If you’re an attorney, chances are you’ve heard of Avvo. Avvo aims to make it easy for people to find all the information they need to make an informed decision about the best lawyer to fit their needs.
Simply put, Avvo has to be in your arsenal of marketing tools as an attorney.
Why? There are 2 main reasons:
97% of US lawyers are rated by Avvo. Just like a potential employer may check social media profiles of a job candidate, your potential clients are using websites like Avvo to vet attorneys. If your profile looks incomplete or unattended to, it will be less visibile and less appealing.
Avvo provides a great deal of convenience to people looking to hire an attorney. Perform a Google search for “criminal defense attorney,” “personal injury attorney” or something similar and you’ll most likely see Avvo on page 1 of Google. Avvo is especially appealing because it allows people to compare different lawyers all in one place, rather than going to the websites of multiple law firms.
Establishing a presence on Avvo can help your firm get more cases. The key to success is to spend time making sure your profile is a complete and accurate representation of who you are as an attorney.
Here are 10 tips to help maximize your success on Avvo:
This tip seems obvious, but it’s often overlooked. When an Avvo user is browsing the directory of attorneys in their area, they’re presented with a photo, a brief description and a rating. Oftentimes a photo is the only differentiating factor. Avvo profile photos are smaller than most directory photos, so it’s important to maximize the available space.
For Avvo, any .jpg or .png image is acceptable as long as it’s under 5mb. Spending time making sure your photo is professional and cropped to maximize the available space can make your headshot stand out.
In the example below, attorney Michael Gertner makes the best use of space. The photo is professional and cropped appropriately, without any unneccessary blank space.
Your Avvo profile should provide an overview of you, your services and how to contact you. However, many users will want to visit your law firm’s website for more information. Make sure you have included a website link in your profile. After adding it, view your profile and click the link to verify that it’s working properly.
There is also an “Additional Links” section where you can add up to 4 additional links to your profile. This is a great way to highlight your blog, send users directly to a Contact page or highlight pages on your website that are especially important.
Lastly, you have the option to link your social media profiles to Avvo. This is actually done in the “Account Settings” section rather than the profile update section, so it’s often missed. Link any social media profile that you maintain an active presence on.
Many attorneys will specify one or two practice areas. However, the practice areas you specify in your profile affect what types of Avvo searches your profile can appear on, so it’s important to make these as accurate as possible.
Avvo will periodically update the practice areas that are available, so it’s worth checking back every 6 months to make sure you’re not missing any practice areas.
You also have the option to display how many years you have been practicing in that area and how many cases your firm has handled.
Contributing to Avvo legal answers is a great way to boost your reputation and showcase your subject matter expertise. You can also earn status levels for contributions to Avvo’s Q&A. Oftentimes, the people posting the questions are in need of an attorney, so answering their questions presents an opportunity to convert them into a client of your firm.
However, there’s another added benefit to remaining active with contributions to Avvo. The Legal Answers section of Avvo’s website ranks extremely well in Google. This is an additional opportunity for exposure.
The key is looking for questions that are relevant to both your practice area and state. Avvo will automatically sort questions for the best match for you (based on your profile.) Set aside time weekly or monthly to browse recent questions and provide answers.
Keeping your Avvo profile up-to-date is crucial. Every time you publish something, speak at an event or receive an award, you should update your profile to reflect it. However, this is really difficult in practice. One option is to set a calendar reminder every 3-6 months to update your profile. During that time, look back through your calendar for anything you’ve done that can be added as an award or accomplishment to your profile.
These awards, accomplishments and publications will also boost your Avvo rating, so it’s important to make sure you are regularly updating your profile.
With Avvo, both peer reviews and client reviews are visible on your profile. Peer reviews are especially helpful, as it’s one of the few places where you are allowed to ask for reviews from people who are not your clients. Google reviews, for example, need to be from clients of your firm, rather than industry peers.
Avvo makes it easy to request client reviews. You can also add a link in your e-mail signature to your profile to make this easier for your clients to find and post a review.
Take the time to leave comments on all reviews, both positive and negative. It shows that you’re actively engaged and responsive, and this will resonate with potential clients viewing your profile.
When you search for an attorney on Avvo, users have the option to filter by attorneys who provide a free consultation. If you offer this, it’s important to mark it in your profile so that you’re more visible in search results.
You have the option to select which Fee Type you offer and which payment types you accept. Being transparent about your fees is the best way to ensure the calls you receive from Avvo are qualified and can add efficiences to your intake process. If you provide detailed information on your Avvo profile about your cost structure, you will spend less time fielding phone calls from potential clients who are unable to afford your services.
In the biography section, you have the option to add additional photos and videos. If your law firm uses video marketing, this is a great way to showcase your videos. Add photos of your team, your office and additional professional photos of yourself.
Another common mistake on Avvo is only listing one office address if you have multiple offices. This functions in the same way that practice areas do. Your profile will only display in search results based on the location of the searcher. By not listing all of your office locations, you’re severly limiting your exposure within Avvo search results.
For many medium or large law firms, only the managing partners will actively maintain a presence on Avvo. However, each attorney has unique experience and should be leveraging Avvo for business development.
One effective way to do this is to create a document outlining steps to building and maintaining an Avvo profile and distributing it to the attorneys upon hire. This ensures your law firm maximum exposure on Avvo.
Out of all the law firm directories, Avvo is one of the most successful at driving new business for attorneys who make it a priority. There is no cost to edit your profile, and a little maintenance can go a long way in increasing your exposure on Avvo. Depending on your budget, location and practice areas, paid opportunities with Avvo may be worth exploring.
If you’re interested in maximizing your firm’s exposure through high-quality directories like Avvo, let’s talk.
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