2023 Guide to Google Reviews for Lawyers
Google reviews are an innovative way for your law firm to make an excellent first impression on consumers, gather essential insights, and build credibility often without costing a dime.
When managed properly, Google reviews can be one of your best marketing and reputation management tools, leading to a higher volume of higher-quality cases. However, there are several nuances to this functionality that you must consider to ensure your best chance of success with this powerful search engine marketing feature.
Why Do Google Reviews Matter?
From buying a new vacuum to dining out at a new restaurant, a customer is likely to check Google reviews before making a decision. That’s because reviews are user-generated and one of the most authentic and accessible forms of social proof. According to a 2021 report by PowerReviews, over 99.9% of users read reviews when they shop online. 49% of users even trust Google Reviews as they would with recommendations from loved ones according to a BrightLocal consumer survey.
Google Reviews are a critical point in the user journey that can establish credibility, convert users to customers, and benefit your business in several ways such as:
Receive valuable customer feedback. A Google review allows you to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your law firm. The key is to monitor your Google reviews closely, and if you receive negative feedback, it is best to respond promptly with a way to make things right. See our tips on handling negative reviews below. See our tips on dealing with negative reviews below.
Increase brand trust. A growing number of online users gravitate towards transparency and easy access to information about a company. Roughly 88% of consumers research a business and look at its Google reviews before deciding to purchase its products or services.
Increase online visibility and SEO. While Google search algorithms are complex and difficult to pin down, Google reviews are proven to be one of the Local Three Pack that Google considers when ranking local search results. These three factors are:
Relevance, or how well your Google My Business profile aligns with a user’s search.
Distance, or how far your business is from a specified search location or the searcher’s location.
Prominence, which is how well your business is known to the public. To determine a business’s prominence, Google pulls information from various places such as your own website, articles, links, and online directories. Google reviews, and their positivity, play a crucial role in a business’s prominence in local search.
Better clickthrough rates on your website. Past client satisfaction is essential to driving digital traffic, so when your law firm has positive reviews, it compels potential clients to learn more. This results in higher clickthrough rates to your site.
Convert more customers. With better clickthrough rates come better conversion rates. Once you establish yourself as a reputable law firm the customer can trust and provide a clear path to your website, you will, as a result, see an increased caseload.
Increase Brand Trust
Get More Clients
Google Reviews: Common Questions and Answers
How to Curate Good Reviews
Always value quality over quantity regarding Google reviews. The key is curation; designate and reach out to your happiest customers, request that they share their positive experience, and make the process as seamless as possible. You can implement several strategies to achieve this such as QR codes, a link in your email footer, and print materials.
Can I Delete a Google Review?
While you unfortunately cannot delete a Google review, there are alternatives. For example, you can flag a Google review as inappropriate if it violates its content policy. That way, if Google finds the review to violate its content policy, it removes it from your Business Profile and does not allow it to be reinstated. Here’s how to report a Google review (please note: you must be signed into the Google account associated with your Google My Business profile):
On a computer
- Select “Reviews.”
- Select the “More” icon (with the three horizontal dots) next to the review you want to flag.
- Select “Flag as Inappropriate.”
- Click "Submit".
- Open the Google Maps app.
- Tap your profile picture on the top right-hand side and navigate to your Business Profile.
- Tap “Reviews.”
- Find the review you’d like to report.
- Tap “Report Review.”
While you are unable to delete a negative Google review yourself, it provides an opportunity to respond strategically and demonstrate to your audience that you are constantly looking to improve your clients’ experience.
Why Isn’t My Review Showing Up on Google?
While it could take up to 24 hours for a Google Review to appear, it can be frustrating when a positive review for your business is delayed or does not appear on any platforms at all. This could be due to the review being flagged as inappropriate by Google. In that case, the review would not appear or be promptly removed and not reinstated. Another reason for this occurrence could be customers writing a review on an older device or operating system.
In addition, if a reviewer’s account is inactive, Google may deactivate it and remove their reviews or no longer display them on platforms. So, if a reviewer’s feedback was visible in the past and they go through a period of inactivity, their review may no longer be visible.
The Importance of Responding to a Review
Nowadays, consumers have high expectations and are skeptical and reluctant to trust a brand without doing the proper research. By responding to reviews, positive or negative, you show them that you care about their experience using your legal services. As a result, you build brand loyalty, preserve your reputation, and convince customers that they can trust your law firm with their case.
Tips for Responding to Positive Google Reviews
First, claim your Business Profile to respond to reviews publicly. Then, thank the user for their positive review. Although you don’t need to respond to every positive review, thanking the reviewer is always a good idea. This shows your appreciation for your customers. You can also use this as an opportunity to share new information about your business, although you should avoid making it sound like a sales pitch, as they are already a happy customer.
Tips for Responding to Negative Google Reviews
Receiving a negative review can be stressful. Still, you must remain calm and develop and implement a thoughtful plan to resolve the customer’s negative experience and offer a meaningful solution. This is an opportunity to make things right and let other users know you care and are willing to improve as a practice. Here’s what you should do when you receive a negative Google review:
Thank them. First and foremost, thank them for their response and reassure them that your commitment to your clients is a top priority. Example: “Dear ____, thank you for contacting us. We appreciate you bringing this to our attention. We take client service very seriously and do our best to ensure that all who contact us are satisfied with their experience.”
Respond promptly and publicly. Remember that you are responding to the customer and a broad audience reading your reply. So, although speed is essential, you must assess the situation first and take the time to create a thoughtful response. Then, you must address the reviewer publicly and assure them that you care about their experience and are attentive to their concern. You should avoid creating a dialogue and ask them to speak with you directly instead. Example: “Information we have is confidential, and we cannot disclose it online. We would be happy to discuss the situation with you. Please call us at _____ and speak with us directly.”
Empathize first, and then go to the facts. It is essential that you are respectful of their feelings and ensure that you sympathize with their situation. Let them know that you regret their experience did not meet your expectations but do so without being overly apologetic to avoid suggesting your firm is somehow at fault. Then, offer a course of action. In your response, let them know you will reach out via a unique email to discuss concerns. Alternatively, offer them the opportunity to contact you and your team by phone to start a conversation. This is not the time to dive into the specifics of their situation, but instead, keep it general.
How to Get a Google Review Link
Sending your clients a Google review link makes it easy for them to leave you a positive review and strengthens your client feedback outreach initiatives as it connects them directly to where they can leave a review. There are a few ways to find the link to your Google reviews. Once you find it, it can be used across all channels. Here are ways you can find your Google Review link:
Via Google Search. First, log into your Google Business Profile. Then, look for your business on Google Search and click the link stating the number of reviews you have. Finally, select the “Get More Reviews” button.
Via Google Business Profiles Manager. First, log into your Google Business Profile. Then, choose the business you want to get a Google Reviews link in your Google Business Profile Manager. Then, scroll down and click on Share Your Business Profile. Then, your Google Reviews link will be there, ready to go.
Via Place ID Finder. This is especially useful for businesses still claiming their Google Business profile. First, visit the Place ID Finder in the Google Maps developer platform. Then, search for your business in the search bar. Once it pops up, copy the Place ID series of numbers and letters. Lastly, paste the ID in the URL below, which says “place_id” within the brackets.
Via the Google Maps App. Open the Google Maps App and click on your profile icon. Then, select “Your Business Profiles.” Once in the Overview section, scroll down to “Get more reviews” and click “Share profile.” Then, you can copy the link to share later or send it directly via social media messaging platforms.
Tools for Getting More Google Reviews and Improving Ratings
With the rise of reputation management platforms, Google review management has never been easier. There are several powerful platforms to streamline the reputation management process and keep your customers engaged at every step in their decision-making process. These include:
Chekkit is an all-in-one communication tool to connect with customers by collecting and responding to reviews, closing deals, and completing transactions. It also is one of the most affordable options for local businesses.
Podium is a popular platform that generates increased review volume and, in turn, increased web and foot traffic for your business.
Broadly is a reputation management tool that helps local businesses engage with customers and generate leads. In addition, it streamlines invoices and payments and sends review requests automatically.
Birdeye merges with your CRM platform to increase review volume in real-time, monitor reviews, send automated review requests and replies, and turn reviews into ready-to-post social content with easy-to-use templates.
ReviewTrackers is an all-in-one reputation management solution that offers increased positive Google reviews while providing your business access to actionable customer insights.
ReviewBuzz is a platform offering employees access to reviews and insights, as well as rewards for engaging with customers. Earning a good review accumulates points which the employee could use to win prizes.
With all these innovative, automated reputation management tools, choosing the right one for your law firm can be overwhelming. Fortunately, we’re here to help.
We’re Strategic Legal Marketing Professionals
Google Reviews is one of the most powerful and cost-effective tools your law firm can use to increase visibility, build trust, establish credibility, and convert users to customers. However, if mismanaged, it could have the opposite effect, damaging your brand, negatively impacting your business, and quickly deterring online users from considering your legal services.
At Legal Communications Group, building strong and enduring law firm brands is all we do. We are seasoned strategic legal marketing professionals offering proven solutions to optimize your law firm’s seo and yield a higher volume of better-quality cases.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 215-364-8828 to get started.