“What can I do to help with my law firm’s marketing?”
This is a question we hear a lot at Postali. For the law firms we work with, we handle most of the heavy lifting with website development, SEO, and direct mail marketing. When our most engaged attorneys ask what they can do to help, our answer is always the same: create a process for getting client reviews of your law firm.
Obtaining reviews from satisfied clients of your firm is one of the most important things you can do as an attorney. In this post, we’ll help you understand why reviews are a crucial element to your firm’s marketing efforts, and how to get client reviews.
Think about the last time you made a big purchase or researched service professionals online. It’s very likely that online reviews influenced your decision. Hiring an attorney is no different. When someone needs legal services, they will spend time researching law firms online to decide which firm might best fit their needs.
Reviews can be the difference-maker between someone calling your law firm or your competitor down the street.
You may be the better lawyer, but potential clients want to see testimonials from satisfied clients to help prove it. They will look at client reviews more than your experience, accolades, and credentials.
There is overwhelming data to support the claim that online reviews are increasingly important. In one survey conducted by Optimum Feedback, 84 percent of respondents said they trusted online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Another survey from Bright Local found that 57 percent of consumers will only use a business if they have four or more stars.
If you have zero reviews, it’s essentially like having zero stars.
If you don’t focus on reviews and online reputation management, your law firm will easily fall out of consideration for potential clients before you even have a chance to speak to them about their legal issue.
There are many places on the web to obtain information about businesses, and many attorneys ask us where they should focus on getting reviews. As you craft your strategy, consider who your client is, and where they spend their time.
Many attorneys don’t realize just how many places potential clients could look for reviews. Online reputation management entails ensuring your firm is present on all major platforms, complete with reviews. Some options to consider are:
The list can seem overwhelming at first. You may not even be sure how you can possibly get more than 10 reviews on Google, let alone all of the other websites.
Our advice is to focus on and prioritize your efforts. For your law firm’s local SEO strategy to be effective, you need Google reviews. These are also the most visible, so we always recommend starting there. Check your competitors’ reviews on Google to gauge the quantity and quality your firm needs to be competitive.
Reaching out to 10 clients and asking for Google reviews is simply not enough. Your strategy for client reviews should be sustainable and continuous.
Simply put – you have to ask. Most people do not naturally leave reviews on their own accord. But they will be open to it if you just ask. In fact, the Optimum Feedback survey found that seven out of 10 people will leave a review if they’re asked. Many attorneys we work with are surprised at how willing past clients are to publicly post a review if they’re simply asked to do so.
There are also technology solutions that can help scale your efforts. Have you ever received an e-mail from a local business asking you to rate and review your experience? Your law firm can adopt a similar strategy.
To do this, it’s extremely important to understand the rules and ethics behind review solicitation and email communication.
At Postali, we can help your law firm implement a reputation management solution and evaluate technology solutions that will work for you.
Your work isn’t done once reviews start rolling in. As a business owner, it’s always a good idea to respond to every review. This shows potential new clients of your law firm that you’re actively engaged and have a high level of customer service. It can also help provide more context in the event that you receive a negative review.
Yes, sometimes they happen. What we’ve found is that one or two negative reviews won’t harm your reputation as long as you have other positive feedback. There are certain instances in which you can have a negative review removed if it violates certain guidelines. For example, if someone who has not been a client of your firm leaves a bad review on Google, we can help in an effort to have it removed.
Regardless, we always recommend publicly responding to all negative reviews so that potential clients can understand both sides of the story.
It’s important to understand the guidelines that various platforms set forth regarding review solicitation. Failure to comply with Google’s Review Guidelines, for example, can have serious consequences for your law firm, including removal from search results.
Common unethical practices include soliciting fake reviews, incentivizing people to leave reviews or setting up review kiosks in your law firm’s lobby. These tactics are spammy, and your firm should make sure that you’re not using a marketing company who engages in any of these practices.
Google has no problem with businesses asking for reviews. In fact, they even recommend creating a link to provide so that people can quickly and easily access your business listing and leave a review. Not all platforms, however, have the same mindset. For example, Yelp’s Business Owner Guidelines specify that you should not solicit reviews on their platform. It’s important that you take the time to understand the guidelines for all platforms.
It will become increasingly important for your law firm to have a comprehensive strategy for solicitation and management of ratings and reviews. If you’re interested in learning how Postali can help, please reach out by calling (800) 667-3612. We’d love to talk to you.