Lawyer directories (some with lawyer or law-firm ratings) and other lead generation services are everywhere. Some are free, some list lawyers and firms automatically, and some charge fees, either for inclusion or for featuring your profile more prominently. The challenge is worth knowing which are worth your time or money.

Lawyer Ratings, Directories, & Lead Generation Services

Factors to Consider

Don’t be swayed by grandiose claims about the number of visitors, and don’t get sucked in by other lawyers’ reports of whether a service “works” or not. None of these are an indication of how well a directory or lead generation service will work for your firm.¬†As with any advertising, the key is to measuring performance for your firm.

But first you have to choose a service, so consider these factors when deciding whether to give one a try:

  • Use Google to check the directory’s or lead-generation website’s rankings for various high-volume legal keywords that your clients are likely to use. This will provide a very rough estimate of how much relevant traffic it receives.
  • View the current directory listings or landing pages for law firms in your fields of practice and geographic location. Will you be “buried” under a number of other firms?
  • For directories, check the information listed. Listings should at least provide a phone number, email address, and website link.
  • Assess how easy or difficult it will be to track potential clients who come from the directory or lead-generation service.
  • Contact an existing law firm subscriber to the directory that is similarly situated to your firm. Ask them how many visitors, leads, and new clients the directory has produced for their firm in a given time period. Estimate the cost per visitor, lead, and client.

While the above factors can give you an idea of whether a particular service will work for you, the only way to be sure is to give it a try and measure its performance for your firm.

Measuring Performance for Your Firm

Just like all forms of advertising, directories will perform differently for different law firms. While one firm may get a great return on investment (ROI), another may experience losses. There is simply no substitute for measuring the specific performance for your firm.

To measure the performance of a directory or lead-generation service for your firm, use a dedicated tracking phone number and tracking links so you can use a web analytics program to measure visits, leads, and clients generated from your listing.

After a month or so, calculate cost per visitor, lead, and client. If they exceed your ROI, try another service or a different marketing strategy.

This page is based on a blog post by Gyi Tsakalakis.