In the past, we have discussed just how important reviews are for clients in terms of how they affect online visibility, awards and accolades, reputation management, and even SEO. We even did some digging to discover how people find lawyers in 2018. What we wanted to learn this time was, do people consider reviews for attorneys when deciding who to call for legal help?
Do People Take Lawyer Reviews Seriously?
We set out to learn more about how reviews impact a law firm’s business development. For this survey, we wanted to find out how much research someone would do before contacting a lawyer, as well as how likely it would be that the person researching the lawyer would rely on reviews to decide whether or not to hire the particular lawyer he or she researched.
The findings were as follows:
“On a scale 1-10, how important would it be to read reviews about a lawyer prior to contacting them?”
Out of the 250 people surveyed, the average response was 8.76. This shows that in 2018, people are indeed relying on reviews to make important legal choices.
“What websites come to mind when finding reviews about a lawyer?”
We were surprised to find 24 people who knew Avvo by name. Lawyers should be sure to put more effort into having a complete Avvo profile to make the most of it. While Yelp is not typically known for legal services, it is a trustworthy source that people rely upon to verify the credibility of the attorneys they’re looking up. Attorneys with Yelp profiles should strive for at least a 4.0 rating to establish credibility.
Harvesting Yelp reviews can be more complicated for lawyers considering A) soliciting reviews via Yelp is difficult since the platform stresses never asking for reviews, and B) Yelp’s uncanny ability to filter out swaths of legitimate positive reviews while permitting arguably less genuine negative reviews to stick.
“On a scale 1-10, if you narrowed your choices down two lawyers you liked but one had much better reviews online, how much would that impact your final decision?”
The average response here was still quite high at 8.33, but people were more likely to say experience, case results/verdicts, and the lawyer’s background weighed more heavily than online reviews in their considerations.
It’s important to consider the fact that search engine results pull in plenty of schemas that include reviews of your law firm from multiple sources. These reviews should be bolstered in as many areas in which they are needed as possible:
Looking at the data, people still love to leave reviews on Facebook, while Thumbtack is increasingly being recognized as a legitimate review source. It is now more important than ever to have a pulse on your online reputation. Some of your most savvy potential clients could be looking at multiple sources to learn more about you before picking up the phone.
You can also take measures to gain more reviews internally. Read up on how you can generate more of them on our blog post.