There are hundreds of factors that determine a site’s ranking on Google or other search engines. Backlinks are still crucial, though. Links are still one of the most important signals for rankings that Google measures.
Link Building for Lawyers
For attorneys, there are a plethora of opportunities to gain links. One of the most basic strategies when building links for law firms is to submit your firm’s information to various legal directories. Some directories are free, but many charge a fee.
Today we’re going to take a closer look at one directory in particular, Lawinfo.com.
The Value of a Legal Directory Link
The big question when building links? How much will I have to shell out to get my firm listed on your site? Is it an annual fee? Monthly? One-time payment (we can dream, right)?
Unfortunately LawInfo (which is owned by Thomson Reuters, ie. FindLaw) doesn’t clearly display pricing information on their site. Not surprisingly, they want you to leave contact information so that a sales rep can get in touch with you.
Don’t worry though – I did the work for you. OK, so actually I just did quick Google search and found the info:
$40 per month – $480 yearly
So for a listing on LawInfo.com you’re looking at close to $500 per year. That’s actually pretty expensive as far as legal directories go. Of course cost isn’t everything, so let’s do some more investigating.
When evaluating directories, ahrefs.com is often one of my first stops. There’s a ton of information to be found here, but what I’m really after is the Domain Rating (DR).
62/100, not bad at all. I’m still questioning the $480 cost for a link with a 62 DR, though. Let’s get some more information.
Another fantastic link evaluation tool can be found over at Moz.com. The Open Site Explorer will give a site’s Domain Authority (DA) according to Moz. In addition, they’ll give you the authority of a specific page. Here are the stats for LawInfo’s homepage:
58/100 is a strong DA. The link LawInfo is providing does have value, but is it worth the cost?
To really understand if LawInfo is worth the investment, we need to look at similarly rated directories and figure out how much they cost. I’ve selected a few of the more popular choices for our comparison: Mediate, HG.org, Lawyer.com, and LawGuru.
Let’s quickly check their cost, DR, and DA:
Cost: $29 per month or $299 per year
Cost: $195 per year
Cost: $119 per month
Three out of the four directories we checked on provide a less expensive link with equivalent or better value. One, LawGuru, is a similarly rated site that gives directory listings for free. Only Lawyer.com charges more, and the site also functions as a local referral service. However, there is an issue with LawInfo’s listing that you wouldn’t find without careful research.
The Red Flags
When building links, you want to ensure you’re gaining “follow” links. If a link is noted as “no follow,” then you aren’t getting the valuable SEO juice you’re after. Essentially, the no follow command in front of the link is telling crawlers not to visit or count the link.
Another issue with LawInfo: Even if the links were followed, they are 302 redirects. In other words, instead of having your explicit web address, LawInfo uses a custom link that redirects to your site. Obviously, this hurts the SEO value of these links as well.
So what does this mean? LawInfo’s value is tied to the quality of leads they generate. Lead sites like this don’t have a great reputation for quality leads. Beyond that, there are more cost-effective avenues for getting strong leads.
Is It Worth the Money?
In this case, I must suggest seeking alternative directory listings before signing up with LawInfo. Better value can be found with other directories that include explicit, followed links in the profile.
Most lawyers and law firms have a set budget they’d like to spend on marketing and SEO. As a marketer, your job is to use that spend in the most effective way possible. If a directory listing cost the same as two with similar DRs and DAs and has no real SEO value, then the option must be to pass.