With so many different ways to establish online visibility for your law firm, you might wonder whether it’s worth it to participate in legal directories. In truth, these are some of the simplest and most effective ways for attorneys to grow their online presence and get some valuable links. But there is a right and wrong way to approach these websites for the purposes of legal marketing.
What Are Legal Directories?
A lawyer directory or legal directory is a website that focuses on listing law firms and attorneys. Their purpose is to make it easy for potential clients to search and find a lawyer. Some legal directories are specialized, such as those only for family law attorneys or personal injury law. Most of the big ones, however, are general and all-encompassing. These websites also offer unique opportunities for lawyers to increase their online presence.
Are Legal Directories Important for Law Firms?
Attorney directories are powerful tools to help potential clients find law firms and for attorney marketing. Here’s what they can do:
When your contact information is correct and up to date on major legal directories, you have a much better chance of having someone pick up the phone to give you a call about your services.
Another big advantage of using legal directories is that it’s another way to drive traffic to your website. If visitors like what they see, they can just click a link and get redirected to your site.
Backlinks for SEO
Speaking of links, that link to your website on a legal directory is valuable. When external sites link to yours, this is called a referral link, and it’s considered a vote of confidence or a sign of credibility. Having that link can help your main law firm website rank higher in the search engines.
When someone searches for legal help online, it’s often on a local level. Because of this, anything that includes your law firm’s information and geographic location together can help it rank in local search. This includes its listing on a legal directory page.
Establishing and building trust in your law firm’s brand is essential. When you give some attention to major legal directories, you can begin collecting reviews from previous clients and your peers, which is one way to enhance your online reputation.
Best Practices for Using Legal Directories
It’s important to understand that legal directories aren’t new. The oldest, Martindale-Hubbell, has been around since the 19th century. But the current version of these online directories is big business to the tune of $250 million per year.
Many of these directories have large sales and marketing teams that try to upsell services to law firms, including web design. You don’t need any of these items to be successful, and some might even harm your digital marketing efforts. Sure, you should take advantage of legal directories, but follow these best practices when you do:
- Claim Free Listings
It’s important to understand that many directories will list your law firm whether you have interacted with them or not. It makes sense to claim and manage any free listings on the top legal directories so that you control the message and ensure the information is correct.
- Don’t Link to the Directories
Unless your marketing company recommends it, never link from your website out to the directories. Some of the badges or awards from directories can contain viruses. But do make sure your website link is listed on your directory page.
- Avoid Signing Contracts
Avoid giving any money to directories unless you can show there is a positive ROI. In some cases, it makes sense to have an enhanced listing with a directory if it will prevent your competitor’s ads from showing up on your page.
- Own Your Website
Many directories will try to sell you website services. This is generally not the best choice because the contracts are restrictive, and you may not end up owning your website if you leave.
Top Legal Directories for Your Law Firm
There are probably hundreds of legal directories to choose from, and you don’t need to claim your listings on all of them. Here are some of the top legal directories that are worth your time and attention:
Avvo is one of the most trafficked legal directories. But the peer reviews are what sets it apart because you can boost your credibility by receiving high ratings from your peers.
This is one of the first legal directories created, and it now consists of multiple websites that include helpful Q&As, articles, and free legal guides.
- Super Lawyers
Super Lawyers is unique because it rates lawyers based on a variety of factors. You have to be nominated and selected to get a listing in this directory.
Justia is one of the highest-trafficked legal websites, with over 10 million visitors monthly. If you claim your profile here, it will also appear on the Legal Information Institute website owned by Cornell.
Nolo has turned into one of the largest legal content websites online, with millions of visitors each month looking for information, many of whom eventually ask to speak with a local attorney.
Martindale is a well-established legal directory that gets over 15 million visitors each month. With a listing here, you are searchable on any of the company’s network of sites.
This site now has over one million lawyer and law firm profiles as well as a lot of free legal information to point consumers in the right direction.
This is another high authority website with over a million monthly visitors who can search the directory by law firm, area, or area of law to find an attorney.
LegalZoom focuses on the do-it-yourself crowd with its library of legal documents and filings. But it also has a subscription service that connects members with local attorneys.
Lawyer.com is a global legal directory that focuses on connecting potential clients with the right attorneys or law firms.
Get Help With Boosting Your Law Firm’s Visibility
You’ll have more opportunities to convert prospects to clients when people can find you online. Potential clients might click on your website’s link in the search results. But they are just as likely to click on an online legal directory, so you want to be found there as well.
Provided you use them correctly, lawyer directories can be powerful tools to increase your visibility in the search engines and boost your overall results. At Too Darn Loud Legal Marketing, we provide customized legal marketing solutions to clients and welcome a conversation about how we can help your firm. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation at (800) 649-1764.