AVVO — It’s an all-too-commonly misused platform for attorneys and law firms.
See, plenty of attorneys use AVVO as their primary source of leads and clients, and don’t get me wrong; AVVO can get you more clients, but it’s far from the best way to do it.
In fact, there’s a great way to use AVVO for your business that most attorneys get wrong.
So today, I want to have a semi-brief discussion on a few things:
- The standard method of implementing AVVO for attorneys
- Why that standard method is wrong
- How to actually implement AVVO effectively
- The better alternative to AVVO
So without further ado, let’s get to it.
AVVO — An Often Misused Platform for Attorneys
I see a few common ways of using AVVO, so to keep this post somewhat short & sweet, we’ll cover two of the most common ways:
- Sponsored Listings
- Answering Questions on the platform
Sponsored Listings on AVVO — A Good Investment?
Here’s a question I get all of the time:
“Are sponsored listings on AVVO a good idea?”
Judging by the whole intro, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that the answer is no.
I’ve written on AVVO a few times but haven’t explicitly addressed whether the website’s paid advertising is worth it up until now. But to further elaborate, avoid AVVO’s paid ads if you want to get ahead in the game; at the very least, avoid it as a long-term strategy.
And there’s a reason I say this:
There’s a much better alternative to paid listings. (or any paid ads in general)
There’s a Better Alternative to Paid Listings on AVVO
Instead of fully dedicating marketing your firm through paid listings, there’s another place you should focus on: Creating online content that you own and control instead.
There are many reasons why making your own marketing content is the superior choice, so let’s dive into it.
I’ve written before on whether attorneys should use AVVO, and to sum up my opinion on it — it’s a good review platform but it’s otherwise problematic for the legal profession.
Then, there’s the problem with attorneys placing AVVO badges on their site.
Most of the time I write about AVVO, it’s around the same idea; you shouldn’t place all your eggs in the AVVO basket, especially since you don’t have much control over that basket.
Instead, it’s far better to create your own basket. Whether you’re thinking about marketing through the Q&A section of AVVO or paying for listings, I’m reasonably confident that you’ll be more interested in content creation by the end of this.
And here’s why:
Why Attorneys Should Invest in Their Own Content First & Foremost
I’ve written on investing in one’s content and renting ad space on other websites several times, and my opinions on the matter still hold when it comes to AVVO’s “premium listings.”
When you’re implementing paid advertising without a long-term content plan, you’re effectively doing one thing:
But if you want to look like this fine chap here:
You need to have a long-term strategy that includes your own content. But to illustrate my point better, let’s compare the two approaches.
Content vs. Paid Ads
We’ll start by looking at what happens when an attorney spends money on renting ad space.
In this example, our attorney friend (we’ll name him Bill) is paying $250 per month for a listing. Let’s assume that Bill’s paid listing is clicked on fifty times per month. Given those numbers, it looks like our friend Bill paid five dollars per click. And if that $250 turns into $5,000 in revenue, He’ll net a handsome $4,750 ($5,000 – $250) before they pay all their other overhead.
Bill’s must have it pretty good, right? WRONG.
Well, it’s an okay profit. But we don’t want Bill to settle for less when he could do much better.
Here’s the problem: Bill’s initial $250 is gone, and it’s never going to generate anything beyond the initial $5,000. Every time Bill wants the next $5,000, he’ll have to pay the next $250. This puts him in a trap of having to pay AVVO every month, and it also forces Bill to accept any price increases unwillingly.
And now Bill’s in a situation where he has to base his practice on a given platform (AVVO, in this case). But what happens if that AVVO goes down?
Sorry, Bill, you’re out of luck.
So remember that; every time you invest in paid ads, the initial investment is gone. You may have a profit, but you’ll need to spend more money to earn more profit.
Now let’s look at what happens when our other attorney friend invests in his own blog content instead.
In 2015, we wrote a blog post for a client on the issue of relocating a child out of state, and that post received 301 clicks through the first eight months of 2015. We charged our client (This one’s name will be Steve) $125 for that post.
So, in 8 months, our friend Steve has paid $2.41 per click. However, the important thing isn’t just the lower cost-per-click, it’s also that Steve owns that post on his website, and it isn’t going anywhere. It is continuing to receive clicks in organic search, and it will work for the foreseeable future.
So it’s not just about the clicks he’s gotten to date. Steve’s going to keep getting clicks from organic search without additional expenditures.
Content is the Better Long-Term Strategy
Investing in your content is just more profitable. If Steve’s thirty-eight clicks per month (301 clicks/8 months) generated $1,000 a month in revenue, then the client’s net would be $875 the first month ($1,000 – the $125 initial investment), $1,000 the second month, $1,000 the third month, and so on.
In other words, Steve would continue to receive $1,000 per month in revenue with no additional marketing expenditures, and his average cost per click keeps dropping over time. By investing in content that he owns and controls, Steve has created the gift that keeps on giving.
Now, start blogging regularly, and you compound this effect. Each time you put out a new post, that’s another marketing piece to generate you even more revenue over time.
Compare Bill’s situation to Steve. Sure, Bill might be making a handsome profit, but he has to keep spending to make it, whereas our friend Steve is effectively making his money on autopilot.
Want to get ahead in your law practice? Investing in your content, so you don’t have to rely on paid advertising forever is a good start.
Be like Steve, not Bill.
A Common Myth: It’s “Impossible” to Compete with the Big Players Like AVVO
One of the biggest reasons that so many lawyers are interested in sponsored listings are the search rankings.
After all, Steve’s website probably doesn’t come up higher in the search results than AVVO, right? Well, that’s right and wrong.
See, if you typed something like”*insert city here* divorce lawyer” or “*insert city here* criminal attorney,” you’re right. AVVO probably would come up first.
But the truth is that people who’re seriously looking for an attorney often search using long-tail terms instead. Or in other words, someone requiring legal services is very likely to be ultra-specific about their needs.
Instead of using the previous searches, they might type something along the lines of “lawyer for [example-city] domestic violence case.” Which gives Steve’s website a much better chance to show up.
Like Steve, our other clients have seen significant traffic growth over time too, and long-tail searches are an essential part of this success.
Do you feel like you need an AVVO sponsored listing because you can’t compete against a vast directory? Because that belief is pure— pardon my french — baloney.
Want to grow your firm effectively and sustainably? Focus on investing in your content rather than renting ad space from third parties.
But that doesn’t mean AVVO has no use for your firm. In fact, it can be instrumental — if you use it right.
How to Actually Use AVVO Advertising for Your Law Firm
Let me start by asking you a question.
Which of these two attorneys would you choose to work with?
Anyone who really wants to win their case is very likely to go with the bottom one.
And it’s because a list of good reviews and testimonials make you look magnitudes better than your competitors who don’t have them. And this is where AVVO’s strength lies:
It’s a great review platform.
In fact, I even wrote a guide on how you can start raking in more reviews today.
Where to Start With Your Own Content Strategy
Now, if I’ve done a good job of convincing you today, you might be wondering where to get started with content.
Luckily enough, I’ve got just the thing. Here’s our guide on SEO to give you a jump-start into an excellent content creation strategy.
Go through that guide, and you’ll already be well on the path to running a much more profitable firm.