As most attorneys know, Avvo is an online platform where consumers can search for attorneys and also obtain answers to their legal questions. Currently, the legal ranking and services marketplace provides ratings for a massive 97 percent of attorneys in the U.S. and boasts nearly 7 million lawyer-answered questions from consumers across the country.
Avvo is able to include such a large number of attorneys in their directory by creating default profiles using information collected from various sources, including court documents, state bar associations, and other public records. Using that information, Avvo then rates lawyers on a scale of 1 – 10, based on their own proprietary algorithm. Attorneys can claim their profile and provide additional, updated information in order to improve their rating.
The Avvo Benefits
There are many SEO-related benefits to your Avvo profile:
- Strong citation source
- Free followed link
- Client reviews provide strong social signal
- Avvo’s badge on your website is a strong trust signal
Google’s Pigeon algorithm, launched less than a year ago, focuses on more detailed search results and, as a result, rewards directories like Avvo with higher search results.
Avvo is considered an authoritative website and, as such, it ranks well for both keywords and specific firm names. As a result, searchers are often likely to visit Avvo before visiting individual law firm sites. In fact, traffic to Avvo’s website grew an impressive 100 percent in the past year alone.
That’s not to say Avvo doesn’t have its challenges; it does. Many attorneys distrust the platform and have gone so far as to file lawsuits, claiming the Avvo ratings system is deceptive. If an attorney fails to claim his or her profile, inaccurate or incomplete information could be published, causing consumers to look elsewhere for representation. Additionally, lawyers are not given the option of deleting their profiles, which has led some to feel obligated to use the site in order to monitor potential mistakes or the wrong information from making it onto their profiles.
Still, for many, the benefits far outweigh those challenges.
Improving Your Avvo Rating
Fortunately, there are many ways you can improve your Avvo rating:
– Claim your profile
– Verify that the details that Avvo obtained from public records are correct. Update any inaccurate info.
– Fill in your profile as completely as possible. Be consistent in the way you format your firm name, address, and phone number. Include as many details as possible, especially dates. Avvo gives greater weight to more recent activity when calculating rating.
– Secure endorsements from your colleagues
– Request reviews from your clients. Client reviews don’t actually impact Avvo ratings, but with enough reviews, you’ll earn the “Client’s Choice Award.” Positive reviews or testimonials are proven marketing assets for any law firm.
– Add all associations that you belong to such as the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, your state bar association, and any local community groups like the Kiwanis Club or Knights of Columbus.
– Provide details about your publications and speaking engagements. Include any online content such as white papers or blogs that you’ve published. Public seminars that you’ve presented should be listed as speaking engagements.
– Contribute to the Avvo platform by authoring Legal Guides and participating in their Q & A forum. Potential clients post questions pertaining to various legal issues. Responding to these questions will not only improve your Avvo rating, but will also showcase your authority in a specific niche, something that prospects are always pleased to see.
Avvo does for the legal sector what Zagat does for the restaurant industry. It really can be a powerful marketing tool for attorneys, regardless of your specialty. The more committed you are to keeping your profile updated and making contributions to the discussions and consumer questions, the more success can be found on the Avvo platform.
SEO and Social Media Manager
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555