In conducting research for a seminar, Legal Issues in Advertising with Gina Rubel, I claimed my Avvo listing. Avvo, for those who don’t know, is a site that helps laypeople find a doctor or lawyer. When Avvo first came about it was quite controversial, in fact I have to admit that I doubted Avvo would manage to survive. Clearly I am not omniscient. The controversy, for the most part, seems to have settled down and many attorneys have now claimed their Avvo listings.
I Claim my Listing – I am not Happy
At any rate, when I claimed my listing I was not particularly pleased to see a rating of 6.2. “Wow,” 6.2, I thought. “That’s not very good.” You see, Avvo is clever. If you claim your listing your rating can’t be particularly high because Avvo only knows 3 basic things: whether you are licensed, how long have you been licensed, and whether you gotten into any disciplinary trouble. The only way to increase your rating is to take the time to fill out your Avvo profile.
Avvo rates you based on three concepts: Experience, Industry Recognition. So I completed my profile and my rating went to a much more respectable 7.8.
I Fix my Listing – I am Happy
A few weeks later, my Avvo rating has mysteriously climbed to 8.0. I think it is because people have actually viewed my listing. Gina’s listing is 9.0. I am jealous. Hey, I never claimed to be perfect.
Where I seem to fall flat on Avvo is my Industry Recognition rating. Of course, given my rating is “excellent” I guess I shouldn’t whine too much.
Claim your Listing but Get Ready for Some Work
As I was saying, Avvo is very clever, because to improve your rating you need to spend time on the site to fill out your profile, and so increase your rating. Since Avvo makes its money on advertising, like most social media sites, this gives Avvo an opportunity to get you to click on a link or purchase an ad yourself.
Therefore, if you plan on claiming your listing you need to be ready to take some time and complete your profile. It isn’t a huge deal to complete your profile, but everything takes time, and time is at a premium. To make your life easier when you claim your listing, make sure you have your updated resume around to give you easy access to your information. You have to update your profile because you definitely don’t want to have a low Avvo rating hanging around. If you leave your Avvo profile as is and other attorneys have completed their profiles giving them a higher rating, people searching Avvo for an attorney are likely to pick the attorney with a higher rating. At least that makes sense to me. All things being equal, I’d pick the attorney with the higher rating, wouldn’t you?
I think Avvo can be yet another useful way for potential clients to find you. But it will only be useful if you have a decent rating. So go ahead and claim your listing, but be ready to complete your Avvo profile and keep it up-to-date when you do so.