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Cheap Bankruptcy Lawyers – 3 Simple Ways of Finding Them Online

Be honest — are you one of those people who are planning to file bankruptcy? Everyone who is in deep financial problem wants to know how to find an affordable bankruptcy lawyer. Well, here’s how to do it in ten minutes or less. Using free resources online you can locate cheap bankruptcy lawyers near you.

Online Resource #1:

Use Google Maps located in maps.google.com

Type the search term “cheap bankruptcy lawyers” in the search field. Add your hometown, state, and zip code to make the results more accurate. Press “Enter” or click the “Search Maps” button. Google will then give you a result of businesses that matches your search query. You will see a map with markers on it. Click any of the markers and you will see the actual address, phone number, and their web site address. You can also perform the above method using Yahoo! Local located in local.yahoo.com

Online Resource #2:

Martindale-Hubbell Legal Network located in martindale.com

This is the online version of Martindale-Hubbell comprehensive directory of lawyers. Use the “Lawyer Locator” to search their online database. Leave the names and law firm blank since you are not looking for a particular lawyer. Type in your city or hometown under the “City” field and select your state. Don’t forget to change the country to “United States”. Under the “Areas of Practice” select bankruptcy. Click the “GO” button and you should have your list of bankruptcy lawyers. If the results are too few, then you can widen your search criteria by removing the city on the search form. You can also use the adjacent cities near you.

Online Resource #3:

Thomson Reuters’ FindLaw located in lawyers.findlaw.com

This is the online version of West Legal Directory of lawyers. Use the “Search for a Lawyer” to search their online database. Under the “Legal Issue” input box type in ‘bankruptcy’. Type in your city or hometown under the “Location” input field. Don’t forget to include your state and zip code. It will make the search output more accurate. Click the “Find lawyers” button or press the “Enter” key on your keyboard. You will then be given with a list of bankruptcy attorneys. If the list is too few, then you can widen your search criteria by removing the city on the search form. You can also use nearby towns and cities. Take note of the entries that have “offers free consultation” mark. They are the attorneys that you should prioritize on your list.

What to Know About Directory Listings?

Online website directories provide several benefits, the most important of which is linking. While this article refers to lawyers, it applies to any industry.

A FindLaw white paper, “Visibility, Design and Content-Three Steps to Successful Online Marketing” stated, “In the expanding online market for legal services, the most successful law firms focus on three essential (and related) areas: building visibility via search engines and directories; using distinctive site design to set the firm apart; and delivering persuasive content that engages prospects and deepens client relationships….Links from other law firms, online directories and legal sites such as FindLaw also support an effective link building campaign.”

When considering paying for a review of a listing in an online directory, most people think only of the potential for traffic and think about whether the cost of the listing review is really worthwhile. However, this is not the only consideration.

Obviously, when an online directory appears in the top search results of a search engine, people may find your website listing. One result is that your listing will provide some branding as people see it. Another result is that some of these people will click on your listing, land on your website, and possibly do business with you.

The often overlooked and most important benefit, as FindLaw pointed out, is that when links point to your website from many niche directories, such as a legal directory pointing a link to a law firm website, your “web popularity” is enhanced and the position of your law firm website in search engine results will move up.

If you’re serious about your law firm website appearing in the top search results, listing your law firm in as many legal directories as possible is a must. Again, this applies to any business. Just look for niche directories for your industry.

Whatever business you’re in, obtaining a listing in a few of the top ranked general directories is also beneficial. Of course, once a directory becomes well ranked, there is generally a fee to review your listing.

The website directory must give you a true “live” link without a “no-follow” tag. The “no-follow” tag prevents passing any page rank, sometimes called “link juice” to your website. There are several ways of using a “no-follow” tag and it is not easy for the average lawyer to know if it is being used. Look for niche directories that do not use a “no-follow” tag, such as LawFirms911.com for law firms. If the website directory you are considering does not indicate whether it uses a “no-follow” tag, just send them an e-mail and ask. If the directory provides a do-follow link and it is a well-maintained niche directory, go ahead and pay for your listing to be reviewed.

Why should you pay for your listing to be reviewed? A well-maintained website directory will manually review each website listing to ensure that the listing belongs in the directory and is placed in the most appropriate category.

A website directory filled with spam website listings will be ignored by search engines and so will your listing. Directories are assaulted daily with spam submissions and websites that have no relationship to the subject of the niche directory. To make sure that a submitted website listing is in fact a law firm and not a website selling drugs or a website about cars, I have to look at the website being submitted. Many times, it doesn’t take too long. However, spam websites are often cleverly disguised and only after digging around do I find that it is a useless website.

If people searching on the Internet are going to use a directory and if search engines are going to give value to your link on a directory, listings must be properly categorized. Many listings are submitted to improper categories, usually because the submitter did not take the time to find the most appropriate category or because the submitter wanted the listing in an upper, more general category.

To make sure that a submitted website listing is in fact a law firm and submitted to the most appropriate category, I have to look at the website being submitted.

I do not want to simply delete your listing. Instead, your listing will be placed in the appropriate category. It takes time to re-categorize submitted listings. For anyone, time is costly. Since I am a lawyer, maintaining my directories is even more costly.

If your listing is moved to a more specific category, don’t worry. Being categorized more closely with similar websites is beneficial. Additionally, being at the top or one of the few links in the category may be better than being at the bottom of a category with hundreds of listings.

As can be seen, it takes a lot of time to review all of the website listings submitted. It also takes time and money to maintain the directory infrastructure including its software, search engine optimization and other aspects.

Charging a small fee to review your website is necessary if a website directory owner is going to maintain the directory properly. It is a small price to pay to ensure that the directory benefits your website and does not harm it.

Websites which have been previously submitted must be periodically reviewed to make sure that the submitted website wasn’t lost by the owner who failed to renew the domain name and subsequently picked up by a “spammer”, resulting in unintentional spam listings in the directory. This happens all too frequently. The standard period of time for review is annually. Some directories charge an annual renewal fee for this service.

I have been adding more directories and I am currently at the point where I will have to employ someone. If my directories are to remain permanent, they must be run as any profitable business with overhead.