How to Accentuate the Positive and Eliminate the Negative in Online Reviews
Whoever coined the old adage about “sticks and stones” clearly never tried to build a law practice online. In the world of social media and online reviews, what people say, and what prospective clients read about you, can make or break your practice. A single negative review from a disgruntled client can bring your site traffic to a standstill. That’s one of the reasons it’s so important to monitor your online reputation and reviews and effectively manage what people see.
Do Online Reviews Really Matter?
Let’s look at a few statistics to understand just how important online reviews can be for your practice. In a study conducted by Business 2 Community, researchers found that:
- Nine out of 10 consumers reported reading at least one online review, and one in six read at least 10 reviews
- Nearly three-quarters (72%) said they had more trust in local businesses that had positive reviews
- A single negative review can disqualify you from consideration—86% said they opted not to do business with a company that had an unfavorable online review
It’s not just the perceptions that positive and negative reviews leave with prospective clients, though. Your online reviews can have an impact on your search engine optimization. Many directories base your rank within the directory on the number of favorable reviews you receive. Furthermore, better performance on some of those directories can improve your performance on the one that counts—Google.
Online reviews also offer:
- Credibility—Unlike the content you write and post on your site, online reviews offer the credibility that comes with impartiality (real or perceived).
- Exposure—Online reviews that can be shared across social media platforms and on various websites give you broader visibility online. Even a negative review can increase your brand identity, and can benefit you, based on how you respond to it.
- A way to differentiate your practice—It’s perhaps the most important question people have for you—why should I hire you instead of someone else, i.e., what makes you different? Reviews can highlight those unique characteristics, as seen by your clients.
Managing Your Online Reviews—The Power of Catalyst
Fortunately, there are specific steps you can take to protect and manage your online reviews. GetLegal.com’s Catalyst tool offers a state-of-the-art system for helping you put your best foot forward online:
- Catalyst allows you to monitor and collect online reviews from all major social media outlets, including Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, Avvo, Yelp, Angie’s List and Trip Advisor. Catalyst then distributes positive reviews of your practice to more than 140 million web users throughout the United States.
- With Catalyst, you can view all your online reviews together. You’ll get an e-mail every time a new review appears online and can accumulate all positive reviews on a single site. When you do that, the search value of that page will move up and you’ll appear higher in Google.
- Catalyst has a feature that automatically highlights positive reviews on your website as well as those on search engines and social media sites. Catalyst affords you the opportunity to challenge or even prevent false, misleading or intentionally harmful reviews from appearing on your website or certain social media sites.
- With Catalyst, you can generate an automatic request that goes directly to your clients, asking them to write and post a positive review of your services.
- Catalyst is mobile-friendly, allowing you to access information about your reviews through a mobile device.
- Catalyst will collect client e-mail addresses for future marketing or reputation management campaigns.
Let GetLegal.com Help You Enhance Your Online Reputation
At GetLegal.com, our Catalyst reputation management product offers a user-friendly way to ensure that potential clients have access to positive online reviews of your practice. To learn more about how we can enhance your firm’s online presence in 2018, call us at 844-GET-LEGAL or use our convenient online form.