Why should I develop a plan to drive Google Reviews for my law firm?
Google reviews, along with Facebook and other online platforms, provide an opportunity for consumers to share their thoughts on your product or services. And, whether you like it or not, they will share the good, the bad and the ugly.
What you’re looking for is “the good”. But as the saying goes, if it was good, they’ll tell a mate and if it was bad, they’ll tell the world. And they can, literally, tell the world now, with the advent of internet.
Research shows that, in 2017, 84% of people trusted online reviews. That’s huge in anyone’s books.
If you search for a lawyer (in all it’s shapes and forms; type of law, location, experience etc), your results will likely show very few reviews for the most part. So now’s the time!
Get ahead of the mark with online reviews
It’s highly unlikely for a law firm, that your clients would as a matter of course, hop online and give you a positive review. Even your most happy and delighted clients are unlikely to consider this.
It’s not that they’ve actively considered it and decided against it; it’s just not on the radar. So, you need to give them a little prod.
You’re the ones talking to, meeting with, working with your clients every single day. You know who loves you and who doesn’t.
Once you’ve got the attention of your client, you’ve shared your experience and expertise and the relationship is solid and trusting, why aren’t you asking for an online review? Well you’re not alone, and that’s in your favour… today.
For many firms, particularly plaintiff, your clients are searching online for a lawyer. When they enter their search terms, they’ll often be served up a list of law firms via what Google calls “local search”. They’ll get a list of law firms in their area and that list will show location and…. yes, reviews.
It will show the average “star” rating and, importantly, how many reviews that rating is achieved from. The star rating is important but the number of ratings is most important.
So we don’t put anyone in the spotlight here, below is a Google search screen shot of local dentists.
They all have 4.5 or 5 stars – pretty good. But one in particular, has 8 reviews where one only has 1 review. Which one do you think you might call first?
Do reviews affect how you rate in Google searches?
Reviews are a strong signal of authority of your site/services, to search engines and they need to form part of your overall SEO strategy.
How should my Google reviews plan look?
It does not have to be War & Peace.
You need a policy within your firm to ensure all your staff are aware that your firm drives attribution of positive online reviews. It’s not as simple as writing a policy and putting it on your intranet. (Does that actually work for any of your policies). You need to write it, explain it, share it with staff and then, constantly remind them. This is not a set and forget.
Some staff may find it difficult to ask for a review. You could draft a script for them to use, either verbally or in writing. If it’s verbal, always follow it up with an email because the URL to your Google reviews can be complex and it’s much easier if you just send your client a hyperlink, directly to your review page.
If your client said they’d do a review for you, monitor that they did. If your review doesn’t appear within two weeks, contact your client to see if they had a problem doing the review.
As your reviews come rolling in, celebrate them with your staff. This will encourage staff who have not yet participated, that it’s a great feeling to be publicly acknowledged for the good you do.
Whether you get a positive or negative review, respond to them all and, respond in a timely manner. If it’s a negative review, remember your response will be fully publicly available; craft it carefully and try not to be defensive, personal, or too detailed.
Once you’ve received a number of positive reviews, you can use this information to promote on your website and your social media channels.
And there you have it. One of the easiest, and most rewarding ways to drive your client and staff engagement and build your business that little bit more.
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