We are going to do some research today. Just like we did previously, we are going to look at how our web presence stacks up against the competition. The next few days we will be focused on the online reviews.
Reviews are critically important for your web presence and especially for protecting your referrals. As we mentioned at the beginning of the challenge when someone receives your name from a friend or family member, they will most likely Google you.
Because someone provided a reference and support for your services as an attorney, you already have a leg up on the competition. When the prospective client Googles your name, your web presence can help support this personal testimonial—or it can hurt it.
When a referral searches for your name and the search return shows as many reviews as the figure below, what do you think will go through that person’s head? It will confirm everything they were told by their friend.
If you have a search result like this for your firm name, they may just call the number right there in the Google knowledge graph and not even visit your website.
One of the best ways to help the person who referred you is to have other happy clients ‘refer you’ online by leaving positive reviews on sites like Google, Facebook, Avvo, etc.
Testimonials from colleagues, from past clients, and recognition from the community in the form of awards or positive press are what we call “social proof”. You want this social proof coming up in the search engine results when searching for your name. Note: we also recommend having some of this on the home page of your website.
Today, we are not going to focus on getting reviews, we are going to size up the competition to see what effort is needed.
Download this “Reviews Inventory” spreadsheet and fill it out.
In the spreadsheet, you will add some of your competitors across the top. I recommend that you look not just at the competitors you feel are your general regions competition. Also look at your online competition. Search on some keyword phrases for your practice area and see who comes up toward the top of the page. If you see the same few firms always toward the top of page one, then add them to your spreadsheet.
First, let’s see where your firm stands. Google your firm name and your name and count the number of reviews for your firm’s Google My Business, Facebook page, Avvo, Yelp. Then if you see other review sites on the first page add those together in the other row and add some notes about them.
Once you have a list of competitors, do the same thing for each competitor. Hint, you can often start by going to their Google My Business profile and they will show the online reviews Google has found for that firm.
Now that you have a catalog of your competitors, your goal will be to get at least twice as many reviews on Google and at least as many on the rest of the review sites.
Tomorrow we will begin to discuss how to go about getting the reviews that you need.