Are Paid Legal Directories Worth the Cost?

Date: January 3, 2024

A question we get asked quite often is whether it is worth it to invest in paid legal directory listings. Let’s dive into when and when you should not be spending your marketing dollars on paid legal directory listings. 

What is a Paid Legal Directory? 

A paid legal directory is a database of attorneys that allows potential new clients to search for a lawyer based on location, practice area, or firm. These directories typically have both paid and free versions for law firms to utilize.

Some popular examples of paid legal directories include the following: 

  • Avvo 
  • SuperLawyers
  • FindLaw
  • LegalZoom

Free vs. Paid Legal Directory Listings 

As mentioned above, many of the legal directories have both free and paid versions. But what really sets each directory apart from the others and determines whether the price is worth it for a paid listing? Let’s dive into some of the benefits of both free and paid legal directory listings. 

Benefits of Paid Legal Directories 

Paid legal directories do have their advantages so let’s dive into what they are. 

  • Enhanced Visibility – Paid listings often come with features like priority placement, higher search result rankings, and enhanced profiles. This can significantly increase visibility.
  • SEO Value – Legal directories are often included in search results, thereby improving your website’s SEO value. These listings also typically allow you to include a link back to your website which contributes to your website’s overall authority by providing you with a backlink to an authoritative site.
  • Customization – Paid listings typically allow for more customization of your profile, allowing you to highlight achievements, specialties, and even client testimonials.

Benefits of Free Legal Directories 

Free versions of legal directories also have their advantages. A significant benefit from a free listing, as with the paid version, is SEO value. 

  • SEO Value – As mentioned above, many legal directories are often included in search results, which improves your website’s SEO value by pushing your firm to the top of the search results page. On top of that, you have the opportunity to get a backlink from the listing. 
  • Cost-Effective – The most obvious advantage is that these types of listings are free. These are beneficial, especially for small law firms or individual practitioners with limited budgets.
  • Basic Visibility – Free listings can still provide basic visibility and contact information for potential clients seeking your firm’s legal services.

With all of that said, we always recommend to our clients that they at least create a free listing on the popular legal directories – it can only benefit the firm! 

Should You Invest in Paid Legal Directories? 

So, let’s finally answer the question of whether it is worth the cost to invest in paid legal directories. Well, in all honesty, it truly does depend. At 9Sail, we often encourage our clients to dive into the data and look into the traffic coming from the paid directories. You can do this by looking at Google Analytics. If your website is getting a good amount of traffic from the paid directory listing and you are able to attribute new clients/revenue to that traffic then it may be worth it to keep the paid listing. More specifically, if you are seeing a return on your investment then it’s probably safe to say the directory is working and you should keep paying for it. On the other hand, if you dive into the data and realize that: 

  1. You aren’t getting very much traffic to your website from the directory or; 
  2. You are not seeing an ROI from the directory traffic

Then it may be time to cancel the paid version and switch to the free one, as you can still gain SEO value from the backlink on your free listing. 

I will note, however, that for most of our clients, we’ve found that the paid directory typically is not worth the cost as they have not proven to show a positive ROI. 
If you have questions on whether or not your paid legal directory listings are worth it, reach out!