Are you making the most out of your Avvo profile?
If you’re an attorney, chances are you’ve already heard of Avvo. And, particularly if you discovered that Avvo created an online profile for you without your consent, you might have mixed feelings about it.
Despite any initial reservations, Avvo presents a unique marketing opportunity for legal professionals to strengthen their online presence. In this article, we will explore the importance of optimizing your Avvo profile and delve into the best practices to achieve this.
What is Avvo?
Avvo is a very popular legal search directory that specializes in providing data about practicing attorneys. Think of it as the Yelp of the attorney world.
Although it was initially created to connect clients to the right attorney, its services have since expanded. Some of its free features include:
- Attorney directory: Avvo has a comprehensive directory of attorneys across various legal practice areas. Clients can search for attorneys based on location, practice area, and other factors.
- Client reviews: Avvo allows clients to leave reviews of their experiences with attorneys on the platform.
- Legal Q&A: Avvo has a question-and-answer forum where clients can ask legal questions and receive answers from attorneys.
- Legal guides and resources: Avvo offers a range of free legal resources and tools, including legal guides, calculators, and forms. These resources can help clients better understand their legal rights and options, and can also help attorneys better serve their clients.
Avvo also offers a paid service called “Avvo Pro” that allows attorneys additional features like hiding negative reviews, promoting your profile in search results, and access to advanced SEO analytics.
Avvo is commonly not well-liked by attorneys. Why?
Well, partly because even if you think you’re not on Avvo, you still probably are. That’s because Avvo automatically creates a profile for every licensed attorney it can locate. Currently, Avvo has a profile on 97% of attorneys in the US. Avvo scrapes public information from the State Bar Associations to obtain basic details regarding your bar admissions, firm location, and practice area and uses that info to populate your profile. Potential clients can then discover your profile and write reviews about your firm.
Why should you expand on your Avvo profile?
Quite simply, if you’re not expanding your Avvo profile already, you should be.
Avvo ranks attorneys using a proprietary algorithm that takes into account various factors, including client reviews, Avvo profile completeness, peer endorsements, and professional achievements. Therefore, by defaulting to the basic attorney profile Avvo automatically assigns to you, you risk being overlooked by Avvo’s algorithm.
And trust us: ranking poorly on Avvo’s algorithm puts your firm at a big disadvantage. Avvos is an essential marketing tool for all law firms for three primary reasons:
- Avvo is great for law firm SEO. So you want to make sure your firm ranks highly on search engine results? Avvo attorney profiles frequently make the front page of Google. And, unsurprisingly, the more developed your Avvo profile is, the more likely your practice is to rank highly.
- Avvo increases your firm’s visibility. Avvo offers a service that millions of potential clients utilize each month. Without developing your online profile, you could unknowingly be ranking low on Avvo’s directory results and missing out on Avvo’s huge user base. This means that when a client searches for “best personal injury firm near me”, your firm could be sitting sadly (and unnecessarily!) on page 10 of Avvo’s directory.
- Avvo gives you an avenue to address reviews. Sometimes you get good reviews, sometimes you don’t. But if you have an active profile on Avvo, you can at least begin to control the narrative by responding to client feedback. (More on this in the following section.)
Best Practices for Optimizing Your Avvo Profile
Complete your profile as much as possible
A well-fleshed-out profile is critical to ranking higher in Avvo’s algorithm. Fill out all sections, including your professional background, education, awards, publications, and associations.
We recommend getting your Avvos profile completion to about 90%. If you wish to include a payments and fee section, you can even push this number as high as 95%. However, we’ve found that 90% profile completion is about where you begin to see diminishing returns to your Avvo algorithm ranking.
And remember: don’t forget to include a professional, high-quality photo of yourself!
Request peer endorsements
Avvo’s algorithm weighs peer endorsements heavily when determining your ranking. Fortunately, Avvos has a simple button in the “Endorsements” section that allows you to reach out to 50 attorneys in your field at once to provide endorsements for your profile. Be sure to return the favor by endorsing your peers as well!
Encourage and respond to client reviews
Positive client reviews are your singularly most powerful marketing tool. Gently nudge your satisfied clients to share their experiences on your Avvo profile, but remember to play by the rules – no incentives or ethical guideline violations! Remember your Model Rules of Professional Conduct, ladies and gentlemen.
But, no matter the nature of the review, take the time to show you care by responding to your clients. Thank them for their kind words or address any concerns in a friendly, professional manner. This shows your dedication to making your clients happy and goes a long way in building trust with future clients.
And how can your law firm handle negative reviews?
Contribute to the Avvo community
Avvo offers attorneys the opportunity to answer legal questions from users in the platform’s Q&A section. By providing helpful, accurate answers, you can showcase your expertise and knowledge while simultaneously driving traffic to your Avvos profile.
Highlight your case results and publications
Two items that also help you rank highly in Avos’s algorithm? A list of your case results and previous publications.
Give potential clients a taste of your legal expertise by presenting a selection of your most impressive wins, settlements, or verdicts. Include a brief summary of each case’s outcome.
You should similarly keep a running list of your attorney publications. Keep in mind this section is not just limited to researched notes published in accredited, peer-reviewed legal journals. Instead, feel free to mention short blog articles, legal opinion pieces, or written documentation from previous speaking engagements.
Update your profile regularly
Keep your profile up-to-date with your latest accomplishments, awards, and certifications. Regular updates signal that your profile is active and relevant, helping to improve your ranking.
Investing time and effort into your Avvo profile can truly make a difference for your law firm. By applying these best practices, you’ll be well on your way to enhancing your online presence and connecting with potential clients in a meaningful way.
Want more guidance on how to get started on Avvo or other legal marketing ventures? Don’t worry – we’re here to help.