Yes, the most common way an attorney gets new business is via referrals from existing clients. However, there are many businesses and consumers searching for attorneys who conduct their own research. In fact, 21.9% search online using Google, Yahoo and Bing compared to 34.8% who ask a friend or colleague whom they recommend, according to a study conducted by Blumenthals. Ignoring the online marketplace can mean missing out on a large share of the market.
Here are some highlights of the study completed on the importance of local search, social media and online reviews for attorneys:
- Word of mouth from clients is critically important
- Search engines are the most likely source for new clients
- Online reviews influence which attorneys people meet with and Google reviews are 3x more likely to influence a decision than Yelp
- Facebook offers little value in finding new clients
- The print Yellow Pages, while not as likely to be used as the search engines, still have some life in the legal industry
- A solid website and online reviews are critical components to an attorney’s marketing plan
Online reviews play a very important role once an attorney is revealed in an online search. Even when a prospective client receives a referral from a friend or colleague, they go online to get phone numbers and/or directions. What has changed of late is the fact that reviews are indexed in the search results so the simple task of looking up a phone number reveals an attorney’s reputation. As attorneys from all disciplines are adopting building solid online reputations those first in their marketplace to achieve a 5-star status will dominate.
It used to be that online reviews were really only important in the hotel and restaurant industries. Today, every business must pay attention to their online reviews and reputation. More and more professional service related businesses are being impacted such as lawyers, doctors and accountants as people go online to search and share their satisfaction, or dissatisfaction, about their experience.
Interested in getting a complete picture about your online reputation? Drop us a line or give us a call at 443.458.5465 and we’ll run a Local Reputation Report for you.