When potential clients turn to the internet to find an attorney, reputation of the law firm or lawyer is an important step in the decision-making process. These days, information is so easily accessible it’s essential that you control every aspect of your brand that you can or you may miss out on new business.
It’s so prevalent, that according to a recent study from Adweek, 93% of millennials say they rely on consumer reviews before making a purchase.
These purchases represent physical items that are bought in a store, so you can imagine this is amplified when someone is making a decision as important as hiring an attorney. But do you know how your reputation looks online?
Go ahead and Google yourself or your firm name with the word “reviews” at the end and see what comes up. Do you see star ratings? Do you see client reviews? Are these all 5 stars?
If the top three results that come up do not show 4-5 stars in search results, you have some work to do to increase your reputation.
(Pictured: an example of a search result when searching for Andy Gillin Reviews).
The good news is that there are steps you can take today which will help improve your overall reputation today and they’re not as hard as you think. Here are five things you can start doing today:
1. Get Google reviews from former happy clients
Chances are that if you were told to think of happy clients your firm had in the past you could name a few. It doesn’t matter if you worked with these clients 1 month ago or 10 years ago, if they were truly happy they’re a candidate.
The goal here is to get reviews on your Google My Business listing for your firm (pictured below in Google search results).
Start by curating a list of the happiest clients. Once you have this list have the person who worked with them the most during the process call them up and ask them if they wouldn’t mind leaving a review based on the positive experience they had with you firm.
Nine times out of ten they will say yes and you can follow this up with a quick email that includes a direct link to leave a review on your Google My Business Listing.
You can use this handy review generator we created for Gmail users here.
2. Increase your Avvo rating today
Have you checked your score on Avvo.com recently? Avvo typically ranks for attorney name based searches and it generates a lot of it’s own business when people are searching with keywords like “best lawyers in San Diego”, etc.
The Avvo.com scores are based on a 10 point scale. If your Avvo score isn’t a 10 you have some work to do. No worries though, here are some ways you can raise your score today:
- Fill out your profile 100%. Check the progress bar and make sure it’s 100% complete.
- Get peer endorsements. Having 3 peer endorsements from lawyers whom you have “worked together on a matter” with will raise your score by an average of 1 point.
- Ask clients to review you on Avvo. Reach out to happy clients again and ask them to review as a lawyer on the Avvo.com platform.
3. Get reviews where they matter most
While Google and Avvo ratings are important you also need to focus your attention towards the areas that are the most important for your firm. To do this, simply Google your firm name or your name + attorney and see what results come up. Maybe you’ll find Yelp or even the state bar. If these rank in the top few results these should be your focus areas for improving your reputation online.
4. Add review rich snippets to your website
Typically when you Google a firm name or attorney name you will also see the firm website or attorney bio page on the website rank highly. If this is the case you can increase your click through rates for these searches by adding review stars visible in the search results. If we look at the example we used earlier you will notice that these Google Organic results display stars.
These stars are displayed in organic search results because they’re using the Schema reviews. To get these working for you simply use our handy generator to create the code and have your webmaster put this with an actual client review on your attorney bio page.
5. Reserve Social Profiles
Whether or not you use social media profiles a great way to control your brand is to scoop up the most appropriate social media profiles and fill them out completely. These will typically end up ranking and if you contribute to the platforms that’s better!
Focus on these social networks first:
- Google +
If you decide to start posting on these make sure the message you post represents your brand.
Wrapping It All Up
As an attorney, it’s very important that you control your brand at all times. If you want to know what the internet is saying about you I suggest you set up a Google Alert with quotations around your name or your business name and have the results emailed to you. This way you can see what people are saying about you as Google finds it.
Keeping a good pulse on your business by monitoring mentions and reviews is the next step you need to effectively control your brand after you’ve completed the basics above.
Casey Meraz is the founder of Juris Digital & Ethical SEO Consulting and has over 10 years of experience helping clients in Organic and Local search. Casey offers personal SEO audits, consultations, classes, strategies, and training services. If you have a question about SEO, need some advice, or want to bounce an idea off him feel free to reach out to him. Follow Casey on Twitter @caseymeraz