Your online reviews matter. If you’re reading this, chances are that you want to make sure that your firm has a stellar reputation across the Internet. Reviews are an integral part of Legal Reputation Management. Your online reviews are essential for both attracting new clients and ranking higher on search. 92% of consumers consult reviews before making a purchase decision. Of course, choosing a law firm is no different than any other purchase that they might make. Studies have shown that 83% of prospective clients consult reviews as the first step to finding a lawyer. Here’s what you need to know about legal reputation management.
Table of contents
- Why Reviews Matter
- Review sites for law firms
- 4 Steps to building a strong online reputation for your law firm
- What review management software should I choose?
- How review management software helped Patterson Law Group
- Try Birdeye, the #1 review management software
Why Reviews Matter
More reviews means a higher credibility factor
Imagine that you’re looking for an immigration lawyer. If you’re the average consumer, chances are that the first thing that you do is Google something like “immigration lawyers near me”. You’ll see something like this.
As you can see, the firm that has the highest credibility factor is Zavala Immigration Lawyer. This is for a very simple reason: the firm has a high overall star rating with more reviews than competitors. Clearly, this is a firm with a strong record of client satisfaction. Thus the power of legal reputation management.
More reviews mean more clients
It’s simple: The more reviews that you get from your existing clients, the more new clients you can get. Unfortunately, lots of people hear horror stories about awful lawyers. When they look for a lawyer, they want to know that they’re working with someone with their best interests in mind. Online reviews provide that assurance. More reviews and a positive online reputation can influence more prospective clients and help your firm get more clients.
More reviews mean less money on paid search
Reviews can also help you spend less money on advertising on Google. The secret is something simple: Google Seller Ratings. Google Seller Ratings show your firm’s overall star rating in paid search results.
By displaying your reviews in Google Seller Ratings, you can show your firm’s credibility right off the bat. Google has said that ads that display these Google Seller Ratings see a 17% higher clickthrough rate than normal ads.
Of course, Google does have certain requirements to display your reviews on paid search. In order to have Google Ad Seller Ratings, your business must have 100 reviews from the past 12 months as well as a composite rating of at least 3.5 stars.
Review sites for law firms
While reviews about your firm posted anywhere on the Internet are important, it’s especially important to pay attention to reviews posted on Google. Google reviews are the first thing that prospective clients see when they do a Google search for your firm.
The second biggest review site is Facebook. The social media site has more than 2 billion monthly active users. Reviews posted here might not show up on every search for your business, but they do have the potential to reach a big audience.
Here’s a couple of legal-specific sites to keep in mind. While these might have less visibility than Google and Facebook, prospective clients searching on these sites might be further along in their search.
4 Steps to building a strong online reputation for your law firm
1. Collect authentic reviews
Remember, the more reviews you have, the more credibility your firm has. Luckily, you don’t just have to sit and wait for clients to leave you reviews. By being proactive, you can make sure that your firm is collecting quality reviews.
Here are a few tips on collecting more client reviews.
Don’t ever buy reviews
While there are lots of benefits to authentic reviews, all of them are pretty much lost when you start buying reviews. It’s not hard to tell when reviews are fake. When you start buying reviews, you don’t gain any credibility, you lose the trust of your clients.
Send review requests via text and email
While asking for a review in-person is a great way to get the process started, you do want to send review requests via text and email. It’s simple psychology: the easier the process is for the client, the more likely it is that they’ll actually do it. When you send a direct link, all the client has to do is click the link and leave a review. It’s that simple.
Send reviews after important milestones
Timing is key when it comes to sending review requests. After all, the chances are pretty low that a client will give you a review a year after the case is closed.
That makes it important to send review requests after certain milestone. These milestones can vary based on what kind of law you practice. While a personal injury lawyer will want to send a review when the case is closed. For a family lawyer, cases can last for several years.
Send reviews to all of your clients
The more reviews you have, the better. Don’t just send review requests to clients who you’re sure will leave a positive review. Most of the time, this will just limit you. Chances are that you’re missing out sending review requests to some of your satisfied clients.
Some lawyers fear getting a bad review. While this does feel disappointing, don’t worry about it too much. A few negative reviews can show that all of your reviews are authentic.
2. Respond to your clients’ reviews
Lots of lawyers neglect to send review responses to clients. That’s a mistake. Responding to reviews can help you in a couple of different areas.
First of all, responding to reviews has a definite impact on both your credibility and visibility. Harvard Business School found that businesses that respond to reviews typically have a higher overall star rating. After all, responding to reviews helps solve issues before they grow into bigger problems. Google has confirmed that sending review requests helps to boost SEO.
Want to see some review response templates that work? Download our free guide, “Review Response Templates”.
3. Use your reviews as social proof
While we talked about how you can use reviews to spend less money on paid search, that isn’t the only opportunity you have. Here are a couple of other places where you can share reviews.
Share Your Reviews on Social
Make sure that you’re sharing your reviews on sites like Facebook and Twitter. It’s an easy way to show your followers the glowing reviews of your happy clients.
Share Your Reviews on Your Website
Remember, with all of the horror stories that prospective clients have heard about lawyers, it’s important to display your reviews from the second someone stumbles on your website. With a review feed plug-in, you’ll be able to share reviews on your website. Website visitors can immediately see the glowing opinions of your satisfied clients.
4. Fix your law firm’s listings
Reviews aren’t the only factor that Google uses to determine your firm’s visibility. Google cares about your listings. A listing is defined as a minimum, a description of your name, address, and phone number (NAP).
According to Moz, listings are the fifth-most important factor in determining local search ranking. The more consistent your listings, the better chance you have of ranking towards the top of search results.
Want to see how consistent your firm’s listings are? Click here for a free scan.
What review management software should I choose?
While there are a few different options on the table for a legal reputation management software, Birdeye is the best solution on the market today. No competitor offers the same breadth of different services that help businesses with visibility, credibility, and social proof.
Collects authentic reviews automatically
With Birdeye, you can send review requests to your clients automatically. With an integration to your firm’s systems, Birdeye can send text and email requests to your clients after important milestones in your case. It’s easy and effective.
Birdeye is the best software for collecting customer reviews. Birdeye has been named the #1 company in online reputation by G2 Crowd based on the data from hundreds of customer reviews.
Shares client reviews on your website
Birdeye offers a live review feed of reviews from all over the Internet. All you have to do is copy and paste a line of code.
With a website widget, you can make sure that all of your potential visitors see the glowing reviews from your happy clients.
Be found with your Birdeye profile
Birdeye offers customers custom profiles that aggregate reviews from all over the Internet. If enough review signals are met, you’ll see these profiles rank high in Google search results.
How review management software helped Patterson Law Group
Originally, Patterson Law Group tried to send review requests to clients manually. The results were not great. Though the process was messy and time-consuming, very few reviews were actually getting written.
Coming to Birdeye helped Patterson Law Group get more authentic reviews. The firm has already collected more than 200 new reviews with Birdeye. In addition, Patterson Law Group was a winner of the 2019 Birdeye Best Lawyer award, given to lawyers all across America who were highly touted by clients.
Patterson Law Group also uses the Birdeye website widget to display social proof. Website visitors immediately saw how much existing clients valued the firm’s services.
Try Birdeye, the #1 review management software
If you’re looking for software that can with legal reputation management, Birdeye is the platform for you. Birdeye has been named the #1 software for online reputation, based on hundreds of real customer reviews. There’s no other company on the market that does everything that Birdeye does: collect authentic client reviews, promote your client reviews on your firm’s website, and drive revenue.
Originally published Oct 04, 2019, updated