The legal profession is a very competitive industry. Individuals have a wide range of firms they can hire to represent them. For this reason it is especially important that lawyers and legal service providers manage and monitor their reviews online. In this post we are going to take a look at the top layer review sites people consult when deciding who they will trust in their time of need.
Here are some extremely interesting and important facts that lawyers need to know about how their online reputation can effect their business acquisition. Monitoring your reviews is one of the biggest strategic advantages you can give your firm. It is amazing how few legal professionals take this important step seriously.
- 74% of potential clients begin a search online end up contacting the a law office via phone. (FindLaw U.S. Consumer Legal Needs Survey 2014)
- 96% of individuals seeking legal advice use a search engine and the most utilized is by far Google. (Google Consumer Survey, Nov 2013)
- 38% of people use the Internet to find an attorney or legal services. (FindLaw U.S. Consumer Legal Needs Survey 2014)
- 62% of searches on the topic of law services are non-branded, for example “Indianapolis criminal defense attorney”. (FindLaw U.S. Consumer Legal Needs Survey 2014)
- 74% of individuals visit a law firm’s website with the specific intent of taking action. (Google Legal Services Study Sept 2013)
- 25% of people researching legal topics will also perform at least one search on YouTube during the process. (YouTube Internal Data 2012)
- 69% of consumers will search on both a smartphone and a PC. (Google Legal Services Study Sept 2013)
- 31% of a law firm’s web traffic will come through mobile search (FindLaw Aggregated Hosted Site Data 2014)
- 71% of people who are seeking legal services are looking for a local firm. (FindLaw U.S. Consumer Legal Needs Survey 2014)
More Legal Facts and Statistics
If those facts were not convincing enough here is an infographic with event more
The Top Lawyer Review Sites
Now that we have made the case for how important a law firm’s online reputation is, let’s take a look at which websites are most utilized by people seeking legal services. You will see some of the usual suspects on this list but also some you may not have expected. We have also included traffic details and facts you probably don’t know.
Google My Business is what powers the Google listing that you see almost every time you look up a firm online. People at the very least will do a Google search to find directions to a business location. So even a potential client has received a personal referral and that is how they found you, if they look up directions and see bad reviews with anything less than a 4 out of 5 overall star rating, chances are they are going to look somewhere else.
There is a lot of debate between Google and the next site on our list, but we believe the search engine giant should be your main focus because they will ultimately be responsible for the bulk of your exposure. It is absolutely crucial that you monitor your reputation on Google My Business. You should respond to positive and negative reviews in a timely fashion. Thank individuals for positive ratings by writing a comment below their remarks. For any negative sentiment you should try and contact the individual, see if you can come to a resolution and then ask them to edit their review.
Most people think of Yelp as a restaurant and shopping website but it is also heavily utilized by consumers when searching for a law firm. It would be extremely foolish not to ensure that you are well represented on this site. With many different firms to choose from, the higher your average ratings and the more reviews you have, the higher your business listing will rank in their internal search results.
Avvo is the first platform on our list specifically dedicate to the legal profession. With over 1.7 million organic hits per month Avvo is an industry dominating force. Organic hits or organic traffic is the number of individuals who perform a search and click on that website’s result.
So if approximately 1,700,000 people are coming to their website each month, this is a huge opportunity for any firm to acquire new clients. That is just part of their traffic. We estimate that another 240,000 come directly to their website each month. As with any site on our list the key is to make sure your image and reputation is properly presented through a high number of positive reviews.
With average monthly organic traffic of 660,000 and overall traffic of 915,000 Lawyers.com comes in 4th on our list. This is another website specifically dedicated to the legal profession. The most important takeaway should be that people consult different websites and in many cases multiple different websites before they make a decision. For this reason you need to make sure your firm’s reputation is being presented the way it should be across the web.
Martindale rounds out our top 5. They have an incredible advanced search feature and algorithm. It gives a visitor many different options to drill down on their search. It seems their website caters to the visitor who is looking for corporate or more in-depth legal services. With 77,000 organic hits a month and approximately 260,000 overall visits, this directory is a must for any serious firm.
With the ever increasing competitive landscape of the legal profession it is more important than ever for lawyers and law firms to be aware of the top review websites and to actively monitor their online ratings and reviews. The sites we have outline can provide a huge boost to client acquisition. We will conclude this post with the infographic below. It shows all the different factors consumers and business consider when deciding on a lawyer or law firm.