called Web20 Ranker, to help us with our citations, and their citations get indexed really well. If you need any help, they’re a good company to go with. If you need help, let me know and I can kind of point you in the right direction for the citations.