Investing marketing dollars in paid legal directories can be hit or miss, unless you know how to choose them.
For attorneys who are trying to expand their clientele, choosing the right attorney paid directories for their firm can make a significant difference.
They can either be incredibly lucrative client outreach channels or a bottomless money pit for your firm. In this article we’ll take an in-depth look at how to select the best attorney paid directories.
What exactly are legal directories for?
As you may have determined from the name, paid legal directories are essentially a database where you can create an attorney profile and consumers can easily find you based on your practice area, experience, geographic location, etc. Now, there is not a shortage of directories available online which is why it’s often difficult to select which ones to invest time and resources with.
The site Avvo.com, one of the most popular names in the legal world, is a leading legal marketplace that features attorney profiles along with reviews, legal tips, services, and more.
Identify Your Target Audience
One of the most preliminary steps is to identify which market you’re trying to target. For example, if you’re only aiming for Hispanic consumer market, this will impact the types of paid attorney directories you go after, compared to a firm that has a more expansive target base. In order to successfully increase your presence online and simultaneously create inbound links to your attorney website is to submit your firm to relevant and professional legal directories.
Choose Directories That Are Highly Ranked
Another significant way to filter the best attorney paid directories from those that are sub-par is to search your city name and legal keyword and see which sites appear on the first page. In the screenshot below, we searched “Fort Lauderdale Immigration Lawyer.” The first page search results turned up paid directory sites including Avvo.com, Lawyers.findlaw.com, and Justia.com. Just this simple search already gives you a good indication as to which paid directories get the most search hits.
Where Are Your Competitors Listed?
A little reverse engineering can go a long way. One of the best ways to identify attorney paid directories worth going after is to see where your immediate competitors are listed. A professional SEO web marketing team can help you identify where your competition is listed and help you also get on those paid directories. They’ll be best able to identify which sites have a high page rank (PR) and authority using tools like Moz and other Google Analytics.
Why do these factors matter?
While you may not think it makes a difference, having your attorney website on a directory that has poor site stats (i.e., categorized as spammy) can have harmful underlying effects to your own rankings in search engines.
Look for Sites that Highlight Achievements
Do you have achievements that are worth mentioning or that set you apart from others in your field? Choose paid attorney directories that provide you the opportunity to highlight these achievements either in your profile or in a separate section.
Avvo, for instance, has individual sections for Client Ratings, Avvo ratings, Testimonials, Client Reviews and the About section. The more information you can display about yourself, the greater the likelihood that a prospective client will find and retain your services.
These sections won’t serve you much use however, if you fail to complete them. When you’re paying monthly or annual fees for attorney paid directories it’s crucial for you to make the most of you money by completing the fields.
If you do not have a marketing department in your law firm who has the time to fill in this information, it’s worth it to hire a lawyer web marketing company who can act on your behalf.
Paid Directories Versus Paid Links?
Are paid links the same thing as paid directories? This question may have come up at some point or another throughout your research. For those who are not familiar with how search engines like Google operate, it’s key to understand this point. There is a difference between paid links and paid directories for lawyers. A paid link is pretty much what the name indicates– a link you’ve paid for in an attempt to increase your backlink count and raise overall rankings. Be aware that any time you pay for a link it goes against Google’s quality guidelines and therefore makes you subject to possible action and removal from their index.
Why is this behavior considered unacceptable by their guidelines?
Google’s aim is to provide consumers the best possible web experience and that means delivering the pages that are most relevant to their query; not simply contrived or plaqued with ‘spammy’ information.
Now, a paid directory is considered a database or collection of websites that are organized into neat categories. The best attorney paid directories are regarded as valuable by Google because they enhance the user’s search experience. Your goal should be to get your law firm on as many of these reputable paid directories as possible–not just on as many as possible for the sake of backlinks.
Selecting Attorney Paid Directories Recap
Identifying a list of professional and reputable paid lawyer directories takes research, time and keen analytical skills. Not only should it highlight your firm in the best possible light, but it should make effective use of your monthly marketing dollars. It’s always advised to work with a digital marketing company who has your firm’s best interest in mind and the expertise to positively represent your brand on these attorney paid directories.