Do you display recommendations on your law firm website?
Have you been actively collecting recommendations and reviews from happy clients?
Have you been keeping an eye on your online reputation?
If you haven’t been thinking about the importance of recommendations and reviews of your law firm, it’s time to start.
How do law firm reviews and recommendations affect your business?
A growing number of potential clients read and trust online reviews and recommendations. That number is likely to continue increasing in the future. Choosing an attorney is a significant and complex decision that can have real effects for your potential client.
According to a recent BrightLocal survey, 84 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. It’s a striking figure by itself, but particularly for the fact that a potential client will likely read (and trust) the reviews and recommendations of total strangers.
The same study found that 74 percent of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more, and 90 percent of consumers will read fewer than 10 reviews before they’ve formed an opinion about a business.
Some attorneys who don’t yet have any reviews may think that reputation management isn’t important. Having no reviews and having negative reviews can be two different things. But it’s reasonable to believe that when you have no reviews, just as when you have negative reviews, a potential client still forms an opinion.
Potential clients expect to find reviews about your firm online. If they can’t find any, they may be frustrated. They may look to a competitor who is well reviewed. Between an attorney who has no reviews and one who has amassed a number of positive reviews, a potential client is likely to gravitate toward those positive reviews.
Your reputation is your number one asset. Here are some of the best ways to harness the power of recommendations and positive reviews for your firm.
Display recommendations on your law firm’s website.
If you have good recommendations from happy former clients, display them on your law firm’s website. They’re important points of proof.
When potential clients and referral sources are trying to determine if you’ll do a good job for them, they’ll want to see if you’ve done a good job for others in the past.
Good technology helps you easily showcase recommendations that convert potential clients. LawLytics creates an optimized display of your recommendations and lets you drag-and-drop your recommendations in the order you choose. If you have multiple websites, you can choose which sites to publish recommendations to.
An example image of our recommendations engine.
When you display recommendations, be sure they have enough context to help your potential clients understand why the recommendation is meaningful.
Sometimes, recommendations can be vague. Without the necessary context, a potential client may not understand how scared or frustrated the former client was, or how hard you worked to achieve the outcome.
So if you’ve received a nice but vague recommendation (“Attorney John Smith did a great job for me!”) explain the situation surrounding the recommendation to help web visitors understand why that recommendation carries weight.
Use good reputation management tools.
Recommendations on your site are just one part of the online reputation equation.
You may have a great reputation on your own website. But consider the places outside of your website where potential clients will look for information about you. If your reputation is damaged outside of your website, then your web presence isn’t optimal. And, as you might imagine, negative reviews can hurt your business. Other places where a potential client might find reviews include:
But those aren’t the only sites. There are more and more sites to pay attention to every year. It’s a huge undertaking for any busy lawyer. And, it’s a job that’s dangerous to delegate to a non-lawyer for both logistical and ethical reasons.
You’ll want a strong reputation on your own website. But you’ll also want to reinforce your positive reputation on the third-party sites you don’t own or control. Give your potential clients a consistent experience, no matter where they look for information about you.
The LawLytics system includes a built-in recommendations engine that allows you to add reviews in just a few clicks. It creates dedicated pages for each review. It also creates an index that lets potential clients see reviews that are most relevant to them. It gives you complete control over which reviews to display. These recommendations are an important part of your website, but they don’t reach beyond your website.
That’s where good reputation management tools come in.
We recommend using reputation management tools like BirdEye to manage your reputation effectively outside of the things that you own or control.
BirdEye does three important things to help busy attorneys stay on top of their online reputations:
- Reviews Management. BirdEye monitors reviews from all the top review sites so you’ll know when a new review has been written about you and it lets you interact with those sites in convenient ways.
- Positive Review Distribution. It helps you display your best reviews in ways that get you noticed and reinforces the positive narrative about your firm and your work.
- Get New Reviews. BirdEye helps you get more reviews with less risk and without cutting into your productivity.
I’ll write more about the benefits of using a reputation management tool like BirdEye in the coming weeks. But, if you’re interested in learning more, check out our on-demand webinar about BirdEye For Lawyers.
Don’t wait to collect recommendations and reviews for your law firm.
Your online reputation means business. If your firm lacks reviews and recommendations, it can be as problematic as having negative reviews. Attorneys should build a strong reputation and provide a consistent message to potential clients, no matter where they find information about you. If you haven’t started to collect and display online recommendations and reviews, 2017 is a great time to start.
When you’re able to take what your happy clients are saying to their friends and family and harness it on your law firm’s website, you’ll likely see a positive effect on your firm’s business. Start taking the time to collect recommendations and reviews from happy former clients.
Good technology to collect these recommendations and reviews makes the process easier. It shouldn’t cut into your overall productivity, and, a lot of times, the process of collecting and publishing those reviews can be baked right into what you do on an everyday basis.
Do you want to learn more about successful online legal marketing? Curious about our BirdEye reputation management add-on? Let’s talk. Call us at 800-713-0161 or schedule a consultation with us.