How to improve your Avvo rating

Love it or hate it, Avvo is not only here to stay but all lawyers in Massachusetts, whether they choose to or not will be on it.  Personally I love it not because I think it’s a flawless system that can be totally relied upon to give a perfectly accurate rating of an attorney, but because I understand that there’s no use in fighting the system.  If you have a low score, then instead of fighting the site, learn how to work with it and turn it into a positive (and profitable) marketing site for your firm.

First, claim your profile on Avvo. Since the site is searched by potential clients all the time, you want to be able to control any and all the information that’s floating out there in cyberspace about you and your firm.

Next enter in all basic information such as office location, website, practice areas, schools, etc.  You’ll find that the simple fact of providing Avvo with information will raise your score.  This is because the more that Avvo knows about you and your qualifications, the more they have to score you on.

As with most online profile sites, include a picture.  If you don’t have a professional picture, go and take one.  You need to have a professional headshot on hand just for situations like this and also for PR purposes in the future.  In addition, people tend to trust people they can see.  Clients will look for a picture.

Now, the trick to really improving your Avvo score is knowing which sections affect your score and which do not.  Naturally the longer you have practiced, the higher your score goes up.  But if you have nothing else on Avvo but years of experience, you’re not going to get a very good score.  Lawyer endorsements is the easy way to raise your score but there’s a limit when your score will no longer go up due to another lawyer’s endorsement.  Until then, email all your contacts and ask for endorsements.  Offer to endorse them in return.  If you have more than one attorney in your firm, their endorsement of you will not affect your score.

Client endorsements are nice for potential clients to see but it doesn’t affect your score at all.

If you’ve gotten awards for legal work, then list it because it will raise your score.

Listing particular types of associations will raise your score.  If it’s legal based and if you hold a position in the association then it will help.  For example, listing that you’re a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association doesn’t raise your score, but if you list that you’re the President of the Massachusetts Bar Association, that will raise your score.  Being on Boards also helps.

Legal guides and Avvo answers, though they’re helpful and resourceful, don’t actually help with your score.  They will however, provide your potential clients with insight into your legal knowledge and how you counsel your clients.

Lastly, publications and speaking engagements will raise your score.  So every article that is written about or by you, you should list on your profile.  Every speaking engagement should be listed as well.

This is a short list of some of the things that will help raise your Avvo score.  It is by no means an exhaustive list.

**Update 1/26/2011

Avvo revises their algorithm once a year, usually in January.  So if you see a change in your rating at the beginning of the year, this might explain why.  Also, your rating might change over time because Avvo’s algorithm ranks newer information more relevant and therefore gives more points than older information.  So essentially, a new published article is worth more to Avvo than an article published years ago.  If you don’t have any new information for Avvo in a while, your score will go down because the value placed on older information is worth less.

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9 Responses to How to improve your Avvo rating
  1. Avvo Love Fest - Avvo Blog
    February 17, 2010 | 2:00 pm

    [...] How to Improve your Avvo Rating – by Gabriel Cheong, a widely read Massachusetts based blogger. Gabe give a very practical (and accurate) accounting of how to optimize your Avvo Rating, covering things that do (and do not) impact it. [...]

  2. Karen
    February 17, 2010 | 10:51 pm

    Good post. I find Avvo a powerful marketing tool for my immigration practice. It generates about 50 leads/month with virtually no cost. I have noticed a direct correlation between my engagement level (i.e. answering questions or writing legal guides) and opportunities. I have even established some collaborative relationships with other attorneys who specialize in areas that I do not and vice-versa.

    While client endorsements do not help your score, they do establish a lot of credibility with potential clients.

    One comment regarding the publications and speaking engagements. Avvo does not credit “publications” on your blog. They must be articles published by a verifiable third party. Also, both must be industry specific (legal) or they will not help your score. For example, I spoke on a well known sports radio show regarding a Major League Baseball Immigration Scam. While the topic is relevant (and I received some good PR), the medium was not. Had I spoken about the same subject at a Bar event, it would have improved my score.

  3. Theodore W. Robinson
    February 22, 2010 | 12:01 pm

    I liked your post. It was informative and verified what I learned about it directly from some of Avvo’s representatives. However, I noticed that although I was the President of two different Bar Associations, it didn’t seem to make much difference to them at Avvo for some strange reason.

    I also noticed that some other lawyers who weren’t Presidents and didn’t have nearly 1/3 of the time being a lawyer as I did, ranked higher than I did for no apparent reason. That’s the kind of thing that makes me wonder about Avvo’s ability to really evlauate anyone accurately. I even noted that the former Surrogate of Nassau County had almost no rating with Avvo when he was one of the most well considered attorneys and judges in our county. While I understand that Avvo can’t tell a lot about someone when they don’t claim their identity, it just gives some idea of how inconsistent such ratings can be.

    Nonetheless, I like Avvo since it gives me great exposure, however, while I’ve been a major contributor for six months, I’ve only had one case come to me through Avvo so far. We’ll see what happens in the future.

  4. Kara Smith
    March 22, 2010 | 7:55 am

    Hi Gabriel –
    I spent a considerable amount of time watching the conversation about Avvo on SOLOSEZ on Sunday, March 21st, and appreciate this post all the more. Avvo is fast growing in popularity, is a strong outreach tool for attorneys to use in order to build their brand and their business.

    Avvo’s not breaking any copyright or intellectual property rules and has the litigation record to show they’ve already been put through the “legal
    ringer” and come out shinning. I can’t help wondering if it’s time for lawyers to stop trying to fight the new tools and recommit themselves to mastering them and getting on with business.

    I referenced your post on the Karasma Media Legal Marketing blog and look forward to staying in touch!

    Legal Marketing Pros – Avvo’s Growing Fast and Listening
    http://is.gd/aSQ1t

    Kara
    I’ve re

  5. Melody Kramer
    April 16, 2010 | 8:30 am

    How naive. A company unilaterally creates a lawyer marketing website, unilaterally publishes information about you as a lawyer that is disseminated to the public (information that has been verifiably wrong on many occasions), unilaterally sets up the rules of play to make you look good to the public (based upon your “contribution” to the site, i.e. driving traffic to the site), and your response is “just join them?” By the way, once you have “claimed your profile” you are irrevocably stuck with it on the site even if you later change your mind.

    What is wrong with a company just saying “look, attorneys, we have this great site we would like to launch, here are its features, would you like to join us?” No, they just take as many attorneys’ information as possible, post it for their profit, then say “you can’t beat us, join us.”

    It boggles the mind that so many people have been complaining about the health care bill and its mandate for everyone to buy insurance (“you can’t make us buy something” is the cry), but its perfectly fine for a marketing company to mandate your participation against your will? Shocking.

  6. Chris
    January 26, 2011 | 10:54 am

    Any site that lets you rig the game by emailing your friends to increase your rating is bunk, in my opinion. Look at people who have a higher rating than lawyers you know are better than them. Chances are, they have some endorsement from an attorney in another state, likely their law school buddy. Go to that person’s site, you will see they reciprocated. In my opinion, this is not to the public benefit at all.

  7. George Najjar
    July 2, 2011 | 2:42 pm

    Thank you for standing up to the “Avvo scam” like this. I never signed up for Avvo, but a firm I was ‘of counsel” with for a short period of time did. This firm paid Avvo, and Avvo assigned me a 10 rating. The firm stopped paying Avvo, and my rating dropped to 7.5 over night. Avvo, of course, said coincidence. (I have a perfect record, am a judge pro tem, am admitted to numerous courts in the country, and have been practicing for almost 20 years.) The only way I can raise my rating is get other attorneys to sign up for Avvo. Talk about a marketing scam! CONSUMERS BEWARE, IN MY OPINION AND BASED UPON MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, AVVO IS PURELY A MARKETING SCAM. When David Boies and Ruth Bader Ginsburg are assigned ratings below 7 (since removed), we have to come to the opinion that “Avvo is a scam.”

  8. Dan
    October 12, 2011 | 1:34 pm

    Thank you for sharing this valuable information. I have been trying to get my score up and it was a mystery as to what works and what doesn’t work.

  9. Jason
    May 9, 2013 | 3:55 pm

    The most important thing is to not have any horrible reviews. Always be respectful to anyone who calls, because usually non-clients leave the bad reviews.

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