AVVO For Lawyers: What It Is and How To Boost Your Rating


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What does AVVO stand for? How do you get the best rating? How can AVVO help your law firm get more cases?

In this article we are going to answer these questions and discuss how AVVO helps lawyers do their online marketing.

I’ll be speaking about AVVO based on my own research and first hand experience that my various law firm clients have had.

With that said, let’s get into it.

What Is AVVO and What Does It Stand For?

AVVO is short for the Italian word “Avvocato”, which means lawyer. AVVO is an online marketplace for legal services and lawyer referrals. It’s also a law firm online review and advertising/marketing tool.

AVVO’s main benefit for the end user is to assist in the research and vetting process of hiring a lawyer for taking on a new case.

AVVO has a law firm directory with approximately 97% of all the law firms in the United States on it.

AVVO also has a huge database of questions and answers regarding many areas of the law. In addition, AVVO has a vast resource of legal articles and information.

Because AVVO is such a huge resource of legal information for the consumer, it’s known to appear on the first page of Google for many high intent keywords like “Car Accident Lawyer”, “Bankruptcy Attorney”, “Personal Injury Lawyer”, etc.

For law firms that want to get more cases, AVVO can be an incredible brand marketing tool because of how much SEO Authority it has with Google and other search engines.

What Kinds of Lawyers and Legal Services Use AVVO?

As we mentioned earlier, AVVO has 97% of all law firms in the U.S. registered on the site. So with that said, it pretty much covers all types of law firms and legal services.

Some of the most popular ones include:

  • Bankruptcy & Debt Lawyers
  • Personal Injury Lawyers
  • Business Lawyers
  • Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • DUI & DWI Lawyers
  • Estate Planning Lawyers
  • Car Accident Lawyers
  • Divorce & Separation Lawyers
  • Intellectual Property Lawyers
  • Speeding & Traffic Lawyers

There are many more areas of law that are covered, it’s best to check out AVVO’s site to see if your area of practice is covered.

How To Setup a Law Firm AVVO Account and Create a Profile

To get started on AVVO, you need to first add a profile for your law firm. You can start by going to this link here: Create Your AVVO Lawyer Profile

PLEASE NOTE: You’ll need to have your State Bar License Information available, as well as your business address, name, and email address.

There’s an option to sign-in with a social media account. Although this is a convenient option, I highly recommend against doing this. I’ve heard too many horror stories about law firm clients having employees sign-up for things with social media accounts and then leave the firm. 

Then, the firm loses access to the service they signed up for with it. So as a best practice, only use a business email address that includes your law firm’s domain name when signing up for AVVO or any type of business services website.

How The AVVO Rating Systems Works

AVVO does not disclose the exact formula for how their rating system is designed or how it calculates a score. But it does break down what inputs influence the score and how the rating system works.

First, let’s review the inputs that are used.

AVVO scans and inputs all the public records it can find on a particular lawyer. This includes things like state bar associations, regulatory agencies, and court records. It will also consider other published information on the internet.

Attorneys have the option to claim their profile and add additional information and experience which will also increase their score. (We’ll discuss this more later.)

Second, let’s review the scoring that is used.

AVVO takes into account all the information that it has on a lawyer and then mathematically calculates a rating of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest score.

The full breakdown of the scoring looks like this:

  • 10 – 9.0 = Superb
  • 8.9 – 8.0 = Excellent
  • 7.9 – 7.0 = Very Good
  • 6.9 – 6.0 = Good
  • 5.9 – 5.0 = Average
  • 4.9 – 4.0 = Concern
  • 3.9 – 3.0 = Caution
  • 2.9 – 2.0 = Strong Caution
  • 1.9 – 1.0 = Extreme Caution

To read all of the exact details of how information is collected and calculated, we highly recommend you check out this resource on AVVO’s website: The AVVO Rating Explained

One last thing we’d like to mention about the score is that it does not take into account reviews left by clients or endorsements left by peers. This is separate from the main score and AVVO encourages users to consider these as a follow-up for evaluating a lawyer’s performance.

What is AVVO Elite, Is It Worth It? Free vs. Paid Options

With AVVO, there are three levels of service you can take advantage of, let’s review each one and compare the free vs. paid options below.

  1. AVVO Starter – This is free for everyone to use. It gives you a basic business directory listing and lets you participate in the public legal Questions and Answers forum.
  1. AVVO Advanced – Gives you everything available in “AVVO Starter”. However, with this level, it will remove the ads from your directory listing and give you a higher ranking for greater visibility. It also allows you to complete your full contact information and bio headline. Greater insight to hiring intent from the various legal questions is also provided.
  1. AVVO Elite – This is the top tier and includes everything from “AVVO Starter and Advanced”. With Elite you’ll have a full targeted advertising option to take advantage of which includes: Sponsored Listings, Display Advertising, Ad Tracking, Advanced Analytics, and detailed information about website visits, calls made to you, and online chats. You’ll also get an account manager who specializes in attorney marketing.

The pricing for AVVO Advanced or Elite is not disclosed on AVVO’s website so you’ll have to contact them to get an exact price and see whether it’s worth it or not.

Many of my clients have gotten an excellent ROI for the money they invested in, when getting the elite subscription. But, some have not and canceled it after a year. A big part of having success with AVVO has to do with your law firm’s location. When using AVVO, some cities just do better for generating leads than other cities.

I always recommend investing in your own website and SEO marketing strategy vs. spending too much money on advertising because it will have a better ROI for you in the long term. Regardless of which city your law practice is located in.

How To Get an AVVO Badge

An AVVO badge is something you can add to your website or blog to help boost your reputation. 

There are four different types and each one can be unlocked at certain levels.

  • The first is the AVVO Rating Badge, it will unlock for you when you have an AVVO score of at least 7.0 or above.
  • The second is the AVVO Reviews Badge, it will unlock after you receive your first user review from a client.
  • The third is the AVVO’s Client’s Choice Award Badge, it’s given out if you receive five 4+ star reviews in a current year. It’s given out annually.
  • The fourth is the AVVO Top Contributor Award Badge, if you earn more than 1500 points by contributing on AVVO’s legal forum, you’ll get the award. Here’s more information on how points are calculated: Earn AVVO Contributor Points.

10 Ways To Increase Your AVVO Rating

If you have a high AVVO rating, you’ll rank higher on its search results page, but you’ll still need to pay money for an advertising program if you want to be placed at the very top.

With that said, it’s still worth increasing your rating for the higher placement since it won’t cost you anything extra.

Here are some ways to instantly boost your overall rating.

  1. Sign-up and Claim your profile.
  1. Fill out your entire profile until you see the progress bar at 95%.
  1. Fill out all of your practice areas properly, make sure they are 100% accurate.
  1. List all of your work experience.
  1. List any industry awards you’ve won.
  1. Add cases to your portfolio.
  1. List all of your legal or business associations that you belong to.
  1. List all books, online articles, or any white papers you’ve published. If you have a blog, mention that too.
  1. List any speaking engagements you’ve done recently.
  1. Request Peer Endorsements from people you know.

Remember! Some things that won’t boost your actual AVVO rating include things like answering questions or getting client reviews. Those are separate ratings altogether.

Overall, completing your AVVO profile will take a bit of time, so it’s best to do it when you are not busy doing other things. It’s best to sit back, have a cup of coffee, relax, and put in the best effort to fill everything out all in one shot.

Then just slowly go back and maintain the information over time as you have new things to add, etc.

AVVO Getting Acquired Has Caused Some Issues

Some major feedback I’ve gotten back from law firm clients is that AVVO has not generated the same number of leads as it once did. This all started shortly after AVVO was acquired by another company.

You can also read more about the whole outline of events on AVVO’s Wikipedia Page.

On SemRush, we did our own research and found that there is in fact a drop in organic traffic from Google (and other search engines) to AVVO’s site. Check out what we found in the below screenshot.

It’s hard to say what exactly happened, but the acquisition could have been responsible for the drop in engagement on AVVO. With that said, I always recommend to my clients that it’s OK to rely on third party platforms for branding and advertising, but they should always put most of their time and energy into their website first. This way they can easily pivot their strategy when a platform quits working for them.

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed reading my article about AVVO. Whether you decide to pay for it or not, it’s still a big legal website that consumers are finding online through various searches for finding help with law related questions.

It’s to your advantage to sign-up on AVVO, fill out your profile, and monitor the reviews your law firm gets so you can make sure you maintain a high score on all levels.

If you have any additional questions or need help with any of your marketing needs, feel free to comment below or send me a message.

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