With practically all the information in the world at the tips of our fingers, consumers know a quick Google search will offer reliable results that can influence their decision-making process. A piece of that are reviews – and online reviews are becoming increasingly important for all businesses, including law firms.
Bright Local, a firm specializing in local SEO, found that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they do personal recommendations. Nearly half of the respondents from their 2017 local consumer review survey said that businesses must have at least a four star rating before they would choose them.
iLawyerMarketing.com regularly conducts consumer research, and in a similar study, nearly 60% of their respondents answered that a law firm must have at least a four star rating before they would employ them.
So, if you didn’t know already, online reviews are crucial to your law firm. But not just any reviews – positive reviews. If you aren’t monitoring your online reputation, you may very well be missing out on important business.
Are you actively asking clients to leave reviews?
The same Bright Local study mentioned above found that only 74% of respondents were ever asked to leave an online review. But, of those that were asked, 68% did leave reviews. That means nearly 7 out of 10 consumers are willing to leave feedback, if asked.
Online reviews have taken over for word of mouth. Chances are excellent when someone you know has a bad experience somewhere, you hear about it – and in a variety of places. Not only can your friend leave a review on multiple review sites, they can post about it on Facebook and other social media sites. If a client is angry, they will often take the time to be sure you, and the rest of the world, know about it.
But what about those clients that are happy and satisfied with your services? Do you take the time to make sure they take the extra step to leave a positive review? With 65% of people saying online reviews greatly influenced their decision when selecting an attorney, it’s crucial that you are collecting reviews.
So, how do you do that?
First, be sure that everyone in your law firm understands the importance of online reviews. From attorneys to paralegals to support staff, everyone should be on the same page as far as the quality of service rendered so that every client has a positive experience.
Make leaving a review a simple process for clients. Many people won’t go out of their way to leave a review, unless they had a particularly negative experience. But capturing those reviews is important, so find a way to make it easy.
SEO Foxy’s Review Tool makes it as easy as 1-2-3 for your clients to leave a review. Not only will you increase your positive reviews, you can stop negative reviews from being posted by giving yourself the opportunity to rectify the situation by surveying your customers’ satisfaction rate from start to end and all along the way. An invitation to leave a review will take clients directly to a review submission form, eliminating the task of searching for your business online and choosing a review site. Negative feedback are captured internally using a customizable survey, allowing you a chance to address the situation before it becomes public.
Ask your customers to review you. Once you’ve created your system for capturing reviews, the most important part is to actually ask your clients. If nearly 7 out of 10 people are willing to leave a review if asked, and your firm has only a small number of reviews, it means you aren’t asking.
Why Reviews are so important for your law firm?
Gone are the days when a simple number one spot on Google will guarantee your website gets the click throughs. iLawyerMarketing conducted a study where they showed participants Google local results and then asked them about their decision making. The law firm in the number one spot had only 46 participants click on it, while the firm in the second spot had 68 clicks. Why was that? Users stated it was because of the number of reviews. The average rating was the same, 4.8, however, the law firm in the second spot had 128 reviews, versus only 38 for the one in the top spot.
It’s also important to display your hard-earned reviews on your website, SEO Foxy’s review tool has a web widget which will let you gather your reviews from around the web and display them on your website in a nice way (just like the example below.) An SEO Foxy study has shown that just displaying reviews on your website’s homepage can increase the conversion rate by over 25% on average.
AggregateRating Schema to Get Review Snippets on Google
SEO Foxy’s review tool will also help you add reviews and rating schema markup along with law firm organization markup to your website so that you get those star rating for your Google listing on organic non-map results, like this example.
Which sites are the most important for lawyers to get reviews from?
Google, Yelp, Facebook and the Better Business Bureau are where most online users turn to read and/or leave reviews. In addition to these, it is important to know the most important review sites for your specific industry. There are a few lawyers specific review sites that you should pay close attention to, as well. They include avvo.com, Lawyers.com, SuperLawyers.com, and Martindale.com.
Never leave a review unanswered.
Reviews, both good and bad, provide an additional marketing opportunity for your firm. Always respond in thanks for a good review. A negative review offers you a chance to rectify something and change the mind of an unhappy client. Never respond in anger, but rather try to understand the issue from the client’s perspective and then do your best to make the situation right.
Incentivize your paralegals.
The only way to ensure you’re getting reviews is to ask for them, so why not offer your paralegals small incentives to help build your review profile? Paralegals tend to have the most contact with clients, so they are the perfect people to ask for reviews.
You want to make it as easy as possible for clients to leave reviews, so SEO Foxy has created a simple tool to help you. Using our Google Review Link Generator allows you to then place the link wherever it might spur clients to use it – your website, email signature, e-newsletters, social media, etc.
Use a dedicated system to gather reviews.
If your staff isn’t asking clients directly to leave reviews, consider using some sort of tool, like SEO Foxy’s Review Tool, to help gather them. It’s simple and easy to use, both for you and your clients. You can send a request to leave a review directly to your client’s smartphone. From there, the client will see an invitation to review and will be taken directly to the most important review sites. This removes a few steps – asking the clients, explaining the process and which review site to go to, then the client having to search for your business on that site. It makes the process quick and easy, and better yet. Learn more about our review tool on our website.
Use your positive reviews to your advantage.
Positive reviews should be leveraged to help build your brand. You can use snippets from reviews in your marketing materials – on your website, social media pages, newsletters, etc.
If your law firm currently is not placing an emphasis on capturing online reviews in your overall marketing plan, you are very likely missing out on potential clients. SEO Foxy can help you capture reviews and get your site more visitors, resulting in more clients for your firm. Call us today at 844-SEO-FOXY.