After spending years working on your reputation, imagine waking up one day to a bad review written by one of your former clients. This negative review is posted on a popular site for everyone to see. As frustrating as it sounds, this happens to the best lawyers and law firms in the industry. The worst thing is when you have bad reviews and lack good ones to show that you’re capable of offering a reliable service. Of course, most customers will compare the number of good reviews on your profile versus the bad ones. If the good outweigh the bad, you have little to worry about. Contrary to this, you need to start working on a law firm review strategy.
Can reviews help in SEO?
Having studied the impact of reviews for law firms and SEO, we understand the weight that this kind of content could have on your law firm website ranking. Websites like Avvo.com favor listings that have a substantial number of reviews from their clients. This is because your potential clients will look for reviews when making a decision whether to hire your legal services. In a market that is overwhelmingly crowded, it’s important to take advantage of the different ways available to generate client traffic and enhance trust in your brand. Reviews can do this and so much more.
Unfortunately, reviews can be misused by malicious parties such as spammers, robots, and competitors who want to spoil your name. We’ll take a closer look at how to get good reviews, whether they mean anything for your clients and how to manage your online reputation as a law firm should such a situation arise.
Can you really trust Avvo.com reviews?
Avvo.com allows any user to post comments and reviews on different lawyers’ listings. This means that anyone can write an unfair summary about your law firm or legal services with some malicious intent. It’s easy for you to generate misleading reviews about your brand that could ultimately ruin your reputation. It’s hard to prove that a review is dishonest for Avvo to take it down.
Do your potential clients care about Avvo reviews?
For most people looking for legal services on the web, checking review sites is a must. Your potential clients are looking for an indication that you have reliable services. For instance, some clients may look into reviews to determine if the lawyer they are about to hire charges reasonably and also has extensive skill and experience in the field.
Your potential clients are looking for good lawyers who know how to treat their clients with respect. These are some of the concerns that your potential clients are looking to address when they read reviews on sites like Avvo. They want to know if you will keep your word, show up for meetings on time, maintain an open communication line and remain transparent throughout the case. Clients want to find out if you truly possess the skills to handle the area of law they need assistance with.
They read reviews to help them stay away from the wrong attorneys by taking into account other people’s experiences. Some of the reviews may be spam or dishonest but most of these clients don’t care about that. While they do understand that a few negative reviews need not be taken seriously, if there is a consensus then it carries a lot of weight. For instance, if more than 5 clients complain about a particular aspect of your legal service, such as exorbitant legal fees, other users would assume that there is some truth to it and would, therefore, keep off.
Tips to get more reviews for your law firm
Depending on your state laws, you can request clients to leave testimonials after completion of your services. You can use this content not only on the review sites but also other marketing platforms such as on TV and radio. Avvo makes it easy for you to get reviews from your clients by offering a built-in review service. Using this service, Avvo sends an email automatically to a maximum of 50 clients requesting them to review you.
You can also try a more personable approach to get reviews on Avvo. Approach your clients directly and ask them to review you. This may require you to follow up a lot more times. Just remember to always remain professional and respectful when requesting clients for a testimonial or review. Respect the client’s time and confidentiality.
How to handle negative reviews
You are likely to get a bad review sooner or later and the worst you can do is to ignore it. If you get a bad review of your law firm or legal services, there are two ways to go about it. You can choose to dispute the review if you doubt its source. When the review is in the dispute process, it doesn’t show on your profile. The other option is to respond to the negative review. Be very careful when responding to bad reviews and try not to make it appear as if you’re trying to shift blame. Trying to argue with the client may seem argumentative and unprofessional. This could actually raise some ethical questions that impact on your reputation. Offer the client an opportunity to reach out to you in order to address their concerns. Probably the best way to respond to a negative review is to work on building a profile with lots of positive reviews. Your clients will notice if the positive reviews outweigh the negative ones. Furthermore, negative reviews don’t affect your Avvo rating.
Ask your peers to review your profile
Avvo allows lawyers to review each other. This means that fellow practitioners can post reviews on your law firm so long as they have an Avvo account. If you have a network that is very active on Avvo, you can take advantage of this to increase the number of positive reviews you have on the platform. Make sure posting reviews is allowed in your state. Some states like South Carolina prohibit registering for sites like Avvo in the first place.
Whether you’ve noticed a rise in negative reviews on your Avvo profile or you need help having the right kind of reviews, we can help. We can help you to strategically market your law firm by taking advantage of reviews. Get in touch with us today.