Chances are you didn’t have a course in law school about asking for client reviews. However, in today’s world, reviews have become the standard we look to before making any decision. We want to know more about the product or service before committing valuable time and money.
Reviews provide insight from a client’s perspective. Ratings signal whether or not your service is worth exploring. When combined, ratings and reviews make up a key component of your Local SEO strategy.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a marketing tool for optimizing your firm’s digital presence for local searches. Simply put, it’s how clients in your geographic area find your firm.
When a client uses Google to search for specific attributes, say a divorce attorney in Boston, Google’s algorithm returns results to meet their needs. If your firm has a solid digital presence and meets a client’s search criteria, you can top the list in the search results.
How do reviews and ratings impact Local SEO?
Semrush—a marketing insights tool—asked this very question and conducted a study analyzing Local Pack results in Google Maps, Desktop, and Mobile.
Here are some of the key takeaways:
- 91% of people read reviews, and 84% trust them as much as a friend’s recommendation
- the average number of reviews for a listing had a significantly stronger impact on its performance
- that average rating affects the placement for the first three positions
Google clearly states the three main ranking factors for a Google My Business profile are relevance, prominence, and distance.
The Semrush study found that approximately 72% of ranked listings were within a two-mile radius, with 20% of ranked listings up to 10 miles away. So distance is a significant contributor to ranking higher on search results.
Additionally, the study found that the median number of reviews corresponds to the position of a listing. Not surprisingly, the top listings had the highest median number of reviews; therefore, the number of reviews does, in fact, have an impact on firms’ list position.
So what’s the takeaway?
Reviews are a crucial component of local online visibility.
Encouraging clients to review your legal services isn’t an easy task. If you’re new to this process, it can be downright daunting, if not slightly uncomfortable. Not to worry, there are many ways to get reviews.
If asking for client reviews is not part of your current process, it should be. Here are a few techniques your firm can use to encourage clients to leave you a five-star review:
– Just ask. Ask your client directly and then follow up with instructions via email or text. Make it as easy as possible for your clients to leave a review on specific reviews sites like Google. You can even include a link that takes clients to your preferred review sites. You’ll be surprised by how many clients are willing and happy to leave you a review.
– Automate the ask with a service like AttorneyConnect to help you get reviews, manage reviews, and promote them across the search engines, social media, and influential review websites.
– Create a review landing page on your site and provide instructions on how to leave reviews to make it as easy as possible for your clients.
You don’t need a marketing degree to understand the importance of client reviews. The best way to boost your firm’s local SEO rank, attract more business, and positively transform your law practice is to get more client reviews.