Your law firm may not have a website …. but that doesn’t mean you aren’t on the internet. From message boards to consumer review sites to online directories, there’s a strong likelihood your law firm has a digital presence. Why not get out in front of it and control potential customers’ first impressions of your law firm? Learn why reputation matters and how a web presence can bolster your reputation while delivering leads 24/7.
Why Your Online Reputation Matters
If you search for your law firm online, what will you find? Will a hurt client who lost their case badmouth you on a consumer review site? Will your name come up with positive reviews when someone searches for law firms in your town on a website like Yelp? If your law firm is not coming up in search results, are your competitors the ones being mentioned with praise? If so, you can bet that potential clients are calling them before they are calling you.
Ninety percent of customers conduct digital due diligence when looking for service providers. They read online reviews before visiting a business or contacting an attorney about their legal need. This means most of your potential clients are researching you before they call.
The majority of consumers trust online reviews as much as they would trust a referral from a neighbor or friend. A positive review increases trust in the business for 74 percent of people.
Just as there are benefits to having a great reputation online, there are consequences if your online presence is a negative one. If one of the articles on the first page of search results contains a bad review of your law firm, you could lose up to 22 percent of potential new clients. This doubles if there are two bad reviews on the first page of search results.
As the data shows, a poor online reputation comes with steep costs.
One of the easiest ways to combat negative reviews and court positive ones is to take charge of your digital reputation with a website that also directs leads to your law firm.
Take Charge of Your Web Presence
These days, your law firm needs a website to be competitive, even if you practice a niche area of law. A website also provides marketing and online reputation management benefits, so you’re perceived positively by potential customers.
A simple website can list the services you offer, explain how they help clients, and offer a profile for each attorney at your firm. A more comprehensive website can include blog posts that explain how the law works — for instance, how your state handles child custody in family law cases — to educate potential clients.
When you create high-quality content, you will demonstrate the value you can deliver when someone hires you. This can increase trust and consumer confidence before a lead calls to discuss their case with you.
You’ll also generate more content that will pop up when a potential customer searches for lawyers in your practice area (i.e., “divorce lawyers in Spokane”). The more regularly you blog, the more search results will appear for your law firm — not your competition.
Your firm will have an online presence whether or not you contribute to it. By actively curating your law firm’s web presence with the help of a digital marketing firm, you can avoid penalties, ensure a steady stream of new leads, and increase trust and confidence before potential clients retain you to handle their legal affairs.