How To Get Reviews for Law Firm
Getting client reviews is one of the most important – and inexpensive – things you can do to turbocharge your online marketing efforts. Clients listen to other clients when it comes to choosing a lawyer. They want to know about the quality of your legal services, and they want to hear whether you were successful in representing your clients.
Consider these important statistics about online reviews:
- 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
- 8 in 10 consumers consult online reviews when choosing a local business.
- 52% of 18- to 52-year-olds said they “always” read online reviews.
- Web pages with customer reviews are 5 times more likely to convert a user into a purchaser.
- Consumers are willing to spend 31% more money with businesses that have “excellent” reviews.
- 92% of consumers will use a local business that has at least a 4-star review.
With these kinds of convincing statistics, your law firm can’t afford to be haphazard or lackluster where getting reviews is concerned. So, how to get reviews for your law firm? Read on and find out.
Getting Reviews for Law Firm
Getting reviews from happy clients is not as hard as you may think. An inspired 67% of consumers report being asked by a business to post a review. Nearly half of internet users worldwide post online reviews at least once a month, according to GlobalWebIndex. Generally, satisfied clients are happy to spend a couple of minutes writing a review for your law firm. You just have to remember to ask.
The most important location for clients to post reviews is Google My Business (GMB), but throw into the mix other sites like Avvo, Facebook, and Yelp!. Clients can also post reviews on your law firm website. Strike while the iron is hot to maximize your chances of receiving a prompt and glowing review!
4 Tips: How to Ask for Reviews for Law Firm
You may feel a bit awkward and wonder exactly how to ask a client for a review without sounding like you’re tooting your own horn. Here are some tactics to consider:
- Don’t get too serious when asking for a review, thereby causing a client to feel like they must write a novel and make every sentence perfect. Reassure them that a few sentences will do and a conversational tone in their writing is great. It’s more important that you get the review than it is for the writing to be of Pulitzer Prize quality.
- When the client stops in your office to pick up the final check and shake your hand, look him or her in the eye and tell them how important a review would be to you. Appeal to them as a person and emphasize the human connection.
- In a final meeting, prep the client that an online request will be coming their way in the next few days which will provide a link where they can leave a review. The easier and more effortless the process, the more likely the client is to write a review. If your firm needs assistance setting up an automated review request, ask our team at Gladiator for help. We provide this service.
- Stagger getting client reviews – perhaps 2 or 3 reviews a month. If you dump a bunch of reviews online all at once, you run the risk of Google’s thinking that they are spam. Google can choose not to publish a review, and that decision is often permanent.
Responding to Online Reviews
It’s also important to respond to reviews after you receive them. BrightLocal research shows that, among consumers who read reviews, 97% read businesses’ responses to reviews. Actively responding demonstrates that you care about what clients have to say. It’s a two-way line of communication that online users have come to expect.
Keep in mind, too, that responses should be meaningful and personalized. There’s nothing worse than reading responses that are obviously automated and, therefore, sometimes off point. Automated responses also sound impersonal and phony. This is a turn-off for readers, especially if the same three automated responses turn up multiple times. It takes a little elbow grease and accountability for someone in your office to be responsible for monitoring reviews and responding, but, boy, is it worth it!
A word about negative reviews …
According to ReviewTracker, 53% of consumers expect a business to respond to their own negative reviews within a week. The worst thing you can do is ignore negative reviews. The second worst thing you can do is respond defensively. You can read our Gladiator tutorial on responding to negative reviews to get some tips on how to do this strategically.
Negative reviews are no laughing matter. You must take them seriously. Consider these statistics:
- A study by Invesp found that one negative review can cost a business 30 customers.
- 3 is the minimum star rating of a business that consumers will consider engaging with.
- 4 out of 5 consumers changed their minds about a recommended purchase after reading negative online reviews.
Dilution is key to handling negative reviews. The more reviews you get, the less any one bad review matters when it comes to your overall average star rating. Think of it this way — if you have two 5-star reviews and one 1-star review, then your average is a little over 3 stars. But if you have 15 5-star reviews and one 1-star review, then the bad review barely moves the needle. Your overall rating still hovers close to 5. That one negative review gets lost in the crowd with all those other great reviews. The best time to prepare for a bad client review is before it happens. A steady, continual appeal for client reviews day-in, day-out will keep you in good stead for the day when the other shoe drops. Minimize the effect of a bad review by getting lots of excellent reviews.
Prioritize Getting Reviews from Clients
Generally, reviews don’t just happen. Yes, it’s nice when a satisfied client spontaneously posts a positive review, but most of the time, reviews get posted because businesses ask for them. Create an online form that makes it practically effortless for clients to click on GMB, Yelp!, Avvo or another platform to start writing a review. On average, a 1-star increase in your reviews will result in a 5% – 9% increase in your revenues. Great reviews are worth their weight in gold – literally.
Don’t Buy Fake Reviews
Fake reviews are a bad idea. Period. There are lots of firms out there who will generate fake positive reviews – for a price — to allegedly boost your online marketing performance. Be wary. This may sound like a time-saving shortcut, but savvy online consumers are adept at sniffing out fake reviews, and when they see them, they recoil and move on. Google is also pretty good at figuring out fake reviews, and they won’t increase your SERP ranking like authentic positive reviews will. If a large number of reviews are posted from the same location, this can trigger suspicion that the reviews aren’t natural.
TIP: GOOGLE, ESPECIALLY, LOOKS FOR PATTERNS IN THE TIMING AND LOCATION OF REVIEWS.
Google Makes Reviews a Ranking Factor
Not only does it feel great to get a good review – an extra pep in your step and a new feather in your cap – but it’s also smart business. Google algorithms pay close attention to reviews (especially those on GMB), and these reviews factor into your firm’s Google ranking. Several good reviews can make the difference between whether your or your competitor’s name pops up at the top of a Google search. Also, the more visits you can generate to your law firm’s Google My Business (GMB) site, the better. Multiple client reviews on GMB can enhance your local SEO and boost your firm’s visibility. Reviews can win your law firm that all-important “click,” which could make a million-dollar case land at your doorstep.
IT CANNOT BE OVEREMPHASIZED HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO GMB AND GOOGLE RANKINGS TO CONTINUALLY SEEK CLIENT REVIEWS!
Cumulative client reviews also add to the authority of your firm. Have you ever heard of E.A.T.? E.A.T. stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness, which are key indicators of how worthy and credible your law firm appears in the eyes of potential clients. Positive reviews can contribute to your perceived expertise, authority and trustworthiness and tip the scales in your favor when a potential client is choosing between you and another law firm. Google tracks this information, too. It wants to provide users with information supplied by vetted sources.
A Brief Wrap-Up
Never overlook the opportunity to ask for a client review. It seems hard to believe that something so simple could make such a big difference to your brand, BUT IT DOES! When you think about it, what could be better than something that is quick and free when it comes to powerfully marketing your law firm? When seen in that light, positive client reviews are a no-brainer. Just remember these tips:
- Timing is everything. Ask when your client is happy, at the close of their case.
- One to four sentences are all that’s necessary.
- Ask the client to mention the practice area (divorce, car accident, etc.).
- Ask that they describe what makes your firm worthy of their recommendation.
- Mention that they could state their case outcome — settlement dollar amount or jury award — if they are willing.
- Don’t forget to respond online to every client review you receive, whether it’s a good review or a bad one.
Our Gladiator Law Marketing professionals would be glad to offer insights about how to get reviews for your law firm. To find out more about how we can help, contact us at 888-683-3212
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