9/8/2016 Update: My article was recently featured on The Huffington Post.

By: Edmund Yan, Esq.
Attorney & Legal Marketing Strategist at Yan Media

I’m sure you’ve heard of free legal directories like Avvo, Findlaw, Justia, and Lawyers.com. But you probably haven’t taken advantage of them to improve the visibility of your own law firm website.

Here’s a tip: you can boost your website ranking on Google by creating free profiles on legal directories. If that’s not part of your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, you need to implement it immediately.

How Legal Directories Improve Your SEO

Think of Google’s page ranking system like it’s a high school popularity contest. The more popular you are, the higher your website will rank on Google.

To rank higher on Google, your website needs to hang out with the popular kids that are in the same circle as you (the law practice circle). You need to associate yourself with popular legal websites like Avvo and Findlaw by building your profile on them.

Most important, you need to add the link of your website to every legal directory. When the popular kids (the legal directories) point (or “link”) to your website, Google will associate you as one of the popular kids. This SEO strategy is called “link building.”

The more popular you are, the more credible you’ll appear in the eyes of Google and the higher you’ll rank on organic search result pages. It’s that simple.

The Top 18 Free Legal Directories for SEO

When someone Googles your name, your law firm website, your professional social media profiles, and your legal directory pages should populate the first few pages of the search results.

Here’s my top 18 free legal directories that you should create an account on to instantly improve your law firm SEO and enhance your digital footprint.

  1. Findlaw
  2. Lawyers.com
  3. Avvo
  4. Martindale
  5. LawGives
  6. Justia
  7. HG
  8. Legal Docs
  9. Law QA
  10. Alpha Legal
  11. Court House Square
  12. Lawyer Central
  13. Attorney Directory DB
  14. Legal Jet
  15. Law Guru
  16. Legal Advice
  17. US Legal
  18. Lawyer Legion

How to “Optimize” Your Legal Directory Profiles

Now that you created the profiles, you need to optimize them by filling in all the information in a way that will boost your SEO. Here’s what you need to include in your directory pages:

  1. Your profile picture and a logo
  2. Your law firm website
  3. A description of your legal services that includes the keywords you’re trying to rank for
  4. Your phone number, address, and email
  5. Your office hours
  6. Links to your other social profiles, such as LinkedIn

Each element of your directory profile has a distinct purpose that helps improve your SEO. Maybe I’ll dedicate another article to explain them in detail. Maybe. Just trust me for now.

Caveat: Free Legal Directories Won’t Directly Get You New Clients

Your ideal client will probably not find you through your free legal directories. Heck, how many clients do you get even when you pay good money to be on directories? Zero or not many, which is why SEO is so important.

But legal directories will certainly inject life into your SEO. Remember, the more popular kids you hang out with, the more your SEO rankings will improve. Your objective is to appear on the first page of Google when a prospective client is actively looking to hire a lawyer like you. The first page of Google is prime real estate and you need to have a strategy to get there. For that reason, you need to exploit these free legal directories.

If you have any questions or want more tips, email me at hello@edmundyan.com. I offer courtesy SEO audits for law firms (click on the red button on the bottom of your screen to schedule your audit).