With all of the directories out there, it’s hard to determine which are worth your time and money. To help guide you to the best attorney directories, we have closely audited the results from our own attorney-client websites. We did an audit of over 100 attorney websites to determine which sites were the most relevant, which got our clients the best leads, and which helped improve their online visibility.
The sites below are listed in the order that they appear for most of our clients. However, I urge you to make the most of all five, as together they provide a complete picture of your law firm; a unified image of your brand. Also, each offers a powerful, relevant backlink. These are hard to come by and seriously boost the searchability of your website, so doing the work it takes to claim your profiles (and even, if necessary, to pay for an upgraded account as explained below) are well worth it.
The Top 6 Attorney Directories
Why it matters: This is one of the top attorney directory sites. It comes up in local searches for all of our attorney-clients. This is one of the directories that increased in visibility after Google’s Pigeon update. Given Avvo’s reputation for being both authoritative and relevant, it is a fantastic backlink source. Avvo is a known and proven referral source, providing both a boost in site traffic and legitimate new cases. Now, we understand that Avvo is controversial and that some attorneys believe the site plays dirty. To find out what we think about Avvo, based on years of experience with the site, read our article Avvo: Love it or Loathe It?
How to make the most of it: First you need to claim your listing and fill out your profile completely. Your goal on Avvo is to get a 10/10 rating. Aside from bulking up your profile, consider paying the extra monthly fee to get an Avvo Premium listing. This will allow you to show up above other attorneys in your local area. It also removes competing attorney ads from your profile. Another way to increase your score is to ask satisfied clients and respected peers to add a review to your profile. For more detailed advice, check out How to Claim and Update Your Avvo Profile.
Why it matters: This is another top attorney directory site, and much like Avvo it always comes up in local searches for our attorney-clients. Claiming your listing on Justia is an effective way to improve your backlink profile, get found by local clients and improve your online image and brand. Want proof? We have found that our clients who claim their listings and are active on Justia are rewarded with multiple, legitimate cases.
How to make the most of it: As with all five of these directories, your first step is to claim your listing. Next, you’ll want to consider springing for a paid profile. On Justia, your money will get you the distinction of being a “featured attorney” and being listed at the top of the directory. In general, we only recommend paying for a profile if you are in a very competitive market. If, on the other hand, you are one of only several attorneys in your area, you shouldn’t need to pay for a profile. To find out more about Justia, including detailed instructions on how to claim your listing read our blog, Justia: What Attorneys Need to Know to Make the Most of It.
Why it matters: While FindLaw is number three on our list, it is just as relevant and important as the others. One of the more popular features on the site is their FindLaw Answers section where attorneys can answer questions asked by everyday people—including your potential clients.
How to make the most of it: The same advice applies here: fully and carefully complete your FindLaw profile. In addition, consider getting involved in the FindLaw Answers section. Doing so can help improve your image as an expert in your field and may help boost the visibility of your listing on the site.
Why it matters: This is a very visible site, and unlike Avvo and Justia, the name makes it easy for potential clients to remember and type into their browser bar. Because of this, it’s not one to miss! Like all the others on this list, it’s one that comes up time and again for all of our attorney-clients.
How to make the most of it: Aside from completing your profile, it’s especially important on Lawyers.com that you select the appropriate categories for yourself and your law firm. If you aren’t categorized correctly, you will be missing out on numerous profile views and clients.
Why it matters: Listed at number five, HG.org is still a powerful, important directory for attorneys. It is a known and proven referral source, meaning that if you’re listed here more people will find your site, boosting your site traffic and exposure.
How to make most of it: To get the boost you need from HG.org you need to pay for a premium listing. This allows you to include a link and contact information on your listing. At $195 a year many attorney balk at paying, but I promise you, the price is worth it! If you don’t pay for a premium listing, you will not get a backlink. Also, be sure you complete your law firm profile completely. This means completing profiles for every lawyer at your firm.
Why it matters: Hire Me Legal is a totally unique directory that allows users to post their legal issue in a secure environment, where no personal information is shared. The most qualified attorneys, specializing in the right area, are then notified and they have the chance to pitch themselves to the prospective client. Users can also search the directory and reach out to an attorney themselves if they prefer to go that route. The site provides instant messaging, email and video conferencing to stay connected to clients, and the legal “workroom,” allows clients to track the status of their case and securely upload and download documents.
How to make most of it: Hire Me Legal allows users to find qualified, experienced legal counsel without wasting time, so you need to create a complete profile. By including all of the requested information, you will not only boost your own credibility, but you won't be sent case information irrelevant to your practice areas. This should be done for every attorney at your firm. You can also pay to be listed as a "Top Attorney" which means your listing will appear at the top of search results. Check out this article to learn more about the service, and how to create your Hire Me Legal listing.
But What About Google, Bing, and Yahoo?
I didn’t include these in the list above because they aren’t attorney-specific. However, they are three of the most important directories to be listed correctly on. I am not overstating it when I say that if you want to be found online, you must have a presence on these three major search engines.
How to make the most of them: Like any directory, you have to fill out your profile completely, ensuring that your N.A.P. is identical on each site. Beyond filling out your profile, it’s especially important that you ask satisfied clients to leave reviews, particularly on Google Local and Yahoo. Follow our step-by-step instructions on how to create a natural, simple online review strategy that works.
There is also a social element that you need to consider, particularly on Google+. Posts that you make on Google+ often appear in relevant search results on Google, so being active on the Google+ can be a very good return on anytime you invest in it.
What it means to fill out a “complete profile” will vary from site to site. However, most will offer similar fields: the name of your law firm, your phone number, address, a description, categories, and images. But no matter the differences between each profile, you need to fill out every single field, required or not.
Your profile may be a potential client’s introduction to you and your firm, don’t skimp on the details and don’t forget to ask someone to edit everything you add to your profile. Add images if possible, write descriptive, interesting and edited descriptions and be sure your N.A.P. (name, address, and phone number) are exactly the same on each directory. Getting your N.A.P. right is a big deal. If you are off by even one number or use “and” on one site and “&” on another, it will have a negative impact on your search performance. Read this article on just why N.A.P. is so important.
We Need Your Input!
Have you claimed your profiles on any of these sites? If so, did you have any success? Get any new cases or reap the benefits of a more robust backlink profile? Or did you have any problems claiming your listing?
Please comment below and let us know about your experiences with claiming your law firm’s listing. We would love to hear from you!