Do paid law firm directory listings actually work?
Industry Overview of Legal Directories
Opportunities to invest in expanded profiles are increasingly available. When your firm is ranked, a free or a paid profile is available to improve your firm’s credibility and visibility.
You are probably receiving these offers constantly.
These investments would be made by law firms as well as individual practitioners, and they would be a no-brainer. You presumably spend in legal directories like Chambers and Partners, Legal 500, and others every year. This implies that you are paying to have your firm or practice featured in a listing so that individuals who are interested in your services may contact you.
Compared to times when things were printed, it has drastically changed as the number of legal directories has skyrocketed. It’s difficult to determine if there’s a benefit anymore.
The Real Questions to Contemplate:
1) Whether or not people who engage you for your services are looking at these listings?
2) Do the publishers get you the attention needed to reach your target audience?
3) Is the extra exposure worth the investment?
So, What’s the Answer?
Well, like everything else a lawyer responds to.
It depends on everything else your firm is doing and whether or not your budget fits these investments, whether or not your return on investment will materialize or you have the metrics in place to justify the investment.
Some paid lawyer directory listings have the industry reach you are looking for. Many don’t.
What About Peer-to-Peer Legal Directories?
Some paid legal directories operate peer-to-peer and are often seen as of little value but might cost more ensuring higher credibility. Instead of traditional research, users are relying on people in the industry to rank each other.
So, how popular are you with your friends? Are they going to vote for you to be included? Do they see your competitors recommend you and recognize you as a force in your particular practice area and jurisdiction?
Some legal directories may not use the best methodology, but they generally invest substantially in SEO, which provides them visibility for your law firm or practice that other ranking publications may not be able to achieve.
So even if you don’t concur with the substance of what they are doing, their methodology, or research, they are letting the industry speak for itself. Being discovered in this manner still has significance.
The Reality of Paid Law Firm Publications
In reality, claiming that your investment has no impact on your visibility, prospects, or ranking is both illogical and untrue in most of the industry. These investments can sometimes have an impact on the outcomes. When determining whether or not you are ranked, several of these directories take your investment into account.
Many of these publishers are generic, so be careful of offers because they are often only looking for money and have no actual industry connections or relationships.
Dealing with New Publishers
New ranking publishers are sometimes entirely digital. The results and methodology can be confusing and vague. The sales, commercial, and research teams may be all out of sync.
People with some experience start the new rating publications. As a result, this may have some value. However, while they are new, they lack the necessary reputation and credibility. It’s preferable to wait a few years and then assess after a few cycles.
When You Receive an Offer From a Legal Directory, Consider These Questions:
1) Is the publisher someone I’m familiar with?
2) Does the publisher have a website?
3) When did this website come into being?
4) Have they been in business for a few years?
5) Is it possible to track down the folks who are writing to me on LinkedIn?
6) Do they appear to be actual people?
Often, these are merely frauds, and you might receive a letter addressed to you with two first names. These are folks that don’t always have the trust or dependability you’re looking for and are simply seeking to make a fast buck.
Should You Invest?
1) Do they have the visibility I’m looking for?
2) Can I attribute the return on this investment to this profile?
3) Do I receive visitors straight from the directories’ websites?
If you can’t utilize the analytics to make the determination or you don’t have the technology or know-how, contact us now so we can connect you with some very specific tools that can help you understand the data and determine whether or not your investment is generating traffic to your website.
What you need is a legal directory that understands your jurisdiction, practice area, and whether you provide, for example, litigation, transactional, or real-estate services. So, how many people are likely to look at your profile? or even the part where your profile resides?
Counsels frequently state, “No one in my jurisdiction is investing in the profile, so neither am I.” However, the fact is that you can always take the first-mover advantage and appear in Google’s top results.
These paid legal directories aid in the creation of backlinks to your website, which is beneficial if direct traffic is not being generated.
These publications also provide events, thought leadership opportunities, and sponsorships, so you must assess whether the value exists.
The industry is heading towards more transparency but it’s limited. Paid profiles can be valuable for several reasons. It is difficult to determine the return on investment since there is a lot of noise in the market.
Speak with your marketing team and determine whether or not the profile investment is fulfilling your unique objectives, will assist you in achieving a certain goal, or will provide you with the desired return on investment. Ideally, give it 2-3 years before you decide to step back. Reach out to us if you have any questions.