When you think of online reviews, the site Yelp may come to mind. With over 67 million local reviews, it’s become quite popular for everything from dining to auto repair. But did you know that it’s also highly revered for its reviews of law firms and legal practices? Using Yelp for lawyer reviews is somewhat of an industry secret.
The popular review site gets an average of 139 million unique visitors every month and a significant portion of those visitors are in search of a lawyer. The survey, conducted by the company Software Advice, found that Yelp was more popular for legal reviews than even the sites Avvo and Super Lawyers who are dedicated exclusively to attorney reviews! From a total of 3,465 participants, the results illustrated the following:
Yelp for Lawyer Reviews
Most TrustedYelp-61% Martindale-Hubbell- 20% Avvo-8%
Most Popular for Attorney ReviewsYelp-58% Super Lawyers-20% Martindale-Hubbell-14% Avvo-8%
How to Leverage Yelp for Lawyer Reviews
To leverage Yelp for lawyer reviews, keep the following points in mind:
- First of all, you need to make sure your Yelp info is up-to-date and accurate. Potential clients can’t reach out to you if your phone number is wrong or address is misspelled.
- Having a strong online presence can help you gain new clients.
- A negative review can hurt your overall score so pay attention to client satisfaction.
Sprucing Up Your Yelp Profile
When a visitor initially lands on you Yelp profile they may be looking for contact information, your address, hours, description, etc. For that reason, it’s crucial that all your information is accurate and reflects your office in the best light possible. Including a link with directions or a satellite map can be useful for those who are unfamiliar with the area. This is especially useful if they’re visiting from out of town or even out-of-state. Adding quality images of your firm’s attorneys are helps put a face to the name and establishes credibility. Double check the following:
- Name and Category
- Address and Phone Number
- Website Link
- Quality Images
**If you haven’t claimed ownership of your businesses on Yelp, make it a priority right away.
Encourage Clients to Leave a Review
After wrapping up a case with a favorable end result, it may be worth it to encourage your client to leave a review on your Yelp site. They don’t have to disclose any information regarding the case specifically but can comment on things like your professional demeanor, attention to detail, or any other qualities that may entice a visitor to retain your firm. Respond to Comments When Appropriate You may at one point or another encounter a negative review. In this scenario your first course of action to be resolve the issue, if possible. Then respond in a public way that reassures the reader that your firm is doing their best to address the matter. On the flipside, it can hurt to address positive reviews either and express your appreciation for the comment. “An effective way to increase your online review presence is to ask current clients to leave reviews for you. Consider asking clients to leave a review after you’ve had a positive in-person consultation with them, or after their case has been favorably settled.” –Chantelle Wallace, Software Advice Managing Editor
What the Survey Also Indicated
Software Advice’s other research found:
- 48% of people considered the quality of service and years of legal experience as the foremost factors when reading reviews on law firms and attorneys. Basically play up your strong suits. That means if you have a lawyer with many years of experience (and accolades) in the industry, it’s best to highlight it in your Yelp profile.
- 70% of clients were will to travel long distances or commute if the firm had higher rating than those closer to home. So that means you shouldn’t limit your target audience to those strictly in your area. Branch out.
- 83% said checking online reviews was their first step in selecting a lawyer.
The same study showed that clients want a law firm to clearly explain their legal options. This includes the win/loss record and how cases are settled.
Maximize Positive Reviews
Social media sites
Promotional materials or brochures
Reviews can also be used during team trainings or firm meetings. Especially if a negative review was posted on a review site, it’s important to get to the bottom of it and take account of ways it can be prevented in the future. If a positive review is shared amongst the team, it can increase morale and motivate employees. Reviews are useful all around!
Addressing Negative Reviews
- Apologize for the customer’s dissatisfaction
- Take proactive measures to resolve the issue
- Use it as a training marker for employees and throughout goal setting
Potential clients want to see that your firm is not only professional but will go above and beyond to satisfy your needs if you retain them. Often, they only have reviews to judge you off of so it’s really important to carry the same level of professionalism online as you would in a face to face encounter.
Going Beyond Yelp for lawyer Reviews
Using Yelp for lawyer reviews is a great start but the work doesn’t end there. It’s necessary to get your business claimed and listed on as many review sites as possible that way anyone can find you no matter which platform they’re using. Above all, make sure your information is correct and depicts the firm in the best light.
Free Yelp Tools
Yelp provides a free suite of tools to showcase your business and connect with the community. Through the customer analytics, you can track visitor engagement and also customer leads from your business page. By measuring these analytics you’ll have a better understanding of the impact that the review site has on your business as well as ways to improve client acquisition.