Did you know that almost 90 percent of customers look at online reviews when searching for a local business? Reviews play a massive role in how customers make buying decisions. But why do they carry so much weight, and how do you go about getting them?
Getting attorney reviews may seem challenging, but it’s well worth the effort. Below we’ll discuss why attorney reviews are so essential and how you can get them for your mass torts or personal injury law firm.
Attorney reviews are testimonials clients leave about your law firm and what it’s like to work with you. These reviews can be positive or negative, and they offer potential future customers a glimpse into what it’s like to work with you. Because these come from independent third parties, they’re seen as more reliable than what you say about your law firm on your site.
In essence, attorney reviews are a form of word-of-mouth marketing - one of the most effective advertising strategies.
A previous client is telling anyone who finds the review that they should (or shouldn’t) trust you with their case. That kind of assurance can make future clients more likely to want to work with you.
Reviews are all well and good if you can get them, but is it really worth taking time out of your day to actively seek them out? The simple answer is yes. Reviews can serve several vital functions in helping to grow your law firm.
As we mentioned, reviews are effectively a modern-day form of word-of-mouth marketing. Instead of blindly trusting that you’re going to provide quality service, a client can “talk to” former clients of yours and see what their experience was.
A recent study showed that every time a business improves its Yelp rating by one star, it experiences about a 5 to 9 percent increase in revenue.
Clients want to know what to expect going in, and they want to make sure they’re hiring a lawyer they can trust. Reviews are evidence that you provide a good experience for your clients and that you’re trustworthy.
Search engine optimization helps you show up higher in search results when someone goes looking for a lawyer in their area. There are several factors that impact where your site is ranking - keyword use, general site usability, and linking are among the most influential. But client reviews can also have an impact on your site’s SEO.
If several law firm sites in an area are ranking closely, Google starts looking at some peripheral factors to decide how to rank them. Oftentimes, they’ll favor the site with better client reviews, since that’s most likely to result in a positive experience for their user.
If you don’t have any reviews, your search engine rankings could suffer.
It may sound counterintuitive, negative reviews can actually be some of the most helpful. No one likes getting negative feedback. However, as consumers, we don't necessarily trust all 5-star reviews. We want to see that business owners are human.
How you respond to negative reviews is extremely important for your brand. When you respond to a negative rating, you aren’t just replying to the reviewer; you are also talking to other potential clients who are reading the reviews to learn more about your firm.
Therefore, you should always keep your responses professional and courteous. You should avoid engaging in a petty squabble in front of the internet. It could reflect poorly on your brand; potential clients might view you as rude, abrasive, and unwilling to listen. It could also run afoul of your state’s ethics rules, which often require a restrained and proportional response to negative reviews.
When you respond to negative review, consider taking the following steps:
Be sure to try and learn from your clients’ negative reviews. Such reviews might just help you create a better client experience going forward.
To learn more about how to respond to negative reviews, visit our post here.
There are a few places clients can leave attorney reviews, with Google being among the most popular.
More than 90 percent of web searches happen through Google, so having reviews on Google helps you reach a massive portion of your target audience. And the convenience of having reviews on the same site where clients run their searches makes Google reviews incredibly valuable.
In order to get Google reviews, you have to have a Google My Business profile. Once this is set up, clients can rate you on a five-star scale and leave a review detailing what it was like to work with you. Google will show these reviews alongside its top results, including in the local pack of law offices in a user’s area.
After Google, Facebook is perhaps the most popular platform for lawyer reviews.
Almost 70 percent of American adults use Facebook, representing another huge share of your client pool. And the interactive nature of the platform gives potential clients a chance to see some of your law firm’s personality.
Clients can leave reviews on Facebook business pages. Although these reviews aren’t as trusted as Google reviews, they do act as a “second opinion” for potential clients to confirm what they found on Google.
Potential clients can also check that your business information is up to date and confirm that you’re still active in their area based on the dates of your most recent posts.
In addition to the more generic review locations, there are also some legal websites dedicated to providing attorney reviews.
Avvo is among the most popular, but you can also find attorney reviews on Martindale-Hubbell, Justia, and Findlaw. These sites offer a more professional platform for reviews than Facebook or Google.
Your Avvo profile can also include more details about your law practice. It often lists your years of experience, the practice areas you specialize in, and other such information. Clients can dig deep to find an attorney who meets their needs while also reading reviews from previous clients at the same time.
Now that you know more about attorney reviews, how do you go about getting them?
The simplest answer is to ask your clients to leave you reviews. Once you wrap up work with a client, ask them to leave you a review – if they’re satisfied with the service they received, they’ll likely agree.
As tempting as it may be, you should never offer incentives for clients to leave reviews or buy fake reviews. Remember, the purpose of reviews is to show clients that you’re trustworthy. Soliciting dishonest reviews is one of the quickest ways to destroy that trust — and run afoul of attorney ethics rules.
Attorney reviews can be a fantastic way to grow your business’s reputation and draw in new clients. Google and Facebook are two of the most popular platforms for reviews, but there are also several dedicated law firm review sites. Ask your clients to leave you reviews on these platforms, but never try to buy fake reviews.
LawRank can help you bring in more attorney reviews and build a stellar reputation in your community. We have helped countless law firms rank on the first page of search results, and we use tried-and-true techniques to bring more traffic to your site. Contact us today to start growing your law firm the smart way.