How To Use Law Firm Directories for Local SEO

June 14, 2020
Posted in Industries
June 14, 2020 Will Daniel

Are you having trouble improving your law firm’s local lead generation? Law firm directories can help improve your visibility in local search results to generate leads for your practice.

They’re the perfect law firm marketing idea!

How does local SEO for law firms work?

Local SEO improves the visibility of a law firm for local search results in Google and on Google Maps.

SEO efforts start with a properly optimized Google My Business (GMB) profile. GMB profiles feature your law firm and may appear in Google’s ‘local pack’. The local pack includes Google’s local results between paid ads and organic search, which you can see below for the search ‘top criminal defense attorneys in Phoenix’…

local seo law firm

…as well as Google Maps.

law firms google maps

However, you might have noticed there are twenty pages of results listed in these spots. Local SEO is all about creating a perfectly optimized GMB profile to help you reach the top of local results.

To do that, you should focus on three factors that Google says determine local search results: relevance, distance, and prominence.

Distance

Distance is how far away your law firm is from a search query, either based on location services or the location term in the search. This is what separates the local pack from regular SEO. Usually, results will only appear within a couple of miles of the location.

Relevance

Relevance is how closely your law firm website matches a given search. One way to improve relevance as a lawyer is by adding detailed information about your services. If your practice focuses on domestic violence, then you’ll want to list this as a service on your GMB profile. This way, your profile may appear in local results for a search like ‘domestic violence attorney.’

Prominence

Finally, prominence is how well known a law firm maybe. For most attorneys, this is the area where local SEO can help the most. According to Google, prominence can be improved by getting more reviews from clients.

Reviews may help boost your position in search engine results pages (SERPs). But, there’s another important tactic to consider: citations.

What are citations?

Citations are online references to legal practices. If a law firm has citations from relevant sources, the firm may be viewed as “prominent” by search engines.

That’s why securing citations is one of the key tactics of local SEO services. Citations can include the name, address, and phone number (NAP) of a law firm. But, some citations may include reviews, links, and more information about a firm.

Below is an example of a citation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). It features all the usual NAP, plus a link, reviews, and business information.

law firm local citation example

A citation from the BBB is not only good for local SEO, but it can also act as a lead generator attracting new clients. Another excellent example of a general directory is Manta.com. The site is one of the fastest-growing small business directories with thousands of law firms listed.

There’s no shortage of citation options for lawyers. The legal industry has hundreds of industry-specific directories for attorneys.

For example, you’ve likely heard of Justia. Justia provides reviews and a relevant citation for lawyers. Here’s an example of a citation for Stewart Salwin.

justia local citation

Citations are necessary to compete against other deep-pocketed law firms. If you want your law firm to appear for local results, you’ll want to take note of these top law firm directories.

Top directories to list your law firm

Here are the top ten directories for law firms.

1. Justia Lawyers Directory

Justia Lawyers Directory is probably one of the top lawyer directories around. They offer citations free of charge. However, it might pay to spend a little more and get a featured citation like the one below for Gary Annes.

lawyers directory

Justia provides one of the most thorough citations around including a business summary, areas of practice, fees, jurisdictions, education, experience, a Q&A section, plus the usual NAP, link, and map. The quality of the citation and the strong organic website traffic for the site make Justia lawyer’s directory one of the most valuable citations on this list.

2. Findlaw.com’s Lawyer Directory

Findlaw.com is a Thomson Reuters subsidiary that provides marketing and educational services for lawyers. They also happen to have one of the largest directories around. You can secure a citation from Findlaw.com free of charge, or you can buy a ‘premium citation’ and greatly increase your business’ visibility on the high traffic, relevant site.

3. Lawguru.com

Lawguru.com is a platform for people to ask legal questions to lawyers. Not only can Lawguru’s directory help attract potential clients, but you can actually make money by answering questions on their site if you are a certified attorney. Citations are also free and take just minutes to secure, so don’t miss out on this opportunity.

4. Martindale.com

Martindale.com is the original law firm directory, established in 1868 behind Mr. Martindale’s goal to provide “one reliable law firm…in every city in the United States.” Today, the Martindale directory features over a million lawyers and is the leading global network on law firms. They provide free or paid citations that feature NAP, a link, reviews, and more.

5. Lawyers.com

Martindale-Hubbell also owns two other directories for law firms, the first being lawyers.com. Lawyers.com now has over 95% of all US lawyers listed in their directory and 25 million visitors to their site every month, making them the second-largest directory on this list. The directory also has free and paid options for citations.

6. Nolo.com

Nolo.com’s main purpose is as an online legal encyclopedia. It’s also owned by Martindale-Hubbel Nolo and sells educational materials for law firms. The site also has a directory, and although it is newer than the other two Martindale properties, it still has over 30,000 lawyers listed and strong organic traffic, meaning the citation is definitely worth securing.

7. BestLawyers.com

BestLawyers.com is one of the most interesting directories on this list. You can only land a citation here if someone nominates you. Citations are great for building your firm’s reputation, and the site can help generate leads as well. So try having a former client who was happy with your services nominate you. They may have to fill out some information, but it won’t take long. If you can convince someone to nominate you, the citation is free of charge, too, unless you want to pay for a premium spot.

8. U.S. News & World Reports Lawyers Directory

U.S. News & World Reports is, of course, better known for its news and world reports, but they also have a lawyer directory featuring thousands of members. Citations cost just $30 a month, and with the traffic that U.S. News & World Reports gets, it may very well be worth the cost. The directory gets strong organic traffic making it a great lead generation opportunity.

legal directory example

9. Avvo Lawyer Directory

Avvo is an online marketplace for legal information and lawyer referrals. According to the company, an incredible 97% of all US lawyers are listed on their site. Basic citations are free with more premium options available at a small monthly fee, and Avvo has connected over a million lawyers with new clients, so it’s definitely worth the few minutes it takes to secure a citation.

10. HG.org Lawyer Directory

HG.org is another legal resource and law firm directory website like Avvo. Their directory features over 50,000 lawyers in the US and offers free basic citations as well as paid options to increase visibility. HG.org also creates valuable legal articles on trending topics to draw in organic website traffic and increase lead generation potential.

Next steps to get more local customers with local SEO

Securing citations in local directories is a great start to law firm SEO, but there’s so much more you can do to improve local lead generation.

Just check out this article on 10 Local SEO Tips for Small Businesses to learn more. Local SEO is an amazing tool to increase revenue and reduce paid advertising costs.

If that sounds like something you might be interested in, feel free to contact us for more information. Or if you want to learn about our next SEO, tactic, read all about how to market your law firm with quality legal blog topics.

Markitors is an SEO digital marketing company. We work with small businesses to rank their websites higher on Google, resulting in more traffic and leads. Explore what’s in our SEO toolbox: audits and keyword research, digital PR, technical SEO, and local SEO.

Will Daniel

William Daniel is an SEO content writer at Markitors. Helping connect small businesses with their customers by creating great content is his passion.