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The Transformation of Attorney Referrals – From Word of Mouth to Online Reviews

People no longer have just one lawyer handle all their affairs, whether it be the negotiation of a prenuptial agreement, purchase of a home, review of a business contract, filing for bankruptcy, or preparing a complex estate plan. There are two reasons for this. First, as the law has gotten increasingly complex, lawyers have begun to specialize. A real estate lawyer would think twice before representing a client in a complex immigration matter, at least if they wanted to keep their malpractice insurance premiums reasonable. Second, our mobile society means that people don’t form the same kind of business relationships they did in the past, which most often lead to word of mouth referrals.

Today when a legal problem arises, people open their computers to search for information about their legal issue and for lawyers who specifically have experience handling that type of case. Accordingly, fewer people rely solely on the recommendation of a friend and instead use the information published on the web to support their own research. One of the most influential data sources referenced online are client reviews. Perspective clients use the Internet to identify those lawyers who successfully and zealously represent their clients and avoid any lawyer who may be seen as less effective and attentive to the client’s case, whether that assessment is fair or not.

Online Reviews Are the Personal Recommendations of the 21st Century

The simple fact is that 92% of people looking for a service, consult internet reviews to find their vendor.  More importantly, 71% of those consumers start their comparison shopping by perusing Google reviews. Because so many people rely on Google reviews, it is considered one of the most trusted sources of information on the web. If you have a law practice, you must have a presence on Google reviews to grow and prosper.

Furthermore, quantity and regularity does matter. One glowing review is not going to convince anyone, especially the cynics who will think that your best friend wrote it. It is important to receive authentic reviews from actual clients on a regular and continual basis. Potential clients will correctly assume that you personally do not have the time or wherewithal to commission all those positive reviews and conclude that you must be as good as your former clients claim.

You may wonder how many reviews is enough. The answer is that you must have more than your competitors. Potential clients are probably uncomfortable about hiring a lawyer since a pressing legal issue always brings stress with it. Even happy occasions, such as the purchase of a home or the adoption of a child, are life-changing events that can be unsettling. Drafting a will can uncover family tensions, and a divorce is always extremely difficult. Having numerous positive online reviews can give your clients confidence in choosing you. That confidence is a strong foundation on which you can build the trust essential to a strong attorney-client relationship and in the end, another positive review.

Finally, once you’ve started generating reviews, your firm will obtain better visibility on all search engines. The numbers don’t lie: online reviews significantly influence Google’s search ranking factors. The equation is simple: the more reviews you have, the more potential clients will see your website.

Increase Your Online Presence

Don’t worry if you have no idea how to increase the number of reviews of your law practice. That’s our job at AttorneyConnect.  We are experts in online marketing and work exclusively with attorneys and law firms. If you would like to see what review marketing could do for your firm, give us a call and schedule your demo.

 

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