Lawyer Directory Marketing – AVVO Ratings
Most lawyers dont even know they have an AVVO Profile and Rating or why they would possibly even claim and update it. YET it’s a really good idea and should be part of every lawyers overall Internet Marketing strategy. If your a solo lawyer or smaller law firm, you must go the extra mile in order to succeed online today in the legal web marketing world. So if you can improve your AVVO score by doing a few things, I say that makes big sense and should be a no brainer for every single attorney, I mean why not?!
So here are the different things you can do in order to improve your AVVO Rating. The bottom line is if you do ANYTHING at all, your going to improve your score. Yet you need to put in a little time in order to get your rating to the 9 or perfect 10 range but it can be done.
1. Sign up and claim your Lawyer profile
The first step toward increasing your Avvo rating is to sign up and claim your profile. You can start this process by searching for your name here: Avvo.com/for-lawyers/avvo-profile
Next, click on your name and then click “Claim my profile”.
You will then be directed to the Claim page where you can claim ownership of your profile automatically using either LinkedIn, Email, Facebook, or Phone Number.
2. Fill out your profile to 95%
Although it may take some time, grab a cup of coffee and fill out your profile to 95%. This means adding information for all of the following items:
You won’t see the progress bar get to 100%
To get the last 5% you need to add an Avvo Rating Badge to your website. I don’t recommend doing this, and it will not impact your ability to get to a 10.0 rating.
Fill out your practice areas properly
The practice areas that you use will determine what categories your profile shows up in.
Let’s say that you’re a personal injury lawyer: If you indicate that 100% of your work is car accident related, then you will only show up for car accident searches.
I suggest that you diversify this ratio by getting granular. If you’re a personal injury attorney you’ll want to show up in search results for other more specific practice areas like wrongful death, car accidents, truck accidents, etc. Take the time to determine how your case experience breaks down, and reflect that breakdown accurately:
3. List your work experience
Listing your professional work experience is not only essential to completing your profile, but it also will help onlookers understand your areas of specialty.
Pro Tip: Add start and end dates. Be sure to add start and end dates wherever Avvo requests them. This will actually add points to your Avvo rating.
4. List any awards you’ve won
This is another area where Avvo’s rating system falls down, in the opinion of many. Without having some sort of award on your profile, you likely won’t reach a perfect Avvo Rating.
However, the credibility of the awards that impact Avvo ratings the most (Super Lawyers, Million Dollar Advocates, etc.) is something that many of our clients question.
Regardless of credibility, legal awards have a significant positive impact on your Avvo Rating, so add ‘em if you’ve got ‘em.
Pro Tip: Add award dates. Avvo awards point value to each award based on a variety of factors, including date. More recent awards will get you more points than older awards. If you don’t add a date to each award, Avvo will assume the oldest possible date, which results in the minimum amount of points you can receive for that entry.
5. Add Cases to your Portfolio
Adding the details of your most impressive case work is really the best thing you can do to help people understand your qualifications. So I would add the adding cases to your portfolio as necessary to continue to increase your Avvo Rating.
6. List the legal and business organizations with whom you are associated
List any business or legal associations you can claim. Common examples we see are Million Dollar Advocates, State and County Bar Associations, and the Better Business Bureau.
Be sure to include the association name, position name, and the duration.
7. List any publications you’ve written
Have you written a book? Had a piece published in your local bar journal? Blogged on a popular website or provided an opinion piece on your blog or website? These ought to be listed under the Publications section of your profile. *** Its hard to say how much this helps your AVVO score but it should help a lot!
8. List speaking engagements
Adding speaking engagements will moderately increase your Avvo Rating.
What I’ve seen is that you’ll get a +0.1 score increase for every speaking engagement, but you will only get it if you include a link to information about the event on the web.
If the organization for which you spoke does not list your speaking engagement on their website, you could create a press release or recap of the event your own website and link to it. However, in some cases this may not be adequate to get the rating increase. Avvo looks for recognized, authority organizations here so your own website may not qualify.
9. Get Peer Endorsements
Getting peer endorsements will raise your Avvo Rating for sure and this seems to be the thing that has always worked the best.
Peer Endorsements are votes from your peers that act as a vote of confidence in Avvo’s algorithm. Avvo asks two questions about every peer endorsement:
The options for the first question are:
Fellow lawyer in community
Worked for lawyer
Worked together on a matter
Opposing counsel on a matter
In my experience, Peer Endorsements indicating “Worked together on a matter” and “Opposing counsel on a matter” will increase the Avvo Rating 3x more than any of the other options.
This does cap-out over time. Usually when you get to the 15-20 endorsement range, additional endorsements do not add additional points to your Avvo Rating. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you should stop going after more peer endorsements after 15, just know they won’t impact your score.
I will do a follow up on this blog post with case studies of AVVO Ratings for Lawyer campaigns to show how all of this will work in real life.
THINGS THAT DO NOT HELP YOUR AVVO SCORE…
This is an interesting post from Juris about things that might not help your AVVO Score, thing you might have thought but really do nothing, such as….
Avvo has a massive legal Q & A forum. When logged into your Avvo profile, you can contribute answers to questions categorized in your practice area. While this can help showcase your expertise, it will not help you increase your Avvo Rating.
Tip: If you do answer a legal question that an attorney has already answered adequately, you could compliment the attorney, say you agree, and you may be able to land yourself a Peer Endorsement.
Creating legal guides
Legal guides are probably the biggest waste of time of Avvo. Not only do they require a lot of work to publish, there are not a lot of opportunities for that content to get seen due to the volume of duplicate topics and content.
If you go through the effort of creating a legal guide it will have more benefit on your own website or another website where it can rank for the search queries and get you more clients. Legal guides also won’t help you increase your Avvo Rating.
Getting client reviews
Client reviews are helpful for making you look good but they don’t appear to have an impact on Avvo Rating.
Overall Contributor Level
The overall Contribution Level that you see when logged into your profile will not impact your Avvo Rating.