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Why Online Reviews Are Key to Your Law Firm's Success

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If you want your law firm to attract more leads, you need to establish credibility and trust among your potential clients. And one of the most effective ways to do this is through online review platforms that showcase what you’ve done for the people you’ve represented in the past.

Websites such as Yelp, Avvo, and Facebook are frequented by people searching for attorneys online. If your law firm doesn’t have a presence on these platforms (and others like it), you could be losing out on valuable cases. To effectively build your online reputation, keep the following points in mind.

There’s No Such Thing As Too Many Reviews

Believe it or not, having no online reviews can have the same effect as having a few bad ones. Think of it like your credit score. Without some sort of credit history, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any lender willing to give you a loan. The same is true of people looking for online reviews about your practice. If they can’t find any feedback from past clients, they’ll be far less likely to identify you as a credible lawyer they can trust with their case.

This can be a problem for lawyers just starting their practice – and even for seasoned attorneys who’ve simply never invested resources into building an online presence. However, it’s never too late – or too early – to start building a portfolio of online reviews. And we have a few tips to help you get the ball rolling:

  • Don’t be afraid to ask satisfied clients to leave a review – if they’re happy with your services, they’ll usually be more than willing to oblige.
  • Make it easy for your clients to leave a review – send them a link directly to the review website so they don’t have to go searching for the right platform to use.
  • Timing is everything – wait until the case is closed to ask for a review (a client who is satisfied with their overall experience will be better able to leave a glowing review than a new client who doesn’t know a whole lot about you).

How to Battle Bad Reviews

The battle of a bad review is one that all practicing lawyers will face at least once in their careers. It’s important to keep in mind that this is not a death sentence. When handled correctly, a bad review will be nothing more than a blip on the radar.

Tips for dealing with a negative review:

  • Respond quickly – and cautiously. Don’t sit on a bad review and hope it will go away. It won’t. In fact, one of the biggest myths of the web is that reviews can be removed. Unless the nature of the review is defamatory, you can’t remove a review from the web. Instead of investing your efforts into getting the review taken down (why waste your time?), consider responding to the review with a polite, professional response such as, “Thank you for the valuable feedback. I’d appreciate the opportunity to speak with you about your experience in person. If you’re open to it, please contact me at your earliest convenience.”
  • Don’t be a keyboard warrior. Responding defensively to a negative online review won’t fix anything. In fact, it could make the situation worse. If you did nothing wrong to warrant the bad review, you have nothing to defend – and in situations like this, a defensive response could be interpreted as an elaborate way to cover up a wrongdoing.
  • Try to see the good in a bad review. For some people, a sea of glowing reviews about your law firm could actually spark feelings of skepticism. When you have no bad reviews, some people might become suspicious that your ratings are manufactured rather than coming from real clients. Although ironic, a negative review could actually help establish your law firm as real, credible, and trustworthy.

Online reputation management is an important aspect of any online marketing campaign, and it’s one we emphasize heavily at Scorpion.

For a more in-depth look at how to manage your law firm's online reviews, download this free guide.