Online Reviews: Do They Really Matter to Law Firms?

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Online Reviews: Do They Really Matter to Law Firms?

March 22, 2017 - 12:40
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The law profession is hyper-competitive, there is no question. When looking up attorneys in some directory or in an online search, every town will have more than one attorney or law firm practicing there, and this is especially true in the areas of personal injury and criminal defense.

The Marketing Struggle

When you are in an uber-competitive market like law, it can often be hard to find that niche that will appeal to the largest number of potential clients, or to find that niche that your competitors don’t have cornered so you can both survive and compete regularly. Often, though, what keeps a law firm going is the word-of-mouth marketing, where your firm gives great service and your clients recommend you to others they may know who might need some legal help.

And especially if you are early in your practice, you likely find yourself spending more time marketing your business than actually practicing your practice. Sometimes, word-of-mouth marketing takes a little time to take hold, so you often need second and third options in your marketing efforts.

Digital Window Shopping

Nowadays, thanks to the convenience of the Internet and mobile computers like smartphones and tablets, consumers are doing much more window and comparison shopping than they used to before computers came around.  Word-of-mouth has taken on a whole new form - online customer reviews. Whether it’s through Amazon or Yelp or any of your favorite stores with an online presence, the online reviews are a valuable tool for many consumers – so much so, that a recent survey said that as a law yet, you should jump on board.

One survey of customers’ online shopping habits revealed that five in six people (83 percent) look to online reviews of attorneys before choosing an attorney or firm to hire. In addition, it was revealed that seven in 10 people surveyed said they would hire an attorney in a less convenient location if that lawyer has better ratings than those who are closer to home.

Think about yourself when you shop online. When you go to Amazon and are looking to buy something, don’t you use customer reviews to compare comparable products and find the one that seems to be the best fit for your needs?

Now replace you with a potential client of yours, and replace the item you are shopping for with your law firm, or any law firm. Can you see how reviews and testimonials can be vital, especially if the survey findings apply across the board with products and services?

Fill Your Window Display

Law firms don’t usually set up shop in a shopping mall or strip mall where big front windows can showcase the latest products that are being sold. Law firms are about services, which are often hard to put out front.

But your website or your Yelp listing can serve as your front window for your practice, especially if you have an online presence. Chances are much of your traffic and interest (or lack of it) comes from your online presence (or lack of it). And considering how much stock people seem to put into online reviews before making purchasing or hiring decisions, the value of online reviews in setting your practice apart from the competition can’t be underestimated.

Randall F. Rogers is a personal injury lawyer that practices in the small suburb of Marietta, outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Originally working at a large firm, he left to work on his own, so he could work closely with individuals and help them seek justice. When not walking to and from the court house, he can be seen discussing gardening with the community or reading a book from his favorite author Henry David Thoreau.