If you want more business, you must be seen. Getting local reviews from clients is becoming increasingly more important for local success, especially in the competitive legal industry. You’ve likely heard us stressing the importance of soliciting reviews from clients, but it’s important to understand the why behind this request. Google My Business (GMB) reviews are one of many local ranking factors for businesses with an online presence. According to an annual study from Moz, industry leaders think local ranking signals are comprised of 13% reviews.
Positive reviews help showcase your business in the coveted real estate of the maps section of a search. Google wants to provide the best results for any search query and looks at relevance, distance, and prominence of businesses to display in the maps. We believe every firm should have a local SEO strategy that focuses on gaining consistent and positive reviews.
Asking for reviews should be a routine part of your practice. At the end of every case, we recommend sending an email to your satisfied client with a link to your GMB profile, and providing clear instructions on how to leave feedback.
A review template is an easy message to send off to a client. Something along these lines works well:
“Hi [Client Name Here],
Thank you for choosing us to represent you as your [practice area] law firm. We hope we provided you with a great experience. We would appreciate your feedback in the form of a Google review. Please use this link to share your experience working with us so that we may help other individuals much like you. Thanks so much!”
Congratulations, you just got a five-star review telling you how amazing your firm did in a recent case. Responding with a follow-up thank you can show potential clients that you appreciate their feedback and are a real firm behind the computer screen. Keep it brief and to-the-point. Add a personal touch to the response if you can show you’re client-focused. Responding to reviews from time-to-time shows you appreciate the feedback clients provided, and it builds trust for future customers.
DO encourage reviews with a name. Google recently stated that all anonymous reviews will be removed, so if you want reviews to stick around, make sure you solicit them from real accounts. In other words, any feedback left from “A Google User” will be removed. DO encourage honest reflections of a business.
Don’t push send initially. Negative reviews occasionally do come in, and even though they can be frustrating, it’s important to take a step back and thoughtfully craft an appropriate response. It is crucial to respond to every negative review.
In the event of negative feedback, the solution is to obtain more reviews. Getting positive and recent reviews can push down the negative ones.
You may think gaining reviews by any means necessary is a step worth pursuing, but that’s not the case. Not all reviews are treated equally. Here is some advice as to what you should not do regarding reviews:
This last tip is particularly important. You should always ask clients to leave reviews from their home computer or phone. Google can tell if all reviews come from the same IP address, and this looks suspicious.
As per Google’s Review Guidelines, any review that goes against their regulations will disappear. This includes:
At Postali, we can help you determine the best strategy for asking for reviews and lend a hand in dealing with negative responses. Our SEO team gets notified for every review that comes in, and we keep a sharp eye on all things in the local space for our clients. We can review or guide a response depending on each situation to protect your online reputation.
If you have questions or want to learn more about how we can help, contact us today at (614) 556-4618.