Profiles and Directory Advertising

Having a great website is not enough. In order to show up at the top of Google you should take advantage of other free online resources that link back to your main website. Hundreds of popular websites allow individuals and business owners to set up online profiles. Creating these on-line profiles help the lawyer’s main website show up higher in the search engines.

Attorney Advertising on Free Directories and Profiles

Information on Free Online Advertising for Lawyers

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What is profile management for attorneys?

Profile management is the process of creating and optimizing a vast network of professional online profiles. You get the greatest benefit when you fill out the profile completely and add links to your website and other social media profiles. Many of the profiles even allow you to add videos. At Internet LAVA, we make sure to help attorneys utilize all of the free resources available online.

How do we help? We set up all of the profiles for the attorney. When appropriate, we help the attorney set up the privacy settings and link the various social media profiles together, including Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter (and many more). Then we turn it all over to the attorney. Although many attorneys are wary of social media, once the basic profiles are set up, attorneys typically have a much easier time figuring out how to have a professional image online.

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How will online advertising on the directories help my legal practice?

When profile management is done properly, a law firm will have some very distinct advantages that will greatly enhance the firm’s Internet visibility, including:

  • Higher rankings in major search engines – Online profiles provide a great way to build valuable inbound links from credible sources. In fact, many of the most powerful websites in the world provide free links to your website. Because they are free, these websites quickly become the most popular. Improving the back links to your main website will result in a stronger Internet presence and better organic rankings in Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
  • Improved reputations for individual attorneys – When your ideal clients begin researching various attorneys on-line these profiles show up well in the search engines. After doing a little research, most people will simply “Google” the attorney’s name. Creating the profiles allows the attorney to control what a potential client sees during that investigation. Potential clients are often impressed by a comprehensive and professional on-line presence.
  • Syndicated content distribution – By integrating your law firm’s Blog, Google+ Page, Twitter page, Facebook page, and other social media into each of your online profiles your law firm’s existing content will be syndicated automatically through a number of different websites. We call it the “domino effect.”
  • Enhanced local visibility – Many law firm directories allow users to search for an attorney in their local region. Having a fully developed and enhanced profile page allows the attorney’s listing to rank higher in the directory’s search. Those higher rankings result in a greater number of local consumers who will find your law firm online.
  • Increased website traffic – A visitor who is impressed by an attorney’s profile page will usually click through to the attorney’s main website. Those clicks will result in targeted traffic from consumers who are actively searching online for the right attorney.
  • Better social status and industry recognition – Many of the people looking at online attorney profiles include other attorneys. Of course, networking with other attorneys is an excellent way to build your referral network. In fact, through on-line networking attorneys fighting similar battles in different jurisdictions tend to find each other. Many of these sites allow attorneys to “friend” each other or trade messages. Networking is very important for any business professional and lawyers are no exception.
  • More leads from local consumers – Most all attorney profile sites provide a method for consumers to contact the attorney either by including a contact form or displaying the firm’s phone number and contact information. By keeping your content information available, potential clients have an easier time finding you and your practice.
  • Authority on important topics – By including content in your profiles about your favorite niche areas of the law, you can quickly become recognized as an authority within your field. Many of our clients even receive calls from reporters asking them to comment on a recent news article because of their on-line presence. Additionally, many of our clients report receiving calls from local law schools and other organizations inviting the attorney to participate in speaking engagements to discuss their niche area of practice.

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Where do I find all of these amazing directories for attorneys?

Attorney and law firm profile sites can be found throughout the Internet. We’ll break them down into five main categories:

Optimizing the profile page on hundreds of these other popular websites will allow the attorney to enhance their marketing efforts for free or nearly free. So how do you get started? Setting up numerous online profiles can be a tedious task. Most busy attorneys simply don’t have the time to create all of these profiles and others do not realize the incredible marketing value in doing so.

Many attorneys have the perception that it will cost a lot of money to be listed on these websites. That is simply not true. The best listings are absolutely free.

Due to the vast amounts of spam and Internet scams, attorneys who are less “Internet savvy” are very hesitant to sign up for anything online. These attorneys will usually assume that an online web company will do whatever they can to get your money. That is usually true because even the free sites have advanced features that require a monthly fee. At Internet Lava, we know which paid features are worth every penny and which ones are overpriced.

We have developed a formula that allows law firms to receive the greatest benefit at the lowest possible price. By taking advantage of all the free resources first – we are able to achieve outstanding results for our clients. This labor intensive but low cost approach provides the attorney with the best return on investment.

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How do I achieve the greatest benefit from the Internet?

As internet marketing becomes more competitive, one single approach will no longer work. Dominating the search engines requires effectively taking advantage of each new internet resource as it emerges. Just as the law is constantly changing and evolving, the attorney’s internet marketing strategy must also change and evolve with each new technology.

Having a great website design but little or no consumer traffic will not help you. At the same time, having a highly visible website but a poor user experience will not do much good either.

The same rings true for online profile management. Even if you have an enhanced and impressive profile page on all of the best websites, a great twitter page, compelling blogs, and a strong social media presence; without a properly optimized website that provides a great user experience, you are still at a disadvantage.

At Internet Lava, we make it easy for you. We offer a web-marketing package that includes everything you need to get the best possible ROI from the Internet (all for one monthly price). How do you achieve the greatest benefit from the Internet? Call Internet Lava. However, if you’re interested in taking the “do it yourself” approach, keep reading.

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The big question: Where should I spend my money?

Directory advertising providers at AVVO, and Nolo will at some point contact most every attorney. The talented sales people will tell you that their directory site gets more traffic than any other. The sales people may show you examples of how their web pages rank well in search engines for certain key terms. The sales people want you to believe that paying to be listed at the top of their directory will deliver you all the web traffic you will ever need. Don’t fall for it. Put simply, there is no single solution.

To get the most from your marketing dollars, and the best traffic to your website, you will first need to take advantage of all the free resources out there before spending money on paid directory listings or pay-per-click advertising.

Our best piece of advice for attorneys looking to get the most out of their online marketing dollars goes back to:

Rule Number One: Before you pay one penny in pay-per-click ads or expensive directories, take full advantage of the free directories and profiles available to attorneys.

If you need your marketing dollars to stretch as far as possible, follow these steps:

  1. Set up as many free profiles and directory listings as you possibly can (at least 15-20) and do not spend a penny.
  2. Make sure that each one links back to your firm’s website.
  3. Become familiar with the features of each site.
  4. Import your social media into as many online profiles as possible.
  5. Look at other attorney listings and take note of what you like and what you don’t like.
  6. Wait several weeks. It will take some time for search engines to index every new web page that you’ve created.
  7. Ask potential clients “How did you find me?” If they say “your website” or “the internet” ask them to be more specific. What website did you use to find me?
  8. Look at the Google Analytics for your main website and blog to see which directories are sending the most traffic to your main website.
  9. Search Google for the name of your firm, the name of each attorney, and some industry keywords; the sites that rank higher in the search are going to be more valuable.
  10. When you are ready to take things a step further; you can start upgrading some of your favorite online profiles. You can also start purchasing some of the paid profiles that you passed on during step 1.
  11. For a monthly fee or perhaps multiple monthly fees, you will enjoy some enhanced features and better visibility. Good luck!

The team at Internet Lava, LLC, has managed the profiles of hundreds of attorneys across the country. Call us to discuss cost-effective profile management options. Or if you do not have a website, or if you feel your website is not worth promoting, then call us at 1-800-292-Lava for cost-effective solutions. We can help you build a beautiful website that you are proud of.

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Which free sites are the best to start setting up profiles with?

The first answer to this question is simple: Google Places. Having an internet marketing strategy without using all of Google’s free resources is like building a house without a front door.

  • Set up a free Google Profile for each attorney (and don’t forget to completely fill in every single category).
The second answer to this question is also simple: Yahoo Local and Bing Maps. Make sure you have created your local business listing on Google Places, Yahoo Local and Bing Maps before you do anything else.

The third answer to this question is… OK, every answer to this question is simple. We’re just going to spell it all out for you in no particular order so keep reading…

Lawyer Legion– All profiles are free on Lawyer Legion, an online directory exclusively for attorneys. With more than 100,000 profiles, chances are you are already listed in this directory. Add your photo, biography, social media profiles, a list of your professional organizations, blog feed, and more. Lawyer Legion also created the only directory to search for board certified specialist in each state.
MerchantCircle – This site provides attorneys with a great way to advertise their practice for free. You can link to your website, incorporate your blog, share content, connect with other merchants, and more. Think of MerchantCircle as Facebook for small businesses. Except, unlike Facebook, the blog articles on Merchant Circle show up very well in the search engines and often gain a page rank if the blog article is written on an interesting topic. Be sure to link each Blog Article to an interior page on your website.
Avvo – Claim your free profile and fill it out completely. The only downside to the free listing is that other attorneys can advertise on your profile. However, by upgrading to “Pro” you eliminate the ads.
Justia Lawyer Directory – Sign up for the free features on the Justia Lawyer Directory because it feeds into the Cornell LII profile as discussed below. The Justia Law Directory allows attorneys to display detailed information about themselves and their practice. You can import your blog and Twitter feeds via RSS. Your profile will also include an interactive map with contact information. The most valuable aspect of the Justia Lawyer Directory is that its database will automatically feed your profile to other very powerful websites, including:
Cornell Legal Information Institute Lawyer Directory – The Cornell LII Lawyer Directory is another powerful website especially since it is one of the few .edu profiles available. This directory is part of the Cornell University Law School website. One of the very first legal information websites ever created.
The Oyez Project Lawyer Directory – This site is a part of The Oyez Project – US Supreme Court Media website. It is a great resource for legal professionals and the general public.

OK, now that we’ve mentioned Avvo and the Justia Lawyer Directory, we need to stop here and talk about something else before we go any further. The following information is very important.

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Just say no to “blank faces”

We’ve all seen those default silhouette pictures that display when someone has not uploaded a photo to their profile. You will be surprised at how many highly esteemed attorneys have blank face profiles.

Examples of “blank face” profile image on Lawyer Legion:
Lawyer Legion blank face image

At Internet LAVA, we don’t like blank faces. Most attorneys don’t realize how many times their potential clients find their blank faces on the Internet even if the attorney never set up a single online profile. How is this possible? Many lawyer directory sites will automatically create an online profile for every attorney that it possibly can. These sites create the profile for the attorney by pulling data from the State Bar Associations in order to automatically create profile pages for attorneys.

So, if you’ve been practicing law for a while and you’re licensed with the State Bar; you already have several online profiles whether you like it or not. Here’s the bad news: If you have not claimed these profiles then you have blank faces on the Internet. It’s OK, don’t panic. At Internet Lava, we have a cure for blank faces.

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Claiming your online profiles

Avvo and the Justia Lawyer Directory are two of the most comprehensive attorney directories on the Internet. They want to be as complete as possible by listing every single licensed attorney in the country. Follow these simple steps to set up your profile page:

  1. To find your profile, simply visit the site and search for your name in your state. If you have a common name, there may be multiple results, just click on each one and look at the address, phone number, and other information to find yours.
  2. If you’re not listed in the directory, you’ll need to send them your information including your bar number. (go to step 4).
  3. Click on the “Claim and update your profile” link toward the top of the page.
  4. Register your account. Follow the instructions and fill in as much information as possible.
  5. Now you will need to verify your information; this is usually done via phone number or email address. Make sure you have access to answer the phone number listed on your profile. When the site calls you, simply enter the code on your screen. If it’s an email verification, simply check your email and click on the link.
  6. Once you have successfully claimed and verified your profile; it’s time to fill in as much information as possible. Be sure to include your education, professional affiliations, memberships, certifications, and other information. Fill each page with as much information as possible, include a list of your practice areas and information about your firm and yourself.

Congratulations, you’ve successfully claimed and updated some of the most important online profiles on the internet. Now where were we? Oh yeah…

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What other free profile websites are best for law firm advertising?

LinkedIn – This site is extremely important for any professional business person. For attorneys, it is important to set up and fully complete every aspect of your profile, upload a professional photo, add a link to your website and import your blog and/or twitter feed.
LawLink – This website is a great resource for attorneys. You can include links to your website, detailed information about your practice areas, and information about your credentials and qualifications. This is a great social site that allows you to easily network with other lawyers in the community.
Insider Pages – A great local search directory. You can list your contact information and link to your website. Past clients can post positive reviews about your service and further enhance your image.
Naymz – Another great professional business network. You can link to your website and other profiles. Make sure to fill your profile page with information about your practice and list your qualifications and professional history.

There are multiple other online profile websites that are completely free, including:

These are just a few, there are countless others that attorneys can utilize to maximize their efforts online.

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Which websites are worth paying for an enhanced profile?

This is a question that is open to debate. At Internet Lava, we are very selective about the directory listings and enhanced profiles that we pay for. Now that you’ve set up all of the free profiles that you possibly can; it may be time to take things a step further and set up new online profiles that require a monthly or annual fee. You can also enhance some of your existing profiles and gain some great new features.

Yahoo Local Enhanced Listing – For just $9.95 per month, you can upgrade your local listing to an enhanced. We highly recommend this upgrade. It is worth every penny. Note that this service is completely separate from Yahoo Search Marketing.
Cornell LII Badges – These badges show that you are a supporter of Cornell’s Legal Information Institute. The key advantage to this enhancement is that your profile will rank at the top of the Cornell Legal Information Institute Lawyer Directory. These badges are generally worth the price.
Nolo – This site is an excellent resource for legal information, legal forms, law books, legal software, and free information. Consumers will sometimes search this directory to find a qualified attorney. These profiles are detailed and good for SEO but they are typically overpriced.

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The Internet LAVA Difference

Many other attorney advertising and website design companies will provide you with a service that is sub-par. They may not care if you are getting the most out of your Google Places listing. Here’s the shocking truth: they may not even care if you have blank faces.

At Internet Lava, we take a much different approach. We want you to get the most out of your internet marketing experience. We help you with every single aspect involved with having a dominating internet presence. Utilizing all of the free and nearly-free attorney advertising resources online can be a daunting task. Most legal professionals simply don’t have the time to establish a proper online presence.

The good news is: we take all of the “leg-work” out of it for you. By choosing Internet Lava as your website design and online advertising company; you will achieve a visibility online that will allow you to connect with your ideal clients on a regular basis. This will result in the maximum Return On Investment that you could possibly achieve through the Internet.

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Law Firm Advertising Company | Internet Lava

The truth is that no matter how much time you spend making the most of the internet; your time and effort will be wasted if you do not have a proper website. Your law firm’s website must be the pinnacle of your online advertising strategy. Everything else, including online profiles and directory listings, social media, articles, press releases, and professional blogs, must serve as a “support structure” to your main website.

At Internet Lava, we want you to be proud of your website because it is what defines your business. The truth is that your ideal consumers, typically will not find you through online directories or profiles. The vast majority of consumers are going to use major search engines. The reason online profiles and directory listings are so important is that they will improve your website’s link popularity and organic search rankings in Google, Yahoo, and Bing. They will also improve your online reputation and industry recognition. When optimized properly, these profiles will portray you as an authority on legal issues that are most profitable and most rewarding to your practice.

Your ideal consumers are going to be the people who are looking for the “best attorney” for their case. They will use search engines to find lawyers who focus their practice and are very familiar with the exact types of legal situations that they are experiencing.

Any attorney can set up a vast number of online profiles but few know how to properly optimize them to enhance their online visibility for the types of niche areas that are most rewarding. A proper search engine optimization strategy must be at the forefront of your internet advertising efforts.

If you are an attorney or other legal professional looking to make the most of the internet, establish a powerful online presence, connect with your ideal clients, take market share, and dominate the competition, then contact Internet Lava at 1-800-292-Lava.

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