Yelp is the most trusted online review site for lawyers. This powerful statement comes from a recent survey by Software Advice (an online evaluation company for legal software) that shows how prospective clients use online review sites before hiring a lawyer. Other notable findings:
- 58% of individuals surveyed would turn to Yelp first to find and/or research a lawyer.
- The most important information to prospective clients is quality of service and years of legal experience.
- 70% of prospective clients will travel further to see an attorney with better online reviews.
Most Popular Online Review Sites for Lawyers
Not surprisingly, Martindale-Hubbell and Super Lawyers were much less trusted and used by individuals seeking an attorney, perhaps due to the recent changes in corporate structure and slowness in adapting to modern digital times. One finding that did surprise us was the relatively few number of people surveyed who turned to Avvo (8%) for background information on an attorney. This could be a result of the manner in which the individual searches — using an attorneys name (Avvo will rank highly in search results for a specific attorney) versus blindly searching for an attorney in a practice area (not Avvo’s niche and where organic SEO campaigns are effective). This study focused on blind searches (aka practice area).
As we already know, in our web-based world it’s more important than ever for a lawyer’s online presence to sparkle. With 3 out of 4 individuals looking to hire an attorney starting their process online, your web presence is their first impression and will often dictate whether or not you even get the call to discuss services.
What Qualities in a Lawyer are Most Important to a Prospective Client?
When it comes to the type of information clients look for when visiting online legal review sites, 48% of sample respondents cited the quality of service provided as most important. It is crucial that you encourage clients to share their experiences with you on the various online review sites. Client testimonials are also a powerful marketing tool to be included on a lawyer’s website. Keep in mind the various professional rules of conduct relating to the use of client testimonials.
Of course, a lawyer’s overall ratings score (i.e. four out of five stars) was also important, with 38% of prospective clients ranking this among the most essential information they look for on reviews sites.
At WebPresence, Esq., we stay on top of our clients online presence. This means taking a proactive, strategic public relations approach that is search engine friendly, professional, and appealing to the appropriate demographic (prospective client, journalist, referral source, strategic partner, or the like). There is no one-size-fits all campaign for enhancing a lawyer’s online presence, or managing negative reviews. For a customized campaign that is unique to your practice, contact us today.
And if you are faced with negative online reviews, read this post to learn how to appropriately respond.
For more information on managing negative online reviews, or to discuss building on your current web presence, reach out to the expert legal marketing team at WebPresence, Esq. for a free consultation.
Images courtesy of Software Advice.