Understanding How Much Reviews Matter to Your Law Firm

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Just a few shocking but 100% true statistics about online reviews.

You know that local SEO is hugely important to your law firm, and you know sites like Yelp and Facebook (including Facebook’s review feature) are important to that – but how much do reviews matter for law firms? It’s not like you’re a restaurant and your clients are making snap decisions about which firm is better than another, right?

That’s right to an extent – but wrong in that it assumes reviews don’t matter. The simple fact of the matter is, online reviews matter for lawyers and virtually every other type of business that deals directly with an end consumer.

In fact, because hiring a lawyer is such a big decision, customers may even put more time into reading lawyer and law firm reviews online than they would into reading shopping or restaurant reviews. Your potential clients know that they’ll be spending a good deal of money on and time with a lawyer, and they want to be sure it’s worth it.

What’s the upshot of all this?

It’s simple – but often harder to implement than it sounds: you need reviews. You need a lot of them, and they need to be overwhelmingly positive.

There are a lot of quick, unethical ways to get reviews for your law firm,  but the fact is that those methods very rarely pan out very well in the long term, and can often get you in big trouble with Google and/or the site hosting the reviews.

The best way to honestly and effectively get good reviews is to provide excellent service to each and every one of your clients and to make clients aware of your presence on review sites and how important reviews are to you.

You should particularly let clients know that you’re on Google Reviews, Yelp, and Facebook, as those are the three most frequently used and widely trusted review sites. Also, Google Reviews’ relationship with the rest of Google’s web properties may help boost your ranking in the SERPs directly, though there’s no way to definitively prove that Google prioritizes its own content. The evidence is there, though.

What if I lose a client’s case?

This is a particularly problematic situation that obviously affects lawyers and not the rest of the business owner population. However, here’s a quick and handy guide as to how to make sure you don’t get negative reviews when your firm inevitably loses cases.

  1. Always do your best for your clients and establish a meaningful personal connection with each of them.
  2. Do not overinflate client expectations or use unethical sales techniques to get clients to purchase your services if there is little hope you’ll win their case.
  3. Be sure to educate customers about the ins and outs of the legal system and the possibility of failure.
  4. Respond courteously to negative reviews on forums that allow you to do so – never defensively. Let your former clients know you’re fixing any problems they may have with your firm.
  5. Consider working with a reputation enhancement service if negative reviews get out of hand or start to impact your bottom line.