Search Visibility Of 3 Major Legal Directories

Gyi Tsakalakis
July 20, 2010

DirectoryWe talk a lot about identifying opportunities for legal professionals to gain exposure online.  One of the oldest methods for gaining visibity for your firm are legal directories.  We're asked all the time about whether or not legal directories actually work.  Unfortunately the answer, like the answer to so many other marketing questions, is that it depends.

However, there are some signals as to whether a legal directory is more or less likely to produce results for your firm.  The first of these is search engine visibility.

Search engine visibility refers to how well the directory is positioned in relevant organic search engine results.

Before I dive into search engine visibility analysis, it is very important to understand that this is only one factor of much deeper analysis that needs to be done to make a good prediction of whether or not a directory will generate results for your firm.  Profile visibility within the directory and the specific profile page itself, also play important roles.


Likewise, don't assume that just because a directory listed here isn't the highest ranking for the search term analyzed that it won't produce results.  The purpose of this post is not to endorse or condemn any of the directories listed.  It's merely to demonstrate one of the core factors to determining the potential for results.  With that out of the way, let's dive into search visibility.

For this analysis I selected 50 search terms, each containing a major U.S. city concatenated with the keyword lawyers.  For example, "new york lawyers", "los angeles lawyers", and "chicago lawyers".  Again, it is worth noting that these search terms were chosen for demonstration purposes.

I also selected 3 major law firm directories, FindLaw,, and Avvo.  Again, these were chosen for demonstration purposes only.  There are many additional legal directories out there that may perform better for your particular practice.

Next, I checked the search engine position of each of these directories for the search terms within each of the three major U.S. search engines, Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

You can download the results here:  searchvisibility.csv

Here you can see each directory's position for the various terms in each search engine.  But what does this tell us?  Assuming everything else is equal, your profile is more likely to be viewed in legal directories with higher search engine visibility.

However, it is also worth noting, that when it comes to organic search results, it is often a "top 3 take all" (and in some cases a "winner take all") game.  Therefore, directories with first page listings not in the top 3, are really unlikely to generate visitors for that particular search phrase.

So, what is a lawyer to do?  Before diving into a search engine visibility analysis, you need to brainstorm keywords and search phrases.  Once you have a fairly diverse list, you can simply head over to the search engines and take a look at how the various directories appear for your search terms.  Better yet, you can head over to and download the Rank Checker tool.

Again, please be advised that this is only a basic analysis of one factor that should be considered when choosing a directory.

More important than any forecast is your ability to measure and track your specific data and results.  Make sure that you have web analytics for both your profile and your website, as well as, a dedicated tracking number so that you can actually view how many calls were generated from the listing.  Keep track of visitors to both your profile page and referrers to your website.

Photoe by: quinn.anya

Gyi Tsakalakis
Co-Founder of AttorneySync
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Let's Discuss Your Growth

Helping law firms grow profitably with digital marketing and can prove it.

Barry Conybeare

We are so impressed with AttorneySync and their digital marketing services. We started with an audit of our digital presence and hired them thereafter. Fixes to the website and other platforms quickly followed and we have seen a substantial increase in online traffic, new client calls, and new client contracts. Strongly recommend AttorneySync!

Let's Talk

How can we help?

More From Our Blog

June 8, 2023
On Local Law Firm SEO Rank Tracking and Reporting

Over the years, law firm prospects have sent us reports from just about all of our competitors. Unfortunately, even today, some law firm marketing agencies still mislead their clients via "reporting." One particularly egregious example comes in the form of ranking reports. Which prompted this LinkedIn post. To my surprise, I received a lot of […]

Read More
June 7, 2023
On Attribution

John Wanamaker supposedly said "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half." In an an effort to figure out "what half is working," attribution was born. Coupled with a transition from traditional, offline ads to digital media, attribution became the holy grail for analyzing advertising spends. But […]

Read More
March 22, 2023
I asked ChatGPT to Recommend a Personal Injury Law Firm

I recently asked ChatGPT, "What are some of the top personal injury law firms in Chicago?? Actually, first I ask "who are some of the top personal injury lawyers in Chicago?" ChatGPT couldn't handle that one, so I modified the prompt. ChatGPT listed five very well-known firms downtown. Can you guess the other four? That's […]

Read More
February 17, 2023
My Take on Google Search's Guidance on AI-Generated Content & Law Firm SEO

If you're like me, you have some degree of AI, ChatGBT, Bard, exhaustion. Now don't get me wrong, this is stuff is remarkable and is changing, well, a lot. But before you hook up the ChatGPT API to your WordPress API and crank out 10,000 pages, here are a few things to think about. Let's […]

Read More
February 16, 2023
Google Adds New SEO Best Practices for Links

If you know me, you know my opinions about links and SEO advice from Google. If you don't, here's the TL;DR: Meh, links! Meaning, all things being equal, links still remain a competitive difference maker for ranking. Take Google's SEO advice with several grains of salt. Google has no economic incentive to help your site […]

Read More
February 1, 2023
Authenticity & Engagement

The best marketing advice I can give you is to be authentic. Of course, you don't find that very helpful in terms of meeting your growth goals. So, you might decide to game the system. As I'm writing this, one of the more popular ways to gain the system is to pay for engagement. This […]

Read More
January 19, 2023
ChatGPT for Legal Marketing

The following post was written by ChatGPT. ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, is a state-of-the-art language model that can generate human-like text based on a given prompt or context. This technology has the potential to revolutionize the way that businesses, including law firms, market themselves to potential clients. One way that a law firm could use […]

Read More
May 26, 2022
SEO Expectations for Law Firms

How long does SEO take? When can I expect to see results? What results should I expect to see? These are all reasonable questions that we field from lawyers every day. And, like many legal answers, the answer is: It depends. Yes, I know that's not the answer you wanted. But it's the most honest […]

Read More
May 6, 2022
Who Should Do Marketing?

And how much time should they spend doing it? I recently had the privilege of chatting with Tyson, Jim, and Conrad for an upcoming episode of The Maximum Lawyer Podcast. If you're not familiar with The Maximum Lawyer community, you should definitely check it out. Jim asked a really great question about who should do […]

Read More

Let's Discuss

Questions or comments? Let's discuss on social!
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram