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legal referral service marketing

Legal Referral Service: How to Market with Lawyer Directories


As a lawyer, your marketing efforts will focus more on generating a strong pipeline of referrals. This process, however, may not be as easy as simply “being good at what you do”. Whether you’re a seasoned attorney or considering a solo practice, legal referral services can help to market your firm.

Why Should I Use A Legal Referral Service ?

Google wouldn’t be popular if people enjoyed doing countless hours of research to find answers on the internet. People like to have their information on demand; billions of people use Google and other search engines everyday.

attorney directories

But even before there was Google (a world without Google? Imagine it!) there were web directories. They are the natural descendants of those now obsolete remnants of a simpler time, the white and yellow pages.

Think of an attorney directory as Google’s bookish older cousin: a place where people go to find information about lawyers, and only lawyers. If you think law firm internet marketing is hard, finding the right lawyer to represent you is even harder, and for the same reasons. There are so many talented lawyers out there that finding the right one for you can be like finding a needle in a haystack.

People will naturally gravitate towards online directories to find goods and services because it does the hard work for them, and attorney directories are no different. 

Being present on as many of these directories as you can manage only makes good business sense. It’s one of the fastest, most fool-proof ways for legal lead generation.

How a Lawyer Search Will Help Promote Your Practice

Here is a quick list of ways online attorney directories can help your law firm grow and prosper:

Increase Your Discoverability

If someone is searching for lawyers online, attorney directories are going to be some of the first places they look. If you aren’t listed there, who knows how many potential clients could be passing you by? They need to know your name to hire you, and a listing in an attorney directory provides them with just that.

Build Quality Legal Seeking Traffic

Search index any and all sites on the internet without any checks or balances for quality. Good web directories hire editors to check and maintain high quality and relevance. This helps establish a loyal user-base to the directory, which helps establish a loyal clientele for your business.

Improve Your SEO

The goal of law firm SEO is to put your law firm’s website as high in Google’s rankings for as many search results as possible. The fastest way to drum up clients for your law firm is to dominate the front page of Google. But, as competition for that space heats up, it’s not as easy as it used to be.

attorney directory listing

But Google loves quality attorney directories, and by allying yourself with a few of them, you are essentially giving yourself some extra bites at the apple. It is much easier for an online attorney directory to rank highly on Google, and to take your law firm up with it.

Aside from your ranking, back-links for your website (links on other websites that take people back to your website) increase your standing with Google. This holds especially true if those websites containing your back-links come from trusted websites, like attorney directories.

Affordable Advertising

Every bit of advertising is good, especially when it’s cheap. Some attorney directories are free, while others will charge a comparatively small fee. Some will have free options, but give extra features or exposure to firms that pay a fee. These directories put your name and company information in front of tens of thousands of people for a very small chunk of your budget.

Targeted Advertising

When someone searches an attorney directory, mostly they search for a specific geographic location and a specific area of practice. Within an attorney directory, every single person who sees your listing is going to be searching for the exact services you provide, with hardly any effort from you.

An example for divorce lawyer marketing, let’s say you are a divorce lawyer in Shreveport, Louisiana. The only people who are going to see your listing are people searching for divorce lawyers in Shreveport. Anyone searching for personal injury attorneys in Seattle will not see your listing.

Normally, this level of targeted advertising requires expensive ad campaigns and the addition of multiple relevant keywords, but attorney directories handle it all for you.

Simple to Update

With yellow pages, businesses must wait until a new edition is published to update or modify their listing. With attorney directories, listings can be updated at any time with just a few clicks.

This offers a huge advantage: imagine, for instance, if you changed your law firm’s phone number, or even moved to a new office. If your business were listed in a traditional print directory, you may have to wait a month or even a year to correct the listing, depending on the directory in question. With an online directory, your address or phone number can be changed almost instantaneously.

Better Sales Closing Ratio

When a potential client perusing an attorney directory selects your business from among hundreds, maybe even thousands of others, they have already read a description of you and your law firm and compared it to the others in your practice area and geographic reason. They have already partially crossed the threshold of decision-making, and are more likely to actually become a paying client.

promote your legal practice

What it boils down to is that the more opportunities you give yourself, the more paying clients are going to come your way.

google local service ads for lawyers guide

How Does a Legal Referral Service Work?

Every attorney directory works differently. For the most part, directories sort attorneys into categories.

These categories could include:

  • Geographic location
  • Area of practice
  • Hourly rates

Almost all lawyer search directories allow potential clients to search with a combination of these factors, meaning that someone could search “family law Miami Florida” in an attorney directory, and the directory would roll out the names of all the family law attorneys in the Miami area.

There are also attorney directories specifically dedicated to helping members of the public find pro-bono legal aid. Others will only help someone find the most affordable or cheapest attorney, while still more will help the public find the top attorney in a particular practice area for their particular geographic location.

The way that attorneys are ranked and organized depends entirely on the directory being used. This is why it is so important to fill in all the information you can when claiming your listing so that your law firm can be listed in every category that applies

What Should I Include in a Lawyer Search Attorney Directory Listing?

Your listing is what potential clients browsing an attorney directory are going to judge you by. For this reason, there are a few things you should always make sure your listing includes:

Consistent Contact Information

This includes your law firm’s name, address, and phone number, otherwise known as NAP. This is especially necessary if your law firm is listed on multiple directories.

Inconsistent NAP across platforms can undermine potential client’s trust in your firm: imagine looking up a restaurant online and finding multiple addresses listed. You would probably give up on that restaurant. The same applies to any business, even law firms.

A Link to Your Website

We already talked about the power of SEO, and especially back-links from trusted websites. For this reason, adding a link back to your firm’s website in your directory listing will only benefit your rank on Google.

Tip: You can add a tracking link to the end of your website’s URL. That way, you can see for yourself exactly how many people are looking at your website as a direct result of your listing in an attorney directory.

A Company Description

Make sure you have a detailed description of your law firm. Be sure it reflects your mission, culture, and values as a business. Injecting some personality into your listing is advisable, especially if you’re hoping to win over younger potential clients, but stay away from excessive use of contemporary slang or jargon. Be approachable, but still professional.


Including photos and videos on your website gives potential clients a visual taste of your law firm. This also makes your listing more visually appealing.

Legal Referral Service Information

For more information on legal referral services and attorney directories, check out the following:

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