Lawyer directories and lawyer listing websites are quite common these days, as more and more of your potential clients are looking for information online. Among the largest and most well-known of these websites is Avvo.com. If you haven’t signed up yet, you may be asking yourself, “Is Avvo worth it?” So I’m here to tell you more about what Avvo is and how Avvo can benefit your law practice.
What is Avvo?
If you’re an attorney, you’ve likely heard of Avvo. You may or may not “get it,” but you’ve probably heard of it…and Avvo has most assuredly heard of you too.
What do I mean by that? Well, Avvo is the largest legal directory on the web, listing attorney profiles for 95% of all US lawyers. So even if you didn’t create your own attorney profile on their website, Avvo likely made one for you and it’s just sitting there, “unclaimed.”
Avvo creates attorney profiles based on public information from the State Bar. Attorney profiles are then given a score from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest score you can achieve. In my experience with my attorney clients, unclaimed Avvo profiles are usually given a score somewhere between 6-7.
Is Avvo worth it for lawyers?
Why is Avvo important to you? Because it has over 6 million visitors every month! It ranks high in the search engines and thus people see it when they Google your name from a referral, your business card, etc. In addition to profiles, it offers a free Q&A forum section, where people can ask legal questions and lawyers on the site can answer.
Why should you care? Here’s a personal story to give you an idea of why Avvo is important for attorneys.
A few months ago, my mother asked me for a referral for an intellectual property attorney, since I know and work with so many lawyers. I gave her a few names, which she promptly looked up on Google. My mother, who is not an attorney, said, “Well I can’t hire ‘so-and-so’ because he has a low rating on Avvo.”
It was then that I realized how important your Avvo rating is and how a low rating on Avvo can be a deal breaker for a possible new client. So since it is free to sign up and claim your profile, Avvo is definitely worth it. Increasing your Avvo rating even a little bit can have significant results in converting potential clients.
How is your Avvo rating determined?
According to Avvo, your rating is based on the completeness of the information in your profile, and your activity level and involvement on their site.
While it may seem unfair that you could be rated based on your use (or lack thereof) of a website, as opposed to your actual legal work, such is reality. Avvo has become a major source of online legal information, and it’s here to stay, so use it to your advantage.
How to increase your Avvo rating?
Avvo specifically wants to see evidence of your involvement within the legal community. Things like awards you’ve received, leadership positions in legal associations, publications in legal journals and newsletters, speaking engagements with other attorneys, running CLE courses, etc. Add as much of that information as possible to your Avvo profile, and keep it up to date.
Additionally, Avvo looks for peer endorsements, client reviews, a profile photo, and a website video. So make sure to ask your closest colleagues and clients to leave you a review, just like you should on your LinkedIn profile.
Finally, answering clients’ questions in the Avvo legal Q&A forum factors in to your overall score too. So the more you can get involved using their site, the more likely you will be to increase your Avvo rating.
What have you got to lose? Avvo is just another way to market yourself and your law practice. As arbitrary as the Avvo rating may seem, it matters in the eyes of your potential clients. It’s free to sign up and claim your profile, and it will help you increase your Avvo rating to do so. For that reason, Avvo is certainly “worth it,” at least at the free account level.
If you haven’t done so already, take some time to complete your profile, answer questions, and get recommendations and reviews. It will help you build up your overall presence online, and hopefully it will also lead to more new clients for your law firm.
I hope I’ve motivated you to either claim your Avvo profile or improve it if you have already claimed it. For questions or comments, please feel free to contact me. And for more tips and information, please “Like” my LISA PR Facebook page, and connect with me on LinkedIn. Alright…go out and get that “10” on Avvo and boost your presence online!
*This is a guest post by Lisa Elkan. She is owner of LisaPR.com and has over 10 years of experience in public relations and marketing in the legal industry.