Five Steps to Boost Your Law Firm’s Online Reputation
April 9th, 2019 by
Reputation is everything. If you’re a fan of the TV series “Suits,” you already know that hotshot attorney Louis Litt’s most important character trait is his obsession with his reputation, as well as his firm’s. He does whatever it takes to make sure it’s immaculate. Since Louis doesn’t talk much about his strategy, I took it upon myself to shine some light on the perks of having a strong online reputation and how to improve yours (if it could use some work).
“Reputation is an outcome, but it is also a valuable, strategic asset,” says Andrew Griffin.
By cornering your social media game and online presence, you’ll be able to aptly manage your law firm’s online reputation and mold its online “personality” to set the stage for a reliable and effective firm in the eyes of future clients. The next five steps are vital to shaping your brand and ushering new clients through your virtual door.
Step 1: Ask for Reviews
When consumers are beginning their search for a law firm, they turn to the internet to do some digging. 65 percent of consumers claim to be swayed by the reviews they find on your firm, and a single negative review can drive away 22 percent of potential clients. Ouch.
So How Do We Combat the Bad Publicity?
Set up a system and a strategy to make it as easy as possible for your clients to leave you reviews (see Step 2). By flooding your Google My Business listing with bright and positive client reviews, you push the negative commenters further from the line of sight and cement your standing as a reputable firm. Asking for reviews may seem a little tricky, but the key is to ask at the optimal time, like right after you’ve won a case for a client.
You might be asking why I’m mentioning Google reviews? Google has been proven to be the most frequently used review platform when customers search for attorneys. It’s the most popular search engine, so it makes sense that it would beat out other platforms. You really can’t beat convenience. After Google, the most popular review platforms are Facebook, Yelp, then Avvo. This doesn’t mean you should ignore these sites, but asking your clients to leave their praise on Google is more important.
Step 2: Find a Place to Filter All of Your Reviews in One Place
My biggest piece of advice is to stay organized. If your law firm has multiple locations, this is even more important when managing your online reputation. Between Google, Facebook, Yelp, and Avvo, you’ll have a hard time bouncing from platform to platform, putting out fires, and responding to client praise. BirdEye is a great way to consolidate your online reviews and respond to them in kind.
BirdEye keeps your law firm’s contact and business information accurate across all review channels, and it also makes it easy to ask your clients for reviews by putting all of the tools right in their lap. As mentioned before, you really can’t beat convenience.
Step 3: Respond to EVERY Review Within 24 Hours
This is where BirdEye really comes in handy with managing your law firm’s reviews. The internet has given the world many wonderful things, but it also introduced an element of chaos. And when I say chaos, I mean a scathing online review about your firm (that may or may not be valid) that’s posted in public where your potential clients can see it.
Fear not—you’ll be OK. It’s time for you to find your zen and craft an empathetic and professional reply that acknowledges the trouble the reviewer faced, offers an avenue to make it right, and then thanks them for their feedback. At the end of the day, these reviews can actually be very helpful in letting you know how to improve your business and pinpoint some issues that may be happening more often than you’d like.
You have now positioned yourself in the public eye as a firm that’s genuinely interested and concerned about all of your clients, not just the happy ones.
Step 4: Start a Blog
Content. Content. Content.
Position your law firm as a thought leader in your areas of practice and write content that speaks directly to your potential clients and, just as importantly, to Google. Creating more content for your site that’s relevant to what your potential clients are searching for directly translates into where you rank for relevant search results. There are other factors that affect your rankings, but content is among the most important.
Let’s say a potential client, we’ll call him Gary, was in a wreck last week. The driver who hit him was uninsured. Gary is at a loss about what legal action he should take and doesn’t know if he even has a case. To answer his questions, he turns to Google and asks for some advice. If you’re a personal injury attorney, you could craft a blog that explains Gary’s rights and a step-by-step guide to finding the help he needs to file a lawsuit to cover the damages. So when Gary searches for clarification, your blog could be the first one to pop up, which prompts him to click onto your website and potentially become a paying customer.
Consider the types of cases that generate the most revenue for your firm, research how consumers search for information about those practice areas, and craft your content strategy around the information you find!
Step 5: Hire a Marketing Firm
As cliché as it may sound, you have better things to be working on than creating a marketing strategy, monitoring your social engagement, and writing blog posts in your spare time on the weekends. Save yourself some time and energy and talk to one of our strategists about building a bulletproof strategy on managing your online reputation and drawing up a game plan to solidify your online presence. With several teams dedicated to each aspect of digital marketing, Search Influence has all hands on deck to craft the perfect strategy to make your positive online reviews more visible and create relevant blog topics that will have potential clients knocking on your digital doorstep. Start a conversation with one of our experts today.