Are online legal directories useful?

Online legal directoryPrior to the advent of online marketing, the phone book was a popular way in which to get business.  If a law firm really wanted to enhance their business, they would place a large advertisement in the phone book.  They would also enhance their size or font of their listing in the phone book.  Ultimately, this resulted in big business for lots of law firms.

However, with the decrease in popularity of the phone book, online directories have become increasingly popular.  These online directories mirror the phone book in a lot of ways, except that they are online versus in paper.

There are many online directories that are quite broad in terms of the kinds of businesses they list — just like the phone book.  There are also online directories that can niche just for the legal profession.  In many of these directories, law firms or attorneys are categorized by the area of law in which they practice.  Potential clients can surf through these directories and reach out to the attorneys of their choice.

The question for many law firms and lawyers is whether these directories are useful?  Can an attorney get legal business from these online directories?  And in many instances, since a lawyer would have to pay to be in them, the question is whether they should pay to do so?  With so many directories out there, this is a real question many lawyers and law firms have.

In the end, the reality is that there can be a great discrepancy between the directories that can be useful or not that useful in terms of generating leads.  Ultimately, the amount of traffic that comes to and from a webpage can be a great indicator of the usefulness of an online directory.

The traffic coming to an online directory can often be tracked by high it ranks in the search engines.  Checking the ranking of the directory on places like Alexa.com can also be useful.  Ultimately, some online legal directories might be quite useful.  Other online legal directories might not be that useful at all in terms of generating leads.

Apart from the potential leads that a directory might generate, with many online directories, there can be a search engine optimization benefit from being in the directory.  This is particular true if the online directory allows for follow links versus no-follow links.  Having lots of content can also be helpful in terms of reputation enhancement and defense in terms of creating lots of online content.

If you have any thoughts, feel free to share them below.

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