Specialized directory listings are a terrific complement to your legal marketing program. They’re usually free and, if done correctly, they can give your SEO strategy a lift. For small law firms in particular, directories are a way to get the most mileage from their marketing resources.
Follow these 3 legal directory hacks to make the most of the opportunity they offer your firm.
1. Make sure your website is listed
You’d be surprised how often this basic step gets overlooked. Most directories are set up to feature the individual lawyer, not the firm as a whole. Consequently, a partner or associate attorney filling out their personal listing may simply forget to list the firm website. Whoever oversees your marketing efforts has to be sure this doesn’t happen.
It’s not just the potential website traffic that could come from the directory. The very existence of the link in the directory will give your firm a boost in SEO results. Search engine algorithms use the existence of backlinks to your site as a way of measuring its credibility. The most prominent legal directories are considered highly credible, so be sure that URL is listed on every profile associated with your firm.
2. Make sure all the fields are filled in
Directories will usually assign your profile a score based on how thorough the information provided is. The higher the score, the more visible it will be, so don’t neglect anything as you fill in the profile.
There is usually a place for the following:
- Any organizations or boards you serve on. Are you a sub-committee vice-president for your state’s chapter of the American Bar Association? Be sure that’s listed. Did you hold any sort of office—regardless of how consequential—in other legal organizations? Get those listed, including the years of your tenure.
- Awards. If you made a national top 10 in your field, you probably don’t need any reminder to include that. But even if some local magazine did a list of the top 50 in your mid-sized community, be sure to include that. List anything that makes you stand out.
- Articles/publications. If you edited the Law Review Journal at law school, make sure that’s included. Any periodical or website you contributed substantive legal commentary too, get those listed. If you’re a particularly prolific writer, you don’t have to post your entire portfolio. At least be sure and get 5-10 of your pieces listed; the same goes for speaking engagements.
- Your best cases. This is a big one. Pick the 5-10 cases (more if you have time) that you most want prospects to know about it and get them listed. Most directories will ask for the name of the case, the date and give you a brief space to describe it. For attorneys that do real estate or securities work, this area is tougher because your victories aren’t as clear-cut in the public record. However, any deals you were a part of that you are able to discuss, use this space to do so.
3. Get a nice photo
We all don’t have a nice headshot at the ready. If you’re in this position, don’t take the easy way out of grabbing your LinkedIn or Facebook profile shot and using it for the directory—unless that photo was specifically taken for professional use.
Getting a sharp photo isn’t hard and doesn’t require you to bring in a photographer. Cell phone photos have a high enough quality resolution. Just have someone take your picture in the office, with a good professional background. Then you’ll have the perfect photo complement to your impressive legal directory profile.