If you’re a lawyer and you’re trying to figure out how to get more traffic online you probably understand that Google gets about 67% of the total search traffic on the internet. You may even be ranking on the first page…
SEO for lawyers is very competitive and even experienced online marketing and SEO agency like ourselves can be challenged when taking over the top spots that the larger legal directories can hold.
But what if you could actually benefit from the sites ranking above you and get value from them? (while you still work on taking them over, of course)
If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em…
Depending on your niche and your location, you’ll probably notice one (or more) of three directories that seem to be glued to the first spot of page one in Google’s search results. Instead of waiting to beat them, why not learn how you can take advantage of the traffic that they are getting?
These directories tend to rank well because they have so much relevant content in every location. And Google eats that up.
In this article you’re going to learn how to do that on one of those sites: Avvo.com
Why Focus on Avvo for SEO and Traffic?
When a page is ranking for Avvo.com in Google it almost always ends up being a search results page on their site. So, if you went to Google.com and searched for “Atlanta Bankruptcy Attorney” one of the search results will actually be an Avvo search results page for “Bankruptcy / Debt” in Atlanta, GA. What you want to do is give yourself the best chance to show at the top of those results.
I know what you’re thinking – “you want me to do more SEO!?”
Sort of… But, ranking higher in Avvo is WAY easier than ranking in Google.
And the fact that you’re reading this puts you ahead of 95% of your competition…
1. Get a Sponsored Listing from Avvo
This is by far the easiest way to get yourself to the top of that search results page. You’re actually buying your way to the top for a set amount of impressions. Now, these are not “clicks”, these are how many times you show up in that specific search result.
These start at $99/mo for 300 impressions which means someone who comes to that page will just see your listing with their eyes and it’s up to them whether or not they click on it. Either way you pay for that impression.
You want to do as much as you can to get that click. There are a couple ways to make sure that you get the click over your competitors that are also showing:
1. One is to write a compelling title. Don’t just make it “John Garcia – Family Attorney in Portland, OR”… That’s boring and will just blend in with the rest of the sponsored listings. Think about what sets you apart from all of the other guys… Are you a single father who was able to fight for equal custody of your children? Say “John Garcia – Single Dad Fighting for Single Dads!”. Add a call to action in there. Add your phone number.
You could use something like this:
“John Garcia – Single Dad Fighting for Single Dads! – Family Attorney in Portland, OR – Click Here or Call Me Now: 555-5555!”
2. The second is to increase your “Avvo Rating” and get more Client Reviews. Although, it is not as prominent in the sponsored listing as it is in Avvo’s “organic” results, it will still definitely be a factor when someone is choosing to click you over another listing.
We’ll go more into increasing you Avvo Rating below…
2. Increase Your “Avvo Rating”
Just like Google’s algorithm, a lot of different factors go into increasing your Avvo Rating. But it’s a lot more simple and intuitive than speculating what big G likes.
Full Resume (Profile)
Having your entire profile filled out as completely as you can helps a lot to increase your Avvo Rating and your ranking in relevant searches. Avvo makes this part incredibly easy. When you first log in to your Avvo account and it takes you to your dashboard it will actually tell you what percentage your profile is complete. It will also give you a suggestion on what to do next that you can click to go right on over to and fill out. If you just did this you would be WAY ahead of most of your competitors.
The “Practice Areas” Pie Chart
This may be obvious, but I have to put this here. If you don’t have your niche or keyword here then you simply will not show up in Avvo’s internal search results for that keyword, period. I recommend adding all areas of law that you practice and filling this out (as with everything else) as honestly and as accurately as you can. Just be aware that the algorithm will see you as being stronger in the areas that have a higher percentage than the others. So, don’t go stuffing this with every single keyword. If you specialize in DUI case then make sure you add that to your Practice Areas pie chart. If you also do personal injury and/or traffic cases then add those as well… Just fill it out as best and honestly as you can. Don’t go in and stuff it with every single practice area available just because you think it will get you more traffic.
Peer Endorsements (and the “magic” number)
This one is very often overlooked, but it is a huge ranking factor in Avvo’s algorithm and rating system. The way Avvo looks at it is who better to rate the other lawyers that they know? They make these endorsement really easy to get as well. All you have to do is log into your Avvo.com account and go to your Dashboard. On the lower left you’ll see “Peer Endorsements” with a clickable link below it saying “Request Peer Endorsements”. Click on that link and you’ll be taken to a new page where you can enter up to 50 emails of your peers. Avvo with send this request to the emails you enter. All they have to do is login to their Avvo account (or claim theirs if they don’t already have one) and give you their endorsement.
Btw, we have insider information that the magic number to shoot for with endorsements is 12-14. After that it fails to impact your rating.
If you do these things you will notice Avvo.com referrals showing up in your analytics in no time.
A few extra factors:
- Make sure that any current or past license is here.
- Work Experience
- Use this section to describe your work experience within the legal industry. This includes positions as a private practitioner, general counsel for a company, public defender, government attorney, or positions you’ve held for cities, states or counties. This is also the section to add any experience as a law professor, judge, judge pro tem, or any judicial clerkships you might have done.
- Any schools you went to or degrees that you finished. Include graduate and undergraduate degrees.
- Any awards, certification, recognition or honors you have received from industry or consumer organizations.
- Any industry-related organization that you are a part of or have been a part of. Especially if you held any leadership positions.
- Ever written a book, wrote a law review or wrote for a legal journal? This is where that goes.
- Speaking Engagement
- Any speaking engagement having to do with law. Could be an industry-oriented organization, bar association meetings, lectures at law schools, CLE events, legal seminars, etc…
3. Don’t Forget About User Experience!
At Enlightened Marketing, although we market ourselves as SEO experts, we really see ourselves as “UEO” or “UXO” experts.
UEO stands for “User Experience Optimization”. I won’t go too much into it here, but basically what you’re doing with UEO is optimizing your site for the end-user. Making sure that it is easy for them to use and that they are able to get the information they are looking for or completing a task that you want them to complete.
You can learn more a little more about UEO here on this YouTube video.
UEO is increasingly becoming more and more important to Google’s algorithm, but you also get the added benefit of your site being more user-friendly and converting better!
We love that search is moving in this direction because it forces us to make the experience better for everyone involved… Potential clients are converting better and Google is sending their traffic more better and more relevant results. It’s a win-win-win!
We recommend you take this approach when you are working on any one of your web properties, including Avvo.
Here are a few points you should consider as far as UEO in Avvo.com
Make sure this is a clear and good quality headshot of you. Your potential clients want to see who they are working with. We don’t recommend using anything other than a nice, professional headshot. No funny business here…
While not a factor in your ranking or rating on Avvo, client reviews are extremely important from a UEO perspective. We’ve heard straight from Avvo that “Usability studies have shown client reviews are the most important aspect of the profile when determining who to hire on our website”. When potential clients are looking for an attorney they want to see that other people have used them and have also had good experiences with them. Obviously, the higher your average star rating, the better… If yours is 4 or higher, you’re doing well.
Don’t get too upset if a negative review pops up in there. This can actually add credibility to your score in the users’ eyes. Also, if you receive a negative review you may be able to message support to challenge it.
Extra Bonus Information
This has nothing to do with Avvo, specifically, but it is something that will help you increase your ROI immensely. It’s one of THE first things that we do when we get a new client.
**Install A Facebook Custom Audience Pixel on Your Site**
Installing a Custom Audience Pixel from Facebook will allow you to promote ads on Facebook to the traffic that has visited your site and keep showing your brand over and over to them. That way, when it comes time for them to need you, you’re at the top of their mind.
Facebook marketing is one of our specialties and is still fairly cheap when compared to Google’s AdWords.
Just remember that all types of marketing take some sort of investment, whether it be time or money or both.
I hope that you enjoyed this post on using Avvo to your advantage to get more business for your law firm.
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