Strategies for Enhancing Your Online Credibility
There's no question that online reviews can have a significant impact on any business, including a law practice. Studies show that the vast majority (84%) of online consumers look at online reviews before making a decision to purchase goods or services. 88% of people surveyed said they have decided not to do business with a company after reading a negative review. An amazing 94% said they would opt to do business with one party over another based on the mere quantity of reviews!
There are other good reasons to pay close attention to your online reviews and reputation:
- Reviews can affect your rating in Google–Google uses a formula, which takes into account your online reviews, to calculate the average rating of your business. It’s pretty simple–the more favorable reviews you have, the higher your Google average rating.
- Your Google rating affects your ranking–Google and other search engines use data called "review signals" as part of the algorithm for determining search engine results page (SERP) rankings. Two of the most important review signals are the number of reviews and how recently they were posted. One study found nearly three-quarters (69%) of consumers believe reviews older than 90 days are no longer relevant. Also, if you don't have many recent customer reviews, search engines tend to rank you lower in "near me" type searches.
- Positive reviews correlate directly with increased revenue–A survey by Reputation.com found that negative reviews have a more direct impact on profits. A 150-point increase in reputation led to a six-percent increase in revenue, but the same decrease (150 points) caused a drop of more than double that amount (13%).
What You Want in an Online Reputation Management Tool
Let's face it–you need to be online to build your practice, and it’s inevitable that someone will post something derogatory at some point. Furthermore, you need to focus on your practice, not on managing what others might say about you online. While there are strategies you can employ–responding promptly to clients, avoiding unnecessary confrontations, carefully setting expectations–you still can face unfair criticism from someone who didn’t listen or just has an axe to grind. Here's what you want in an effective online reputation management tool:
- You want a product that has the ability to monitor and obtain reviews from all major social media, directory, and online review sites, including Facebook, Google, Avvo, Yelp, Yahoo, Twitter, and Angie's List.
- Ideally, you want a tool that lets you consolidate and manage all reviews on a single platform, and that provides you with notice whenever a new review has been posted online.
- You want a program that allows your customers to post reviews using a mobile device, so you get immediate benefits from positive recommendations.
- You want a tool that automatically determines whether a review is positive or negative, and that allows you to quickly remove or prevent inaccurate or misleading reviews from appearing on your site or elsewhere online.
- You want a tool that automatically sends a request to your clients asking for a positive review.
- You want the ability to collect client email addresses for future marketing or other efforts.
GetLegal–A Comprehensive Online Marketing Resource for Attorneys
At GetLegal, we are proud to offer the Catalyst™ online reputation management tool for our clients. We can help you collect and monitor all online reviews, consolidating them in a single place. We also can help you implement tools that will generate a greater number of positive reviews from your clients. For more information about the broad range of online marketing services we offer, call us at 877-359-7077 or use our convenient online form.