Avvo Lawyer Marketing Guide: How to Increase Your Avvo Rating?

June 6, 2022
13 min

There are a number of attorney rating services available online today. While some serve to review the quality of an attorney's or firm's legal services, others serve as a ranking tool and online lawyer directory.

Likely the most well-known of these services is, and it's one that many prospective clients turn to before committing to a firm or attorney.

Most attorneys have an Avvo profile, whether they personally set it up or not. In fact, Avvo creates profiles for every licensed attorney it can locate. This includes an astounding 97% of attorneys in the United States. In rating lawyers based on the information on their profiles, a Avvo rating can do a lot to help, or harm, your practice.

What is Avvo?

Before we dive further into the intricacies of an Avvo attorney search, what is Avvo anyways?

When it comes to the question of what does Avvo stand for, it simply stems from the Italian word "avvocato," which means lawyer. With this in mind, Avvo is an online legal directory that serves both attorneys and the public. With this system, users can find lawyer referrals and answers to various needs. Plus, the system includes client reviews, peer attorney referrals, and any disciplinary actions taken against an attorney.

How long has Avvo been around?

Founded in 2006 by Mark Britton, Avvo serves as an online referral system. The idea for the company came after clients asked Britton for attorney referrals while he was on vacation as they sought an alternative to ensure they got the law services they needed while he was out.

While it has been around since 2006, the company has come under fire for pulling lists of lawyers from state bar associations, as well as in relation to the validity of the Avvo attorney ratings. That being said, there is support for the site, including from the Wall Street Journal, and is relied upon by a number of Avvo attorneys and clients alike.

What is Avvo's reach?

Avvo includes listings and attorney ratings based on their proprietary rubric. With ratings for 97% of all licensed attorneys in the United States, this tool spans a breadth of lawyers and specialties with results that can be found on search engines like Google. This way, any potential clients can search the name of a lawyer or firm and immediately find the Avvo profile at the top of their search.

Ultimately, the Avvo rating system is expansive. With it serving as one of the top hits when clients search for a firm or attorney by name, it's all the more important to take control of this profile and share reliable, accurate information.

Avvo profile and ways to optimize

Avvo profile optimization

Now that we know the answer to what is an Avvo rating for lawyers, it's time to master how to optimize your profile to better represent your business.

The strength of your profile and Avvo rating can do a great deal to improve your exposure and ensure new clients. While much of the information can be obtained through public records, it's important to consider what other elements can help enrich your profile.

By taking initiative with your profile, you can have better control over what display. And when figuring out how does Avvo rate attorneys, this additional control can make a big difference. To learn more about that check out our local SEO for lawyers guide.

To remain competitive, use your profile as a place to show people why they should contact you over the competition. Here's how.

Attorney's profiles in search results

avvo attorneys' profiles

Most commonly, people search for lawyers with the directory based on the State they are in and the practice area. Based on your profile, the following information is what first pops up when someone searches for their best match:

  • Name of the attorney or law firm
  • Overview of the lawyer in the profile headline
  • City/State
  • Practice area
  • Star rating with the number of reviews
  • Avvo rating
  • Number of years in practice
  • Overview of the firm
  • Phone number
  • Link to send a message through Avvo
  • Link to law firm website

To best optimize your profile and ensure success, you will want to have all of these elements properly filled out and accurate. This way, when someone searches for something like "child support lawyer in Illinois," your profile is more likely to come up.

Lawyer profile overview

Once a client clicks a profile to further look at the legal services offered, they will arrive at the individual law firm profile.

On the profile page, the information is separated into two sections. On the left side, we have basic information, including:

  • Name
  • Practice area
  • Star rating with number of reviews
  • Avvo attorney ratings
  • City/State
  • Number of years in practice
  • Any videos and photos
  • Link to send a message through Avvo
  • Link to the firm website
  • Phone number

On the right side, we get more into the meat of a firm. This is where you have an opportunity to share a detailed about section, as well as more contact information. Additionally, this section is where any reviews and attorney endorsements appear, as well as costs.

How to optimize your Avvo profile

There are many ways to optimize an Avvo profile to better serve your business. Much of this is based on search engine optimization basics, and with these simple optimizations, you can ensure your profile shows up higher in an Avvo attorney search. Here's how.

Get the right photo

A picture can go a long way. With a high-quality headshot, you are proven to get 17 times more potential client contacts according to Avvo's data. Opt for professional photographs over casual, low-resolution, everyday pictures.

Complete About section

An informative About section can help sway a prospective client to contact you. Your profile should succinctly summarize your strengths right in the first few sentences. This way, users can see a snippet of these strengths right within their search results. Be sure to be descriptive, clear, and concise so readers understand just what you're about.

Add video and images

Many people prefer multimedia formats, no matter the source they are perusing, and the same goes for an Avvo profile.

Include any videos and images of your practice to help further entice clients and provide a clear example of how they will interact with you. This media will be featured in your "search snippet," making it easy for viewers to check out.

Complete the Resume section

Nothing speaks more to your credibility than your past work. To show this off, complete the resume section within the About area. This is a great place to include past work, awards, companies you've worked with or owned, education background, speaking engagements, and any associations you're part of.

Include payment options and an offer in the Cost section

No prospective client wants to sit wondering about your rates. To prevent users from dropping off your profile, include your costs clearly. Additionally, it can be beneficial to share any offers, like a free consultation, to further improve your client list.

What is Avvo's rating for lawyers?

So, what is an Avvo rating for lawyers?

Every Avvo profile has an associated Avvo rating. This rating is developed based on their proprietary algorithm, which works to award a score between one and ten to licensed attorneys.

Based on the scale, the Avvo rating breaks down to:

  • Superb: 10.0-9.0
  • Excellent: 8.9-8.0
  • Very Good: 7.9-7.0
  • Good: 6.9-6.0
  • Average: 5.9-5.0
  • Concern: 4.9-4.0
  • Caution: 3.9-3.0
  • Strong Caution: 2.9-2.0
  • Extreme Caution: 1.9-1.0

Additionally, "No Concern" and "Attention" ratings are given to any firm that hasn't been claimed and is rated under 6.5.

A high Avvo rating is a proud badge for many firms, showing credibility for their work. With this in mind, many attorneys will feature their ratings on their website, as seen below.

avvo trust badge

Does an Avvo rating actually matter?

It's no surprise that many attorneys dislike the Avvo system. In fact, some has gone as far as to file defamation suits against the platform for low ratings on their avvo profile. Many lawyers and critics believe the site's rating system is misleading, as even simply not claiming a profile can have a major impact on a lawyer's rating.

Whether an attorney supports or dislikes the Avvo rating system, it remains one of the leading rating and referral services for legal professionals. And the avvo attorney search is only expected to get bigger. As search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! share avvo attorney reviews in their search results, even popping up on the first page, prospective clients and passive searchers alike are becoming more associated with this service.

Due to its prevalence, figuring out how to get a 10 Avvo rating and have a high-scoring profile is essential. Since this is one of the top sources when doing organic searches for lawyers, Avvo attorney reviews are nothing to take lightly.

How is an Avvo Rating Calculated?

An avvo rating is based on a few factors. These factors include:

  • Public data collected on each attorney
  • Information an attorney includes in their profile

Avvo takes public data from an array of sources, including state bar associations and court records. With this, Avvo uses a mathematical model to weigh information collected, ranking lawyers from one to ten. This algorithm works to analyze an attorneys achievements and disciplinary sanctions, as well as other elements such as years licensed, education, associations and awards, plus peer endorsements.

How to Improve Your Avvo Rating

lawyers avvo rating

Since maintaining a good Avvo rating is essential to your law firm, we are sharing a few ways to boost your ratings for a better scoring Avvo profile.

Claim Your Attorney Profile

Simply leaving an Avvo profile un-claimed can majorly hurt your ranking. To avoid this, claim your profile on Avvo. Since a profile will have already been created by Avvo, it only takes a few steps to claim.

To do this, go to the Avvo homepage and click "grow your practice." This will bring you to the page where you can claim your profile.

Complete Your Profile up to 95%

For a better-performing profile for your law firm, complete all the sections within the profile. Yes, this can take some time, but it can do a great deal to improve your Avvo rating.

Simply leaving out your fees and payment options can lower your profile completeness to 90%, and is something many clients are hoping to see, so don't skip this section!

Keep in mind, you cannot get a 100% rating unless you add an Avvo Rating Badge, which isn't a necessary addition for the rating system.

List all your practice areas

In order to optimize your Avvo attorney search appearances, be sure to include all of your practice areas within the description on your profile. This directly impacts what Avvo users will see your profile, with you only appearing in categories that are included within your profile. To avoid clients missing your services, include every practice area you have experience in for best results.

Include Valid State Bar License

In the case that you have a license in multiple states, be sure to list all of those for which you apply. Having multiple licenses, including past ones, can raise an Avvo rating by a full point. It's with this added work experience that you gain credibility, showing off your years of success in the industry.

Add awards you've won

Avvo is a safe place to claim your bragging rights. Avvo has shared that they factor awards into their ratings, making it all the more beneficial to include. Any noteworthy distinctions and awards are worth sharing not only for this increased rating, but to convince potential clients researching your profile of your success.

Add cases to your portfolio

In displaying your most successful cases, you can share with potential clients how successful your law firm is. Past experience is a big testament to your potential when looking at a new client, and it can increase an Avvo rating, too.

List your legal associations

Similar to sharing your past experiences and awards, including any legal associations you are a part of further boosts your profile. A simple list of the associations you're a part of can boost your profile, but it can also show your credibility and dedication to proper law practice. By being a part of different associations, you can show a dedication to your craft.

Make sure to get reviews on Avvo

Sometimes, nothing is more powerful than a review. Avvo attorney reviews are not only powerful additions to a profile to master the rating system to boost your profile, but additionally sways potential clients, too. Hearing from those that have experienced your work and service can go a long way to help clients choose between multiple options.

Ask Colleagues to Endorse You

Similar to reviews, colleague endorsements are another wonderful way to be discovered and boost your profile on Avvo. Endorsements are incredibly valuable, as they can help clients find you as an option in the case the lawyer they know and trust is unavailable to help. Having the respect of those in your industry further shows that you're the right lawyer to go with.

Add info about your publications and conferences you took part in

The final tip to master the rating system for Avvo is to include information about any publications you've been featured in and any conferences you've attended. These elements show your continued involvement in the space, evolving your practice with changing times.

What will not increase your Avvo rating?

While there are many elements that can improve your Avvo rating, there are a few factors that won't prove particularly beneficial.

Answering Questions

While on other platforms answering questions may be beneficial, it is not on Avvo. The platform already has a large legal Q&A forum, which you can contribute answers to. While this will share your knowledge, it won't do anything for your avvo ratings.

Creating Legal Guides

Unfortunately, creating legal guides is one of the largest wastes of time with Avvo. This task involves a lot of work, yet there aren't many opportunities in which this content will be seen on your profile.

In the case you do create a legal guide, it's best to put on your own website, versus letting it drown in the influx of materials on Avvo.

Your Overall Contributor Level

When logging into your account, you will see the overall contribution level. This has no impact on your Avvo rating, and is something you don't need to spend time worrying about.

Avvo FAQ

  • How hard is it to get a 10 rating on Avvo?

    Mastering how to get a 10 Avvo rating doesn't have to be an impossible task. In fact, first year attorneys have achieved this score. This is primarily due to the fact that they are well recognized and have worked to max out the awards and industry recognition fields to boost their profile.

  • Will paying for Avvo ads increase my Avvo rating?

    No, paying for Avvo advertising will not increase your Avvo rating. Instead, we recommend optimizing your profile as opposed to paying for ads.

  • How to remove yourself from Avvo?

    If you're wondering how to remove yourself from Avvo, we have bad news. The platform does not allow profiles to be removed. Since the information is pulled from public records, it's information that is readily available. However, if you are concerned with any public information on your profile that may be incorrect, contact Avvo to make adjustments, or claim the profile for yourself.

Final Thoughts: Is Avvo Worth it?

When all is said and done, there's no denying that an Avvo rating is incredibly important. Since a profile on the platform will be created whether you do so yourself or not, optimizing yours for a better score is truly in your best interests. Especially as Avvo consistently appears on the first page of search engine results, Avvo's platform is an unavoidable necessity to boost your firm.

For advice on how to improve your profile and master the rating system, contact our law firm marketing agency for assistance.

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