Subpoenaing all lawyers! Ways to attract more clients to your practice
In 2022, 78% of Internet users find professionals in various sectors through Google. All sectors of activity are affected, especially legal professionals who use the internet to differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive market. Online visibility is, therefore, a central issue for all law firms in search of new clients.
To adapt to new ways of searching for a professional online, Google has changed the method of how it works. Before, when people searched for a law firm on Google, it came directly to directories or websites of the bar association such as The Bar Council.
Today, when a user types in a search such as, “criminal lawyer Manchester ”, the results of Google My Business listings actually come up in the first results before the official sites. This definitely is convenient as people need to know quickly if you are the best lawyer to defend their interests. Digitising your law firm has become a necessity due to the utilisation of the internet in this society, it remains an important lever to acquire new clients….
In this article you will find answers to the following questions:
How to improve the visibility of your firm on Google?
How to make your online reputation a vector of attractiveness for your activity?
1. Create a Google My Business listing for your practice
What is a Google business listing? What is it for?
Google My Business listings are your law firm’s new digital storefront. Developed on Google and Google Maps, they appear every time a user makes a search based on their location or a searched location. For example, when someone types in “criminal lawyer London”, these are the Google establishment cards that appear in the first search results.
As you can see, a Google listing brings you a ton of visibility. In fact, on average, a Google listing is up to 30 times more visible than your website. Your listing will act as a first filter, but before clicking on your site, interested clients will want to know more about you. If they are convinced by the information on your page, they will go to your website to see your areas of expertise, and your fees and make an appointment with you. This shows the importance of having a Google page in addition to your website in order to attract more people to your practice!
What information should you include on your Google business listing?
As mentioned earlier, it is important to have complete and updated information so that people will want to use your services. If you don’t have a listing yet, here’s a list of the most important things to include when creating your Google page:
The name of your firm as well as your specialty, for example, “NAMEâŽœLabor Law”
Your category such as “Lawyer” or “Employment Lawyer”
The address of your firm
Your telephone number
Your website if you have one (optional)
Still, hesitating to create a Google listing? Creating your listing takes less than 10 minutes and is completely free!
2. Taking stock of your firm’s online reputation
Why is your online reputation a factor in the appeal of your practice?
Once you have created your profile, you should know that your reviews and average ratings are actually the elements that are mostly consulted by internet users. In this case, you’re aware that the people who call on your services are actually in an uncertain situation and need to be reassured in their choice.
If in the past, your reputation was based mainly on articles published in the press about the cases you had defended, today it’s different as the opinions left by your clients are the reference.
This is why 90% of them read reviews before choosing to make an appointment. Even if you have been recommended to clients by someone close to them, they must be sure that you’re the best to defend their case. Additionally, keep in mind that in your profession, your practice is usually in your name, so it’s also your reputation that’s at stake. Working on your electronic word-of-mouth (e-WoM) is then essential to bringing new clients to your firm.
How can you find out what your former clients think of you?
The first step in improving your online reputation is to take stock. It’s also important to know what your existing clients think of you in order to improve your services at the source.
You can do some research on yourself by typing your name and firm’s name in the Google search bar. With this, you can analyse the content and the sites that appear in the results.
Afterward, you can also do the same with the reviews that your clients have written on Google and perhaps on Facebook too if you have an account for your practice.
Take note of the positive remarks and strong points that your clients have made about your services, as well as any areas for improvement where they may not be satisfied. Is your appointment scheduling system not working? Are your waiting times too long? Analyse the negative points that come up frequently and try to solve the ones that seem the easiest and quickest to change.
Once you have assessed your online reputation, you can monitor what is being said about you in real-time to avoid a possible crisis. To do this, activate the notifications to be warned each time a user posts a review on your Google page. To go further, you can also create a Google Alert on the name of your firm to receive daily or weekly reports on the content that’s published about you.
Once this has been carried out, it is now time for you to implement corrective actions to effectively improve your online reputation!
3. Respond to existing reviews
Why is it important to respond to your customers’ reviews?
Firstly, to improve your electronic word-of-mouth you should respond to all your reviews. If you have reviews that were posted 3 years ago, or even more you should definitely respond to them as this will be seen by Google. With this, it’s notified to the algorithm that you are a trusted professional who is recommended by people.
Responding to your reviews also helps to retain your existing customers and encourage them to refer you to their friends and family. When you do respond to a customer, they are notified by email and your response helps them feel heard.
You should also know that when you reply to a review, you’re responding to a large audience. In fact, 90% of Internet users read at least 3 reviews before deciding to use your services. With this, it’s essential to respond to all reviews, especially when the comment is negative, and to give extra attention to your response before publishing it.
How to respond to a customer review?
Responding to a review can sometimes be complicated. To help you with this task, here’s a handy summary of our best advice.
In general, it’s important to respond within 72 hours of the review being published. This is the time frame recommended by Google and responding in time will show that you’re responsive and do care about your clients’ feedback. It’s also important to always thank your customer for the time they have spent giving you feedback, whether positive or negative.
In the case of negative reviews, the first thing to do is to play it down. It’s normal for any company that some customers are not satisfied. For confidential issues, it’s advisable to apologise and deal with the request privately by leaving your contact details (email address or telephone number) directly in your reply.
An important thing to remember is to avoid telling people who have left you a negative review that their comments can be taken to court, even if it will happen. Why? Because it may put off potential litigants from using your services.
Do you think that one of your colleagues has left you a negative review? Simply reply as if they were really a client of your firm. It will be possible to drown out the review among all the positive reviews left by your satisfied clients. But you still need to ask your clients for feedback.
4. Soliciting new reviews from your clients
Why ask your customers for reviews?
As mentioned above, to counterbalance any negative reviews you may have on your site, you must ask your satisfied customers to leave you a review. Why should you do this? Because people who have had a bad experience with you are more likely to leave a review than a satisfied customer.
Having new reviews regularly is also a visibility criterion for Google. Also, frequently collecting new feedback from customers on your page, gives more credibility to your company.
How to ask your customers for reviews?
Asking your clients to leave you reviews is essential to be well-positioned on Google. Like many lawyers, you may be reluctant to collect reviews from your clients.
To help you, here are 4 quick and easy ways to collect reviews from your clients, the objective being, to find the method that best suits your organisation.
Making an oral request
Firstly, simply ask your clients at the end of their case, if there is a possibility to leave you a review. This is a fairly straightforward method and the easiest to set up.
Use QR codes
Some customers may not know how to leave you a review. To make it easier for them, you can use QR codes that link directly to the review area of your listing. This method works well with lawyers and some do not hesitate to use their QR codes on their business cards.
At Partoo, we make it easy for you to generate your QR code to accompany your customers in submitting their reviews.
Send invitations by SMS
If you have the phone numbers of your customers, you can also send them an invitation by text message (with their consent) with a link to the review area of your Google listing. This is a very effective way of reminding your customers to leave you a review, as your customers might tend to forget if you only make a verbal request. In fact, one out of two customers leaves a review after receiving an SMS invitation.
Similar to the services provided with QR codes, Partoo offers another that allows you to create a personalised SMS invitation for your customers.
Invitation by email
Finally, you can also include the link to the notice in your email exchanges with your clients. This allows you to ask for advice without having to think about it.
To attract new clients to your firm it’s important to have a listing on Google My Business for your business in addition to your website. It is also necessary that your listing contains the most complete information possible to reassure Internet users and make them want to contact you.
Respond to all your reviews, positive or negative, to improve your electronic word-of-mouth and to gain visibility whilst also moving ahead of your peers in the search results. By regularly collecting reviews to help Google rank you in the top search results, leaving you with potential clients.
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