Today we’re going to be discussing, “How Google Reviews Can Help Lawyer Marketing and SEO”. Now marketing can be puzzling especially when wading into the depths of search engine optimization, so today we’re just going to specifically be focusing on how google reviews can help. If you don’t know what SEO is, it stands for “Search Engine Optimization”, and it’s just how Google and other search engines rank your results. So let’s start with some facts. According to a 2018 survey of Google reviews accounted for 15.44% of how Google ranks a business in the “Google Local Pack”,  and 6.47% of organic search results.

If you’re unfamiliar with the difference between the local pack and the organic search results, the local pack is the box of businesses that shows below the map in a search for businesses in your area. So if you’re using the “near me” function or you’re just searching for a business in your area the local pack is what pops up with businesses in your area, and why is it important to rank well in this Google local pack? Well often customers will be looking for businesses in their area in the local pack and it will have useful information in there, such as phone numbers, an address to your location, reviews, etc… So you can see it’s important to rank well in both, but especially in the local pack where people will be looking for local businesses. Reviews will definitely help.

Let’s cover why do reviews affect the SEO ranking before we give you some tips, and the first thing is that Google wants impartial information. Google knows that you as the website owner will put favorable information on your website for your business, and they actually have a quote on their website that says, “Reviews are only valuable when the are honest and unbiased” and that’s what they are looking for with these reviews. Even if a long term client leaves you a review, they can trust that review is going to be honest and unbiased because it doesn’t have any information that will favor them, your client doesn’t have any stake in your firm. That’s the first thing, is that google wants impartial information.

The second thing is that Google wants content, the more text, videos, photos that you’re putting on your website is going to help SEO ranking just because Google loves to read information, and the more information is provided they are able to help better sort you in their categories, and that goes for reviews as well. Anytime someone leaves a text review or let’s say they take a photo of your office Google is going to crawl through that information, read that information, and it’s going to help your ranking.

The third thing is that clicks matter, and this is kind of the bedrock of SEO. Click-through rates to your website are going to help SEO ranking and the more reviews you have, let’s say you have 55 reviews with a 4.9 average, someone is more likely to investigate and click through to your website than if you had a 3.9 average with 8 reviews.

So those are the 3 things about why reviews affect SEO, now let’s go to how can you help your ranking with Google reviews. The first and foremost I’m going to say go to Google My Business and claim your profile. We have a lot of people who haven’t done this, and it’s extremely beneficial to have your Google My Business profile claimed. Your going to be notified when reviews are left, you can respond to reviews which is really important, and you can do other things like edit your hours or your address if you need to do that, if something is mistaken on your Google My Business profile. If you don’t do anything, if you don’t have your business profile claimed after you watch this video go claim your Google My Business profile.

Secondly, and this can seem really easy but a lot of people skip it, ask for reviews! Make it part of your process to ask for reviews when your client’s walking out the door, train somebody in the front of house, you can even send out a text or give your client a card when they are leaving with your Google profile link on it, but as long as you ask for reviews that’s an extremely important step, and if you make it part of your process it will get easy to just do it every time.

Lastly you are going to want to monitor and respond to these reviews. Google rewards those who respond to reviews, and especially when it comes to those negative reviews, you can usually turn a negative review into a positive opportunity if you just thoughtfully respond to a review like that.

Now we definitely understand that attorneys wear many hats and often times your busy, so if you would like a solution we do have Feedback Automatic, Feedback Automatic is a tool which will help promote sharing of positive reviews and it will also internalize negative reviews so that you can respond and resolve without that review going public. So if you’re interested click the link below, I’d be happy to talk to you. Hope you learned something today and we’ll see you soon.