A lot of people see the popularity of the Internet as the killer of traditional directories like The Yellow Book, The Real Yellow Pages, and so on. Why would someone waste their time flipping through pages of names when all they have to do is type their search terms into a box?
Online directories are still alive and kicking, and yes, The Yellow Pages do live on in an Internet incarnation. However, just because these directories are online now doesn't mean the chances of your name sticking out among them are any better. Your lawyer advertising should be focused on unique, out-of-the-box exposure and not the same game all the other lawyers play.
Do I Have a Better Chance Being Found if I'm in a Lawyer Directory?
Go to any lawyer directory online and they'll boast that they're the biggest online lawyer resource with hundreds of thousands of listings. A client will look at this and think "Great - I've got a ton of choices!" but you'll look at this as "Great - I've got a ton of competition." Is it worth it to try and be the one needle in a haystack of lawyer advertising?
Sure, a lawyer directory is going to weed out the possibility of a plumber with your same name coming up in a search, but if a client already knows to search for your name, why would they be in a lawyer directory? Clients would use a lawyer directory if they had no clue what they were looking for besides a "personal injury attorney." All a lawyer directory really does is save the client time by filtering their choices to include only lawyers.
Why Leave Your Home Page?
Many Internet users have their home page - the first thing that pops up when they open their Web browser - set to Google or a similar search engine. It's apparently so popular that users often use the Google search box to get to pages they already know the address to, just because it's easier to type Facebook than www.facebook.com.
If a client is searching for a "personal injury attorney" they're not going to type in "lawyer directory" on their Google search. They already have a good idea of what kind of attorney they need, so they're going to search for that specific niche attorney. If you've been focusing on your website's ability to dominate the rankings on Google, you can rest easy if when someone is searching for "Fairfax, VA personal injury attorney," or whatever your geo-specific specialty may be.
There is a lot more to be said about the downfall of the lawyer directory including the crazy costs involved. Keep reading for more information on lawyer advertising.