Legal Marketing 101

Local SEO: Part 4: Reviews, Reviews Reviews

May 13, 2024 Rosen Advertising Season 3 Episode 17
Local SEO: Part 4: Reviews, Reviews Reviews
Legal Marketing 101
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Legal Marketing 101
Local SEO: Part 4: Reviews, Reviews Reviews
May 13, 2024 Season 3 Episode 17
Rosen Advertising

Local SEO: Part 4: Leveraging the Power of Client Reviews in Local SEO

Imagine your firm rising to the top of search results, not just by the number but by the sheer power of authentic, quality testimonials. In this final installment of our local SEO series, we dissect how Google's algorithms interpret the credibility and trustworthiness of your business through your clients' words.

Visit: Legal Marketing 101 Youtube

For more, visit rosenadvertising.com

Brought to you by: ThumbsUp Survey

Support the Show.

Show Notes Transcript

Local SEO: Part 4: Leveraging the Power of Client Reviews in Local SEO

Imagine your firm rising to the top of search results, not just by the number but by the sheer power of authentic, quality testimonials. In this final installment of our local SEO series, we dissect how Google's algorithms interpret the credibility and trustworthiness of your business through your clients' words.

Visit: Legal Marketing 101 Youtube

For more, visit rosenadvertising.com

Brought to you by: ThumbsUp Survey

Support the Show.

Speaker 1:

This episode of Legal Marketing 101 is brought to you by Thumbs Up Survey. Build better online surveys faster with Thumbs Up Survey. Mention Legal Marketing 101 when you request access to the beta at thumbsupsurveycom to get access to features and discounts. First, thank you to our partners at thumbsupsurveycom. Welcome to Legal Marketing 101. I'm Toby Rosen and welcome back to episode four in our local SEO series, our last episode in this series, and today we are obviously talking about reviews. But here's the thing If you're here, you should already know what reviews are and how to generate them, and you should have some reviews for your business. If you don't, go and check out the local SEO webinars on my YouTube channel in the description and then come back and listen to the series again. So today we're talking about reviews, but first we have to start with why these reviews matter and why there is no number of reviews that is quote unquote good enough.

Speaker 1:

In the labyrinthine world of online search, the algorithm still reigns supreme, despite the constant evolution and fine-tuning of these algorithms. In the world of digital marketing, we are still battling these algorithms every day. For law firms that are aiming to carve out their digital presence or expand understanding these algorithms, at least on a basic level is going to be necessary, sorry. So at the heart of search algorithms, and local search algorithms specifically, we're looking at the relationship between a few factors, and that's pretty much just three things Relevance, distance and prominence. Of course, these three factors really they're only a few of the many elements of what Google and others are using to create the rankings that they create with their algorithms. But if we just boil it down to these three factors, we're able to focus in on the essence of what it takes to rank well on Google Maps. Distance is somewhat self-explanatory and relevance is a little bit more complex, so we're not going to dig too deep on it today, except to say this Relevance does relate to the information in your profile, but the quality of your profile is significant, and when we say quality, we are certainly talking about the completeness of your profile and the quality of the information you have provided to Google.

Speaker 1:

But we're also talking about the quality of your business, which, in Google's mind, is largely measured by the number of reviews and the average star rating that your firm has, and this plays into prominence as well. Google is looking at how significant your business is in your local area and the tools they have to do that that aren't limited to reviews and citations, but they certainly play a really major factor in how positively Google treats your business. And at the end of the day I know I've said this a bunch of times before but what Google really wants to do is to provide high quality results to its users. And when it comes to traditional SEO, we're talking about measuring the content on the page and looking at the links on the page to determine what's good content. But with local SEO, we just don't have that. They're going to pull from around the web and they're using that to supplement the information that you and your customers provide them, and they're doing all of this to determine if your business is the right result to serve to a searcher on any particular query. So this is all to say that search engines, led by the very formidable Google, have long recognized the intrinsic value of reviews as a legitimate barometer of a business's credibility and trustworthiness, especially now that they've implemented their verification processes, and we can assume that they're going to continue to look at it like this. And, as a result, reviews have basically just become the cornerstone of local search algorithms, and they wield incredibly significant influence over your law firm's visibility when it comes to local search results, and the rationale behind this preference is very simple, but it's also kind of profound.

Speaker 1:

Reviews serve as a real-time testament to a business's quality, reliability and relevance to a search. That is and like I said before, it's not just about the quantity of reviews. Yes, having hundreds or maybe thousands of reviews is absolutely ideal, but quality does still reign supreme. Google's algorithms possess a pretty discerning eye for authenticity and credibility and, of course, reviews that are detailed, insightful and accompanied by high ratings. These carry a lot more weight for us in the eyes of search engines. And on the flip side, a profile that's bogged down by low ratings or reviews without any actual comment is going to be destined for the bottom of the search results page.

Speaker 1:

The correlation between review quantity, quality and local SEO performance is unmistakable. Law firms with an arsenal of authentic, positive reviews have a serious, serious competitive edge when it comes to local search rankings. But on top of that, I shouldn't forget to mention that reviews don't just influence search engine algorithms. They actually have pretty significant sway over prospective clients' decision-making processes. Consumers in every industry really rely pretty heavily on online reviews to inform their purchasing decisions. Now, sure, they may do this at different stages of the funnel, but we really consistently see this for all practice areas and all demographics. People, just they just look at online reviews all the time. They just do. I do it, everybody does this, and if we can have some positive reviews that serve as social proof, this is terrific for instilling confidence in potential clients and then nudging them a little bit closer to enlisting our services, and for potential clients that are seeking legal representation for, again, just anything. Really. Reviews are sort of a beacon of trust in a kind of murky sea of options. That's because the trust factor that's inherent in online reviews is still so significant.

Speaker 1:

Unlike traditional advertising or digital marketing collateral, which we're going to polish and curate to absolute perfection, reviews offer potential clients an unfiltered insight into real client experiences and PCs sorry, potential clients. Some of you guys know they find this information more genuine than anything you can post on your website or your social media, and this is still despite the photos of your team lunch or your team outing that you're posting. Reviews are actually a real glimpse into the inner workings of a law firm and what it's like to be a customer there, and because the information is purportedly coming from a legitimate client of your firm again, this seriously carries weight with PCs. Client of your firm again, this seriously carries weight with PCs. The influence of reviews on potential clients' choice of legal representation it cannot be overstated. Today, in this industry, the stakes are really high for us. That's both for our clients and for us as firms and as marketers, and reviews can be a guiding light in more ways than one.

Speaker 1:

For certain, a fat portfolio of reviews is something you can hang your hat on, because good reviews, at the end of the day, they start with good client service. When it comes to generating good reviews, the first step is just providing good service. You know this and I shouldn't have to explain it to you. And if you're wondering if you provide good service, go take a look at your reviews. Are they good or are you a two and a half star? It's really important to go and look at how you're doing without giving yourself too many breaks because your clients aren't going to. So if your rating isn't good, maybe it's not just people trying to spam your profile. Take a really good look at yourself and say what am I doing that I could be doing better? And so good service isn't something we're going to go into a lot of detail on today, particularly because it's such a broad topic. There's so many things you could be doing right and so many things you could be doing wrong. But let me reinforce my point on why it's important.

Speaker 1:

First, if you don't serve your customers well, they're not going to leave you good reviews. And if you ask them to leave you a review which we're going to talk about they're going to leave you a review which we're going to talk about. They're going to leave you a bad one. And then, conversely to that, if you provide an excellent service, you might not even have to ask for reviews. You might not even have to ask for referrals. And sure, nothing is certain. Some clients and some industries, they're just not going to be like that. They're never going to appreciate the level of service that you can provide. But most of them are.

Speaker 1:

And having a conscious, unbiased understanding of how you're really doing is the first step in creating exceptional client experiences. And we want to get that ripple effect going, where people review us and then they refer us. But even if you're not overflowing with reviews or cases, don't worry, there are more strategies. And all of these strategies essentially start with figuring out what is the right time to ask for a review. That's one of the most important things. We're trying to figure out what touch points are best to engage with our clients and what mediums they'll be most responsive in.

Speaker 1:

Responsive in Instead of just sitting around and waiting for feedback to start trickling in on its own. We need to figure out how to proactively encourage our clients to give us some feedback that's useful not only for local SEO stuff, but that can actually enable us to improve our processes. And typically these touch points are at milestones in the case, or when a matter is being resolved, or even during post-case follow-ups. That works too. I do find that earlier is typically better when possible, but it's important to strike a balance between pressure and the legitimate urgency so you don't overwhelm your client and then lose the opportunity to get a review entirely, and unfortunately there is no specific guidebook for this. It's a lot of trial and error, even within the same practice area, trust me. But one thing I can say confidently here is that our success rate is significantly higher when we've just informed a client of a positive outcome in their case and then when we provide them with a link and maybe even some potential content for the review. Now, your mileage may vary with the latter part there, with the content, but it can be really effective if it's done with some tact, and that tact this matters in more ways than one.

Speaker 1:

We need to strike the right balance between solicitation and authenticity when we're trying to engage with clients for reviews. If you can just avoid resorting to impersonal mass emails, generic requests, sms blasts, because personalized and sincere outreach resonates more deeply with clients, it resonates more deeply with everyone and it elicits genuine responses and helps foster stronger connections. That's just the reality of it, and if you can do it in person, that's even better. Being personal and being in person is highly, highly effective here. So when you come to one of those milestones in the case, or you get a positive outcome for the client, just ask them in person or maybe on the phone. Hey, how do you think we did on your case? Would you mind leaving us a positive review? It really helps other people with your issue find a way to help solve their problem. Sincerity and gratitude. It's just an incredibly effective tactic, not just in marketing, but it's an effective tactic for everything you want in life and when it comes to marketing and it comes to law firms, it really resonates with clients.

Speaker 1:

So seize this opportunity, ask for the feedback when you sit down with the client after the case and, if they're happy, ask them to go on Google and leave a review. We want to strike while the iron is hot, because the timing here it is crucial. We want to capitalize on those moments of peak positivity to elicit the most enthusiastic response possible from our clients. And, although it might entirely contradict parts of what I just said, leveraging technology and automation tools can still really help us streamline the review solicitation process and we can do it without losing too much humanity. At the very least, crm systems they can help us keep track of our review pipeline and they'll usually provide us with tools to remind ourselves to ask for the review and then maybe some automated tools to remind clients to leave a review, maybe via email, and then maybe some automated tools to remind clients to leave a review, maybe via email, if we've already asked them to do so in person.

Speaker 1:

And at most, there are review and local profile management platforms like Bright, local and Review Trackers that help us automate the process from beginning to end, and they help us even do things like reskinning the interface our clients are interacting with for feedback so that we have a fully customized experience. But at the end of the day, all you really need to do is ask, and sure you might get a no every now and then, but you're going to get more yeses than you think and you're going to make some money as a result. We haven't even covered all the things you can do with reviews on your website and throughout your marketing, but we are going to in a future episode, so don't worry. But for today and for our local SEO series, that's it for Legal Marketing 101. Check out RosenAdvertisingcom for more. Thanks.