As a lawyer, you want to provide the best possible service for your clients. However, it’s challenging to get new clients when potential customers can’t find you online.
One strategy that can help improve your online presence is a relatively simple one—obtain more backlinks from legal directories and boost your search engine ranking. This will increase the number of visitors who come across your website through searches on Google, Yahoo, or Bing and hopefully contact you about their legal needs.
A strong local SEO strategy that includes backlinks from legal directories will boost your website ranking and drive more traffic, which can lead to more clients.
In this guide, we dive into the respected legal directories that are often used by individuals searching for local law firms in their area. By claiming profiles on these websites and obtaining links on them, you can establish yourself as an authority in your field and gain exposure.
What are Legal Directories?
A legal directory is a searchable database of law firms and lawyers. Individuals may search by practice area, location, and other characteristics. The directory serves as an online source for a person to locate a law firm near them that practices the type of law they need.
However, some legal directories have enhanced their content by offering more than a telephone-book-style listing of law firms that meet the search criteria. Law firms that claim their profiles can add a great deal of information beyond their name, address, and contact information.
Some legal directories offer additional services that can improve a law firm’s authority and reputation and generate new leads and increase online visibility.
Why are Legal Directories Important for Attorney SEO?
Appearing in organic searches is vital for lead generation. Legal directories can help your law firm rank higher in local and organic search results.
Reputable legal directories have high PageRank or Page Authority scores. When a website has a high Page Authority or PageRank score, the page is likely to show up in an organic geo-specific search for attorneys.
If you have a profile on a legal directory with a high-ranking score, your profile may come up earlier in an organic search. In fact, if you have well-curated profiles on the top legal directories, you might even show up multiple times in the organic results.
For example, let’s say someone needed a personal injury lawyer in Fort Worth, TX.
In the following results – of which there are more than 6 million – Stephens Law Firm shows up three times (four if you count the local services ad). Once in the local three-pack. Once at the top of the organic search results. And since he has a listing with FindLaw, he’s also visible there.
As you can see, having listings on reputable directories makes it more likely that your law firm is seen in local searches for lawyers or law firms in your practice area.
Legal directories also verify your law firm’s name, address, and telephone number (NAP information). Your online presence benefits from consistent confirmation of your NAP information from trusted and well-ranked websites.
Directories Can Help Your Web Presence
Another valuable resource provided by legal directories is a trusted source for backlinks. Backlinks are referral links on a website that directs traffic to your website. When you have a backlink from a trusted, credible, reliable website, it validates your online reputation.
When your law firm has numerous backlinks from a variety of popular, highly-rated legal directories, your law firm’s SEO credibility increases. As your credibility increases, your rank in searches also increases.
Your online reputation is crucial for generating new leads through searches and searches on lawyer profile sites. Maintaining your profile by creating original, relevant, and informative content and obtaining top reviews from clients and peers may take work. The result will be increased traffic to your website, which can lead to new business.
What are the Best Lawyer Directories Right Now?
Most of the websites provide answers to legal questions and legal content, which boost their rankings and relevance.
The above legal directors are well-known and respected sources for locating local lawyers and law firms. However, they are also respected sources for legal information.
There are hundreds of other legal directories that you may want to research that could provide valuable lawyer SEO tools to increase your ranking. In some cases, you may want to boost your presence on legal directories that focus on the specific areas of law that your firm practices.
Top Personal Injury Directories
There is a great deal of competition among personal injury law firms. Some law firms advertise on television to increase their local visibility. However, listing your law firm on a personal injury directory can boost your online presence.
Some of the top personal injury directories include:
- Find a Personal Injury Attorney
- National Academy of Personal Injury Lawyers
- Find a Car Accident Attorney
- Personal Injury Warriors
Listing your firms with top personal injury directories should be done in conjunction with listing your firm with the top legal directories.
Top Criminal Defense Directories
Finding the right criminal defense lawyer can mean the difference between going free or being behind bars.
Individuals seeking top criminal defense law firms might turn to directories that only feature criminal lawyers, such as:
- National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- Find a Criminal Defense Attorney
- The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Criminal Defense Attorneys
You may also want to make sure that you appear in your local and state criminal bar association’s directory.
Top Family Law Directories
Family law includes all matters related to marriage and families.
Some of the top family law directories include:
- North American Family Law
- American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
- National Academy of Family Law Attorneys
As with other legal directories, you should always research the directory to determine its ranking and reputation. Listing your profile on a legal directory with a low ranking or poor reputation could hurt your online rankings.
Which Lawyer Directories Will Get Me the Most Valuable Backlinks?
The most valuable backlinks come from the top legal directories. You want to focus most of your time and resources on creating content on these websites that result in backlinks to your law firm’s website.
However, you do not want to focus on just one or two of the top legal directories. As part of your law firm marketing strategy, try to obtain backlinks from all of the top legal directories listed here.
Keep in mind that the list of the top legal directories may change based on current ratings. Therefore, obtaining backlinks on multiple sites ensures that your law firm appears in the top legal directory regardless of the current rankings among the top ten.
How Do I Create Backlinks on the Top American Legal Directories?
Law directories that allow you to publish articles with backlinks can be the most valuable. The website needs to be a trusted legal directory that is considered a top authority for information related to legal matters.
For example, Nolo allows you to publish articles on your law firm’s profile. By publishing articles, you increase your law firm’s authority online, which in turn increases search engine ranking.
FindLaw is another example of a valuable source for backlinks. The website’s Q&A forums, articles, and free legal guides allow you to create a wide variety of content that will create valuable backlinks to your law firm’s website.
Keep in mind that most legal directories allow you to claim your profile free of charge. You can add basic information to your profile. However, to access the best law firm SEO tools offered by the legal directory, you may need to pay a monthly or annual fee. Generally, the fees are affordable and worth the money when you consider you are increasing your law firm’s online presence.
Are There Any Bad Legal Directories I Should Avoid?
There are top legal directories, good legal directories, and bad legal directories. Learning how to spot the difference is crucial for your SEO strategy, marketing strategy, and brand recognition.
Below are some things to keep in mind when identifying a bad legal directory versus a good legal directory.
Good legal directories have high domain authority (DA). The higher the domain authority, the more likely the website ranks high on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
You can check the domain authority of a legal directory using a tool like Alexa, Ahrefs, or Moz. Legal directories with low domain authority will not help you improve your online ranking and reputation.
Paid vs. Free Legal Directory Listings
As long as the legal directory has a good reputation and a high domain authority, it benefits you to claim your free profiles.
However, some legal directories charge fees for claiming profiles. You should only pay fees if the legal directory offers more benefits that will result in a return on your marketing investment.
Some legal directories allow you to customize your profile for a fee. Your profile may include photos, ratings, reviews, and legal content. You may be featured in a legal Q&A, and your photo may appear at or near the top of local searches. Your law firm and attorneys may receive special recognition in the form of badges, which may appeal to individuals searching for a lawyer or law firm.
Keyword Rankings and Traffic
A good legal directory has a high volume of keyword placements on the directory site. When a legal directory has hundreds of thousands of legal keywords, it is more likely to receive a great deal of traffic.
Poor legal directories have low keyword rankings and do not receive as much traffic. You can check keyword rankings and traffic with tools like Keywords Everywhere, SEMrush, and Moz.
Take a look at the directory. Does it seem trustworthy? Is it well maintained and updated regularly? Do you see your competitors listed there? Would you feel comfortable giving your credit card information to the directory? If not, maybe think twice about claiming a profile.
What Kind of Information Is Usually Included in a Law Firm’s Listing?
The basic information on a legal directory listing is your law firm’s name, address, and telephone number. However, many of the top legal directories allow lawyers to add information to their free profiles.
Information in your legal directory profile should include:
- Law firm name
- Description of the law firm (i.e., number of attorneys, year established, etc.)
- Contact information (i.e., address and phone number, fax number, email address, etc.)
- The physical location of the main office and other offices
- List of attorneys
- Fields of practice
- Website URL
- Social medial URLs
- Reviews and client testimonials
- Awards and recognitions
- Photos and logos
- Other information and links
It helps local search engines when you include geo-specific keywords in your profile. Examples of geo-specific keywords are “personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles” and “Houston criminal defense attorney.”
Depending on the legal directories, you may be able to add blogs, articles, and other content to enhance your profile and increase your ranking. Some legal directories may charge you a fee for adding content to your law firm’s profile.
It is important to remember that you must be consistent with each of your legal directory profiles. If you list your law firm on more than one legal profile, the content must match identically. All details must be accurate, consistent, and on-brand. Following this procedure helps you with link building, but it also increases your law firm’s online reputation.
How Can I Make the Most of Lawyer Directories?
It can be difficult to know the best strategy for lawyer directories because your strategy needs to be customized to your law firm and your goals. However, there are some steps that you should take regardless of what you might decide to do regarding law firm directories.
Five steps law firms should take now to increase SEO rankings and their online presence include:
1. Find Relevant Legal Directories
First, you’ll have to determine which legal directories you want to target and claim profiles on. The easiest way to do this is by (a) reading guides like this that cut to the chase and give you the information you need and (b) doing a quick Google search for more localized or industry-specific directories.
This two-pronged approach can help you identify all of the directories that might be a good fit.
2. Claim Free Lawyer Directory Listings
Claim all of your free profiles on the top ten lawyer directories, including sites like Avvo.
Ensure that the information is correct and consistent. Once you claim your free profiles on the top ten legal directories, you might also want to consider claiming your free profiles on the next ten best legal directories.
You may also want to claim free profiles on law directories that only include profiles of attorneys who practice in specific legal areas. Do not forget to claim your free profiles on state bar websites and legal associations.
3. Choose Legal Directories With Features That Benefit You
Some legal directories may charge for extra features that can help you create backlinks and increase SEO rankings. Carefully analyze and compare each directory and the cost to determine which directories have the features that benefit your law firm.
Features that make a legal directory more desirable include:
- A trusted and reliable source of legal information
- High traffic and domain authority
- Features that attract potential leads, such as free Q&As, legal articles, and other free legal content
- Websites that are user friendly
- Ability to add content to your profile with backlinks to your website
Is your competition listed on the directory? That’s always a good indicator that claiming a profile might be worthwhile.
4. Include Online Reviews
Reviews have become one of the most influential factors in choosing a law firm or an attorney.
- 89% of people use reviews as a tool to help them find a product or service provider (including law firms).
- Three-quarters of web users trust online reviews just as much as – or more than – input from people they know.
- Nine out of ten people are influenced by positive reviews.
- A law firm with 5 reviews is 270% more likely to get a call from a prospective client than a law firm with zero reviews.
The best reviews give specific examples of how the law firm assisted the client without giving details of the case.
Focusing on exceptional customer services is the best way to obtain valuable customer reviews – including those that show up on your legal directory profiles.
But, don’t just focus on getting attorney reviews. Get involved, engage, and respond to reviews – both good and bad. About 97% of people who read online reviews also read responses from the companies. Nearly half (45%) say that they’re more likely to buy a product or hire a service if the company has responded to negative feedback online. Responding to only reviews shows you care, instills trust, and offers context.
5. Consistency Across Websites
As mentioned above, consistency across the various websites is crucial to increase SEO ranking.
Your firm’s NAP information must be identical on every website and every profile. Merely using “Ave.” instead of “Avenue” could have a negative impact. Your law firm’s details, contact information, and social medial URLs should all be identical too.
Invest in proofreading and triple-check all information on each profile. When updating information, ensure you have a process for updating all profiles and websites consistently.
Key Takeaways About Legal Directories
It’s no secret that Google values links from high-quality sites. In fact, they value them so much that it can sometimes be the deciding factor in whether or not your site ranks well for a given keyword.
That being said, getting backlinks on legal directories is one of the best ways to ensure you have an edge over other law firms.
Obtaining backlinks from legal directories can improve your online presence and reputation.
Just make sure that you:
- Choose legal directories that have excellent reputations and high traffic
- Are consistent across every website and each profile page
- Carefully consider the return on investment before paying a legal directory to add content to your profile
- Add as much relevant information as possible to free profiles
Managing online profiles can be time-consuming. The task may also be overwhelming for someone who is not familiar with rankings, search engine optimization, and other online strategies. Seeking help from a lawyer SEO professional can sometimes be the best option for law firms to maximize the use of legal directories.
LawRank Will Claim & Optimize Your Legal Directory Listings
At LawRank, our attorney SEO specialists know just how important legal directories can be to an organic digital marketing campaign. The backlinks you gain have considerable value, as does the presence on a website that many potential clients (and Google) consider an authoritative source.
As part of our law firm SEO services, we prioritize claiming all available profiles on the best legal directories, building great content on these platforms, and squeezing every bit of link equity possible to give your SEO campaign the boost it deserves.
Give us a call today to discuss your options and learn about how our SEO company for lawyers can help you make the most of your marketing campaign.