The Importance of Online Reviews for Attorneys

The Importance of Online Reviews for Attorneys

When was the last time you committed to a major purchase without seeking out feedback from a friend, a relative, or reviews on the internet? In today’s world, where everyone is connected and nearly anything you could ever want is a few mouse clicks or finger presses (and one day Amazon Prime shipping) away, we are surrounded by heart, star, thumbs up, and number ratings on nearly everything. Even your common everyday toothpick has hundreds of reviews on Amazon.com. So why should looking for a lawyer to help you with your legal issue be any different? Well, it isn’t, according to a study done by ReviewTrackers.com in 2015 that found that approximately 83% of people check lawyer reviews as their first step to finding an attorney.

What Are Online Reviews?

Reviews for an attorney or law firm can be any type of feedback, negative or positive, from current and former clients, or peers. Reviews can also be from potential clients where the review relates to a free or otherwise initial consultation. In days past, reviews may have been as simple as a former client recommending an attorney’s services to their friends and family. Today, anyone with internet access has a voice, and sometimes a really loud voice. These voices can be projected in the form of glowing (or scathing) reviews on sites like Google MyBusiness, Yelp, and Lawyers.com. These sites give someone the opportunity to describe and rate their experience with your law firm, that way anyone who may be looking for a lawyer for a similar case has an idea of which firms to consider and which to avoid.

Why Does Your Firm Need Online Reviews?

  • Reviews allow potential clients to get real feedback on your firm to determine if the firm would be a good fit for their needs.
    • Approximately 83% of people check lawyer reviews as the first step to finding an attorney, according to a report from Reviewtrackers.com
      • 70% of clients are willing to go to an attorney’s office in a less convenient location if that attorney has better reviews and higher ratings than legal professionals who are closer to home, according to the same Reviewtrackers.com report.
    • In a 2015 survey done by Bright Local with 2,354 participants (90% from the U.S) from the Local Consumer Panel, it was found that 92% read online reviews to determine whether a local business is a good business.
      • 40% of consumers form an opinion by reading 1-3 reviews and 73% have formed an opinion by the time they have read 6 reviews. This is an increase from 29% and 64% respectively since 2014.
      • 60% of consumers pay the most attention to overall star rating.
    • In a 2013 survey of 1,046 individuals conducted by Zendesk determined that positive reviews impacted 90% of the participant’s buying decisions.
    • In a study done in March 2015 of 1,000 Yelp Users it was determined that 60% of Yelp users primarily use the app to find reviews for a business as opposed to 40% who primarily use the app to find places near them, business details, or other.

How Can Your Firm Get More Reviews?

There are many ways to get clients to review your firm.

  1. In 2014 Forbes determined that providing an incentive to clients to leave any type of review, such as monthly giveaways raffled off to reviewers, is an effective way to encourage a review.
  2. Provide access directly from your website to review your firm.
  3. Update your email signatures with a direct link to your website directing email recipients to review your firm on your website.
  4. Hand out business cards with your website on them and ask your clients to review you on your site.
  5. Law firms should also let their clients know that the business can be found on common review sites by displaying signage at their place of business or on their website.
  6. Being active on Facebook allows for a firm to connect with former and current clients and also provides a place for them to leave a review.
  7. A newer method is adding a QR code onto business cards so clients can scan the code on their phone and be brought to a site such as Yelp.com or Google MyBusiness where they can leave a review.
  8. A law firm should also make sure that their Facebook, Google MyBusiness, Yelp, and Lawyers.com profiles are fully set up, verified, and linked to from their main website so clients can easily visit those pages and leave their own review.

Most importantly you want to provide current and prospective clients with a great experience. A client who has a great interaction with a law firm will be more likely to leave a review telling others how great of an experience they had with the firm.

2016-02-19 11:00:21

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