Estates & Elder Law: How to Fix the Hole in Your On-line Reputation
With all the time and expense elder law attorneys spend on their web site, blog and social media, surprisingly, one major factor has been overlooked. Clients saying nothing online is analogous to the incident in the Sherlock Holmes short story Silver Blaze, where ‘the dog did nothing in the night time’.
Scotland Yard Detective: “Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”
Sherlock: “To the curious incident of the client(s) online.”
Detective: “The client(s) did nothing online”.
Sherlock: “That is the curious incident”.
No reviews by your clients in Google and other key search sites is the ‘absence of an expected fact’. Great lawyers should have great online reviews, yet a quick bit of research shows otherwise.
To see how well elder law attorneys are rated, I searched Certified Elder Law Attorneys, CELA’s, in two states. In Massachusetts I found 24 Certified Elder Law Attorneys. I then searched Google for ‘Elder Law attorney in (each of their cities), MA’ to see how they ranked. Just one firm had seven reviews, four had one each, and 19 Masssachussetts CELA’s had ‘Zero’ client reviews in Google. In California of the 30 CELA’s, one firm had 9 Google reviews, one firm had three reviews, one had two review, five had 1 review and 22 California CELA’s had ‘Zero’ client reveiws in Google.
So 41 or 54 CELA’s has ZERO Google reviews.
CELA attorneys are the best of the best, yet, someone searching online would not get that impression. Aren’t great client reviews to be expected?
You should know that search sites place increasing weight on client reviews. Google states in their online help specifically how good, frequent reviews affect ‘prominence’ and ‘relevance’ and will improve your ranking in search results. A Google star rating, which helps differentiate you from others, is also tied to the number of your reviews in Google. Click the following to learn the minimum number required and what Google help files say about reviews. http://bit.ly/Google_About_Reviews .
The Good News: It is relatively easy to correct your online reputation. Small changes to your internal client processing and systems can have a large impact on obtaining reviews. Also, new technology facilitates how clients provide online reviews. Web services may now aggregate your reviews from Google, AVVO, Lawyers.com, Yelp, Facebook, etc. and display them on a scrolling window on your website. Reviews may also be further leveraged through syndication to your social media. You may see sample screens and info at http://premiersoftware.com/how-naela-members-can-best-manage-their-online-reputation/
Regardless of how contacts reach you, they increasingly (50-90%) investigate you online before moving forward. Just as retail consumer shopping habits have changed, so too have the consumers of Legal services. Searches for Cyber Monday now exceed searches for Black Friday. However, whether it is bricks or clicks you need to provide proper motivation and who better to do that than your highly satisfied, recent clients.
A good first step is to obtain a quick and free online business scan to assess your online status. This will determine how many reviews you have online. It will also show if you need to claim or clean up online directory listings, an important housekeeping task to prevent your search results from being diluted. Let us help you to learn more about new technology and how other firms are beginning to leverage the power of certified online client reviews.
Thank you for your attention I hope you have found this helpful.
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