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If you are looking to increase the online presence of your law firm and make it more searchable, claiming your listing on Avvo is one strategy to consider. But, is AVVO worth the money? While online legal directories are not always worth the price for what you get in return, it is important to be able to weigh your options. When used correctly, AVVO is a tool your firm can use to get positive recommendations and reviews that you can leverage with other marketing strategies and media sources to boost leads and paying clients.
What Is AVVO?
AVVO is an online legal directory that offers services for attorneys as well as the general public. Some of their services include:
- Client reviews
- Peer attorney referrals
- Lawyer referrals
- General knowledge answers
- Disciplinary actions against attorneys
Founded in 2006 by Mark Britton, a former member of the Expedia litigation team, AVVO is supported by the legal and non-legal community in most of the United States. AVVO is Italian for “lawyer” and is a nod to how Britton came up with the idea after receiving a number of client-requested attorney referrals while vacationing in Italy.
AVVO has listings and ratings on an estimated 97% of all licensed attorneys in the United States. Its results are searchable on search engines like Google and Bing. So in terms of reach, AVVO’s reach a wide audience. If potential clients search your name or law firm, there is a possibility your AVVO profile will be one of the first search results they see.
AVVO’s Rating System
Whether you realize it or not, you likely have an AVVO profile if you have passed the bar. AVVO implements a rating system for attorneys who claim their profiles. In general, the more information an attorney has on their profile, the higher their rating. The rating system is as follows:
- 10-9.0 = Superb
- 8.9-8.0 = Excellent
- 7.9-7.0 = Good
- 6.9-6.0 = Fair
- 5.9-5.0 = Average
- <5.0 = Red Flag
Ratings are calculated using a mathematical model. All attorneys are evaluated on the same set of standards, so they are all treated equally. The model was developed using input from hundreds of lawyers and thousands of consumers across the United States. According to AVVO, its ratings reflect the type of information legal consumers and clients identify as important when looking to hire an attorney.
Calculating AVVO Ratings
Ratings are based on public data collected by the legal directory, and any information attorneys provide on their profile. The public data comes from sources like public records from state bar associations, regulatory agencies, court records, and other published sources on the internet. Public data is not always comprehensive, which is why attorneys have the option to add experience information to their profiles. This is done by either claiming their profile and adding information or contacting AVVO customer service.
Ratings are based on qualification factors like experience, professional achievements, and disciplinary sanctions. It is important to note that there are factors that will not impact your AVVO score. Examples include:
- Client referrals
- Answering legal questions on AVVO
- Buying advertising
- Uploading legal guides
- Cross-promoting on your website
How AVVO Displays Ratings
Generally, numerical ratings are only provided for attorneys who claim their AVVO profiles. For lawyers who have not claimed their profile and have no public record of bar association discipline, profiles say, “This attorney is not active on AVVO.”
The only exception to the rule is in the event a lawyer has faced disciplinary action that is publicly available knowledge. In that situation, profiles display “Attention.” This informs AVVO users that consumers should be aware of information in the legal directory’s opinion.
How to Change Your AVVO Rating
If you already have a numerical rating on AVVO and are looking to boost your score, consider providing more information in your profile. Add work experience, practice areas you work in, and professional achievements. The more the legal directory knows about you, the better it can determine your rating.
Note that ratings are not changed upon request. Individual ratings cannot be adjusted, as ratings are based on a mathematical model that is applied in the same way to every attorney. Attorneys are responsible for ensuring any information or advertisements on AVVO and any communication with prospective clients through the AVVO website complies with the rules of professional conduct. Inaccurate information or inappropriate communications can result in a lowered rating.
Attorney’s AVVO ratings naturally change over time as the legal directory collects more information. When new information is added to a profile, the AVVO rating is recalculated, and an attorney’s score may adjust based on the latest information provided. Ratings can also change when data is collected but is not immediately verifiable. Data like that is marked as “unknown,” and ratings are updated once reviewed. An attorney’s score may also change as some information is given less weight as time passes. Additionally, there is the possibility that AVVO’s mathematical model could be adjusted, resulting in numerical rating changes.
AVVO’s Advertising Options
AVVO offers a variety of free and paid advertising options to help attorneys improve the visibility of their legal directory profiles. Organic placement is based on your overall rating, but you can boost your listing with sponsored listings and premium profiles.
Free Advertising Options
- AVVO Profile. An AVVO Profile, also known as AVVO Starter, is the free listing attorneys have on the main website, which can be optimized with information added by attorneys.
- AVVO Reviews. AVVO Reviews are an aspect of AVVO Profiles that allows clients to leave reviews.
- Legal Q&A. AVVO offers a free Q&A section where lawyers can answer questions and increase their directory exposure.
- Legal Guides. Legal guides allow attorneys to share their knowledge and expertise when consumers in specific practice areas.
Paid Advertising Options
- AVVO Advanced. Starting at $135 per month, AVVO Advanced offers an enhanced profile and bundle marketing solution to drive consumer internet and build a reputation. It includes every in AVVO Starter and high placement in the directory listing, “open for business” and virtual consultation availability icons, online scheduler, no competing ads, enhanced visibility Q&A forum answer car, and a review manager for dozens of social media platforms.
- AVVO Elite. Starting at $225 per month, AVVO Elite offers targeted advertising to fit an attorney’s growth needs. It includes everything in AVVO Advanced, as well as sponsored listing and display advertising on AVVO, ad tracking, advanced analytics, detailed information about calls, chats, and website visits, and a dedicated account manager who specializes in marketing for attorneys.
In addition to the profile expansion options, AVVO has add-ons for all bundles include website creation and hosting, leads from consumers, and live website chat.
Is AVVO Worth the Money?
If you are a licensed legal practitioner, you likely already have a profile on AVVO. If you have not already, you should grab your free listing, confirm accuracy, and add relevant information. When people come across your profile on AVVO, which may be inevitable, you want to give them the best first impression possible and encourage them to reach out for a consultation. You will benefit even more if you include reviews and recommendations on your free profile.
If you are weighing your options when it comes to paying for a premium AVVO listing or advertising, there are a number of factors to consider. Take a look at your marketing budget. AVVO Advanced may be a place to start if you are looking for a new potential strategy and have the money to consider some trial and error. While it can help generate leads, remember that AVVO does not guarantee lead generation. If you find success with AVVO Advanced or have a high marketing budget from the get-go, AVVO Elite can offer you more insight into marketing analytics that can help you generate leads and obtain clients.
If you choose to pursue advertising through AVVO, remember that you will want to use a call tracking number. AVVO advertising has the potential to generate new leads, but you need to verify the number and quality of those leads to determine if you are paying for a service that benefits your firm.
How Law Quill Can Help
If you are looking to expand your reach and are considering utilizing an online legal directory, AVVO is one of your options. Building up a free profile is a reliable way to offer free legal advice, generate new leads, and build up an accurate profile that presents yourself as knowledgeable and trustworthy. But is AVVO worth the money for a premium profile? If you are uncertain whether or not you should pursue AVVO as one of your marketing strategies, Law Quill can help.
We are here to help and would welcome the opportunity to visit with you for free regarding your law firm website’s content, and how we can take these tasks off your plate! Schedule a free visit with us by scheduling a quick phone or zoom call at your convenience on our calendar today. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.