Joining legal directories is one of the simplest and most effective ways for attorneys to grow their online presence while building links at the same time. Directories like Justia, FindLaw, and Avvo among others, can help law firms expand their visibility in search results pages, collaborate with other professionals, get authoritative links to their site, and grow their online authority.
Why Are Legal Directories Important?
Google started de-indexing spammy directories back in 2012, and devalued links from such sites. Today, submitting your law firm website to quality legal directories is still an important part of building citations and relevant links.
Of course, no two law firm directories are exactly the same…and the operative word above is “quality”. If you want to learn more about what legal directories are, how to use them to market your firm, and how to tell if a directory is any good, feel free to read on in our FAQ section below (after our lists of directories). If you want to learn more about ranking your firm’s site in Google search, check out our massive SEO for lawyers guide.
What Are The Top 10 Lawyer Directories
Here is our top 10 of the best law firm directories, based on SEO metrics gathered from Ahrefs and overall features of the directory. Domains are ordered by “dofollow” referring domains.
*Note: All DR values updated as of March 2020.
What Are the Best Free Legal Directories 2020?
Like we mentioned earlier, be careful of the free directories you submit your site to. The list we’ve curated below contains high quality directories that offer a lot of value even beyond just getting a good link.
*Note: All DR values updated as of October 2020.
What Are The Top Personal Injury Directories?
This is a list of personal injury-specific directories, both free and paid. There are more out there however these are some of the best with DR20+ that provide contextually relevant links for personal injury lawyer SEO
*Note: All DR values updated as of October 2020.
What Are The Top 30+ Law Firm Directories for 2020 – [Interactive Chart]
*Note: All DR values updated as of October 2020.
Frequently Asked Questions About Law Firm Directories
In the rest of this post, we give you some in-depth insight into a curated list legal directories, as well as why attorneys should add their site to them.
You’ll learn how to:
- Find legal directories.
- Analyze the quality of a directory.
- Choose the right directory for your law firm.
You will also learn exactly what legal directories are and how you can best use them to market your law firm, achieving better organic rankings in Google search and building authority on the Internet.
What are legal directories?
A web directory, or link directory, is a website that catalogs and lists other business websites. Each listing resides under a specific business category or location, as well as subcategories. Sometimes, a business listing can exist in multiple categories or subcategories at once.
The idea behind web directories was to give users a place to find local businesses based on industry. Unfortunately, these directories have been abused by marketers and SEOs in an attempt to gain easy links.
As mentioned above, Google began to devalue links from certain types of directories some time ago (here’s the original webmaster thread on the topic). However, some types of directories are still very valuable and a genuine link building opportunity for lawyers.
Some directories require payment, while others are free to get listed. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of paid and free directories later in this post, but the best types of directories are industry-specific.
This means that the entire directory caters to a single specific industry, such as law. There are also practice area-specific directories that list attorneys specializing in particular areas of law such as personal injury, criminal defense, or bankruptcy, for example.
As you might expect, a legal directory is simply a web directory that specifically accepts listings from law firms and attorneys. That said, legal directories have evolved over time and they are no longer just a Yellow Pages type listing of legal professionals.
Legal directories now encompass a myriad of products and services, including:
- Legal business and website listings
- Law firm advertising
- Legal forums where attorneys can answer consumer legal questions
- A space where attorneys can submit content they’ve created
As you can see, law firm directories are more than mere business listings.
There are two key benefits to using legal directories as part of your law firm SEO:
- A more comprehensive web presence
- Links to your site
How can directories help my web presence?
Building Authority for Your Attorney Brand
Many of the higher quality directories provide far more benefits than just a link to an attorney’s website. For instance, sites such as Avvo, FindLaw, and Lawyer.com allow attorneys to do things like answer legal questions asked by consumers, submit content as a guest author, and earn reviews.
These are all things that can help attorneys build up their authority in their practice area. Of course, things like this can be posted on a lawyer’s own site, but it can be a powerful recommendation to have them listed on another authoritative site that consumers use.
According to data gathered by FindLaw, 41% of legal service consumers begin their search on a legal directory.
This is significant because even though consumers start their search on these platforms, it does not mean they eventually convert there. Even if the final touch point is someone returning directly to your law firm website after their initial research, it’s highly possible that they began that search on a directory.
Owning the Search Results
In addition to consumers using legal directories for research, attorneys can create more opportunities to appear in search results pages by joining legal directories.
Ranking on page one is a primary goal, but Google will only show one result from your website leaving other choices for consumers to evaluate.
Attorneys who have robust profiles on high-quality directory sites have the potential to show up multiple times in a search results page.
Check out this search for “Clearwater car accident lawyer” where the first three organic results are from prominent legal directories.
Notice how the Dolman Law Group has not only the first position in the local 3-pack, but they also have a presence on the directory listing pages.
As consumers do their research, attorneys can have multiple chances to get in front of consumers on different websites and within search results pages.
Why are law firm directories important for SEO?
One of Google’s most important ranking factors is the quality and quantity of inbound links pointing at a domain.
Attorneys can improve where their site ranks by submitting their sites and being active on high-quality legal directories.
In the past, pretty much any link would have been good; these days, attorneys need to exercise greater caution when choosing directories.
Some key questions to ask before submitting your law firm to a directory are:
- Is this directory specific to law?
- Is it a quality legal directory (would you feel comfortable entering your credit card information on the site)?
- Is this legal directory well-maintained and up-to-date?
- Does Google index this law firm directory?
- Are other sites linking to this legal directory?
- Is this legal directory easy to use?
- Does the directory have a Domain Rating of 20 or higher?
- Is your competition listed there?
If you can answer yes to most of these questions, then you should definitely list your law firm.
Here is how you go about finding out the answers to those questions:
Step One: Find a Legal Directory
One of the easiest ways to find legal directories is to just search for them in Google.
In Google, type “legal directories”.
This will bring back a list of results containing curated legal directory posts (like this one).
You can now go through each post and pick out directories you wish to research further (although, we’ve already done the hard work for you).
Another way to find legal directories, specifically those that are indexed and rank in Google, is to use the following search query (called a search operator).
“keyword” + location
For example, try typing “injury lawyer directory” + texas into Google.
Step Two: Analyze the Quality of the Legal Directory
Once you’ve found a legal directory, you can now analyze the quality. For this, we use Ahrefs.
From SEO Specialist, Matthew Laurin:
“Ahrefs is a paid tool and it may be overkill for attorneys just wanting to see if a directory is going to be worth getting a link from. Try doing a free trial of the software to get the information you need before you commit to a full-blown subscription.”
Take the domain (or subdomain) and paste it into Ahrefs Site Explorer and hit enter.
Site Explorer returns a ton of data for that domain. The image above is the overview screen showing link information related to the domain https://attorneys.superlawyers.com/.
The important elements we want to look at are:
- Domain Rating (DR)
- Referring Domains
- Organic Keywords
- Organic Traffic
Domain Rating (DR)
Domain Rating (DR) should act as a guide to the overall quality of the site.
Remember, DR is a third-party metric, so it should be taken with a pinch of salt. As DR is calculated on the strength and quality of a target website’s backlink profile, it’s a good general indicator of quality.
We want to be looking at sites that have a DR of 20+. With a DR of 90, attorneys.superlawyers.com is a good fit.
Referring domains is the total amount of individual sites linking to the legal directory.
There are no hard and fast rules here, but a site with a few hundred referring domains is sufficient for our purposes.
attorneys.superlawyers.com has 1.65k referring domains, so this is a decent amount.
Another important thing to consider here is the overall quality of these referring domains.
Using our DR 20+ metric, we can filter the referring domains and work out how many quality domains link to the site.
Click on “Referring domains”, order by DR, and set the “Link type” to “Dofollow”.
You can now export the results.
Once you have your Excel spreadsheet, we need to remove all results that have a DR below 20.
Highlight the Domain Rating column and then chose filter on the home ribbon of Excel (note it may be in different locations in different versions of Excel).
Create a number filter to capture all of the domains that are less than DR20.
Type in the number 20 into the filter (make sure “is less than…” is selected).
Highlight all of the rows (they should all be less than DR20 at this point), right click on the row numbers at left, then click “Delete Row”.
Then click on your filter button again in the Home Ribbon to remove your filter. Only sites that have DR20 and up should remain.
As you can see, attorneys.superlawyers.com has about 470 referring domains that are DR20 or higher.
We now need to look at how many keywords this site ranks for.
Again, there is no hard and fast rule here, but a few hundred organic keywords are probably sufficient for our purposes.
The attorneys.superlawyers.com site ranks for 133K keywords, more than enough to gauge traffic potential.
It gives us a general idea about how the site is doing in search and whether it is even indexed. To be 100% certain the site is indexed though, we can perform a ‘site’ search.
In Google, type “site:attorneys.superlawyers.com”.
We can see that “site:attorneys.superlawyers.com” returns 83,500 results, meaning that Google has indexed 83,500 pages from the site. This is a good indicator that this directory is quality.
Lastly, we’ll look at estimated organic traffic.
This will give us a rough idea of how many visitors this site gets per month.
The higher the number, the better the indication that this is site is not only quality, but also has the potential to refer relevant traffic to your site from your legal directory listing.
As you can see, attorneys.superlawyers.com receives an estimated 245k organic traffic per month. This is fairly significant.
Step Three: Is the Legal Directory Easy to Use & Well-Maintained?
Lastly, we want to gauge whether this legal directory is easy to use and whether it is updated and well-maintained.
The best way to do this is to simply use and browse the directory. This is completely subjective, so get a feel for the site and make a judgment.
- Work on mobile?
- Navigate well?
- Look professional?
- Seem like it’s somewhere you would be comfortable submitting your credit card information?
If so, combined with the data gathered earlier, it’s probably safe to say that this directory is a quality one.
So, we have gained the following insights about attorneys.superlawyers.com:
- The directory is specific to law.
- It has a DR of 90.
- It has 258 quality referring domains with a DR of 20+.
- It ranks for 129k organic keywords.
- It drives an estimated 199k organic sessions per month.
- It works on mobile, navigates well, and looks fairly professional.
While the process for finding a high-quality site is involved, the more you do it, the easier it will be to identify a high quality site as soon as you see it.
Which Lawyer Directories Matter the Most?
For lawyers, obviously legal directories are of the utmost importance. Of those, there are a subset of directories in which every firm should be included.
As we’ve also mentioned, quality is key, so look for these other elements:
- The ability to contribute your own content
- The ability to answer consumer legal questions
- The opportunity to earn reviews on the site
Please share this law firm directories blog post with friends and co-workers.
Email them the link or post it on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or other social media platforms of your choosing.
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P.S. Do you know other free lawyer directories or premium legal directories you would like to recommend? If so, please contact us here.
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Google Help — Indexing pages to be included in search results https://support.google.com/customsearch/answer/4513925?hl=en. Accessed 01 Nov. 2018.
“Introducing the NEW Ahrefs’ Domain Rating (and how to use it)” 30 Jan. 2018 https://ahrefs.com/blog/domain-rating/. Accessed 31 Oct. 2018.
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