If you read the report that the most trusted and most popular website to find lawyer reviews is Yelp, you most likely did a double-take much like I did. According to a new survey by Software Advice, an Austin, Texas software research company, Super Lawyers, Avvo, and Martindale-Hubbell were much less trusted by people searching for legal representation. The survey included a random sample of U.S. adults, and researchers collected 385 unique responses to nine questions each, receiving a total of 3,465 responses.
The Managing Editor of Software Advice reported that Yelp is the most commonly used website to search for attorney reviews and that 61 percent of users in the company’s sample viewed Yelp as the most trustworthy. Additionally, 58 percent of respondents stated that Yelp is the first website they search when they are seeking an attorney.
This is surprising news considering that most consumers turn to the Internet to look for a lawyer. In fact, the new survey found that 83 percent of consumers use online review sites when they first set out to obtain legal representation.
What are Some Effective Marketing Tactics?
A smart tactic for law firms is to ask current clients to write reviews about their firms on the Internet. This might be after their case has been favorably settled or after the firm has had a positive in-person consultation with them. Keep in mind, however, that it may be in your best interest to only go this route if you are certain that a client has had a pleasant experience.
Yelp also allows you to emphasize the information that is most important to consumers who may be searching for you: the quality of the service you provide to your clients. This could include an attorney’s win/loss record and/or how well an attorney explains legal options to a client.
What Do Potential Clients Want?
According to the Software Advice survey, when asked what the most important information about an attorney’s quality of service, 33 percent of participants reported that how well the attorney explains their legal options to them is what matters most. Falling into second place, 27 percent of respondents are interested in the win/loss record of the attorney and his or her firm. Keep in mind, however, that those figures can be difficult to estimate and may even be misleading.
It is important to professionally respond to negative or damaging reviews to help to keep your total number of ratings high and positive. Most sites, including Yelp, allow law firms to publicly reply to negative comments in an attempt to remain fair and impartial to both parties.
Responsiveness is also an important part of building client relationships. It’s important to establish a rapid response policy for all client communication. Gender, age, education, and attorney certifications were items did not have a big impact on a client’s decision to choose one law firm over another.
The Software Advice survey also found that a whopping 70 percent of respondents admitted that they would consider traveling to a law firm in an inconvenient part of town if the attorney had better online reviews than one located closer to home. This certainly speaks volumes of the importance of positive reviews in attracting new clients.
Do You Want to Learn More about Our Services?
If you need help making this happen for you and your business, contact Black Fin today. We love to work with clients and see their businesses rise to the top of Google searches. Let us know if we can help by calling our CEO, Gerrid Smith, at 530-215-1159 or filling out our contact form today.