Having positive reviews about your legal practice is becoming increasingly important in the decision-making process of would-be clients. According to the individuals over at FormStack, 83% of consumers report that they no longer trust advertisements, but do trust the validity of user reviews. Our friends over at Fan & Fuel recently conducted a survey on the importance of customer reviews and shared these statistics with us:
- 92% of consumers hesitate to make a purchase if there are no customer reviews
- 97% say customer reviews factor into their buying decisions
- 73% say written reviews make more of an impression on them than star/number ratings
- 94% typically read written reviews
- 35% say one negative review can make them decide not to buy
It’s exceedingly obvious that people place a great deal of importance on reviews. The real question, then, is where should we be asking our clients to leave their precious reviews?
Unless a client is already inclined to leave a review, you’re going to have to get into the habit of asking for online reviews. That being said, you don’t want to alienate your clients by burdening them with posting their review on multiple channels. Whether you choose Facebook, Yelp, Google+, or LinkedIn — and we’ll get into which is best in the next paragraph — you need to be specific about where they should post. If you don’t, you’ll have reviews all over the place that don’t add much clout, annoying your client in the process by asking them to post multiple reviews. So, choose a medium and stick with it.
How to Choose
Oftentimes we like to push the platform we are most comfortable with in our personal lives. That’s why it might be tempting to ask customers for Facebook, Yelp, or LinkedIn reviews, because that’s where we spend a lot of our social media time. While there’s nothing wrong with having reviews on these channels, they simply won’t generate the level of traffic that Google+ will.
First and foremost, the majority of your potential clients will be using Google to search for attorneys and legal practices, and the reviews that come up in a Google search will more than likely be the first ones they stumble upon. Beyond that, Google makes posting a review an incredibly simple task, much more so than the other platforms. When you click on any Google business result, the “write a review” button is prominent and hard to miss.
The reasons for not choosing the other platforms mentioned above are numerous, but we’ll outline our main complaint of each:
Quite simply, most users aren’t looking at LinkedIn to find an attorney for hire. Most users report spending time on LinkedIn reconnecting with colleagues, consuming business media, and searching for jobs or employees.
Facebook is rarely used to find and compare services, but instead is a place to keep the conversation going after a legitimate relationship has been established. Even finding reviews requires a few navigational clicks.
As is becoming common knowledge, Yelp is known as being somewhat disingenuous in its’ review system. Which reviews will show up to a visitor is directly related to the user who posted the review in the first place, not anything your business can do or control. For example, a user who has posted dozens of reviews will see their post higher in the results than users with less activity.
Putting Reviews to Work
The effectiveness of your Google+ reviews will hinge primarily on the cleanness of your Google+ page and search results. One of the main services we offer at LegalRev is directory management; that is, making sure all of your business information — including addresses, phone numbers, hours of operation, etc. — are correct and up-to-date across the web. If you aren’t sure how or where you’re showing up online, call us today at (800) 893-2590 to learn how we can help you rank higher and put those good reviews to work for your firm.