4 ways Avvo can impact your bottomline (and how to get started)

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What is Avvo?

Avvo is the largest online legal marketplace connecting consumers and lawyers today. If you’re an attorney, there is a 97% chance that there is a profile of you on Avvo. With more than 8 million visits to the site every month from potential clients seeking legal advice, your profile cannot be ignored.

Why should attorneys be on Avvo?

  1. Generate new business: Avvo delivers 650,000 contacts to attorneys each month, resulting in $8 billion in revenue driven to attorneys every year. This could be you. Even if you are not looking to get more business, people are landing on Avvo when they search for you. Participating on Avvo will improve your chances of increasing the number of clients you serve and enhance your overall online presence.
  2. Prospective clients use Avvo when researching and hiring an attorney: Every 5 seconds, someone gets free legal advice on Avvo. With over 800,000 legal questions asked per month, it is clear that people are using the Q&A forum to obtain legal advice and to find the right attorney for their legal needs. When someone needs a lawyer, Avvo provides the platform for people to find answers to their questions as well as a lawyer to help them with their issue.
  3. Improve your presence in search engines: It is common for someone to search for your name and practice online, especially if a close friend or family member has recommended your legal services. For most attorneys, one of the first search returns for their name is going to be their Avvo profile. Claim your free profile to edit and add resume sections that will potentially increase your Avvo Rating (more on that later).
  4. More valuable leads and referrals: Having your name appear first in search results is great, and knowing that people are looking at your answers for guidance is reassuring, but why do these things really matter to you? Avvo can become a great source of new leads and referrals for you, delivering over 650,000 contacts per month on average to attorneys.

How should you use Avvo?

There are many free and easy ways to benefit from Avvo without paying a dime.

Claim your profile: The first step is to search for your name on Avvo.com, find your profile, then follow the link to claim your profile.

Completely fill out your profile: Avvo receives most of its information on attorneys from State Bar Associations but it doesn’t know everything about you. Double check your profile for accuracy and fill in the gaps. Remember the information you fill out on your profile is what a client sees when choosing an attorney to hire. Put yourself in the shoes of the consumer and ask, “What would I want to know?” Avvo polled its users and found the following sections to be the most important:

  • Headshot. Your headshot is the first thing potential clients see in the directory and it speaks volumes. Attorneys with a headshot are 17x more likely to be contacted by a potential client.
  • Reviews. Attorneys with just 3 reviews get 15x more contacts than those without. People want to know your experience with previous clients. Think of the last time you went to a restaurant, did reviews impact your decision? Why wouldn’t they do the same when hiring an attorney? Get in the habit of requesting reviews from happy clients after each case. You can solicit reviews straight from the link on your Avvo profile.
  • Rating. The Avvo Rating is based on a proprietary algorithm. While the specifics aren’t public, the Avvo Rating is influenced by parts of the profile such as awards, publications, speaking engagements, and associations. Filling out these sections of your profile can influence your rating and set you apart from the competition. Peer endorsements (up to 15, depending on your relationship) will also impact it.Don’t forget to include the to and from dates on everything you add in your resume section. Without a completed date range items will not count towards your rating. The amount of time you’ve been practicing law for example, is weighted heavily in your rating, but this experience will not be reflected in your rating if the date range is not complete. Fresh out of law school? We recommend focusing of some of the other key sections mentioned and participating in Q&A.
  • Practice area. Make sure all of your practice areas are represented accurately in the practice area pie. When people search for the practice area they need help in on Avvo, you will show up under that directory listing only if it is listed on your profile. Put yourself in the shoes of potential clients and make sure to use practice areas that are commonly known among consumers.
  • Contact information. Now that the potential client likes what they see based on the information you have entered on your profile, make sure they can contact you when they are ready to hire. Update your current phone number and address to drive more contacts directly to your firm.
  • Participate in the legal Q&A forum. Avvo provides an opportunity for consumers to receive free legal advice from top-rated lawyers. Potential clients ask over 900,000 questions per month on Avvo. And this is a good thing, because attorneys who answer 15 or more questions per month, receive 10x more contacts than those who don’t.
  • Write a legal guide. Avvo offers you the opportunity to write and publish legal guides on their website. Writing a guide will increase your exposure, and by doing so, you will establish yourself as an authority in your practice areas. You can also earn contributor points, which will be displayed on your profile and factor into your overall rating. Avvo even provides two easy-to-use templates to help with the creation of these guides, so you won’t have to worry about spending time on formatting. After publishing a legal guide, it will link back to your profile and will also be indexed and found through organic search results.

Ready to take your profile to the next level?

Across most markets in the U.S., you will see Avvo near the top of the organic search results – this is how we drive a large portion of our more than 8 million visitors each month. Maximize your visibility to these visitors who are looking to hire an attorney in your practice area and market with Avvo advertising. Avvo advertisers receive 70 times more contacts on average than non-advertisers.

Haven’t claimed your Avvo profile? Find and claim your profile here: http://www.avvo.com/claim-your-profile.