Expert Witness Directory Rankings–A Daubert Analysis
Expert Witness Directories are one of the most popular ways for experts to market their services to attorneys. Many-a-times, they form the starting point for an attorney or paralegal who is looking to retain an expert. Given the number of expert witnesses in the United States today (approximately 200,000+), any directory charging anything between $350 to $400 and being able to convert even 1% of the experts as clients is looking at close to $1 million in annual revenues. It comes as no surprise that the expert witness directory market sees new entrants every now and then who are looking to have a bite at the big apple.
Every directory claims to be uniquely positioned in promoting its members to attorneys and an official rankings for the Directories would certainly make life easier for experts, who keep getting newsletters and promotional emails from the directory owners about the benefits of listing with their directory.
In terms of Return on Investment, any directory which can get an expert even a single referral technically pays for a lifetime of listing. But how do you choose which directory to list with?
Recently, a comparative ranking of expert directories was done by one of the directories based on Alexa rankings. However, the methodology used by the study (available here) leaves experts and everyone else wanting for more.
The study ranks expert directories on the basis of their internet traffic as measured by Alexa, a leading provider of internet metrics. However, there are several problems in using this methodology for comparing two or more expert directories: –
- Alexa collects traffic information based on user-activity of only those who have downloaded their toolbar. The website disclaims, “To the extent that our sample of users differs from the set of all Internet users, our traffic estimates may over- or under-estimate the actual traffic to any particular site.” Visit this page for more details on how Alexa works.
- Even if we consider that Alexa Rankings accurately reflect the actual traffic coming to each website, there is no way for Alexa or anyone else to determine if the traffic is coming from attorneys, let alone attorneys looking to retain expert witnesses.
- The study did not consider the PageRank of the directories. PageRank is basically the authority that Google gives to a page. For example, Wikipedia pages have a pagerank of 9 out of 10. If a page with a high PageRank links to your website, Google believes your website is more relevant and attributes you a higher listing in its search results. You can run a simple Google search for Check PageRank Free and check the PageRank of any website. Instead of checking the PageRank of the Directory Home Page, check it for one of the pages where an expert is listed. The link to your website will be on a similar page, and not on the directory’s home page.
- Search Engine Rankings: One important reason for experts to list with an expert directory is the ranking which the directory can achieve on Search Engine Result Pages. For example, when a search is run for “Motor Vehicle Expert in Chicago”, which directory is ranking higher than the rest. More importantly, which directory is on the first page of search results or is the first result, should be considered as an important factor for directory rankings. If you are looking to list with just one expert witness directory, run a Google search as if you were an attorney looking for an expert like yourself! See which directory ranks the highest.
Remember, an attorney can simply type in the name of an expert witness directory and research an expert witness, without going through a search engine. In such cases, even Search Engine Rankings would be of no use.
There is no better way to find out if an expert witness directory is getting you the referrals than asking an attorney where they found you.
What if I really want to know how many people are visiting my expert directory listing?
You can also set up a Google Analytics Account for yourself and ask the Expert Directory to include your Google Analytics Code on your directory page. With that in place, you can always check exactly how many people visited your page, where they came from, how much time they spent, which Country/State/City do they belong to and much more.
To know more about PageRank, Google Analytics or any other issue related to how the internet helps your expert witness service, simply drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about expert witnesses on our Expert Witness Encyclopedia.