In today’s increasingly digitized world, online reputation is the key to running a successful local business like a law firm. One of the best ways to improve the online reputation of your law firm, especially in local search results, is to garner as many positive client reviews as possible.
Although it’s difficult to ask clients for reviews, they can be the thing that persuades a consumer to choose your services. According to Brightlocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey 2019, 90% of consumers used the internet to find a local business in the last year, with 33% looking every day. It also stated that 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, with 52% of 18-54-year-olds saying they ‘always’ read reviews.
Besides, legal matters often involve handling confidential and sensitive information, making it crucial to find a trustworthy attorney. That’s where genuine customer reviews come in. They allow users to find trustworthy lawyers quickly, making them vital in SEO services for lawyers.
Read on to know how your law firm will benefit from client reviews and how you can collect them.
1. Benefits of Genuine Client Reviews
You can think of customer reviews as digital word-of-mouth. Besides building a positive brand image, they can offer you the following two benefits –
a. GMB Reviews Increase Your Search Rankings
While a lot of factors are involved in improving your search result ranking, client reviews play an equally critical role as well. They render your law firm practice trustworthiness and authority in the digital realm. It takes approximately ten reviews before an average consumer considers a local business trustworthy.
Google depends on genuine client reviews to determine how well your local business is doing. That, in turn, determines your local search ranking. So, Google views genuine reviews as an endorsement of trust and satisfaction, helping your firm to rank higher in local searches.
b. Local Review Sites Can Boost Your Ranking Too
Most users go to local attorneys review sites such as Avvo, Justia, Lawyers.com, and FindLaw to read and post reviews. Posting your up-to-date business information and responding to the client reviews on these websites can help you boost your local search engine ranking too, a vital part of lawyer SEO.
They also increase your chances of acquiring new leads. For example, according to Avvo, attorneys with at least three reviews on their website earn 15X more connections from potential clients. So, you need to have a strong presence on these websites as well.
2. How to Do It
While reviews can help you rank better in local search results, gathering them can be a challenge. However, there are a few effective methods to gather valuable feedback from new clients.
a. Asking Is the Best Policy
The best and the most efficient way to collect reviews is to ask the clients directly. While review sites such as Yelp discourage you from asking clients for reviews, Google allows you to ask clients for reviews. These online reviews appear next to your Google My Business (GMB) listings in the maps and the knowledge panels in search results.
However, you must collect these reviews ethically. Violating Google’s terms and conditions can result in penalties, which may lead to taking your GMB listing down. Also, it is unprofessional to ask for solicited reviews. In other words, you should not offer discounts, fee waivers, gifts, money, or anything else in exchange for a review.
Email outreach is often the best alternative to ask your customers for a review. Make sure to ask for the review right after your services have concluded. It makes sense to ask for a review while they are excited and happy with your services. Write a simple, crisp, and to-the-point email with a direct link to add a review to your GMB listing or company website or any third-party review site like Avvo.
b. Follow up Ethically
Although you have sent the email promptly, chances are most customers won’t even read your email, let alone share their feedback. So, you will need to follow up with the clients that don’t respond to your review requests.
However, you must follow up ethically. Don’t offer anything in exchange for a review. Also, limit your follow-up to 2-3 emails only. If this follow-up fails to nudge your customers, they are either not interested in sharing their testimonial, or they are not happy with your services. You can give them a phone call to find out what the case is.
If the review is positive, you can ask the customer’s permission to share it on your firm’s websites, adding a boost to your lawyer SEO marketing strategy. However, if the feedback is negative, you need to trade very carefully.
Your Search for a Law Firm Marketing Agency Ends Here
As you can see, lawyers can’t underestimate the importance of online reviews. However, you need an expert law firm SEO marketing agency to help you gather the best reviews and put them to good use. Fortunately, Gorilla Webtactics is where your search ends. We are a full-service law firm marketing agency specializing in search engine optimization (SEO) for law firms. Call us today at (612) 470-9877 or contact us online to discuss your SEO needs in detail.