The jury is in: a negative review will convince 94% of consumers to avoid a business. Online reputation management is the only way for family lawyers to suppress these negative reviews and have more prospective clients calling or emailing for a consultation.
By William Jones, Online Marketing Specialist
According to Legal Current, 59% of people say they have used online reviews when choosing a professional service provider, such as a lawyer or doctor. Nearly three-quarters (71%) of Millennials have used consumer reviews of professional services, along with nearly half (49% of Baby Boomers). The reputation of many businesses and individuals now relies on the exposure of online reviews.
Why Are Reviews Important for Reputation Management?
When your clients take the time to leave an online review, it shows other potential clients that your services are worth the time and effort of even leaving a review. Most of the time, people will only make reviews if you were either fantastic or horrible, but rarely in-between.
Suppressing the effects of negative reviews by either responding to or removing them is just one part of reputation management. Still, it is just as important as every other aspect because of the way search engines consider reviews when ranking links for listings.
Approximately 83% of people check lawyer reviews as the first step to finding a lawyer. People trust reviews and understand that if the majority of the reviews for an attorney are positive, they will have the most luck with them over attorneys that have poor ratings.
Avvo.com provides an extensive directory on all types of attorneys, from adoption attorneys to sex crime attorneys. Users of the directory can find lawyers in their area by searching for their location on the home page. A search will pull up related lawyers. They can also conduct a search based on the type of attorney.
Each lawyer listing on an Avvo search has the necessary contact information for getting in touch, the number of years they have been licensed, an Avvo Rating, and access to reviews from former clients. The user can click on “Reviews” to see all reviews from clients with their star ratings, plus endorsements from other attorneys.
An attorney’s review management can start with review directories like this because they provide access to numerous client reviews.
FindLaw.com is another online lawyer directory. FindLaw has a more specific search feature than other online directories because the user must choose a type of lawyer after finding their location. This feature makes it more likely for clients to find lesser-known lawyers.
To remove reviews on your FindLaw profile for copyright infringement purposes, you can contact FindLaw’s registered agent (details in their terms of service). The agent may remove or block access to the infringing material based on the information you provide them.
Online defamation could be a reason to remove a review as well since the case would result in a court order for removal. Online defamation defines the act of ruining someone’s reputation through the use of false statements posted online. Some cases of online defamation are very serious.
The legal consumer is more likely to research lawyers online than to seek a referral from a friend or family member. Fifty-three percent of all consumers who go online to resolve their legal issues are also researching lawyers online; 45% of who get a lawyer referral from friends or family also research lawyers online. And while online, they are comparing lawyer credentials, experience, ratings, and reviews.
Consumers look at every aspect of a lawyer’s profile information in online directories such as Martindale-Hubbell. They want to know what type of experience a lawyer has and how highly clients talk about them after dealing with legal issues. To most people, the reviews of past clients are indicative of their current service quality.
Avvo.com, which we previously mentioned, is a consumer website that is part of Martindale. They also have Lawyers.com reviews and Nolo.com under them.
Martindale-Hubbell is a global network; for consumers, this is a prominent online directory they’re likely to check out when searching for a lawyer. If you are a lawyer, make sure to get your name listed in their directory if it is not already.
The reason why it is important to recognize the size and outreach of this website is that it could contribute to your online reputation as a lawyer. Any type of exposure, as long as it is positive, will have some impact on your reputation and status.
Online Reputation Management for Lawyers
To manage your online reputation, the best way to save time is to use an online reputation management service, which handles all aspects of your online reputation by:
- Creating a positive online identity.
- Removing negative results on search engines.
- Optimizing content.
- Fighting online defamation.
- Defending against smear campaigns.
You can also use online reputation management services for your entire firm. If you have a law firm with multiple lawyers, the service can work on the online reputation of each one as well as the reputation of the law firm.
Social Media and Lawyers
Two-thirds of consumers surveyed said they would be more likely to hire a lawyer with online reviews. This is especially true for younger consumers, as an overwhelming 81% of Millennials (age 18 to 35) are more inclined to hire lawyers with online reviews. A majority of Baby Boomers (age 55 to 70) feel the same way.
As you may well know, millennials are constantly on social media. In fact, most generations are because of the level of communication it provides. This means that social media is where you want a good portion of your focus to lie concerning your online reputation. Attorney reputation management can happen across all online platforms. Social media and attorneys play hand in hand.
Online Reputation Management Suppresses Negative Reviews
Negative reviews have convinced 94% of consumers to avoid a business. Attorney online reputation management is the sole way to suppress these negative reviews and get your business back on track with finding clients.
William Jones is an online marketing specialist and consultant with more than 15 years of experience in marketing. His expertise in marketing includes website design, email marketing, SEO, blogging, PPC, social media marketing, and reputation management for businesses. www.reputationrhino.com
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