While it is important to focus on law firm SEO for your legal website, you also need to underscore the importance of lawyer reputation management. This is crucial, as website visitors also read your reviews – comments that may also affect the bounce rates on your site.
Lawyer Reputation Management: Why It Matters
According to one article in Inc. Magazine, one negative comment can engender a “mudslide” of bad press. The article states that about 86% of people who see this type of barb will look elsewhere for business or legal assistance. Moreover, if a person has a negative experience at a firm, they’re more likely to write a bad review. Therefore, your use of a lawyer’s reputation management strategy is crucial to your continuing success.
Moreover, if a client is unhappy, research shows that there’s a 91% chance they won’t return to your practice. The White House Office of Consumer Affairs says that unhappy clients, on average, share their bad customer service experiences with 9 out of every 15 people while a lower percentage may tell 20 people or more about an unpleasant event.
Some Startling Revelations
Here is where lawyer reputation management can help. According to Customer Service Manager (CSM) online, researchers have discovered the following:
- To make up for 1 negative client experience, you need to provide 12 positive service activities.
- About 70% of clients who complain will do business with your law firm once more if the complaint is resolved in their favor.
- As many as 95% of complaining customers will do business with you again if the complaint is handled and resolved immediately.
Therefore, you simply cannot sit by and twiddle your thumbs if something negative happens that involves a client. Time is of the essence if you want to prevent a bad outcome. If an adverse experience incites a client to write a negative review, it can take quite a while to fix. In the meantime, you’ll suffer – both financially and professionally.
Referrals and Reputation Management
This leads us to look at yet another reason to focus on reputation management – referrals.
According to the website, Above the Law, 62% of consumers state they got legal referrals from family and friends and 31% admit they received legal referrals from other lawyers. About 37% of the people searched online and about 28% of searchers found referrals through legal directories.
Referrals from TV ads or online ads (about 13% each), radio ads (7%), and billboard advertising (6%) carried much less influence.
Because people do rely on social media for friends-and-family referrals, you cannot let your reputation slowly disintegrate. This can happen easily if you don’t focus on reputation management.
Therefore, you need to partner with a digital marketing agency that keenly understands law firm SEO and the dynamics of lawyer reputation management. You cannot have one without the other. They go together like salt and pepper.
What Lawyer Reputation Management Covers
Reputation management covers three essential areas for lawyers:
- Client reviews
- Your firm’s Google My Business (GMB) account
- Your legal firm’s listings online
Responding to and Managing Client Reviews
Again, a bad online review can quash your digital marketing efforts and law firm SEO strategy, so you cannot ignore it. It’s hard to convince people who see a bad review that you mean what you say. So, you have to make sure that any negative comments are addressed right away.
While you may host a great website design, follow SEO’s guidelines to perfection, and feature ads that grab plenty of attention, a bad review can quickly change everything.. Perhaps you’ve demonstrated thought leadership through videos, podcasts, and blogs. However, all those efforts disappear when customers see negative comments and, worse yet, one-star reviews.
That is why you need to respond to negative comments quickly, resolve difficulties without delay, and stay focused on giving your clients the utmost in customer care.
Increasing Your Influence with GMB
Lawyer reputation management also allows you to focus on optimizing your firm’s standing through Google My Business (GMB). Using GBM for your local connections allows you to show up in a large number of searches locally.
For example, these search results usually result from commercial-based searches using a niche keyword + “your city” format. For example, people in your area may look up “best personal injury attorney Seattle,” or “top divorce lawyer New York City.” Naturally, using words such as “best” and “top” support how you appear locally to others online.
To get this type of response, you need to set up a GMB listing, typing in your law firm’s name and address before agreeing to the Terms of Service. For reputation management purposes, you need to build out your listings on GMB by establishing your NAP – name, address, and profile, all of which should be consistent.
In addition, you’ll need to include your website address, legal category, relevant videos, and photos, and areas of practice.
Add Citations in Targeted Directories
Next, add citations or add your legal firm and contact details to online directories relevant to your industry.
Target the directories with a high Domain Authority. When soliciting local reviews, only do so from individuals who’ve used your legal services. Work with your digital marketing firm so you can increase your visibility and stand locally.
Who to Contact for Lawyer Reputation Management Services
To receive expert advice in legal SEO and lawyer reputation management, contact your one go-to advisor in the digital marketing field. Call SEO Expert Danny now at (213) 322-0770.