If you want to be found by your prospects, then you have to show up where they look. In the case of digital marketing for attorneys, Avvo is one of the most important directories you can – and should – get featured on.

Seattle-based Avvo was launched by lawyer Mark Britton as a way to help folks easily and quickly find a lawyer. Users hop onto Avvo and, voila, they gain instant access to a ton of information that helps them make the right legal choice for their needs.

avvoAll attorneys who use Avvo are assigned a rating, ranging from Extreme Caution (at a 1) to Superb (at a 10). Obviously, attorneys with a higher rating are far more likely to get conversions from Avvo. The directory site uses an algorithm to determine ratings, taking into account a variety of factors such as:

  • Career achievements
  • Years of experience
  • Standing in the industry

Some of these factors are beyond your control. However, there are many ways that you can make an impact with your ranking. Here’s how:

Step one is to claim your profile

Even if you didn’t actively set up a presence on Avvo, there’s a good chance your profile exists in the directory. If you don’t claim your social profile, then you can’t start building your numerical rating. But once you do claim it, you’re well on your way toward earning that coveted 10/10.

Claiming is just one small step – now add the details

Claiming your profile takes minutes, at most. However, the last thing you want is for your profile to be empty. If you leave your profile incomplete, then Avvo can’t really rank you. Avvo relies heavily on the information supplied by attorneys to analyze profiles.

Here’s your pro tip: If Avvo provides a field, fill it in.

Peer endorsements & client testimonials

laptop feedbackGetting good peer endorsements and client testimonials will help your profile stand out. Think of it from the perspective of your prospects: If you were in the market for an attorney, wouldn’t you want a lawyer who had a few positive reviews? Avvo has put together a helpful video to show you how to both give and solicit peer endorsements. Skip right to the 1:10 mark of the video to get to the meat of the tutorial.

But endorsements alone aren’t enough. If you want to secure a perfect rating, you’ll also need a few quality testimonials from clients. These testimonials can be the singular reason why a prospect chooses you (or doesn’t).

Avvo doesn’t provide built-in links or buttons to solicit testimonials. It’s on you to get these reviews from your clients through outreach and marketing.

Just remember: you never want to betray client confidentiality when listing testimonials.

documentBecome a frequent contributor

There are a lot of places where you can invest time and energy to market your practice with digital advertising. However, few places will provide the type of return on investment like Avvo. When you first set up your profile, you’ll be given a “Contributor Level” rank. You can increase that level (with a range of 1-20) by frequently answering questions submitted to “Ask a Lawyer” and by writing guides.

Be transparent about your successes

At the end of the day, your future clients want to see the results you’ve delivered. That’s why you should list out any significant cases you’ve won or any cases you had dismissed, etc.

But don’t just confine your successes to the courtroom. If you’ve won any awards, make sure to include them in order to round out your profile. Have you published any articles in legal publications? Do you get invited to speak at notable events? List these, as Avvo takes all of your legal achievements into consideration – in and out of the courtroom.

Links matter in Avvo too!

avvo profileHaving links funnel to your website is great for a legal SEO campaign – but the same can be said for Avvo. If you have any external profiles that you can link to, do it. Let Avvo know of your existing profiles on sites like SuperLawyers.com and BestLawyers.com.

Pro tip for linking: When you link to your Avvo profile from your own website, use the rel=”nofollow” attribute for your links. This ensures that they’re not viewed as reciprocated links, meaning you can reap the full benefits of having links from your activity on Avvo to your site.

Also, add in any memberships and associations you’re a part of.

Submit your bar number

This is an easy but overlooked step to take. Simply submit your bar number to Avvo to help them verify your identity and improve your rating.

Your Avvo profile is a living thing – tend to it like a garden

Setting up and completing your profile can take some time to do; however, once your profile is all set up, that doesn’t mean your work is over. The most successful Avvo-listed attorneys remain active in the directory. Squirrel away some time each week to contribute to Avvo’s Ask-A-Lawyer service, and make sure your information remains updated and you’ll be well on your way to a 10/10 ranking, and more conversions.