Legal directories are big business, but do they really generate leads? No law firm should ever rely on a single marketing tactic to generate leads. That being said, incorporating legal directories into your overall online marketing strategy can help boost your SEO, give your firm greater exposure and boost your credibility.
A law firm’s website is always the foundation of a solid marketing scheme. Once you’ve created a polished site with an interesting blog, getting your firm listed in various directories can help you get noticed. Legal directories command much of the real estate in SERPs (search engine results pages). In 2014, Google went public with a new algorithm change (the Pigeon update), and according to SearchEngineLand.com, the net result is that legal directories now consistently rank high in search results.
Another reason to list in directories is that it can help you craft a consistent, accurate web presence in a variety of places. When Google sees that your firm’s citation is consistent across the web (same name, address and phone number, or “NAP”), your firm is more likely to rise to the top of localized search results. When filling out your listing, make sure that you use the same spelling and/or abbreviations that you use in all your online profiles. Otherwise, you will not really be taking advantage of everything a directory presence has to offer.
Backlinks to your website from directories can also help your firm’s page float to the top of search engine rankings. Look for directories that include links to your page, blog or social media pages.
Being listed in a directory is a great way not only to generate leads, but generate quality leads as well. Most people pursuing directories are actually looking for a lawyer. If you have an outstanding website, clients will be guided back there and will see that. Some directories also allow clients to post reviews, and allow other lawyers to endorse you.
Some of the major directories include:
- FindLaw.com: One of the biggest players in the game, this site relies on quality content to draw approximately nine million visitors per month. Listing on FindLaw.com is free, but a paid placement can be very expensive.
- Avvo.com: Like FindLaw.com, listings are free, but paid placement is costly. Only individual lawyers can participate in Avvo.com; law firms are excluded. This site does consistently well in search result rankings.
- Lawyers.com: Offers free and paid listings. Lawyers.com includes a lot of other types of information, including a discussion community, basic overviews of legal topics and links to legal resources.
- Nolo.com: Uses a “pay-per-lead” model. Much of the traffic to Nolo.com are consumers who represent themselves and are looking for legal information, so it may not be the best site to generate quality leads.
- Justia.com: This site is a reliable source for information on case law, codes, regulations, legal blogs and legal articles. Listing in Justia.com provides you with listings in the Oyez directory and the Cornell directory as well.
With so many legal directories offering free listings, getting your name out there can’t hurt. Just make sure that you are using a consistent NAP, and that your firm’s website is strong. Because offering quality content on your own page is always the best bet to convert leads.