It’s probably safe to say that just about every lawyer has encountered at least one premium placement directory. From the time that you transitioned from your free Westlaw and LexisNexis legal research accounts after graduating from law school, you likely received a sales pitch from representatives at both companies to create profiles on their popular directories as avenue for generating legal leads.
In addition to mainstays like Findlaw and Lawyers.com, dozens of free and paid directories are available for lawyers to create listings and generate legal leads. In this article, we will discuss why creating profiles on at least several premium placement directories is important from a legal marketing perspective. We will conclude with a discussion of the best directories for generating legal leads.
Why Premium Placement Directories are Important
Premium placement directories are an important legal lead generation tool for many reasons. First, many prospective clients search for and research lawyers and law firms on popular directories. Showing up towards the top of the search results, perhaps through a sponsored listing, has obvious marketing benefits.
Second, most directories feature some sort of review or ratings feature. Social proof has become one of the most important decision points for consumers in every industry. In the legal profession, good reviews mean an attorney is more likely to be trustworthy and competent to perform the needed legal services.
Third, premium placement directories play an instrumental role in your firm’s SEO efforts. Creating a listing on a directory gets you both a citation and a backlink. A citation is essentially an online directory where your business and contact information are listed. Google looks to citations to evaluate your business. If your firm appears on relevant websites it will serve to increase your firm’s local search rankings.
Backlinks are links from a page on one website to another. Backlinks to a website are likely the most important ranking signal in Google’s search algorithm. But not all backlinks are created equal. A backlink from a high authority domain will bode well for your SEO efforts. High authority is generally anything over 60. And all the premium placement directories listed below qualify as high authority domains, providing you with some excellent backlink opportunities.
Top Premium Placement Directories for Getting Legal Leads
Avvo is among the top legal directory websites and is a great tool for generating high quality legal leads. The website has an excellent domain authority with 71 which will help your firm’s SEO ranking. Avvo offers a free directory listing option or a premium option that helps increase your profile’s visibility as well as some other marketing features.
Avvo also offers a question-and-answer feature that allows lawyers to engage with prospective clients. By simply carving out some time each day or week to answer some questions, you will have an opportunity to interact directly with clients and move them further down in the sales funnel.
Lawyers.com is a well-respected website, featuring a domain authority of 68 and ranking for nearly 300,000 keywords. Listing your firm on Martindale-Hubbell will automatically display your profile on Lawyers.com. Both websites help lawyers get legal leads through social proof – reviews from peers and clients.
You can create a free profile on Martindale.com without subscribing but will only show up when a user searches specifically for your firm by name. If you subscribe your profile can appear in relevant practice areas and locations. There are also paid sponsored listing options that will help your profile stand out.
Findlaw is among the most respected legal directory websites, at least from a domain authority (82) and ranking keywords (1.1 million) standpoint. In addition to the obvious SEO benefits that a backlink and citation from Findlaw provides, the website offers a question-and-answer section. Lawyers can respond to general legal questions from prospective clients.
This direct engagement gives you an opportunity to showcase your expertise and attract legal leads. For example, if you are interested in getting more personal injury leads, you could respond to questions regarding car accident settlements.
Justia is probably the highest-ranking legal directory from a domain authority perspective (89). A backlink and citation from Justia is very valuable to your SEO efforts. Justia allows users to create a free profile that has the added benefit of appearing on the Legal Information Institute website, a valuable resource provided by Cornell Law School. Justia also offers premium membership options that gives your profile higher visibility and exposure in the desired practice areas.
HG may not be as well-known as some of the other directories mentioned in this article, but it is an incredibly useful tool for generating legal leads. The website is highly respected with a domain authority of 79. HG offers a paid directory listing option on an annual rather than monthly basis.
You have likely come across Nolo when quickly researching some legal issue on Google. Nolo consistently ranks towards the top of the search rankings for a broad range of keywords, giving the website tremendous visibility and domain authority (85).
Nolo offers several subscription options and gives you the added benefit of being able to publish articles to your profile, further increasing your visibility and giving you an opportunity to showcase your expertise – two important factors for getting more legal leads.
One drawback of Best Lawyers is that you have to be nominated to appear on the website, although the nomination can essentially come from anywhere. If you can overcome that hurdle, Best Lawyers has great domain authority (80) and appearing on the website has obvious marketing value.
Super Lawyers is owned by Thomson Reuters and is a highly coveted designation in the legal industry. Displaying “Super Lawyer” next to your name can only help your chances in getting more legal leads. Like Best Lawyers you need to be nominated. From there Super Lawyers conducts an independent review followed by peer evaluation by practice area and the final selection process.
You can read more about the Super Lawyers selection process here.
Premium placement directories are a key component of any successful marketing strategy for generating legal leads. While it may not be financially feasible to subscribe to all major directories, try to create profiles and/or sponsored listings on several to boost your legal marketing success.